Vending operators cause their own service calls by the actions or in-actions of the route man:
- Without a well planned and timed service schedule (or route scheduling system), your machines will run out of product… and cause a service call.
- You leave out of date product in your machines… “I bought the product and it’s stale.”
- You open the door to your machine. Do you open the door of every machine at every stop even when if it’s only making enough money to open the machine every other stop? (Here’s an alternative) Every time you open the door of the machine, there is a possibility for something to go wrong in the machine. Mechanical and electronic things break over time with use.
- You open the door, but you forget to lock it when you leave.
- If you open the door make sure you close it, lock it and make sure it accepts money with a coin and bill test before you leave.
What service issues do you deal with? (Share them and any questions you have in the comments below)
Vending Operators Cause Their Own Service Calls Tom Shivers: I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show, here again with Larry Towner of Service Group International. He’s a vending business consultant and we’ve been discussing some interesting topics lately. What are we going to talk about today, Larry?
Larry Towner: Today I think we’re going to talk about, I know we’re going to talk about Vending Operators Cause their Own Service Calls, and you think it doesn’t happen, but it does.
Tom Shivers: So you’re saying vending operators are causing service calls?
Larry Towner: Yeah, they cause their own service calls, and between an operator and/or a route man, you get service calls that are caused by the actions or inactions that you take, I guess I want to say, so let’s start off with one of my favorites. It’s always the one I usually do.
Larry Towner: It’s called poor planning or a lack of a good schedule. You pretty much know if you don’t have a great schedule out there, you don’t plan your time well. You’re going to get service calls if your machines run out of product. This is a very simple thing, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t have a good route scheduling system so they run out of product or whatever, but they don’t show up at their accounts on a regular basis, so that’s really one of the first reasons why you can cause service calls into your own accounts.
Larry Towner: Another one of my favorites is you leave out-of-date product in your machines. Nothing will generate a service call faster than somebody saying, “I bought the product and it’s stale,” because I’m going to guarantee you, they’re going to call you when that’s the case. “I lost my last 50 cents forever that I ever had in my whole life. You need to come pay me back or send me the money.” Yeah. I would if you’ll send me a self-addressed stamped envelope, so that’s one of the things.
Larry Towner: Here’s a third one. This is one that’s going to surprise a lot of people, and you’ll laugh at this one, Tom. Big reason why you cause your own service calls, you open the door to the machine. Now, that’s sounds funny. You have to open the door to the machine to service it, right, and that’s true, but I guess the question is is do you open the door every time you go to an account or not on every machine. We’ve discussed this in a past show about it gets back to your scheduling and your route things, but if you don’t generate a certain amount out of that machine, like let’s say you’ve got a drink machine and a snack machine. The drink machine generates plenty of money out of it and the snack machine generates enough money for you to open the machine every two weeks, open the machine every two weeks. Don’t open it every week, because every time you open that door, here’s what happens, right? First off, the computer disables because you take the power off, or almost all machines, the interlock switch comes on and the power goes out on the machine. Well, every time you do that, you open the possibility for something to go wrong in the machine. It’s just the way mechanical stuff works. It’s mechanical, electronics, whatever it is. That’s how stuff happens.
Larry Towner: The other thing that you do is there’s cables between the door and the machine. Well, every time you move those cables, you cause to have the potential for pinching a cable or cutting a cable or, shoot man, wire breaks, just after a while, it work hardens and breaks. Anyway, so it sounds funny, but opening the door is one of the reasons why you cause your own service calls.
Larry Towner: Fourth reason why you cause your own service calls, and this has to do with opening that dad gum door again. This is a big problem. You open the door, but you forget to lock it when you leave. If you’ve been in the vending business for a while, you’ve gotten calls where hey, you left the door open, and unless somebody knows how to, on some of the doors, unless somebody knows how to operate it, they’ll lock the door, but they’ll leave the door open, so they might try to help you out, but generally if they say the door’s open, you need to go do it.
Larry Towner: One of the fifth reasons, and this all has to do with opening the door, if you open the door, make sure you close it, number one, make sure you lock it, number two, pull on the door to make sure it’s actually locked, which has always been one of my favorites. I always grab the top corner of the machine and yank on it a little bit, and if it didn’t open, it was good, but before I left every account for a machine that I opened, I coined and bill tested the machines. I made sure that when I shut that door that that machine functioned, at least took money, right, and so … it accepted money, that’s the better thing. It doesn’t take somebody’s money because we don’t want it to take somebody’s money without giving them product, but we make sure that that thing accepts coins and accepts dollar bills because you’d be amazed. Again, when you open those doors and the interlock switches and stuff, and the computers go down, stuff happens. It’s what happens.
Larry Towner: Tom, any questions on that?
Tom Shivers: That’s some great, great tips there. Maybe there’s some questions that people might have about certain service issues that they’ve had that they could add to the comments below.
Larry Towner: Sure.
Tom Shivers: All right.
Larry Towner: [inaudible 00:05:04]
Tom Shivers: Well, yeah, and do subscribe. We have a good time on this show, and we’d like to hear from you, so if you have a question, send it in, and you’ve been watching Vending Operators Cause their own service calls from the Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M Equipment Sales.