Create More Valuable Club Memberships


Deb Spearing
VP of Human Resources
April 14, 2018
minutes to read

Get to the Point

  1. Re-define The Memberships - Sometimes it’s too hard for your customers to engage with your memberships because they’re too confusing, or there are too many options. Giving your options a thorough review and revision session can help make your memberships better for your customer.
  2. Simplify Payments - This is to make it easier for you… Only offer one payment system. You’ll keep better notes, and there will be less confusion with the customer and office staff.
  3. Clarify Service - Let them know what they get with their membership, or with each tier of their membership.

A couple of weeks back I talked about how to properly charge for a service fee. This week I want to use a lot of the same principles but this time talk about the ever-important maintenance club memberships most contractors offer.

When I discuss pricing with customers we eventually touch on their maintenance agreement memberships, or club memberships for short. Typically I work with customers to ensure their templates and pricing are correct in their back office system so that technicians can sell them properly out in the field. When doing so, I usually take a look at the different types of memberships they have and run down a handful of questions with them to make sure they are getting the best value, without over-complicating a good thing.

1. How Many Different Memberships Do You Offer?

First off, How many different memberships do you offer? This one can sometimes open a can of worms. For example, if your different club membership offerings start to look like an Olympic podium, than you may consider pairing it down a bit. “We have a gold, a silver, a bronze, a platinum,  a diamond,  a ruby, etc, etc…” Basically, if it takes you a good 5 minutes to explain to me the different offerings, How long is it taking your team to explain to the customer?  Is the message of customized service coming across? Or just confusion?

Consider taking these and making a basic and a premier plan. This way you can market to the value seeking customer as well as the one that wants the high-end service, without muddying the waters in between.  You get the valuable annual visit(s) and the customer gets their piece of mind.

2. How Do You Bill Customers For These Memberships?

Secondly, How do you bill customers for these memberships?  Monthly? Prepaid? Quarterly? You would be surprised by the answers I sometimes get.  For your team’s sanity, consider one price. Then use that price as the prepaid number, and divide by 12 if you want to offer a monthly rate.   Also, if you plan to offer a multiyear rate, just multiply the prepaid number by the number of years. Doing both of these will allow you to use the same agreement template or plan and set the dates and not have to manage a separate one for each. One systematic billing - Trust me, your office staff will thank you.

3. What Kind Of Service Do You Offer Your Club Members?

Thirdly, What kind of service do you offer your club members? Meaning, do you have separate plans for HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical?  Similar to the different levels of service, too many different service coverage options could be confusing, especially if you start including add-ons, like humidifiers and IAQ options.

I always say to keep them as separate plans, one for HVAC, one for plumbing, one for electrical, and so on. This way when you sell them you can add that plan to the customer and keep the one billing setup and manage just those plan types.

If you offer a HVAC plan, a HVAC and plumbing plan, a HVAC, plumbing and electrical plan, and a plumbing and electrical plan, and so on, it gets to become way too much to manage, especially if you have add-ons and extras.

4.  What Do These Plans Cover?

The last question I always ask, What do these plans cover? Maintenance only or do you give a discount on service? If you’re not discounting service at all you may want to run some numbers and consider it.  Now I am not telling you to give the farm away but a 10% or 15% discount can go along way to get more customers to sign up for the plan, and thus, more maintenance visits to perform during the slower shoulder season.

In conclusion, when setting up your maintenance membership plans there are a few things you’ll want to consider to make them the most effective. Make sure you have a couple of offerings to fit the needs of each customer, but not too many as to not confuse the homeowner or your team. Also, Set up individual templates for different sides of your business, this way managing them in the office becomes a lot easier.  

4. Add-On or Upsell Count and Amount

Here, we’re looking at repairs sold beyond the original reason for the call. Every time you enter a customer’s home your techs have the chance to sell value added work, beyond the repair itself. If you’re training your techs to sell add-on products, don’t you want to know who's doing it well, and who may need a training refresher?

5. Agreement Opportunities/Sales

Maintenance agreements are the key to a consistent client base and essential for keeping your team busy during the shoulder seasons. Every time your technician is in the home of a non-member there is an opportunity to sell. Are they delivering? You need to know.

6. Future Opportunities

Are your technicians talking to customers with forced air heat about the improved comfort that comes with a humidifier? How about the benefits of water softeners or whole-house surge protection? If the customer is interested, but not now, you need to be able to follow up on those opportunities.

How much money do you think gets left on the table just by failing to make a follow-up call to reintroduce an offered product or service? Tracking these opportunities can be the secret to putting more of that money in your pocket. These opportunities are the gold dust that’s hiding in your business. With a little work, there’s a lot of money just waiting to be panned for and earned.

7. Replacement Opportunities/Sales

Repairing a capacitor on a 17-year-old condenser, or the pilot on a 12-year old hot water tank? These are opportunities for replacement, and your techs should be offering that as an option along with the repair itself. You can determine what you consider a replacement opportunity in your business. But regardless of the conditions you establish, you want to know which of your techs is making the most of them. 

And if they didn’t sell? See the previous item. You should be setting this as an opportunity for a follow up.

Have any recommendations for additional information you’ve found to be essential? How do you make sure your team shares these details after each visit? We’d love to know — drop us a line here.

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