If there was one thing I felt I was great at as a Service Technician and Service Manager, it was selling 'Maintenance Contracts’. Not only are maintenance contracts a clear solution to building the value of the business, they are essential in leveling the cashflow and workload in a seasonal service vocation.
If you haven’t yet started a Maintenance Contract Program, or what I liked to call a Energy Savings Agreement, the easiest place to begin is on quotes for new installations. I used to include the first year annual maintenance in the pricing of the job, actually charging the job the time needed for this contract, so I could have planned growth and attempt to retain the customer after the first year. This created some small differentiation in the market, as well as provided confidence that the company would ensure the installation was exceptional put to one year from the install date (when adding the labor warranty and maintenance contract). No one says you only need to stick to just one year here either, I have seen three and even as many as five years!
The next place to incorporate and sell maintenance programs is on Service Calls. If you are in the Service Department, just think about how many homes you walk into within a week, and how many times it may have been avoided if the Homeowner had continued, planned maintenance? This maintenance is completed at off-peak times of the year, prior to the season of operation. As an example, I was very busy in early April completing maintenance on Heat Pumps and Air-Conditioners; late September and October for Furnaces and Boilers. This gives your always understaffed Service Department the availability to take on new customers during peak times, capitalizing on poor planning from your competition. This leveling of the demand can keep your technicians from burnout, and continue to provide planned growth around your current staff.
Even though new HVAC installations and replacements make up most of your profit in a single year, a company with a strong planned maintenance program and continued, documented income from service customers attracts buyers and will raise the value of the business. This also reduces the risk if a single customer with a high percentage of the company’s income takes their business elsewhere…or perhaps leaves you with an idea what to expect from your service department the rest of the year! So, what are you waiting for? If you have not yet implemented an Energy Savings Program, there is no better time than now!