Plumbing emergencies can occur when we least expect them. After all, that’s what the emergency is all about. Knowing what to do when there’s an emergency in your house is key to smiling again. 

The best course of action is to find solutions to the problem. You need to find an emergency plumber in your city. A plumber you can rely on to quickly attend to your call with urgency.

According to the Design Criteria for Sewers and Watermelons that was released by the City of Toronto, “plumbing emergencies happen all the time. Whether it’s on the kitchen, bathroom, or pipes, attending to it with urgency can prevent further costly damage.”

An emergency plumber should be able to fix problematic sinks, drains, pipes, and toilets — and restore your home as it was before the emergency. There are thousands of plumbers in your city right now, the real challenge is knowing which professional to trust to have a successful outcome.

It’s not enough to choose a plumber next to your house, make sure you analyze their plumbing services. Make sure the plumber you eventually hire actually offers emergency plumbing repair services. A general plumbing company may not get the job done.

You don’t want to risk calling a plumber who will not treat your case with any urgency. Find an emergency plumber in Toronto, CA that offers the exact services you need. This is a great way to narrow down the list of local plumbers that may be vying to do the job.

That being said, here are 8 effective ways (and questions) you should ask an emergency plumber:

Verify Insurance Coverage

According to Adrian Mak, “Plumbers insurance can provide financial protection for your business if someone is injured by your business or if your business damages property.”

You want to make sure you’re hiring an emergency plumbing company that has insurance coverage. 

Most plumbing companies will carry two kinds of insurance:

Workers’ compensation insurance
Liability insurance

So you should ask about these two types of insurance coverage before moving forward. If you’re wondering what the difference is, here it is in a nutshell:

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance coverage that attends to works who are injured while executing their duties at work. There should be adequate payout provisions for them.

Liability insurance coverage, on the other hand, covers the plumbing professional for damages that his team caused on your home or belongings while performing their duties. If an insurance company causes any form of damage to your home, you can capitalize on the liability policy to get the necessary backup and repairs.

 

It may not seem necessary to check for insurance coverage with a plumbing company you’re hiring to do emergency repair services, but you should do it to save both the plumber, the workers, and your home. 

 

Emergency plumbing repairs require urgent action, which could lead to unintended consequences if the plumber isn’t experienced or lacks the right tools for the repairs.

Cost may be the only factor you might want to reconsider when asking about insurance coverage from your plumbing company.

This is because it’ll be more expensive when you hire a plumber with insurance coverage than plumbers that don’t have it. But the added cost will be well worth it there’s a damage on your home/property or the workers get injured.

Ask Around For Recommendations

If you don’t have a reliable plumbing company to call, you should ask around for recommendations from family members, neighbors, co-workers, and friends. 

If you know or have heard good things about a local plumber who provides reliable results, you can consult them as well. 

Recommendations from those you know are invaluable because they’re often unbiased and objective. 

So you’ll be given all the pertinent information from the person recommending the professional to you. When this happens, you’ll be able to know firsthand what you can expect in terms of pricing, overall efficiency, and above all, customer service.

How is the Pricing Determined?

Another factor that will guarantee that you hire the best emergency plumber in your city is the pricing model. Is it hourly or fixed? Since the average cost to hire a plumber is between $125 – $350, it’s best to know how this works out hourly or otherwise.

Sometimes, a friend or co-worker can refer a reputable emergency plumber to you. This might be the best way to get access to plumbers who can get the job done the first time.

A plumber may offer both hourly and fixed pricing structures but it all depends on what the client wants. The best way to save some money, though, is to stick with fixed pricing. Because if a plumbing company estimated that the project could take 2 hours to fix, what’s the guarantee they’ll deliver an excellent result?

You want to avoid surprise bills when the repair job is completed. If the plumbing company you hire insists on an hourly pricing structure, ask him/her, in their experience fixing emergency damages, how long your project should take. 

An experienced plumber should be able to give a good estimate of the time after a proper inspection of the damage. If the repair is obvious, (i.e., the pipes are accessible) you might want to stick to hourly pricing structure — otherwise, insist on a fixed rate.

Licensing

Before you hire an emergency plumbing company, you need to ask the plumber if they have the necessary licenses to practice. Although it depends on your state or city because not all states require licenses to operate. 

If the plumber doesn’t carry a license, ask why. Often, a plumbing company that has a license is certified and you can be sure they have passed a state examination. 

However, a license will not get the repair excellently executed. That’s why you must never be fooled by it. What a business license simply means is that the plumber is eligible to practice in your state or city. 

Above all, make sure the license isn’t just for any type of business but for professional plumbing practice. 

