Top 5 Ways to Promote a Maintenance Plan to Customers
As an HVAC specialist, you’re on the front line and see the issues caused when customers don’t do regular maintenance to keep their heating and cooling systems running at peak performance. Getting customers on a regular maintenance schedule helps their equipment run better and can help keep your business lucrative even during the slower months.
However, getting customers to sign up for maintenance plan when everything is running smoothly or brand new can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can promote such a plan to your customers and help them see the advantage of basic maintenance.
Share the Facts
First and foremost, share the facts of what you’re offering. People like to know what they are buying. If you can clearly show some cold hard statistics on the overall savings of those who regularly maintain their equipment versus the costs for those who do not, you have already caught the attention of the customer and have a chance to grab that add-on sale.
Stress that regular maintenance allows technicians to catch minor repairs before they become major, costly repairs. Your customers will have the peace of mind of knowing their basic heating and cooling needs will be covered within the package.
Offer a Discount Package
The smartest strategy is to get customers on board from the first day their heating and cooling systems are installed. This allows your company to ensure that the system is kept in top shape and also provides an ongoing source of revenue for your company.
J. R. Davis, co-owner of Davis Heating & Cooling, shared that his company offers a discount when customers buy a maintenance plan at the same time they buy a new system and have it installed. “Customers save about 30% if they buy an annual maintenance plan when they buy their new unit. We really stress that savings and the benefits of regular maintenance to keep their new unit running for many years without major problems.”
Davis’ technicians also point out to customers that a unit that leaks will waste money and is not energy efficient. Regular checkups can help technicians quickly identify such issues and fix them before they become a drain on the household budget.
When customers see how a package will save them money over time and also see how signing up today saves them money, they are much more likely to add on the maintenance package.
Show them the Icing on the Cake
Bob Phibbs, the retail doctor, advises companies to push add-on sales by pointing out the icing on the chocolate cake. He explains the chocolate cake sales scenario this way:
First ask the customer: “Have you ever seen someone make a chocolate cake?” Then, pause and wait for their answer. Then, tell the customer: “Chocolate cake is pretty good all by itself, but what I’m going to show you is the frosting on that chocolate cake.”
Phibb’s approach shows the customer that there is something more than what they are already buying and you can then point out what is so great about a maintenance plan (or anything else you wish to sell). Some things you can point out as frosting for maintenance plans include:
- Predictability – annual maintenance costs are already laid out.
- Faster service – no waiting to get a technician to your house because you’re already on the schedule.
- Longer life of unit – a well-maintained unit is a longer lasting unit.
Save Them Time
People are busy. They work, have multiple activities, and have busy family lives. Because the average person feels so crunched for time, anything that saves time and aggravation is an obvious choice. J. R. Davis added, “Maintenance plans save your customers time. They are on a schedule, so you’ll remind them when it’s time for a checkup. This means they don’t have to spend time phoning for an appointment and waiting around.”
It is important that if you have customers on a regular maintenance program that you keep those appointments and keep the windows of the visit as narrow as possible. Don’t ask a regular customer to wait around eight hours for a technician. Instead, plan those visits early in the day and within a two or three hour window so customers can plan accordingly and the maintenance program doesn’t turn into aggravation.
Keep Nasty Surprises at Bay
It’s the middle of winter and a homeowner’s unit suddenly fails and he is left without heat until the HVAC company can get to this home and install a new system. However, if this person had been one of your regular customers on a maintenance program, this scenario would never have happened. Your technicians would have caught the issues with the unit and either repaired them or explained why a replacement unit was necessary before cold weather hit.
Pointing out the advantages of regular maintenance such as this can help customers see the advantages to your service plans.
Preventative maintenance should be something you promote to each and every customer on your list. Not only will the annual infusion of cash keep your company’s profits in the black but you’ll become known as a company who catches small problems before they become major problems. Your customers will sing your praises, which is one of the best forms of promotion you could ever receive.
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