Editor’s note: This letter is in response to Kyle Gargaro’s Dec. 2 editorial, “Are Maintenance Agreements an Antiquated Program?”
Swimming Against the Maintenance Agreement Stream
About nine-plus years ago, like Minnick’s, we made a decision to take a different approach. It was like salmon swimming upstream only we didn’t die and get eaten by hungry bears. I was told that MAs [maintenance agreements] are the only way to go, and my team freaked out and shrieked out with warnings of losing all of our business. We pushed forward with the Preferred Customer Status program, which we continue to do today.
It makes me smile when a customer calls in and says “I am a Preferred Gold, Platinum, or Silver customer.” We roll out the red carpet for them and they get all the benefits of the MAs. The only difference is that they have to perform to keep their privileged status. They have to make sure that cooling and heating annual maintenance checkups are performed. Some would argue that getting the customers’ money up front means you have funds to operate, and your customer paid you for their loyalty “skin in the game.”
We found that it created unreasonable demands when we were in our busiest times. There are those who didn’t have time when we called or when they received the postcard reminders, and it is those folks who demanded their checkups during peak service times. So instead of listening to the rants of the MA customer who delayed getting maintenance when called or mailed, the ball is in their court to perform to keep their special preferred status. It is working much better. We make the effort to educate and pamper our customers, and we have the most loyal and wonderful customers.
Central City Air
Publication date: 2/17/2014