A lot of consumers do some or all of their banking and bill paying online. It is convenient, safe, and time-saving: three very important factors. Utility companies were some of the first businesses to offer automatic online bill paying to ratepayers – regularly scheduled monthly withdrawals from ratepayer’s bank accounts to pay for utility services. Customers never had to see a bill or send a check – very convenient.
You can do that with your customers, too. The most common practice is to offer warranty protection plans for the merchandise you sell and service, and withdraw the cost for the plans in monthly installments. You can also set up maintenance or service plans with the same payment schedule. Once the account has been set up, you have automatic monthly payments from many customers.
What’s the other benefit of maintenance or service plans? It guarantees you’ll see that customer at least once a year! (Some contractors go out twice a year!) You’ll perform an inspection of the home and its equipment. You can identify any problems, suggest upgrades, and offer new services. If nothing else, this is an opportunity to build rapport with your homeowners. Remind them why they like you and why they should call your company the next time they do have a major need.
Warranty plans and maintenance/service plans are great ways to generate cash flow and keep busy. It’s also a great way to reinvest that monthly income in your business, thus making it even more profitable. If you’re not offering them, it’s time to start! And if you’re offering them, but you’re not selling many, it’s time to start training your people on how to sell them!