If part of your job description is “putting out fires”, you need an Emergency Response Protocol that’s more involved than just dropping what you’re doing and rushing off to the fire! Putting out fires is among the top 5 productivity distractions falling behind email and phone calls…so let’s make sure it’s a real priority and deserves your attention!
While RJ was in my 90 Day Wonder Priority Coaching, we addressed how he handles emergencies. He is a project technician and installer for Gold Key IT Services. One of his biggest emergencies involves servers. When a server goes down, that elevates his need to be responsive. Computer and internet work for a whole office or business comes to a screeching halt!
RJ’s Short List for Emergencies
Emergency Alerts are coded. RJ and his staff have a code and a protocol for how he is contacted about emergencies. An email means he can address it after lunch or by close of business. A text means he should call the office when he gets finished with his current ticket. A phone call from the client means let it go to voice mail. A phone call from the office is the RED LIGHT! If it comes from the office, he knows to answer and move into action by calling the customer.
What’s the nature of your emergency? Over the phone RJ starts asking questions to find out what’s really going on. Is the server smoking, blinking or unresponsive? Can it be fixed remotely? What parts am I going to need before I head out to the job.
Reschedule my next appointment. RJ used to squeeze in emergencies between appointments. That had two bad results: First he felt rushed while working out the emergency issues. Second, he ran behind on every other appointment for the rest of the day. The solution we devised was in calling the office to reschedule his next appointment and use that time for the emergency. 90% success rate on that!
Remote is better than Onsite. By asking questions, RJ was able to determine if a remote solution would at least temporarily solve the problem until an appointment could be scheduled. Occasionally that was all that was needed.
RJ feels so much better about how he handles fires now as compared to just a few months ago. He is finishing more work on time and early than in the previous 10 years! That’s why it’s called The 90 Day Wonder!
How are you doing at your priority management? 18 Question Assessment