Let’s face it the P&H industry is a crowded sector. There are loads of firms all competing for business. This could lead some businesses to cut prices, slack on services and offer inferior boiler or part options just to win jobs and sadly complete on price.
This could be an unfortunate race to the bottom, where business owners are squeezed on prices through cutting profit margins. Customers are left ‘unwooed’ by the experience and firms don’t fully engage with customers to form long-lasting relationships which complement repeat custom.
Instead of promoting your business as a cheap, friendly local firm, let’s explore an alternative business model which can be built on a good reputation, backed up with clearly communicated warranties, guarantees and promises.
Warranties and guarantees are very important. You can use them to make you stand out from the crowd. Using them in your P&H business can help to establish you as a reputable, trustworthy choice for your customers. If you offer sound guarantees a customer may prefer you over a competitor, helping to improve your quote conversion rates.
Firstly, let’s make sure you understand the difference between a warranty, a guarantee and a promise:
Warranty: a written guarantee, issued to the purchaser of an article by its manufacturer, promising to repair or replace it if necessary for a specified period of time. A boiler or parts warranty are commonplace in the industry.
Guarantee: a formal assurance (typically in writing) that certain conditions will be fulfilled, especially that a product will be repaired or replaced if not of a specified quality. You may see businesses promoting a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Promise: a declaration or assurance that one will do something or that a particular thing will happen. An example would be we promise to turn up at a set time frame.
Besides the manufacturer’s warranty, you can offer your own guarantees to the customer.
Given the choice, people would rather go with a company who offer enticing guarantees. There are plenty of ways in which you can guarantee your work.
It’s worth noting that you can charge a higher rate if you are providing guarantees. Let’s explore some scenarios for a standard combi boiler replacement:
- Installer 1 quoted £1,400 to replace your boiler via WhatsApp. They’re busy though and can’t book you in for 3 weeks, have no online reviews and offers only the standard manufacturer’s warranty
- Installer 2quoted £1,700, the quote was emailed over that evening with a few options of what days were convenient to install. They arrived to quote with a printed glossy boiler brochure, with a section on frequently asked questions and was gleaming with previous 5-star testimonials throughout. They offer a turn-up guarantee, have an extended manufacturer’s warranty on their boiler installs and promised to ensure dust sheets are used throughout.
Most people would be willing to pay a bit extra for the increased warranties and assurance offered by installer 2.
Creating guarantees and promises
What promises do your clients want to hear? If you don’t know then ask them! You could make a post on your social media, you could post in a community group and you could ask as part of each satisfaction survey you send out.
They may say something like “I get frustrated that I’m left with a new central heating system and no idea how to use it”
Once you have the answers, what promises can you make to ease their frustrations?
“We promise to teach you how to use your new heating system and will provide telephone support free for the first 30 days”
Once you have decided on your promises, what systems do you need to have in place to make sure you can deliver on these?
If you have a guarantee to do repairs within 7 days, do you need a dedicated service and repairs engineer to make that possible?
If you are offering telephone support, do you need an engineer or knowledgeable call centre staff in the office?
Having written systems for all your team to see means your business will run like clockwork and you can deliver on all your promises.
If someone triggers a guarantee and you don’t agree with it, that is unfortunate but it’s something you will have to accept. You may want to consider if they are your ideal client, and you may make a decision to decline any future work requests from them.
If you have any questions, or would like to discuss using guarantees, warranties and promises in your plumbing and heating business, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
0114 400 0119