We’ve all been there, finding excuses for not doing things even though we know deep down that they are the right things to do. It’s a part of human nature. But when it comes to something as simple as sending out service reminders, procrastination is not just the thief of time – it is also robbing you of extra business and easy profits!In this post I list the five most common excuses that the owners and managers of service companies tell themselves for not sending out (or delaying) service reminders.
They have varying degrees of validity, depending on the circumstances. And yet, the simple fact is that with an automated software solution in place, they need never cross your mind in the first place!
Excuse Number 1: “We don’t have the time”
Look at your internal organisation. There could be several explanations. One is that nobody in the organisation has been specifically tasked with the job.
Another is that everybody thinks it is someone else’s responsibility. Engineers obviously want to focus on frontline service, but someone in the head office admin team should be making it part of their routine.
If you really do not have the capacity, perhaps you should consider hiring extra help, if only on a part-time basis. Alternatively, set up a system that automates the process.
Excuse Number 2: “They only generate low revenue jobs”
On the face of it, this may be true. On the other hand, routine service visits can generate new jobs or profitable upselling.
For example, a routine service visit might identify that a customer needs a replacement boiler in the next 12 months. Even if this is not the case, low revenue jobs are better than no jobs or any time when your engineers are idle.
Used effectively, service reminders can generate work during periods of reduced activity (e.g. in the summer months) that can make all the difference to your end-of-year financial results.
Excuse Number 3: “They deflect from our growth strategy”
Service companies that are engaged in an ambitious growth strategy, for example by pursuing big-ticket deals with large corporate customers, often find that their resources are stretched.
The danger is that they neglect the activities that made them successful in the first place. Of course you need to focus on your business strategy but regular service work keeps the cash coming in and with the right systems in place, should not impose an administrative burden.
Excuse Number 4: “I would rather focus on building customer relationships”
This excuse only applies if you regard service reminders in the narrowest terms. In fact, service reminders, if used imaginatively, are not only a great way to build customer relationships, but one of the simplest.
Unlike advertising or “touting for business” they provide a legitimate reason to keep up regular communication with customers, and one that customers appreciate.
For example, you can use them as an opportunity to update customers on developments at your company, new products and smart technologies. In slack periods, you can combine service reminders with time-limited offers.
Excuse Number 5: “We won’t be able to cope with the volume”
This is a problem that lots of company would welcome! Of course, if you send out a mass communication you may find that you get more positive responses than you can cope with, and this will make you look unprofessional.
However, if you have the capability to plan your service reminders and send them out in appropriately sized batches that match your analysis of monthly workloads, this will never be a problem. On the contrary, it will demonstrate to customers that you are well-organised, professional and reliable.
The bottom line: We don’t want to underestimate the challenges to small and medium-sized service companies with limited admin support.
But with the right software in place and some imaginative marketing – plus the guiding hand of management – there is no excuse for not getting on top of this vital tool for driving healthy cash flow and profits!
Please check out the other posts in this series: