How Construction Equipment Product Support Creates Loyal Customers
Are you doing an effective job – a really effective job – of creating loyal customers? Retaining customers is essential to build your construction equipment dealership, regardless of marketplace ups and downs. You can actually compute the lifetime value of an average customer, but the truth is, they are priceless. Loyal customers don’t just spend more, they promote your dealership.
Developing a comprehensive product support program can dramatically improve customer retention. Too many businesses see after-market sales and service as a necessary evil, when in fact it can be a gold mine for your bottom line as well as your reputation. Think about it. You sell a piece of equipment once, but its post-sale needs will last the machine’s entire lifetime.
Broad-based product support is most profitable.
Functional construction equipment post-sale services can include:
- Selling spare parts.
- Selling attachments and to upgrade equipment.
- Performing routine service and repairs.
- Offering jobsite assistance such as parts delivery or tech services.
- Performing inspections.
- Installing technology or other upgrades.
- Tracking telematics data on behalf of customers.
- Providing training or technical support for customer technicians.
But there are additional ways to build out your portfolio of services that will garner even greater customer attention and appreciation. Helping to arrange financing can secure the initial sale and save your customer time. However, even the most durable, reliable equipment sometimes breaks down unexpectedly. Offering extended service contracts and insurance programs such as loss damage waivers and physical damage insurance protects your customers financially and helps minimize downtime.
In addition, a more diverse product support program gives you more opportunities to upsell and cross-sell existing customers as well as attract after-market customers who didn’t originally purchase from you, turning them into future equipment buyers.
Customizing your product support program.
You’ll make money by helping customers keep construction equipment working and save money. Consider the options from your customers’ viewpoint. They each have different service needs, even if they own the same equipment, and those service needs can fluctuate as working circumstances change. Your goal is to understand those variations and offer post-sale services that address them flexibly.
Tiered services give customers more choice, and that drives higher satisfaction. You can also price services according to your customer’s willingness to pay. For instance, the more you can shorten downtime – or waiting time for a diagnosis or special-ordering a part — the more valuable that service is for your customer. So you can set a premium price for jobsite assistance and delivery or in-shop rush jobs. You could also offer a discount to customers whose need is not urgent and, therefore, gives you greater scheduling flexibility.
Beyond your portfolio of services lies something customers both expect and appreciate – a meaningful formal loyalty program. The most successful loyalty programs offer highly relevant, customer-tailored incentives to secure ongoing post-sale business.
As the only agency with professional expertise in both the insurance and construction equipment industries, ADI Agency can help you augment your product support portfolio with specialized insurance and extended warranty products. We also offer unique software platforms specifically designed to streamline the insurance process and manage your customer loyalty program, enhancing satisfaction for both employees and customers.
Most construction equipment dealers realize that after-market services carry a higher profit margin than equipment sales. In today’s brutally competitive environment, your reputation as the go-to source for all things after-market – coupled with your reputation for outstanding customer responsiveness – can make the difference between establishing yourself as a stand-out dealer and being seen as just one of the pack. If you can’t clearly differentiate yourself from others who sell the same OEMs, how can you expect to survive, let alone grow?
It’s what you do after the sale that sets you apart.