Putting Agreements and Opportunities to Work in Growing Your Business

Share With:

By Nikole Smith, Director of Product Management, Successware

Small business owners in the home service industries are on a constant quest for the tools and resources that will help them streamline and grow their operations. Two areas of potential growth that can help increase revenue with the right business management software: managing maintenance and service agreements, and closing the deal on opportunities that generate new sales with existing customers. Let’s take a look at a few ideas for each and some best practices to consider when choosing a platform to manage them.

Maintenance and Service Agreements

Maintenance visits can be used to fill the dispatch board during slower periods, and servicing customers’ equipment proactively ensures it’s less likely to malfunction during peak times. This is why maintenance and service agreements are essential ingredients of a consistent revenue stream.

Encourage your team to once a month reach out to customers who have unscheduled maintenance agreements. The customers will appreciate a proactive approach, and your team can fill in jobs on the dispatch board, creating a steady flow of work. Consider printing labels for a direct mail campaign or creating an email blast if you do not have the manpower to call them. Both are cost-effective ways of marketing to customers and reminding them they have a service due.

When agreement renewal dates approach, it’s a good time to reach out to the customer and ask about extending their agreement. You will want to pull a list of those who have expiring agreements and create a renewal document that can be mailed or emailed. The renewal document should include the coverage period and price of their agreement, as well as a renewal slip. Consider also including a marketing incentive that will entice the customer to continue doing business with your company, such as an opportunity to save 10% if they renew by the end of the month.

Managing agreements and marketing to these customers needs to be easy and time efficient so you can get the information you want without the hassle. This is where a robust business management software will help when it comes to searching and filtering agreements. You want to be able to view visits due by a particular date range, sort by equipment age, or filter by scheduled or unscheduled agreement visits.

Envision pulling up the customer record screen and having access to the related agreements right there without having to manually search. You can see if the customer is past-due for a maintenance agreement visit or if they have one coming up, then schedule it while on the phone with them. When a customer decides to renew, an invoice can be quickly generated and payment taken right there on the phone to make the agreement active. These are the types of platform features that will help your business get the most out of maintenance and service agreements.

Opportunities for Future Work

When technicians are at a job-site, they have a first-hand look at your customers equipment and can help identify any potential repairs or replacements they may need completed. These opportunities can help drive future sales and can range from necessary tasks like equipment repair to recommending optional purchases such as extending a warranty or signing up for a service agreement. Better yet, anyone on your team can identify them. From calls with new clients to finding sales leads on the job site, call takers and technicians alike should be getting in on the action.

After that, it’s up to the sales team or your back-office to follow through on these identified opportunities. Tracking follow-up dates is vital to ensure timely communication with the customer and simplify the sales team’s prioritization efforts. Again, this is where the right software with a flexible and well-appointed central hub can work wonders to streamline the process.

Consider creating custom opportunity codes in your platform to help organize opportunities. These codes can describe the nature of the opportunity and the customer’s specific needs and allow them to be tracked by job type or potential revenue. They will come in handy when you want to filter customer records based on follow-up requirements or job type. You also want space for making notes about customer interactions – what was spoken about and direction for future follow-up.

The right software will help create a sales job from the opportunity once the customer agrees to an estimate or to have the job completed. A good software system will also help track employees who had a hand in getting the opportunity to a booked job. The employee who identified the opportunity and the salesperson who reached out to the customer should be on the opportunity/sales job and carry over to the invoice, ensuring the proper people get a commission for the jobs they convert.

Managers need comprehensive reporting capabilities to track their team’s performance and get a snapshot of how much additional revenue is being brought in from opportunities. When these reports are segmented by opportunity codes, it’s easier to identify which opportunity types have the highest closing rates and which need improvement. Effective reports can help monitor employee productivity, showing the number of calls being made, appointments converting to jobs and what is being sold and billed to customers.

When you have access to reports that show how many opportunities each technician is identifying in the field, that information can be used to coach them on how to better identify things that may need to be repaired, replaced, or offered to customers.

Choosing the Right Business Software

Managing agreements and opportunities doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right business management software, your team can easily track these customers and market to them, as well as identify and pursue new jobs that are there for the taking. It’s a win-win-win for you, your employees and your customers.

Nikole Smith is an experienced Product Management leader with more than 20 years in the software and technology space. As Director of Product Management at Successware, Nikole leads diverse projects and initiatives from strategy development to implementation. Nikole is a master when it comes to analyzing critical business requirements and identifying gaps and potential opportunities. She has vast experience in both the hospitality and technology industries. Prior to Successware, Nikole worked for Choice Hotels International for 17 years.

Join the conversation: