Should Plumbing Companies Offer Virtual Appointments?

Prior to the pandemic, technology wasn’t very present in several industries. The desire to social distance to stop the spread of germs meant communicating virtually became not only a possibility but an actual necessity at times. This pertained to meetings, appointments, and job positions in general, even to this day. One area where virtual appointments has appeared is in the plumbing industry.


For some plumbing companies, virtual appointments have become a convenient option for homeowners. By conducting a video call, the plumber can advise the homeowner on the best course of action to fix the problem and even show them how to do it themselves. From faulty water heaters and leaking toilets to water pressure problems and jammed garbage disposals, a large number of plumbing calls can be addressed through these virtual visits. But however beneficial this route appears on paper, it may only benefit the homeowner. Read below for some possible pros and cons from the plumbing company’s perspective to providing virtual appointments:

Pros

Cons

  • Can save the plumber time and gas money since there’s no traveling/driving
  • Showing the customer how to solve the issue themselves may avoid a similar call in the future
  • Strengthens the customer relationship
  • Shows that the plumber is flexible
  • Homeowner may be less likely to DIY the situation
  • Avoids liability issues and abides by social distancing
  • What if the homeowner messes up while listening to the instructions? Who’s liable then?
  • Teaching a homeowner how to fix plumbing problems could take business away from the plumbing company in the future
  • Being a skilled tradesman doesn’t mean being good at teaching someone the craft
  • Plumbers may not be technical savvy enough
  • Plumbing company may have to invest in the technology, which could be expensive

Some may argue that offering virtual appointments goes against what a plumbing company stands for; a plumber is an expert in their craft, employed to fix the problems that homeowners tried to solve themselves. No matter what your stance is on the matter, you have to admit that there’s no better time than now for plumbing companies to decide if they want to provide this option or not. Like telemedicine, some jobs may be simple enough to walk a homeowner through with a little guidance, avoiding a home visit. Others are more complex, and even the diagnosis could take a bad situation and make it worse and should be left to the professional plumber.