Panel Focuses On Customer Base

January 15, 2004
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
CINCINNATI - At the recent Excellence Alliance Inc. (EAI) meeting, three EAI member contractors hosted a roundtable discussion titled "Protecting Your Customer Base" - another way of saying that they are wary of manufacturers' warranty programs that give access to customer names and contact information. They also want to see maintenance agreements in each warranty.

Rick Busby of Busby's Inc. (Augusta, Ga.), David Jackson of Jackson & Sons (Dudley, N.C.), and Andy Rodenhiser of Rodenhiser Plumbing & Heating (Boston) chaired the discussion.

Busby said that extended warranties are a "built-in, value-added part of a sale." His company offers extended warranties through a third party, but his customers only need to know that "each warranty is a Busby warranty."

He noted, "The customers are locked into five, eight, 10, or 12 years, and no one else in our market can offer that.

"This assumes that each customer has an exclusive maintenance agreement with us. Customers are covered for everything except an act of God."

Jackson said that extended warranties were becoming a concern for him because his company wasn't making any money on the repairs. "How many times is a customer going to pay you to replace a free part?" he asked.

Jackson said he wanted manufacturers to include routine maintenance in their extended warranties, but they said no. He decided to go with a third party. "We wound up dropping manufacturer's extended warranties and signed up with Equiguard. We built up our customer base, and then the manufacturers changed the rules of the game."

Rodenhiser said that his company is working with a local school, whose administrators want extended warranties on all of the HVAC equipment. "Everyone's mindset is now on maintenance and extended warranties," he said.

Jackson said it is "win-win to package an extended warranty with a maintenance agreement."

Busby likened the maintenance agreement features to those offered by a dentist. "When we leave the dentist's office, we automatically schedule another appointment for six months later," he said. "Then the dentist follows up with a reminder call."

Publication date: 01/19/2004

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by John Hall

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2014 MCAA Annual Convention

Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.


Kyle Gargaro, editor-in-chief of The NEWS, hosted the 2014 ACCA CEO Forum. At the event, six well-known, highly respected company executives, Gary Michel, Ingersoll Rand/Trane; Chris Nelson, Carrier Corp.; Chris Peel, Rheem Mfg. Co.; Rod Rushing, Johnson Controls; Brent Schroeder, Emerson Climate Technologies; and Doug Young, Lennox; provided individual industry outlooks and fielded questions directly from attending contractors. Listen to the entire event on the NEWSMakers podcast. Posted on April 14.

More Podcasts



NEWS 04-14-14 cover

2014 April 14

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe


Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
View Results Poll Archive


2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con