Maintenance Agreements, A Good Business Decision - Part 6

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    By Jim D'Amico

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    In Part 5 of this series, we discussed how to present your maintenance agreements and sell more agreements by implementing employee commissions.

    Now, getting your maintenance agreement program up and running with all the decisions to be made may be a bit challenging, yet it should also be very exciting.  Remember to keep your staff enthusiastic about your maintenance agreement program by reminding everyone about the benefits of signing up all those customers and extra revenue they generate each year for the company.  Don’t forget to mention that more sales means greater job security.

    Here are some challenges and solutions to those challenges.

    Challenge #1:  Keeping a list of and a reasonable quantity of printed materials available.  Maintenance agreement forms and corresponding brochures and sell sheets should be readily available for office and field staff.

    Our suggested action:  Assign one employee to ensure that all documents are up to date, in inventory and distributed to staff and replenished regularly for each staff member in proper quantities.

    Challenge #2:  Keeping up on customer sales, the commissions pay schedule, tune-up visit scheduling and agreement renewal dates.

    Our suggested action:  Assign one employee to track agreement sales and commissions to be paid along with renewal dates.  Assign the job of tune-up visit scheduling to your dispatcher.  The employees assigned these duties should be communicating with each other regularly to ensure that they can account for every maintenance agreement, agreement renewal date and scheduled tune up.

    Challenge #3:  Scheduling maintenance agreement customers’ tune ups is easy when you have only a few maintenance agreement customers to deal with in the course of the season.  However, the wheels start to come off as the number of maintenance agreement customers grows. Coolfront Technologies reports that HVAC service companies using a paper-based, manual system have indicated that they tend to stop selling agreements when the total number of agreements approaches 100.  That’s because there is so much to deal with it stretches their competency or available time.

    Our suggested action:  Develop a spreadsheet indicating last date of maintenance service, when the next date is due for every maintenance agreement customer.  Place the tune up on the schedule and confirm the date with the customer and by all means keep your appointments, even if it means paying your staff for overtime.

    Challenge #4:  Dealing with scheduling backlogs during peak seasons.

    Our suggested action:  Pay careful attention to the needs of your maintenance agreement customers.  During peak heating and cooling seasons, demand service increases to the point where it becomes difficult to tend to all customers’ needs in a timely manner.  However, maintenance agreement customers should receive preferred scheduling because they have agreed to pay you additional money for priority service.

    Challenge #5:  Keeping in contact with maintenance agreement customers.

    Our Suggested action:  Assign your marketing person the responsibility of staying in touch with your customers with “Thank you” emails, customer satisfaction surveys and newsletters.

    Challenge #6:  Bringing in new customers to boost your maintenance agreement sales.

    Our suggested action:  Begin a referral program.  A Nielsen survey tells us that people are 4 times more likely to buy when referred from a friend and that 92% of respondents trusted a referral from people they knew.

    Part 7 of Maintenance Agreements, A good Business Decision will discuss how our Coolfront Agreements program can help you sell more maintenance agreements.

    Already have a maintenance agreement program and want to grow it?  Check out our maintenance agreement marketing and management system, Coolfront Agreements at www.CoolfrontAgreements.com.

     

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