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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Filters, Bags and Cleaners...Oh my!

(Flickr user Ruud Hein/CC)
Have you ever heard of a tickler file? A tickler file is an old time sales tool. It is often a little more like a list and you are not tickling cause laughter, you are tickling to bring on sales.A tickler file is a list of prior customers that may have needs for your product or service again. How can that be useful for an appliance repair company? Accessories.

When an appliance is repaired, if all that is done is the repair, it is likely that you will not be hearing from that customer until something else breaks and they call you. For those clients, a tickler file is of little help.

What if you also sold them a water filter, or some cleaners,or compacter bags, or fresh drip trays for their range? These items can be harder for the consumer to find. Some servicers carry a "display briefcase" of accessories that they open while doing a repair, curiosity from the consumers opens the door for that repair person to make an extra sale.

If a  service company also sells appliance accessories this is where a tickler file can be useful. Keep a record of customers who purchase water filters, compacter bags and/or appliance cleaning products. After an appropriate period of time, reach out to those customers to offer to replace their supply.

There are a lot of ways you can contact the customer. Email or a direct mail postcard can do the job, or if you have more time to spend a call can work. Don't make your contact the next week, but try to time things so your contact will reach them at the same time that the product will be used up and in need of replacement. This can also be a great time to follow up with the client on the repair if the products were purchased when a repair was done on their appliance.

One last thing, don't overdo it. There can be a fine line between annoying pest and helpful guest. You want to be helpful. If done right, using a tickler file can be helpful to your bottom line and you will be providing your customer with a service of saving them a hunt to find those replacement products. Naturally, if your own supply is lacking in accesories, give W.L. May a call and we can help get you set up.

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