One of the underlying philosophies that you as an independent major appliance service organization must understand when “going flat rate” is that you’re no longer going to be setting your prices in accordance with what the other service companies in your area are charging, nor are you going to be the cheapest service company in the area. You’ll be charging professional rates for professional services, and your rates will be set by understanding your CODB, Cost Of Doing Business. Information on how to calculate your cost of doing business is included in the Appliance Service Business Success Program.

How To Respond To The Question, “How Much Is A Service Call?”….

Anyone who picks up the phone at your service company can answer this question by explaining that you have a set service call and diagnostic fee, and that you use a flat rate pricing system.

Successfully Completing A Service Call: A Ten-Step Plan By The Numbers….

1. Show up in a clean, lettered vehicle, park on the street if you can, and be dressed in a uniform.

2. Greet the customer by name and introduce yourself….”Hello, I’m Jim from XYZ Appliance Service and I’m here to solve the problem with your ________” (specific appliance).

3. Verify the customer’s approval for your initial service call and diagnostic fee. Ask for the customer’s description of the problem.

4. Record the model and serial number of the appliance, diagnose the problem, and determine the necessary repair procedures.

5. Refer to The Appliance Service Flat Rate Solution to estimate the cost of the repair. To use the guide:

  • Find the service description matching the service needed.
  • Determine the price and availability of parts, if needed
  • Total the estimate.

6. Explain the cause of the failure to the customer, and answer any questions they may have concerning the repair. Give an estimate for the repair and have the customer sign, approving the estimate. If the work cannot be completed at this time, determine parts availability and re-schedule the call at the customer’s convenience and according to the expected parts arrival date. If the estimate is not approved, or parts are needed to complete the call, collect the Service Call and Diagnostic fee.

7. If the call can be completed at this time, perform the repair (work carefully to protect the customer’s property and clean up as necessary) and, if possible, demonstrate the product to the customer to verify proper performance.

8. Record the Service Code, Description of Service Performed, Charge Code, and charges on your invoice. Verify that all problems related to the diagnosis are written on the invoice. Advise the customer of any additional services you can provide (accessory items or customer replaceable parts). Total the invoice and present it to the customer, and, if necessary, answer any questions the customer may have about the repair and related charges.

9. Accept payment for the invoice and indicate the method of payment, documenting check number or other necessary information on the invoice. Request a signature verifying that the job was completed satisfactorily, and give the customer a copy of the completed invoice.

10. Thank the customer and ask about referrals to someone else they may know who needs your services. Leave a business card or magnetic card for their refrigerator door or other suitable location.

How To Use The Major Appliance Flat Rate Labor Guide Effectively When Communicating With Customers….

The Appliance Service Flat Rate Solution isn’t designed to be kept away from customers. It’s designed to be printed, placed into a 3-ring binder, then used as a presentation tool when communicating with customers. This is a key factor in using the guide successfully. Once you’ve diagnosed the problem with the appliance and determined the correct repair code, show the guide to the customer and point out the repair.

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