If you’re in the HVAC service or installation business, you already know that competition is high when it comes to acquiring new customers. Not only do preventative maintenance (PM) contracts provide an additional revenue stream, they can increase customer retention thereby reducing demand for sometimes-costly new customer acquisition. We’re here with some tips for how to make a bigger impact on your business with PM contracts.
“I want to pay more for the operation and repair of my HVAC equipment,” said no one, ever.
Besides reliability and performance, customers are only looking for one thing: reduced costs. When broaching the topic of PM, likely questions going through a customer’s mind may be “why would I buy this when my equipment is running fine” or “how often does it really need to be tuned up.” Help them understand the purpose of routine (and proactive) HVAC maintenance, why certain systems need to be monitored more frequently and what the potential savings or offsets can be from a PM package. In essence, ensure the dollars make sense.
Thinking Long Term
Be prepared to address the customers who think “I’ve gotten by this far without PM.” The value of PM is as much about extending the life of the system as it is avoiding down-time or more costly repairs. If they think about the value of getting additional years of operating life from their system, they may be less likely to balk at the price of a PM contract.
Sometimes the cost-benefit analysis of proactive service can be difficult for customers to rationalize. Appeal to their sense of logic by offering comparisons such as routine dental checkups and cleanings or scheduled automotive maintenance. We’ve become accustomed to taking preventative measures with some things in life, yet with others we still roll the dice. HVAC is no different than a routine health check-up: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Be Creative and Clear
PM should not be a “mystery box” in which the customers have no idea what they’re receiving. Deliver peace of mind by clearly detailing what’s included in your package. Take it one step further by customizing the plan based on their needs and the type (and age) of equipment. If the customer is on the fence, look at sweetening the deal. A free ENASTAT thermostat certainly seems like a great way to close the sale, but it’s tough for us to be impartial!
We hope these tips help as you think through ways to grow your PM business, and we’re always here to talk shop and collaborate with you directly.