We’ve all been there, making excuses for shelving tasks (or if we’re being candid: sometimes being too distracted), even though we know deep down that they're important...
However, when it comes to something as simple as sending out a service reminder email, procrastination is not just the thief of time—it's also robbing your business of extra profits, made even easier by online booking!
In this post, we've listed the five most common excuses owners and managers of service companies tell themselves for not sending out a timely service reminder email.
While there are varying degrees of validity to these excuses, and some certainly will be dependent on the circumstances that you find your business in, we promise there are ways to improve in every case.
With that said, when it comes to not sending a service reminder email, do any of these excuses sound familiar?
- “We don’t have time”
- “They only generate low revenue jobs”
- “They deflect from our growth strategy”
- “I would rather focus on building new customer relationships”
- “We won’t be able to cope with the volume”
Excuse #1: “We don’t have the time”
In this instance, it’s time for a bit of self-reflection, by which I mean you need to look at your internal organisation. If time seems to be an issue, there could be several explanations for what’s holding you back.
The first is that nobody in the organisation has been specifically tasked with the job of sending a service reminder email. Another is that everybody thinks it is someone else’s responsibility.
Saying “I don’t have time” is one thing, but “We don’t” is quite the sweeping statement. Are you sure that everyone in your business is so busy that they can’t send out reminders to customers?
Let’s say that is true… is that how your business should function? The knock-on effects of overworking (or being stretched too thin) can open up a pathway to many possibilities; whether it's your staff experiencing burn-out, which could even lead to them quitting, or even damage customer relationships if standards slip because of fatigue, too.
Not having time isn’t necessarily any one person's fault: it could even be that you’ve become a victim of your own success and are so busy with work that, now, being able to take a moment to slow down and give everyone the mental space to refocus is the real challenge.
In fairness, this can be a legitimate problem, and time is not always a field service business’ best friend. Jobs are often time-sensitive and there are a lot of factors that can make finding the time to do more work very difficult. Your scheduling system might even be chasing away customers.
Of course, that’s where job management software can come in, as a means to help structure and streamline all sorts of daily tasks, but even then, if you’ve not found the time to implement, or train to use it properly, you’ll still be missing out.
If you’re not able to ask questions like:
- “Where are we leaving money on the table?”
- “What’re we doing about it?”
- "How can we possibly prepare to tackle the problem?"
If that sounds like a familiar struggle, it’s perhaps worth considering a few options, like bringing in hired help even on a part-time or contractual basis, to alleviate some pressure.
With extra hands (and minds), you can free up the time you need so that, as an operations manager or business owner, you can step back and create the space you need. From there, with this newfound time, you can then weigh up the processes you have in place, check finances thoroughly and prepare effective solutions to resolve the problem you're facing.
In the case of service reminders, that can mean making use of your job management systems ability to automate service reminder emails for you, which should be built into your software of choice already. With reminders powered by this solution, you can even provide customers with a quick link to an online booking portal, meaning they’re not just given a helpful nudge, but also given the means to book an appointment with you, too!
With your software system taking care of sending the messages for you and streamlining the way you take on booking requests, your new hires can benefit from streamlined admin and engineers can crack on to attend the new jobs, too!
📚 Further reading:
Excuse #2: “They only generate low revenue jobs”
On the face of it, this may appear to be true. Depending on the asset you’re servicing, service jobs range between £75-100, and individually, it can seem like there’s not much incentive to do those jobs once you break down all your expenses: travel, petrol, pay, parts, etc.
However, if you consider the alternative, routine service visits can play a big part in helping you to generate new job opportunities and increase the chances of up-selling to your customers, too.
For example, a routine service visit might identify that a customer needs a replacement boiler in the next 12 months.
The customer, who trusts you for having carried out (let’s say) 2 years worth of service appointments, is more likely to book that premium installation job with you, rather than with a competitor.
Even if this is not the case, low revenue jobs are better than no jobs, and if you’re set up to use job management software that helps you to schedule more efficiently, as is the case with intelligent scheduling, you can definitely consider service jobs as a more profitable venture.
After all, if you can keep the costs down that once made them undesirable, suddenly, the profitability factor increases and processing them in bulk can actually be very lucrative.
Not only that, but when used effectively, service reminders can also help you to 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.
👀 Want to see for yourself?
Take a look at the service reminder calculator!
