A Checklist for Avoiding the Top Profit Killer in Your Service Department

A Checklist for Avoiding the Top Profit Killer in Your Service Department.

BDR Sr. Service Coa
ch & Trainer

As a Service Coach and Trainer, I work with dealers across the U.S. and Canada to improve the profitability and efficiency of their service departments. I’ve observed that industry-wide, underperforming residential maintenance programs have become one of the top profit killers in service departments.  

My goal with this article is to help you avoid this trap in your company. How do you avoid this industry profit killer? Create your own profitable MAP. 

What is a MAP?

A profitable Maintenance Agreement Program (MAP) will help you weatherproof your company by creating a program that generates revenue every day while providing you with replacement leads and other revenue opportunities. As you build your MAP, you will develop a solid client base that will provide you and your team with year-round work – a great way to make sure you keep those scarce technicians!

Ready to get started?

Here is BDR’s checklist for creating your profitable MAP:

Change your mindset 

With your maintenance program you are really building your company’s membership program that will keep you connected with your clients for a lifetime. Think of it this way and it becomes an entirely different animal. “Membership has its privileges.”

Create a high-value program that the internal team believes in

If you expect your team to sell your MAP, they must believe in it. Set a meeting with your team to review your program and the benefits you offer at each level of maintenance. This is a great time to overcome objections and get complete buy-in from the team. Once you have the program you want that everyone believes in, price it to make a profit.

Build a training outline

Once your team believes in the program, you must train them on how to offer it. When and how do they present it to the customer? Be sure to address the emotional fear of losing customers based on price (address this with yourself, too…). BDR’s experience with our coaching clients tells us that typically, less than 10% of customers are lost when dealers shift to a profitable maintenance program model. Isn’t it better to make a profit each time you do maintenance rather than pricing it as a loss leader and counting on possible future revenue?

Develop easy renewal and payment strategies

If you make payment and renewal easy, you can really grow your MAP quickly while stabilizing your profits and cash flow. Consumers are used to monthly payments. Think about what you pay for your cell phone or cable TV each month. In monthly terms, your MAP will be incredibly reasonable – and provide great value.

Implement efficient scheduling strategies

Once you have the program up and running and are adding members, now you just must deliver! If you do a great job of scheduling maintenance and reminding your clients to schedule during the shoulder seasons, you can deliver great service, retain members, and position your company for future replacement leads.

    Okay, those are five things you can do right away to build a profitable MAP and avoid one of the industry’s top profit killers.

    Is this all you need to know? The short answer is no. BDR has built a two-day training program specifically to help dealers build profitable, successful maintenance programs. Are you interested in discovering how the biggest, best, and most profitable dealers succeed with their maintenance programs? Sign up for BDR’s two-day Residential Maintenance workshop today!

    About the Author

    With over three decades in HVAC Service Operations Management, Jennifer Shooshanian is one of the most knowledgeable and accomplished service performance experts in America. Since joining BDR, she has been instrumental in the co-development of the Service Training and Coaching programs. Jennifer has a proven track record of helping contractors transform their service department into a highly prized, cash-flow-rich profit center.

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