In our last newsletter, we talked about how my experiences with my puppy’s vet and groomer got me thinking about how we interact with our Maintenance customers.
Although, this time, I’m not going to carry on about my dog and all his issues. However, I did want to share a few more tidbits about how we can improve our communications with our Maintenance customers AND how improving the way we ‘talk’ to them will make it easier on us, and increase the value they see in having a Maintenance agreement. The goal – the more value they see, the higher your retention rate will be!
Last newsletter, we went over how making a few changes to how we talk with our customers when we are reaching out to schedule maintenance agreements can have a BIG impact on our success in getting them scheduled. Keep in mind – your customers will, naturally, not see the value in their maintenance agreement if they don’t get their maintenances visits done. We covered:
- Pre-scheduling the appointment before we call
- Changing the scripts we use
(to refresh your memory and to read about how Puppies work into this conversation – click here)
Now, some of you may be thinking —
“These changes aren’t going to work for me.
I have too many agreement customers,
and it will take way too much time to manage.”
And, you may be right, depending on how you manage your agreements and schedule your technicians.
However, you can use the same strategy on a larger scale by making a few tweaks. Use a letter instead of a phone call.
In the letter, address those FEARS (cost and inconvenience) – by reminding your agreement customers it won’t cost them extra and by providing a convenient window of time to schedule (a two-week window seems to work the best). And, make sure you include a clear action plan by telling them who to contact, how to contact them, and when.Since it is a letter (and you only have to pay for postage once), take advantage of the opportunity to:
- Remind your customers of the value of maintenance and how keeping their systems maintained will benefit them (what’s in it for me). Since most non-renewals are because customers don’t see the value, taking the time to build value is worth its weight in gold.
- Provide seasonal DIY tips or special offers. Again, this helps building value and has the added bonus of increasing shelf life.
- Maximize your travel time by zoning the available scheduling windows and the mailings. Saving windshield time saves you time and money–Golden!
Once you have allowed adequate time for your customers to respond, follow up with those who didn’t respond with a phone call. Since most of your agreement customers will have responded from the letter, you will have considerably fewer of them to work with, so now would be the time to make some phone calls and use the pre-scheduled method (click here for a quick refresh of how to do this…)
Here’s another STRATEGY that works:
Have your technicians schedule the next maintenance visit before they leave the home. Think about how your Dentist gets you to schedule your next appointment before you leave their office. Dentists have used this technique for years and for good reason—it works! What works for them works in our industry, as well:
- Technicians are in the BEST POSITION to talk to the homeowner about the timing for tune-ups and will be more successful in getting them to schedule during slower seasons.
- This works incredibly well, especially if the technicians are filling their own schedules, as they will be motivated to move them into the time periods they know they may go home without work.
- Pre-scheduling provides management the ability to predict workload and staffing needs, and to adjust marketing. We all know it’s harder and costs more to get customers to respond to marketing during the off-season, so it’s a gift to be able to cut marketing during this time.
- Customers are more welcoming of a call from your business when it is to remind them of an appointment they made.
All three of these techniques are very effective, and will not cost an arm and leg to put in place!