Evaluating the Services Your Plumbing Company Handles

Plumbing contractors need to evaluate how their companies handle the emergency calls and those where a customer might need more.

You’ve heard it before in the pages of Plumber magazine from our Industry Insider columnists and myself, but you are important!

If the events of the past year-plus haven’t shown you that, I don’t know what will. Plumbers were labeled as essential workers at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 because you provide needed services to homes and businesses.

If that alone didn’t make you realize you and your job are important, look at what happened in Texas in February 2021. The temperature for a few days dipped down below freezing.

Plumbing systems in cold-weather climates are built for that type of weather, but those in Texas were experiencing troubles such as pipes freezing and bursting, issues with septic tanks, and many more. One of the newscasts I caught one evening during that cold spell had the national anchors praising plumbers and talking about how they would be busy for a while.


Plumbers often aren’t contacted until there is an emergency. How you handle those emergencies can set you apart from your competitors.

Remember these tips if an emergency call is placed:

It Could Be You — For the person reaching out it can be devastating. Just think how you would want to be treated and what you would be going through if it was your home or business. Be caring and understanding in their situation.

Offer Suggestions — Listen to their problem. It could be something simple and they could be overreacting (it happens). If it is something you can help them out with on the phone and put them at ease, consider doing that.

Don’t Waste Time — If it is something that needs immediate attention, find a way to get over there that same day. Even if it’s to shut off their water for them for a day. Don’t sit on the phone and tell them you are busy for the next week.

Be Patient — They are likely stressed, and it may show on the phone with yelling, crying, cursing and so on. Try to be patient with the customer and remain calm. That will often calm them down. 

Refer Them to Someone Else — Don’t be afraid to refer them to another plumber or another contractor if it’s a problem that you can’t help with or are just too busy for. Don’t hurt them just because you don’t want to lose some business.

By following these five simple tips, you will likely help the customer, put them at ease, and earn a customer for life.


Every company reaches that point where they wonder if there is any more work they can do to pull in more customers. Jamie Miller, owner of Miller’s Services is Saluda, Virginia, reached that point.

Miller was running a septic pumping company, but he would often get on a job and the customer would have plumbing-related problems as well. He had to refer those jobs out to other companies and he saw money flying out the window that could be his. What would you do?

Miller decided he had enough of that and expanded his company to offer plumbing and drain cleaning services. He’s a go-to shop for any water or wastewater work a customer might need and made his company more valuable. You can read more about how he did that in this month’s issue.


How do you handle emergency calls or when a customer needs work done that you can’t do? Email me at editor@plumbermag.com or call 715-350-8436.

Enjoy this issue! 


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