Following on from last issue’s Boiler Business column, this month we will look at how to market, sell, and grow your service plan to create reoccurring revenue and cashflow all year round.
Offers and promotions
We have already looked at how to layer value into the service plan to reassure our customers that their homes will remain cosy, safe, and energy efficient in the long term. The next step is to sell it to them.
Firstly, you need to get the timing right. Most people are busy, so if the deadline is next year, they are likely to wait until next year. However, if the deadline is now, they have more of an incentive to take action straight away.
Promoting a no-brainer offer to the correct people at the right time is the key to steady, consistent growth of your service plan.
New boiler customers
Your best opportunity to sign up new service plan customers is on completion of a boiler installation. You already have the skills and knowledge to sell large complex installations, so it should be easy to offer the extended help, support, and peace of mind that comes with joining the service plan.
You could promote your service plan offer with the boiler quotation. It will show your potential new customer that you are the local professional company that will be looking after their property beyond the installation.
Remember, customers want to trust the people who work in their house, so if they choose you for the installation, you have already won their trust.
Another easy win for your service plan is targeting your existing customer database.
With so many changes in the heating industry in recent years, you should be able to easily convert regular service customers onto your plan by simply saying that the ‘service plan’ includes all the new test requirements and additional costs, such as chemical dosing.
You may find signing long-term customers onto your plan challenging if they are used to paying you when the annual boiler service is due. Again, timing is key, so ask yourself – when is the most likely time your existing customers may join the service plan?
Most people will be prioritising other things in their lives, hence we need to offer the ‘service plan’ at the time that they are thinking about their boiler the most. Typically, this would be when they need help with their heating for whatever reason, or before/during the annual boiler service.
Planning your email/SMS/phone communications to promote your no-brainer ‘join the plan’ offer at this point will therefore cut through the barrage of information they will likely be faced with on a daily basis.
When booking their ‘standard’ annual service, can you consider offering a discount of some type or, better than that, add more value to create the ‘no-brainer’ offer?
Google search (SEO)
Your customer database and service plan will grow much faster if you purposely market this service through a dedicated ‘service’ page on your website. Keyword research will help determine how many people in your local area are searching for boiler service, heating care plan, boiler repair, and any other related search queries.
Many heating companies believe that search engine optimisation (SEO) is a game for big companies with a budget to spend, however this is not always the case.
Despite Google only presenting three local companies in the ‘map pack’ area of its results, there are many examples of local companies that have outranked national websites in the top three organic listings.
When looking to improve your online marketing, consider how much revenue this page could generate in the next five years. Every 100 service plans priced at £100 per year equals £10,000 in additional revenue. Over five years, those same 100 customers would generate at least £50,000.
Paid ads (SEM & PPC)
The advantage of search engine marketing (SEM) over SEO is the speed at which you can make sales. If you have the budget, you can be at the top of the Google search page tomorrow! The drawback to using ads is paying for clicks to your website requires a regular budget, so don’t forget to consider this when pricing your service plan.
Once you have built your service plan and implemented most of the advice in this column, using pay-per-click (PPC) could be a speedy way to build your customer database, but jumping into SEM without everything else in place first could cost your business a fortune.
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