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    Home Comfort,  Satisfaction Guaranteed

          The weather has taken a quick turn in New England, which reminded me that I had to dig out some Winter clothes to make sure they are still in acceptable condition. A while back, when replacing some gloves, I purchased what I hope to be my last pair from L.L. Bean. Their return policy, satisfaction guaranteed, was enough for me to pay the premium price for the premium product. The same went for my daughter’s new backpack this year from Jansport - did you know you could send a torn backpack to them for free repair? If they cannot repair, they will replace it for free! There are many other great, longtime companies that gained fierce loyalty from buyers for their policies. Craftsman is another brand that comes to mind in the trade, with their no hassle tool repair or replacement.

         This type of satisfaction guarantee got me thinking: I don’t see such a policy so much in our trades and services. If you think about it, the HVAC trade puts a parts and labor warranty on almost everything. Is this not a 100% satisfaction guarantee? After all, if there is any issue with the new heat pump or furnace, you are going to return to the home as many times as it takes to get it right, right? If a lifelong customer that replaces her boiler with the latest and greatest has an issue dialing in their new thermostat, you’re not going to charge them a week after the install? Or, what if that new customer you just sold a system to has a bad experience, and talks about it on every social media outlet possible? You will do just about anything to avoid that from happening...So why not advertise it?!

         Imagine if your company could offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee when selling a system? Not only could you say this, but you could also charge for it! This is really why your customer may be hesitant to sign on the dotted line, what if they could get a better deal from the next guy in the door, right? I can just about guarantee they are not offering that service! I know, you are thinking your customer cannot afford such a notion, but who are you to decide that for them? Have you offered it?

    Of course, there needs to be some caveats, and this list is what just quickly comes to mind: 

    • That new system must have maintenance completed annually, building the value of your business and creating recurring income.
    • The guarantee is non-transferrable across homeowners (like most manufacturer limited warranties).
    • The contractor will work to resolve any issues that could come up with the system in an agreed timeline.
    • If the system is ‘returned’ after being put into service, the return payment will be prorated.
    • If you cannot fix the system, or satisfy your customer, you shouldn’t be offering a satisfaction guarantee and will likely not be in business long!

    How long before we see warranties turn into guarantees? I have to tell you, in the right market this can probably make a good company great!