He’s Hot Under The Collar

Having retired, my friend Jeff spends lots of time at home. His air conditioner was installed by a company that works 8-6, Monday-Sunday.

Naturally, Jeff’s AC died at 5:15 Friday evening during the recent heat wave. Jeff immediately called for help, and learned the installer doesn’t do repairs.

Jeff was referred to a great repair guy, only to discover he works 8-5, Monday to Friday.

Talk about a LONG weekend!

Jeff grumbles that nobody sent him a postcard suggesting a maintenance call. It’s a fair point, as semi-annual reminders would (theoretically) minimize his headaches while allowing repair guys to even out work flow by maintaining HVAC systems in winter.

It forces the question: Why isn’t the installer selling maintenance services?

Alternately, even if installers don’t want to service the machinery, immediately referring customers to the repair guy could easily net residual sales commissions for years to come.

I understand Jeff’s irritation. “Even when you call repair guys, they don’t return your call after hours. I feel like I’m there for their convenience, rather than the other way around.”

As the owner of a service business, I’m forced to agree with Jeff’s conclusion. Today’s customers want what they want NOW, and if you won’t service their needs they’ll go someplace else.

True, some of those requests are unreasonable, and if my AC dies at 3am I’m not expecting my repair guy to appear immediately…at least, not without charging me a significant premium.

But any service provider who isn’t checking email and phone messages outside of “normal” business hours is probably missing opportunities for growing their business.

Customers want to feel you’re servicing them, and you may need to make a little extra effort (like returning a call at odd hours).

Of course the repair guy may already have enough business to satisfy his needs. After all, many solopreneurs don’t wish to supervise employees and don’t have the infrastructure to do so.

But if you’re a solopreneur and have enough Jeffs in your customer base to suggest growing makes sense, analyze your website traffic and phone calls to determine if growing will really be profitable.

And Jeff…in case your repair guy doesn’t change his ways, put a second one on speed dial. Call me if you need a referral.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

Make your sales heat up at www.marketbuilding.com.