Know the Estimated Total Cost of Fixing Your Plumbing Problem

When you have found a reliable emergency plumber, it’s time to know firsthand what the total cost will be. 

We talked about knowing the pricing structure earlier, so if it’s hourly, how many hours will it take to repair the damage. And how much do they charge per hour?

As a homeowner, don’t completely rely on quotes you receive over the phone or via email. A trusted and reputable plumbing company will likely not give you a quote until they have properly inspected the problem. 

They want to know if it’s piping-related or a clogged sink. It’s always better to hire an experienced plumber because they’ll often include the cost of new parts needed for the repair. 

Don’t just assume they’ll get the job done based on the quote they sent you, you must confirm with the plumber if the price estimate includes both parts and labor cost.

 

Warranties and/or Guarantees For the Repairs 

How long will the repair work last? An experienced plumber should be able to make guarantees with a few exceptions. After the repair is completed, a plumber that stands behind what they have done will not be afraid to offer warranties and/or guarantees for their work.

If they’re scared to do that, then it’s obvious they don’t even trust their expertise in emergency repairs. Both for labor and material (parts used in the repairs), there should be a warranty. 

A homeowner needs to have that peace of mind after spending money on emergency plumbing repairs. A warranty or guarantee of up to 12 months is expected. However, it all boils down to the level of damage, and whether or not a part of the plumbing system was replaced or repaired.

If the plumber or company you speak to doesn’t offer any warranties and/or guarantees for their work, it’s a sign you should pass on that plumber or company. 

You should only work with those plumbers that give a cast-iron guarantee and/or warranties for their work. 

Are There Any References?

What do clients say about the plumbing company you want to hire. If you found them online, you need to read up a few reviews to know whether their past clients were happy or regretful.

A reputable emergency plumbing company that has been in the trenches for years will have garnered lots of references, comments, testimonials, success stories, and ratings from homeowners and clients.

So, it’s important to hear what other people think about the professional you intend to hire. Past clients are in a better position to describe the quality of their customer service, how efficient they are, and how they respond in case something happens after the repair is done.

Reputable plumbers like to talk about their clients even before you ask them. Because they know that new clients will be thrilled to experience the same treatment as happy clients. If you want to do a little digging, then you can look up their name or company name online to find customer reviews and ratings.

When a professional plumber isn’t excited about giving you a list of references to contact (if you want to), you should see this as a red flag. You might want to look elsewhere for an emergency plumber.

Conclusion

With a plethora of plumbing companies in Toronto, it’s becoming more difficult to find a reliable and efficient plumber to handle your emergency repair services. 

Every aspect of a plumbing system is delicate and must be handled by a professional — otherwise, it could lead to the collapse of your entire plumbing system.

It’ll cost you a lot more money to fix the damage before getting to the main emergency work. That’s why you should carefully choose wisely. You can call us if you need an emergency plumbing services.

The post How to Hire the Right Emergency Plumbing Company (And Save Money) first appeared on Anta Plumbing Blog.

Original Source: blog.antaplumbing.com

A reader writes:

Recently, my boss started attending personal therapy (she shared this information with me unprovoked) and shortly after starting her sessions she discovered Brene Brown. Her interest in Brene has moved from simply showing a video during a group meeting to having us all read through one of her books.

My concern comes from the fact that in addition to reading the book as a team, we now have a weird “group therapy” sort of session weekly where we’re expected to have done some homework (reading and completion of “exercises” in the workbook).

In addition to these meetings, every day each team member fills out and completes this short survey:
-Name
-Feeling
-Intensity of feeling
-High point
-Low point
-Daily goal

It ends up looking something like this (names changed, as it’s one of my coworker’s recent posts):

JANE DOE
Feeling: Exhausted
Intensity of feeling: 10
Low point: INFANT’S NAME is crying at the bottom of the stairs while I’m in the office. He barely slept last night, his croup is awful and I feel like a crap mom.
High point: Meh
Goal: Make a dent in the Brene Brown book. I did make my Square Squad!

In addition to just feeling like this is generally weird, I have a personal problem with this as someone who has a mental health disorder. Reading this book has triggered sessions of me profusely crying out of nowhere, and having flashbacks of abuse. (I have a C-PTSD diagnosis due to an abuse history.) There is not a single person on our team who has any sort of psychology/social work type of degree either.

Am I being weird about this just because of my own personal experiences? Or is this type of task expectation at work normal, accepted, okay?

No, this is not normal! It’s not okay either.

