How quickly do you expect your employees to return client’s calls/emails?


I’m the office admin for a small to mid sized roofing company, so I’m on the frontline when client’s call. I am constantly having to apologize to our client’s because it has been several days to quite often several weeks and our estimators and project managers have yet to get in touch. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect calls to be returned within 24-48 hours. I know other industries expect calls to be returned within hours or at least the same day. How quickly do you handle client’s requests?

Thanks for your feedback.

I completely agree with you that a call should be returned promptly. Unfortunately most people do not do a great job at work. If you are going to keep working there you have a challenge. Keep your ear sympathetic to customer so they get their pain out, stand up for your fellow co-worker, and leave your feelings at the office.

Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate your advice. I do the things you mentioned with the exception of leaving my feelings at the office. I’m still working on that one lol.

As a commercial property manager I’ll give you my perspective. If I call for a roof leak I would like a call back in 1 or 2 hours acknowledging that you can repair the type of roof that I have. I know that by the time my tenant has notified me that there’s a leak every other property owner with a leak has called you before me. I just need to know that you can do the job and you’ll get to it after all the others that have called before me. I’m understanding of the fact that if it has rained you’re busy repairing leaks most of which have called before me so I don’t expect instant service on the repair. If I don’t get a call back then I just call someone else. If I’m looking for a bid on a re-roof it doesn’t matter so much when you call back but it looks better if you call me sooner rather than later.

Thanks for giving a client’s perspective. I think most of our client’s would agree. Knowing is always better than waiting and wondering.

I expect calls to be returned promptly. Same day at worst. If I had people consistently returning calls measured in days, much less weeks, they would be looking for a new job. That’s ridiculous.

Thanks for your feedback. I totally agree with you. I think our client’s deserve better.

I am the office manager for my dad and uncle’s small contracting company and my biggest complaint about our sales rep (MY COUSIN) is that he does not have a good enough response time and sometimes he takes up to 2 weeks to give the customer an estimate! IT IS RIDICULOUS!

I feel like no matter who is in the position to return a customer’s call or do what they are supposed to do, there will always be those people who fall short of their job responsibilities. My best advice is to keep ON those co-workers and when talking to the customer, let them know that you will give your co-worker the message and they will return your call within X amount of hours. Always tell your co-worker EXACTLY what was said to the customer so when they fall short of the customer’s expectations, it is on THEM. Document everything and cover your A$$ because the customer does deserve more and so do you. Ask a manager or someone what your company policy is and go with that. Good luck! Hope this helps.

Hi Kelsie,

Your advise is great! (Your email went to my junk box, so I didn’t see it until now). I’m going to put your plan into action starting tomorrow. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it!


I am the owner of a small roofing company, 20 employees. I am the only salesman, estimator, scheduler. I return all calls within 24 hours and have bids out within 48 max, (we only do residential). This is pure laziness not getting calls returned sooner and this approach will make your company disappear in the next recession. Fire your cousin.

As we’ve grown, this has become an area that’s needed some extra grease. We are a local, 95% bid type roofing/gutter company. With 2 sales plus myself we used to take calls and tell the customer we will have a consultant call back with 24hrs to set an appointment. Two problems that we encountered were when a influx of calls hit (back logging an individual more so than usual) and also playing phone tag when we tried to call the customer back.

With 3 sales plus myself now, we have changed our method to appointment setting on the initial call. My office staff has shared Google calendars with available “slots” for each of us. If someone is busy, off that day, doc appt etc. they block themselves unavailable. This way the phone rep. has a reliable overview of who is available when.

The only drawback to this method is routing for efficiency is almost impossible. I decided its best to conform to the clients appointment needs/availability (resulted in a higher close ratio) over my staffs fuel or “number of estimates per day sent out” efficiency.