According to a recent Government Accountability Office report, 80% of US states will have at least one region that’s expected to face some kind of water shortage in the next 10 years. Whether we want to admit it or not, water shortages are becoming more common.
As a result, the price of water is continuing to rise. According to a recent study, water prices went up 4.5% on average in 2014, nearly 3 times more than inflation. For an irrigation business, that sounds like an opportunity. As water shortages become more commonplace, consumers will turn more and more to irrigation providers that practice water conservation.
To capitalize on that opportunity, many irrigation businesses have created checklists that they use to determine where water savings can be found on a customer's property. Essentially, how it works is:
Visit the customer’s property
Prepare a checklist of things to examine (What type of controller is it? Does it need a seasonal adjustment? Are the valves installed properly? Are there mixed nozzle types in the same zone? Are there malfunctioning rotors?)
Give that checklist to the customer, with tips on how to improve water savings.
That water saving assessment is a great way to add value to your customer relationship. Here are some tips on how to use those checklists to improve sales in your irrigation business.
Create a detailed report you can share with your customer.
At HindSite, we’re in the process of conducting customer audits. Basically, we schedule a meeting, see how they’re using HindSite, and then create a report with tips to help them make better use of HindSite.
You can do the same with your water savings assessment. Do a complete assessment and then spend some time writing up a report. Or, better yet, create a report that shows the customer how much water each improvement suggestion could save annually. Cold, hard numbers will drive action faster than a simple recommendation.
Use technology to streamline the process.
Paper assessments are good, but they can be hard to track and manage. Instead, create an electronic one. Irrigation business software like HindSite makes it easy to create an electronic assessment that can be completed on a tablet or phone in the field.
Not only does using a mobile field service software application make completing, storing and accessing the information easy, but it can also be a lot easier to send the customer a detailed report as a result.
Create as many discussion points as possible.
The best way to grow your revenue in a service business is to build a great relationship with your customer. So make sure your assessment offers a lot of opportunities to have a discussion with your customer. Include questions like:
Are you concerned about the cost of water?
Would you prefer an environmentally friendly system?
Are you willing to change watering habits to meet those goals?
The more information you have, the easier it will be to use that information to make the sale in the future. So be sure to ask probing questions, and then record those questions electronically (say in a field service CRM) so you can refer to them in future conversations.
Follow-up with “water saving” reminders.
Did you recommend that the customer replace their dated controller with a new smart controller, but they didn’t do it? Periodically send them reminders about the savings they can expect with a new controller. Offer a discount on a controller if they order by a specific date. Send them an informational email about the pros and cons of three of the latest smart controller models. Don’t overdue it, but subtly remind them that they have an option to improve water savings.
Be sure to include the results of their specific water assessment, if possible. If you’re a HindSite customer, you can use our service business marketing solution, HindSite Connect, to include information from your assessments in an email. For example, if you found they need a soil moisture sensor, include that result in a future follow-up email and indicate how much water it would save.
Want another trick to growing your revenue? Try installing irrigation business software. By eliminating paperwork, it can make your entire operation more efficient. To learn how to select software, check out our free eBook, Irrigation Software Buyer’s Guide.