I was reading through an article in Pool & Spa News today - Replacement Parts Outpace Repairs by Ben Thomas - and it got me thinking about upgrade policies.
At Flexible Solutions we have considered our Heatsavr Kit to be an "Upgrade" from our Ecosavr fish. We have found that when a pool owner has been using Ecosavr for years and loves the results, they are generally interested in giving their pool an upgrade to the permanent system.
What is your system for upgrading? Whatever you are selling, do you encourage customers to take it to the next level when that option is available? Or do you prefer to keep a satisfied customer happy with what they have?
I am certain there are many success stories for both tactics and, of course, you must always act on what would ultimately benefit the individual client, but I am truly curious to see how sales strategies differ from company to company.
More than just that, sales strategies differ depending on what the economy is doing. For a while now I am sure many people have been careful not to push any boundaries, because the economy had created a new type of customer - one that would dart at any sign of "sales" at all!
The article quotes PoolCorp's CEO, Manuel Perez de la Mesa, saying, "The economy is beginning to get a little better, so customer behavior is starting to revert back toward normal." How will this affect your processes?
Another fantastic point the article made was regarding warranties. Though the economy might be looking perky, people are still a bit nervous; while they may be willing to spend a bit more, they want to be sure they are protected when they do so. This actually looks to be a great thing for sales as pool owners are looking to buy something new that comes with a nice warranty instead of simply repairing the equipment they already have.
Energy efficiency is also an indicator. Again, consumers are a bit more willing to spend money, but they want a promise of a good future return. That sounds like a great time to introduce items that maybe have a bit of a higher ticket price, but that will save money in the long run - heat pumps, variable speed pumps, solar systems, Heatsavr sytems, etc.
I like what this mindset encourages. Even though the consumer may simply be after a long term plan to save money, upgrades, warranties and energy efficient products are all very important aspects of a good customer retention and happiness program for retailers, service companies and builders alike.
I always love the replies you share, and I am really looking forward to hearing your take on the situation as outlined here and in the article.