That said, in the past two years I’ve received a small handful of letters about offices doing things like this (to the point that I wrote a Slate column about them at one point), so something is going on in our culture that’s making some managers think this is okay. But I want to be clear that just because your office isn’t absolutely alone in doing this, it’s still not common, normal, or acceptable, and most people would object to it.

This type of thing is clearly intended to be supportive in some way — “we care about you as a whole person, not just as a worker!” — but in reality it’s horribly boundary-violating. Lots of people don’t want to share their personal emotions in a workplace setting.  Sometimes that’s because what’s going on with them emotionally is way too big or serious to bring into their office.  Sometimes it’s because sharing in the way requested could open them up to discrimination (particularly when they have a non-mainstream identity). Sometimes it’s because it’s actively bad for their mental health (like your PTSD). And sometimes — much of the time — it’s just because they rightly feel it’s no one’s business.

And this just isn’t what most of us are at work for. Most of us want to do our jobs, get results toward our goals, have some pleasant interactions with our colleagues as we do that, and then go home. Lots of us want to save deep personal introspection for friends, partners, or therapists (if we want to do it all, which we might not and that’s okay too).

You noted that no one on your team has any kind of training in psychology. Even if they did, this still wouldn’t be okay because of all the reasons above. But certainly that makes it even more egregious. Your manager is mucking around in an area that can be big and serious and consequential, without any qualifications for doing it. (But again, even with loads of credentials, it would still be inappropriate to do at work, particularly as a non-optional group activity.)

If you want to push back against it, I’d tell your boss you’re finding these activities harmful to your mental health rather than helpful. If you’re comfortable sharing this, you could say it’s at odds with mental health work that you’re doing on your own/with a therapist. (If she pushes you about why, you can say, “That’s more personal than I’m comfortable going into at work.”) Ask that the meetings be made optional, and that people be able to opt out without any kind of penalty. Even better, if you sense anyone else on your team isn’t fully enthused, talk with them ahead of time and then have this conversation with your boss as a united front.

And managers: You are not a doctor or a therapist or a life coach. You are there to get work done. If you want to support people’s mental health, you can offer excellent health insurance, be flexible with people who need time off for various forms of mental health support (whether it’s therapy or just a day off to avoid burn-out), and be thoughtful about the levels of stress you ask people to take on. That’s it. Leave people’s emotions and personal lives to them to manage.

You may also like:my boss wants us to all share our mental health needs – at every meetingwe have twice-daily mandatory group therapy at workour boss pushes us to share how we’re doing emotionally at team meetings

my manager makes us do mental-health surveys every day was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Original Source: askamanager.org

The average office worker sends 40 emails per day. That’s 40 opportunities to market yourself and your business in those individual emails you send, every single day.

A lot of people treat their email signatures like an afterthought, which makes for a real missed opportunity. Those signatures are a chance for you to make it clear who you are, make it easy for people to reach you, and give people a place to go to find out more — either about you, about your business, or about something you’re working on.

So, if you’re just putting your name and a point or two of contact information in your signature, you’re not taking full advantage of the opportunity to connect and engage with the people you’re emailing. (Although you don’t want to go overboard, either. Jamming your signature full of links and information is just plain spammy and self-promotional.)

So what should go in your signature? Much of this will depend on personal preference, your organization’s brand and culture, and even the industry you’re in. However, here are some suggestions as you create your own: 

What to Include in an Email Signature

First and Last Name
Affiliation Info (Such as Job Title and Department)
Secondary Contact Information
Social Profile Icons
Call to Action
Booking Links
Industry Disclaimer or Legal Requirements
Photo or Logo
Pronouns

1. First and Last Name

Just like with snail mail correspondence, your name should always be included so that the recipient of your message knows who it was from. This manifests in the email signature, often as the first line of text.

2. Affiliation Info (Such as Job Title and Department)

Closely following your name should be your affiliation information. Your affiliations could include your job title, your company or organization, and/or even your department. Your name should eventually be its own draw, of course, as you build a relationship with the recipient, but providing this information provides more context about the conversation and your role in it. In addition, affiliating yourself with a larger organization lends you more credibility, especially if it’s a recognizable organization. This helps you get the attention of your readers so they take your message seriously.

3. Secondary Contact Information

Secondary contact information is important, too, so that the recipient knows how else to contact you. Secondary information might include phone, fax, or any other method of communication you want to emphasize. In situations where you don’t want to cough up your direct line, you could take this opportunity to promote your personal website — a passive way to open the lines of communication without flooding yourself with outreach if you don’t want.

4. Social Profile Icons

Your social media presence is a major part of your personal brand because it helps you gain a following in your space and shows people what you care about. You can tell a lot about a person by what they post and how they portray themselves.

