Tips for Customer-Focused Field Service Preventive Maintenance

Service Pro for NetSuite - Technician Repairing Maintaining Coffee Machine

Put your customers’ needs first to achieve better preventive maintenance results for your field service and repair business.

 

Managing successful preventive maintenance (PM) programs is one of the best ways to guarantee recurring revenue and loyal customers. But not all PM programs are created equally.

We all know that PM programs are extremely valuable for regular business and especially for customer retention. And, let’s be honest, most of them need a little work.

This post will cover a few tips for running a successful, customer-centric preventive maintenance program.

 

Say yes to the little jobs

When customers sign a preventive maintenance program with you, you’re signing on to be the trusted guardians of their equipment. You want to be able to provide the most trusted feedback and become their equipment advisors. But to get to that level, you need to say yes to all the jobs that they ask you to do: big and small. 

For example, if a customer asks you to change their oil, while that might not be the most lucrative job for you to do, say yes. It will build trust so you’ll be their go-to team when they need a bigger, more expensive service job done.

 

Don’t underquote preventive maintenance

You can think of preventive maintenance like going to the dentist. You go to the dentist not necessarily because something’s wrong, but because you want to make sure nothing really big goes wrong in the future. So, you go into the dentist, the dentist says you’re good to go, you leave, and then a month later you need an emergency root canal. You wouldn’t be happy with your dentist if that happened. 

The same thing can happen if you skip steps when you’re doing preventive maintenance visits.

If you stop at a customer site for a regular visit and then something really bad happens a month later, your customers aren’t going to be very happy with you. To keep your customers happy and wanting to work with you, it’s important that you do all of the steps necessary in every PM visit. This is important to establishing trust and preventing big problems down the road.

 

Hire a service sales team

A lot of service companies don’t think to hire a service sales team. But especially for preventive maintenance contracts, it’s a great way to keep work moving. A service sales team also helps to make sure that the program keeps making money. 

These employees can do research to analyze who you’ve worked with in the past and find out who might be good candidates for a service contract down the line. 

The sales team is also a great follow-up team to call your existing contracts that are expiring. You can put your sales team in charge of calling those expiring contracts and offering upsells and renewals.

 

Don’t under promise

This might seem counterintuitive. Some companies will under promise and then over deliver. For example, they might say we’ll get a delivery to you in six weeks, but it actually arrives in two weeks. While you might think this makes you look good, it causes some underlying issues. 

You’re under selling yourself by saying initially that it will take six weeks, when it really might only take you two. The arbitrary six week deadline you give could turn customers away before you get a chance to show them that you can get it done in two weeks.

You’re also inconveniencing your customers. Think of it like if you were ordering a pizza. You call the pizza delivery service, and they tell you it’s going to take an hour to get there. Then when they show up in 15 minutes, you’re in the shower or taking the dog for a walk. You’re not expecting them and it ends up being a big inconvenience to you. You don’t want to put your customers in that position.

 

Track PM program success and ROI

Basically, what you’ll need to do is set up a system to measure whether your service contracts are profitable. Things like equipment and technician performance are important ones to track. 

When you’re tracking the success rates, you can figure out what’s working and what’s not. Then, you can make adjustments so your contracts are as profitable to you as possible. That’s sort of a no brainer and should be a great way to set up successful preventive maintenance contracts.

 

Respond to the data

Make sure that once you have all that ROI data and information you don’t ignore it. This might seem obvious. But you’d be surprised how many businesses have tons of information, but don’t really take action with it. 

Don’t ignore what the data is telling you. Basically, what we mean by this is, don’t go into autopilot. You can set up stakeholder portals and customize that data for each stakeholder in your organization. What that allows you to do is take that information and take actionable steps for improving your service contracts down the line. Then you can really get at the heart of what your customers are looking for.


Conclusion

Preventive maintenance programs are such an important part of the field service industry. Try incorporating some of these suggestions into your service business to make a difference in your customer satisfaction and your revenue stream.