Whether you have a service and maintenance program or are looking to start a program one of your first steps should be to bring your sales team together to talk about how to sell it. Too often ideas are made at the top levels without talking to the feet on the street, the sales team.
A service and maintenance program is a great way of diversifying your business. But how you incorporate a new division and/or service is not always as easy as it sounds. There are many opportunities today to look at your business, whether residential or commercial, and think about how you can service your customers after a new roof is installed.
Several large commercial roofing contractors have found great success with a service and maintenance program. On the residential side, think the same way. What homeowner would not love to have their gutters checked, chimneys from the outside inspected and an overall health check for their roof. As your sales team visits with residential customers about the inspections, it is also a great chance to ask for reviews and referrals. It is basic customer service and instead of walking away from the customer for 7-10 years you are now seeing them possibly a couple times a year.
How do you start? By looking at what customers need and being sure that the sales team agrees. By asking the sales team what they are hearing from their customers you may find some of the following as revenue opportunities:
Monitoring - A key to keeping buildings safe during weather events is consistent monitoring. Having a program set-up ahead of time with customers will assure that buildings will be in a pre-planned rotation for snow removal, drain cleaning and overall inspections. For salespeople, this is a great opportunity to not only gain ongoing service and maintenance but also obtain information on additional buildings or opportunities. As every roofing professional knows, it is critical to keep drains clear before, during and after weather events to keep ponding water at a minimum. By talking to your customers about a year-round program and helping them put one in place, you are reducing risk for the building owner and providing great customer service.
Customer Portal – Look at offering a customer portal that customers can access easily. Portals today offer the opportunity to not only store receipts, inspections, photos and historical documents. More sophisticated portals also have features for scheduling, budgeting, planning and communications. It is a great feature for your sales team to use to obtain a service and maintenance contract that is sustainable.
Winter and Spring Inspections – Inspecting the roof twice a year can be critical. Identifying trouble areas along with wind, hail or water damage can save a roof from winter failure. Cleaning drains and removing debris from the roof is essential to keep water from accumulating on the roof or not draining. It has the same effect with snow melt which is even heavier on the roof. Getting roof inspections and maintenance before and after harsh winter weather can save money, lives and headaches.
Snow Removal – Work with your customers to have an ongoing plan for quick snow removal in order to keep unnecessary weight off the roof. With many roof collapses noted in the news during the last couple of winters, facility managers and homeowners are realizing how important it is to have a plan when the snow begins to fall.
These are all items that can be easily sold during the final inspection of a roofing project. Have a sales plan that helps the team work with building and homeowners to obtain programs to maintain their roof through the heat of the summer and the freezing temperatures of the winter. You will be their first call during emergencies whether man made or nature’s wrath and the first one they look to for new roofing projects.
Heidi Ellsworth is owner of HJE Consulting Group and a partner in RoofersCoffeeShop.com. See her full bio here.