That’s why it’s a great idea to include links to your social media pages in your email signature. It not only reinforces your personal brand, but it also helps people find new ways to contact and follow you.

Even better? It can help drive traffic to your online content if you’re posting links to that content on social. So if you do include social icons in your signature, make sure you’re keeping your social profiles up-to-date and chock full of interesting, relevant content. (In other words, if you haven’t tweeted in six months, you may want to leave Twitter out.)

Why use social media icons instead of simply text links? Because icons are more easily recognizable for folks skimming your signature — and they’ll stand out from the rest of the text in there. According to research from NeoMam Studios, visuals shown in color increase a person’s willingness to read the rest of the content by 80%. That’s a huge advantage. Plus, icons are big space-savers in a place where you might be packing a lot of information.

Even if you have a presence on a lot of social media sites, though, try to cap the number of icons to five or six. Focus on the accounts that matter most to growing your business or building your personal brand.

If you do include a lot of social media icons, at least try to cut back on the other content if possible so your design isn’t too busy. Check out the example below, made using HubSpot’s Email Signature Generator.

modern email signature generated by HubSpot's email signature generator
5. Call to Action

One of the smartest things you can do in your email signature is include a call-to-action. The best email signature CTAs are simple, up-to-date, non-pushy, and in line with your email style, making them appear more like post-script, and less like a sales pitch. Choose a CTA that aligns with one of your current business goals, and update it when those goals change.

Example

Here’s a great example from HubSpot’s former Social Media Manager, Chelsea Hunersen. She changes her text CTA depending on her current social media goals. A few months ago, she used it to drive people to HubSpot’s Twitter account.

Professional email signature example by Chelsea Hunersen that has a call to action for Twitter

Once she created a unique Slack channel for inbound marketers, she switched up her email signature CTA to point people there, instead.

Professional email signature example by Chelsea Hunersen where the call to action is changed to checking out HubSpot on Slack

Links to videos can be especially noticeable because in some email clients like Gmail, a video’s thumbnail will show up underneath your signature. Here’s an example of what that looks like from our own Emily MacIntyre:

Professional email signature example by Emily MacIntyre with the HubSpot Culture video thumbnail in it
6. Booking Links

If you find yourself emailing back and forth with colleagues and clients who want to book meetings with you, make it easy for them by including a link to book your calendar right in your email signature. Here’s an example from our own Bryan Lowry, below.

Example

There are many tools out there that’ll help people book appointments. Bryan from the example above uses HubSpot’s shareable personalized booking link. If you’re a HubSpot Sales customer, you can share your personalized meeting link with anyone who you want to book a meeting with and let them choose from your available times. If you want, you can make it so the HubSpot CRM automatically creates a new contact record for anyone who books a meeting if one doesn’t already exist.

Professional email signature example by Bryan Lowry with meeting link

If you aren’t a HubSpot customer, one great meeting tool is Calendly, which is free for Basic and lets you integrate your Google or Office 365 calendar. YouCanBook.me is another booking tool that goes for $7 per calendar per month.

7. Industry Disclaimer or Legal Requirements

Some industries such as legal, financial, and insurance have specific guidelines on email usage and etiquette to protect private information from being transmitted. For this reason, you may want to look into what regulations your industry has in place and include a disclaimer in your signature about email transmissions. Mail-Signatures offers a number of email disclaimer examples, including this one:

“The content of this email is confidential and intended for the recipient specified in message only. It is strictly forbidden to share any part of this message with any third party, without a written consent of the sender. If you received this message by mistake, please reply to this message and follow with its deletion, so that we can ensure such a mistake does not occur in the future.”

8. Photo or Logo

An image is a great choice to spice up your email signature. If you want a personal touch so that recipients you’ve never met can associate your name with your face, consider using a professional photo in your signature. Alternatively, you can use the company’s logo to add more brand awareness to the email.

9. Pronouns

While not as common in email signatures and certainly not required, adding your preferred pronouns to your signature is helpful, especially when emailing individuals you’ve never met. It also takes ambiguity away if you have a name perceived as gender-neutral.

Now that you know the elements you should include, what does a great email signature look like? Here are some tips for creating signatures that are helpful and professional, including a few great examples. You can also use HubSpot’s free Email Signature Generator to make your own professional email signature template and easily add it to your email client.

How to Write an Email Signature

Emphasize your name, affiliation, and secondary contact information.
Keep the colors simple and consistent.
Use design hierarchy.
Make links trackable.
Use space dividers.
Include an international prefix in your contact number.
Make your design mobile-friendly.

