An HVAC maintenance contract is an agreement between HVAC professionals and clients to provide ongoing maintenance services for furnaces, central air conditioning units, and other air quality systems. The HVAC maintenance contract will itemize HVAC services for a specified fee.
Coming up with a hard sell for your maintenance contract can be the most challenging part of getting a program off the ground. Customers are leery about being nickeled and dimed, and some of them fear that warranties are just a rip-off.
So, how do you convince a suspicious customer that your recurring maintenance contract is really worth it? It’s all in how you position the benefits. Here are some guidelines for selling a maintenance contract to new and current customers:
Frame maintenance contract as Savings. Customers understand why maintenance contracts are good for you, but they need to see why they’re good for them. Will they really get any value? Position your recurring maintenance contract in terms of quantifiable value. Does your agreement include 10% off all replacement parts? Every receipt should show what the cost would have been for maintenance contract members. Emphasis the money saved by catching and fixing problems early, before they have the chance to develop into a larger money pit (like filling a small cavity before you need a root canal).
Itemize the Benefits. Your customers like to know exactly what they’re getting. Don’t just offer a vague maintenance contract without itemizing the details. Maybe your annual maintenance contract includes: 1) 15% off parts 2) Bi-annual visits 3) New air filters 4) Cleaning of the evaporator coil… and, well, you get the idea. Putting the benefits into not only quantifiable savings but also an easy-to-understand checklist makes the value more clear and your sale a whole lot easier.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Professionalism. When we talked to our Housecall Pro customers about selling maintenance contracts, many business owners talked about how professionalism makes it easier. One thing that came up again and again: even if you have a higher bid, you can win the job with good communication and an honest manner. Itemize all costs in your bid (including the maintenance contract fees) and be upfront about the service schedule. And always follow through.
What do pricing and billing look like for a recurring maintenance contract? For some industries, a monthly recurring payment makes sense. Particularly when your visits are monthly. However, for a lot of home services, like plumbing and HVAC, a monthly maintenance contract isn’t a good fit. You’re not providing a regular monthly service, so customers may be tempted to cancel after a few months.
Here are a few tips for successfully pricing and billing a recurring maintenance contract or warranty plan:
Create Thoughtful Pricing. Your maintenance contract pricing should always be at a discount. You’re losing a bit of revenue in the short-term, but guaranteeing multiple visits brings in more reliable income in the long-term. Your pricing could be as simple as 10-15% off regular price. You could also offer steeper discounts at higher service levels (10% off for a 2-visit annual plan, and 15% off for a 4-visit annual plan). If you find that it’s still hard to win people over, consider throwing in a free service or product to sweeten the deal.
Bill Annually. An annual payment, often due on the day of the first service visit, is the most streamlined way to bill your customers. You know you’re paid in full from the start, and customers immediately receive a benefit. Everybody’s happy. When you bill customers the next year, try to schedule their first annual visit as soon as possible to remind them of their benefits.
Make Payment Easy. Offer online payments that your customers can trust. Customers who don’t have to remember to send in a check are more likely to stay current (plus, many younger customers won’t even have a checkbook). Set up automatic payments for your customers and send them receipts.
Contract fields include:
1. Customer's name, address, telephone number, and email address
2. Company's name, address, telephone number, and email address
3. Type of maintenance agreement
4. Terms and length of the agreement
Fill out the form below and download this free template to start using for your business today.
*Maintenance contract template credit to All Hours Heating & Cooling, LLC.
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