If you don’t find ways to minimize travel time between cleaning services, you lose precious time in your employees’ schedules which means you can’t serve as many customers. You also cause your employees more stress — who likes to sit in stand-still traffic all day?!
With that in mind, here are five ways to minimize travel time between mobile appointments.
The easiest way to minimize travel time between cleaning appointments is to schedule services geographically and group appointments in and around specific locations. For example, instead of having your team cross back and forth across the city all day, you would schedule cleaning services downtown on Mondays, in a particular suburb on Tuesdays, etc.
Scheduling geographically eliminates the time-consuming travel back and forth and is particularly effective if you
To make scheduling appointments geographically easier and reduce delays in your scheduling process while optimizing your team’s calendars, you need scheduling software.
MarketBox is the first appointment-scheduling software designed for businesses offering in-home and mobile services, making it the perfect solution for cleaning businesses. The all-in-one platform makes scheduling appointments, coordinating service providers, and processing payments online easy and intuitive.
Minimize travel time between cleaning services by scheduling providers according to their travel zones and assign unique availability to each zone to control when and where your team operates.
Another easy way to minimize travel time between cleaning appointments is to plan routes ahead of time and optimize for traffic conditions.
Use route planning tools like Google Maps or MapQuest to find the fastest routes from A to B and monitor local traffic reports to learn about congestion/road closures before you set off. Have a backup route (or two) so that if your go-to route is slower than usual, you can go an alternative way to still arrive on time.
It’s not always possible to avoid traveling at rush hour — especially if you work somewhere where it’s always rush hour — but scheduling appointments to avoid peak travel times will help reduce travel time between cleaning appointments.
If you can’t schedule around peak traffic conditions, look for alternative routes that are less busy during peak times, e.g., small back roads and avoiding the main highway. It might be further, but you could still arrive first with less traffic.
To eliminate the need to return to the office between appointments to pick up new (or forgotten) equipment, prepare in advance so you have everything you need for the day. This way, you can return to base if you have downtime between appointments, but you don’t need to, so you cut down on unnecessary journeys and minimize travel time.
Finally, even if you take steps to reduce travel time, it’s still important to add a travel time buffer to your team’s schedules. A customer won’t mind if you’re 5 minutes early but 15 minutes late, and you might have earned yourself a bad review — or at least a bad impression that stops them from returning.
How much of a buffer you need will depend on the traffic conditions in your area. If you’re unsure, add a more generous buffer for a month to test and adjust as needed.
The biggest takeaway for cleaning businesses looking to reduce travel time between mobile appointments is you need to be prepared. Know your primary and backup routes, listen out for traffic updates, and make sure you pack everything you need for the day before you set off.
Of course, as we discovered, the easiest way to minimize travel time is to minimize the distances you need to travel (i.e., scheduling appointments geographically). To do this efficiently, you’ll need scheduling software, so below, you’ll find a free software buying guide to help you find the right scheduling tool for your business.
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