Should Your Home Services Business Offer Home Maintenance Packages?
Acquiring new customers for your home services business is one of the most important goals to focus on—but it’s not the only one. Taking time to focus on how to improve the relationship with existing customers will help drive your bottom line.
By offering home maintenance packages to your customers, you will better define the customer relationship and help to ensure repeat business.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of a home maintenance package and how to design one to offer your customers and increase your profits.
Understanding Home Maintenance Contracts
A home maintenance contract creates a set price for an agreed-upon set of services over a specific period, usually a year. Typically, these services fall under "routine maintenance," which can include inspections, minor repairs, changing filters and cleaning.
You do not commit to major repairs as part of the contract, but you may offer a discount for those repairs to customers who have a home maintenance package with you.
The Benefits to You
Maintenance contracts help you manage your business and increase profits in several ways. Here are some of the benefits.
Customers pay you monthly to maintain their contracts. This allows you to forecast at least part of your income for the month and the year—leaving little room to wonder if you'll have the cash flow to operate.
The regular income from maintenance agreements helps you weather the slow seasons or sudden drops on big orders.
Inspections and maintenance can uncover more severe problems. And, since you have a loyal customer, you will be more likely to get the job. Offering a discount due to the maintenance contract can help ensure that customers use you for significant repairs, remodeling and installations.
Improves Communication with Customers
Seeing your customer regularly allows you to continue to build your relationship. Every maintenance visit is an opportunity to shine, increasing the odds of them referring your home services company to family and friends.
What Your Agreement Should Include
As with any type of contract, it’s important to clearly define all services, rules, and exceptions in your home maintenance package. Here is the information you should include.
Time Period Covered
A year is typical for home maintenance packages, but when you first start offering such agreements, some customers may want to go on a month-to-month basis until they see how the agreement benefits them.
Be very specific about the kinds of maintenance and repairs you will offer under the contract and write out all the types of services that are not included in the contract.
For example, you could include wood repair, fixing plumbing leaks and inspections of cooling units but not rebuilding wood structures, replacing pipes or installing a new air conditioner. This is where you might mention a discount for uncovered services.
Don't get so enthusiastic about selling your agreements that you underprice your services. Take some time to estimate materials, labor and profit before offering a dollar amount on a contract.
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You may want to ask for automatic renewal each year. However, you don't have to have an automatic renewal clause. Keep good records so you will know when to contact the customer when renewal time approaches. Estimate how much money they saved through the maintenance program so they will see the benefit of renewing.
Terms For Bigger Repairs
Be sure to define what will happen when an issue is found, or a bigger repair is needed. Also include details about the logistics, such as how soon you will address work that needs to be redone or improved, how long after a maintenance visit the customer has to call and ask for it to be reworked and so forth.
How to Sell Your Agreements
Right after an initial repair or installation, your team can offer a maintenance agreement. Show how much money your customer could save and mention how much safer it is to have routine inspections rather than wait for an emergency to develop.
You can also offer agreements to new customers before you do work for them. Send out offers to potential customers who recently moved into the neighborhood, understanding they will be on the hunt for home service providers.
Using Home Maintenance Packages to Manage Labor and Materials
Schedule your maintenance visits far in advance and note how many workers you will need on hand for each job. Take the time to plan out any maintenance projects for the future and look at trends from past projects. Approximately how much wood, cement and labor was used each month for the past 12 months? Use this data to get an average amount of each item so you'll know how much to prepare.
Offering customers greater value by providing them with ongoing maintenance, adjustments and minor repairs can help ensure a long-lasting customer relationship. Customers seek your services because they need help, so create a package that will speak to their needs and give them some peace of mind.
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