My fear with cheap "tune ups" is when I get there, and the customer tells me "oh well so and so has been doing a yearly tune up for me for super cheap"
And I always see a unit that has not had an airflow measurement, or draft measurement (pretty evident by the lack of measurement points) has a humidifier that is crudded up to the end, has coils that have never seen any sort of coil cleaning. Under/over charged. And then the customer asks, then what the hell was I paying for? The 89 point inspection has check boxes next to everything, and everything has been "checked"
Just tell the customer the truth. You always get what you pay for, when you purchased a "cheap check" then that's what you got. A check is NOT a repair, and truthfully if the other company was doing their job, then they should have some kind of proof that the HO never wanted to fix anything, just have it checked, recommended to fix (with estimated cost), and then forgot it. Our prepaid program includes a clean filter, grid of Hum. (if they have one), and all the minor cleans along with up to one pound of freon if needed. Of course the other checks (flue, gas pressure, CO etc) are included also.
Wahoo, that sounds like a solid program and you are offering value to your customers at any price for that. A CO check with a analyzer is worth at least $60+ in my opinion. And if you are doing all those measurements and checks you have gathered enough info to offer legitimate, and NEEDED repairs. My experience is, that some shops in my area, say they do this, but they dont, they change a filter, and check off some boxes. That sort of system I do find unethical and I object to.
@JohnMarkl, sounds like you are the type of person who is pushing your guys to be parts changers. I do own my own shop and I would never think the way you do. We do about $2.5 Million in work each year off of 10 guys. Some years more, some years less, depends. I started my shop as a 1 man show. I built this business on honest hard work. No need to push extra parts. For instance if a contactor is a little black, new ones turn that color after it makes contact 10 times, I would inform my customer and let them make the decision, write it on my ticket so it is there for their record and mine. Recommended a new condensor fan motor drawing 2.0 amps RLA was 1.8, with the proper cap in good condition. Customer declined, was back in 2 weeks and the customer was laughing because he remembered our conversation. He has been a customer of mine through 3 companies and now a customer of mine at my own shop. Honesty goes a long way, and informing your customer on what has occured or will occure will always win over the company that changes the slightly black contactor and the owner/service manager thinks it is great. Just the other day got rid of a newer employee for this exact reason. Went to a house for spring pm, told the customer they needed a new unit, $200 commission was his prize, customer called in and I went out and found that the capacitor was bad and the contactor was not making full contact. No cost to the customer for repairs that I made myself, and I now have a spare van that will probably be mine during our busy season as I don't like people, like you, that are just out to rob people because that is what they want. We keep our regular pm customers units running really well and rarely have, extra's that are needed, on our maintenance calls. Not saying my guys have never done this before, but every new guy rides with me for 2-3 weeks and show him how I want things done and what is expected. Doesn't matter to me if you have been in the field for 30 years, you ride with me for 2-3 weeks and we have an understanding of how things will be done. He and I go to customers that I have had for years and when we are done I speak to the customer and ask how their experience was with the new guy.
Long story short, don't sell stuff that doesn't need to be replaced, do your job honestly and to the best of your ability.
Just don't think Mr. Markl has all the answers as he sure as hell seems to think. May work for you now, but will catch up to him sooner or later. Can't continue to lie and cheat people, someone will eventually find out and then it is party over. Business degree or not, look at all the big businesses that have went under in recent years, all of which were run by big bad people with Masters and BA's in Business and look where it got them. I am not an educated person in this respect, but I do well for myself and my business, because I have class, honesty, and a heart for the people who pay me for my services.
I hope to god my boss is like you. Because to be honest, this sounds like a job in sales more than a job in repair-work. I just want a check for being anal about my work and loving it.
Agree with John on that. No company can keep an employee for long if they cannot, or will not produce a profit. Of course a newly hired employee has to have a certain amount of time to "get up to speed", but eventually his effort must produce. (Unless he or she works for the "government"!)
Commission only is portrayed as a carrot to employees, but is a fact the only purpose is risk elimination, by the employer.
Techs do need to know their cost, and many would be surprised how much it is.
Companies should know their cost centers, and pass the tech cost on to the tech.
A tech is the best salesman, because he not a salesman, he/she is the face of company. When i have a tradie in my house, I would hope that he could be trusted to do the best for me the client. (I like most pay for quality and trust)
I return the trust by paying on time and with recommendations.
A tech should offer value added sales, but not non essential parts replacement.
Many PM are loss leaders, and are also use of non productive time.
if PMs are the source of business, then pricing should be based upon cost plus return on investment, not false fabrication of repairs.
I have had successful businesses (some not so), I believe in commitment to my client, commitment to my employees, commitment to my suppliers. This commitment is returned with no further effort from myself. And it just turns in $$$. Win Win Win Win.