HOUSTON – It’s a brand new way to work for the service providers who come to your home these days.
The work day now includes everything from temperature checks to putting on protective gloves to germ-blocking boots like those doctors wear in surgery – and that’s all before they ever start working at your home.
Monica Ryan is the owner of Village Plumbing and Air and says their technicians have a new work log due to COVID19.
“The boys really disinfect everything between the houses. They wear gloves, wear the mask, wear ankle boots and really try to stop everything from moving on. “
Ryan, who is also a master plumber, says it’s about protecting your customers and employees.
With their plumbers servicing 350+ homes a week and touching many surfaces in some of the most intimate areas of your home, Ryan had to come up with a whole new list of safety precautions to keep customers safe.
The company’s new protocol includes:
personal protective equipment for workers
Disinfecting All New Parts Plumbers bring the job with them
Wipe the areas they touch after work
have no contact with the customer
Ryan adds, “When the technician arrives at your house, he will contact you through Facetime. Leave the front door unlocked and you can go to the other room if you want. “
She says it makes customers feel more comfortable.
Other service providers like carpet cleaners and exterminators do the same: they avoid as much contact with customers as possible.
“I think people are starting to realize that this is going to be a regular affair for the next 4 or 5 months so we’re all adjusting,” says Marcos Jurado, owner of OJ Carpet Cleaning, which oversees the Cypress, Tomball . Forest and spring areas of the city.
Sandra Njoku, the owner of MMKL Services, knows all too well that business is stalling due to customers’ fear of letting people into their homes. Njoko says her business has shrunk dramatically after the pandemic.
“It was like, ‘Oh my god, oh my god, how am I going to turn around and make the changes to keep our business going?'”
She recalls what customers told her about booking their cleaning: “We’re not sure … things are getting very serious and we are not sure if we are comfortable at this point.” keep business going, says but calls have fallen from 15-20 per week to 5-10.
Dr. Linda Yancey, an infectious disease specialist at Memorial Hermann, actually says customers are fine with letting service providers into their homes. When the correct security protocol is used.
“This is a relatively safe bet for letting someone into your house.”
Dr. Yancey says, “You definitely have to wear a mask. If there are people in the family (while visiting) move them to another room. “It also adds the timing of when you put your mask on and take off. This is also important to keep everyone safe. She suggests putting on the mask at least 10 to 15 minutes before your service provider arrives.
“When the vendor is gone, hold your mask on again for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the virus to settle in the air. You can then decontaminate surfaces in the area.”
Lastly, remember that experts say no matter who you let into your house, stay away from them. Let them speak to you on the computer or over the phone instead of face to face.
Some companies, such as Village Plumbing, for example, even offer “virtual service calls,” where they zoom in with you and show you how to fix the problem to keep your safety while delivering the services you need.
In fact, a new company called Fixer is offering help with common household repair problems on virtual service calls. Customers work with a technician through a real-time video call, where the technician guides them through every step of the repair, build, or setup. Services range from repairing leaky faucets, installing ceiling fans or new screen doors, setting up the smart TV, building the bookshelf or even placing tiles and grout on the countertop.
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