1. Emphasize your name, affiliation, and secondary contact information.

As you might guess, your name comes first. Closely following your name, however, should be your affiliation and where else people can reach you.

Your affiliation could mean your job title, your company, your school, or a similar organization that you deem important to your recipients. Your name should eventually be its own draw, of course, but using a more popular brand name — and even its logo — ensures you get the attention of your readers and they take your message seriously.

Secondary contact information is important, too. You might not want to endorse your personal phone number, but you could take this opportunity to promote your personal website — a passive way to open the lines of communication without flooding yourself with outreach you don’t want.

Example

Here’s a sample email signature that hits on all three things described above nicely. Kevin’s first and last name are accompanied by his affiliation with the University of Connecticut. He also promotes his personal website so his recipients have another outlet to see his work and contact him for more information.

Want to create a signature like the one below? Use HubSpot’s Email Signature Generator.

email signature for Kevin McLievie of University of Connecticut generated with HubSpot's Email Signature Generator
2. Keep the colors simple and consistent.

Branding is most effective when it’s consistent — and that includes your email signature. Adding color to your email signature is a nice touch that’ll help it stand out from the rest of your email. But if you do choose to use color, be sure to stick to one or two in addition to dark text.

Example

Use subtle highlights to match your logo or branding, like Brittany Hodak does in her email signature, below. Notice how her social media icons are the same blue hue as the ZinePak logo.

Professional email signature example by Brittany Hodak with multiple colors
3. Use design hierarchy.

Good design is all about presenting your information in an easily digestible manner. Because your email signature is likely more a list of information than it is a compelling story, you’ll want to use hierarchy to direct readers’ eyes to what they should be reading first.

Example

Scale your name up to a larger font so that it attracts the most attention, like you would on a resume. Then, pick and choose information to bold and color based on importance so you can help guide people’s eyes logically through the design, as in the example below.

Professional email signature example by Robert Long with large font for emphasis

Image Credit: Envato

4. Make links trackable.

So you put a few links in your email signature, including your CTA and your social media icons. But is anyone actually clicking on them?

To figure out whether the links in your signature are actually attracting clicks and making an impact, you’ll want to make those links trackable — just like you would any other link in your emails.

Follow these instructions to easily make a tracking link that helps you attribute traffic to your website to your email signature. From time to time, you might switch up the format of your signature or the wording inside your signature to see what drives the most clicks.

5. Use space dividers.

Although you never want to jam-pack your email signature for too much information, there are ways to fit a lot of text into a compact area like this one without compromising design.

This is helpful for breaking up different types of information, like your name and contact information, your logo, any calls-to-action you have, or even a disclaimer.

Example

Using space dividers within your design, as in the example below, is one great way to do this. You can also use glyph dividers, which is the vertical bar symbol (i.e., |.)

email signature for Evelyn Castiger with a space divider between photo on the left and text on the right

Image Credit:Venngage

6. Include an international prefix in your contact number.

If you work with people around the world, don’t forget the prefix for your country’s code when you list your contact phone number. Many people overlook this if they aren’t used to dialing international prefixes themselves, but it’s really helpful for your international colleagues and clients to have it right on there. Here’s a list of country codes if you don’t know yours.

Example

Here’s an example from Kit Smith, formerly of Brandwatch, a company that has offices in both the United States and Europe and works with international clients. Having the U.S.’s country code on their helps make it easier for folks in other countries to reach him by phone.

email signature for kit smith with international country code
7. Make your design mobile-friendly.

According to Litmus, Apple’s iMobile accounted for 46% of all email opens in June 2018. Not only that, but mobile users check their email three times more often than non-mobile users.

The more people who read email on mobile devices, the more you’ll want to keep mobile users top-of-mind when you’re writing emails — including your email signature.

One major way to make your email signature mobile-friendly is to make your signature’s design easy to read and clickable for mobile users. This is where scale becomes really important. Make sure your text is large enough to read on small mobile screens, and that your links and buttons are large enough — and spaced out enough — for folks to tap on with their fingers.

Example

Check out the example below, and note how much space there is between different clickable elements like the social media icons. These are great for tapping with your finger on a mobile screen so that users don’t accidentally tap on the Facebook icon when they meant to go to Twitter.

email signature for tyler adams with padded space between social icons

Image Credit: Canva

Finally, as with any part of an email, make sure your signature looks as good as you think it does by testing it with various email clients. Microsoft Outlook doesn’t recognize background images, for example, so avoid using those. Other email clients don’t load images by default at all. 

Armed with these email signature best practices, you can create your own signature that aligns with your brand and brings your emails an extra touch of professionalism.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in [Month Year] and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Original Source: blog.hubspot.com

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