Excuse #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 commercial customers, often find that their resources are stretched. You might be after a contractual deal and throwing out tenders left, right, and centre, but putting all your eggs in one basket certainly comes with risks.
The danger is that you can end up neglecting the activities that made you successful in the first place. Of course, to climb the ladder and grow you need to focus on a business strategy that comes with greater profitability, but until those are more secure (and even when they are more tightly locked in) regular service work can help act as your “bread and butter” services.
Sure, it may not seem exciting, but it's the kind of thing that can be sustaining and help to not only keep engineers busy, but also avoid long periods of costly downtime, which then improves cash flow, and all without ever becoming an administrative burden. Sounds good?
For many field service businesses this excuse, ultimately, is an invalid one.
Service reminders should be included as a part of your growth strategy and with online booking making the task of arranging appointments even easier, it all blends nicely to make for an incredibly efficient, customer-pleasing system.
It’s also a great way to spread your aforementioned eggs to different baskets—I'll cool it on the food metaphors now—and gives you more security through work that is reliable (and bankable) so that you can create a more sustainable business!
Excuse #4: “I would rather focus on building new customer relationships”
This excuse only applies if you regard service reminders in the narrowest terms.
In fact, if you are focused on building customer relationships, then I would argue that service reminders would play a huge role in building new and old relationships alike.
As we’ve already touched upon, a service reminder email is not only a great way to try and build revenue with job opportunities, but it helps you to build on the oldest principle between buyers and sellers: establishing trust.
Unlike advertising or “touting for business”, a service reminder email is a legitimate reason for customers to be in regular contact with you and vice versa.
Odds are, particularly if you’ve done work for a customer before, they’ll have assets—be it an HVAC unit, boiler, or security system—that needs to be maintained. If you make it clear that, beyond installing it, you’re also invested in keeping it in good working order with as little fuss to the customer as possible, then you’ve established reasonable grounds to send them a regular service reminder email.
By using this method to stay in touch, customers are more likely to keep you in mind and appreciate your commitment, beyond just one job.
For new customers, seeing you’re dedicated to maintaining as well as installing as an asset can be a big encouragement, too! Why shop around when you’re providing the opportunity to avoid a problem, then and there?
Convenience is king. 👑
You can even go on to use these opportunities in other creative ways, such as giving the customer a brief update about developments at your company, or highlight new products and smart technologies you can provide them with, or even advertise time-limited offers that they’d otherwise miss out on.
🔎 There’s more to the humble service reminder than you might think...
Take a look and download these ➡️ service reminder email templates ⬅️ that you can use to notify customers and keep them in the loop!
Excuse #5: “We won’t be able to cope with the volume”
This is a problem that lots of companies would welcome! Well, if they know they can cope, at least.
Of course, if you send out a mass communication you may find that you get more bookings than you can cope with, and not being able to organise them all can make you look unprofessional. That's why scheduling work in your quiet periods can be an especially good idea.
We’ve already touched on this briefly, too, but that hiring new help can ensure you're able to thrive and can cope with the volume of work, too. Of course, if you have the capability to schedule your service reminders and send them out in more appropriately sized batches to manage monthly workloads and seasonal periods, your team will find it much easier to cope with this problem!
With great organisation, afforded to you by job management software, your team can make online booking easier than ever and demonstrate to customers that you are a well-organised, professional, and reliable service.
You can also improve customer service, as it’s evident that everyone is always given plenty of notice, especially when reminders can be set up to automatically notify customers at regular intervals, so one ever forgets an appointment or how easy it is to book online.
We don’t want to underestimate the challenges that face businesses of all shapes and sizes. As we’ve said, the concerns raised above can all come from legitimate places.
However, with the right tools, a good mindset, and creating the space you need to prepare, you can make the necessary changes and a simple service reminder email can ensure that these jobs become a straightforward but impactful part of the overall service you provide.
In the end, you may find them to be more worthwhile than you first thought, letting you do more work in less time, and all without having to hire extortionate amounts of engineers and admin staff to help you cope!
With the right software in place and booking online combined with some imaginative marketing, there is no excuse for not getting on top of service reminder emails with a vital tool that can drive a healthy cash flow that boosts profits.
To top it off, download your free guide with useful templates that you can use to make sure you're getting the best responses from your service reminders. Get yours today! ⬇️