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Business Solutions for Maximizing Profits February 2009
Since 1992, NSPG has been providing the tools that allow contractors to increase profits and minimize business hassles. With our simple-to-use-tools, you can make being a business owner what you always wanted to it be - successful, profitable and rewarding.

Customer Loyalty in Hard Times  
Jim Cramer on CNBC has mentioned his "Danny Meyer Hospitality Index" more than once in the last few weeks.  This is essentially a group of stocks in companies that have built their business brand on high quality service that leads to high customer loyalty.  These companies include Apple, Google, Southwest Airlines, Costco, and Whole Foods.  So far, these companies have outperformed the usual low cost picks in a down economy.  Rather than cutting costs and reducing service quality, they have maintained their business philosophy, and have been rewarded with only small drops in business levels.

These companies reflect the trend for successful service businesses.  Building a company that offers higher quality at a profitable price has been a successful strategy in just about every market.  Even in the current market, businesses that sell quality seem to have higher customer loyalty, and have been able better maintain their sales.

Even a business based on high quality must recognize the current market situation.  What they need to do is maintain is their perceived superior level of service while intelligently cutting costs.  In a tight market, the things that your customers perceive as high quality are often not expensive to provide, and could even cost nothing.

Using a system to assure that your customers know when your tech will be there can cost little more than the hit-or-miss "systems" used by your low price competitors.  Once your system is set up, it costs little to run.  Let me describe what I'm talking about.

Many companies are now instituting a system similar to the doctor's office model.  The day before the appointment, the office contacts the customer and reminds them that the tech will be there during a specific time window the next day.  They confirm the general nature of the work to be done, and what the customer will need to supply.  This includes things like access to the site, and putting the dog in a separate area.

They let the customer know that they will receive a call the next day to confirm the arrival time of the technician.  This reduces the feeling by the customer that they are being inconvenienced by waiting for an uncertain arrival of your technician. 

A multi-contact system like this adds very little to the cost of each service call, but can pay big dividends in customer loyalty.  Combining this with other low cost details like clean shirts for your technicians, booties and/or carpet runners to keep the job site clean and job site clean up, plus a high level of competence on the job, all combine to create the impression of a high quality business.  Most of your customers will interpret your extra efforts as a sign of respect that they will reciprocate in the form a loyalty to your business.

Building customer loyalty will benefit your business just the way it benefits the big companies mentioned by Cramer.  

Building customer loyalty can involve a list of everyday principles that most successful businesses utilize.  The two illustrated above, communication and customer service, are just the start.  Communicating with your customer base should not be limited to specific service calls.  You need to keep your name in front of them on a regular basis.  Newsletters, reminder cards, calendars, emails, and whatever works for your business are critical.

Doing the little extra things to meet your customers' needs will be remembered.  People remember being treated well.

Some of the other tools for building customer loyalty include:

  • Employee training.  Train your employees in how to interact with your customers.  Give them the tools they need to give your customers what they want.

  • Give them a reason to call.  Good-customer discounts, extra "free" services like safety inspections, and seasonal specials can all prompt your customer base to call you now and keep you in mind in the future.

  • Reliability.  If you say you're going to be there, be there.  No one wants to do business with a company they can't count on.  Your business needs to be the opposite of the stereotypical cable guy.  Be there when you say you will, and do the job right the first time.  If there is a problem, communicate.  Let them know the tech will be late, and let them know it bothers you that your business has let them down.

  • Be an expert.  Customer loyalty relies on the confidence your customers have in your business.  Show them that you know what you're talking about.  Little things like pointing out how they can save money with the new stimulus rebates is not only a good sales tool, but it shows that you know what is happening in your world.  Make it easy for them by providing literature that explains exactly how it works.

    Here's the government site that details the latest energy tax credit information.

Difficult times require belt tightening by everyone.  They also provide an opportunity for any company that is dedicated to growing larger through a high quality and high value model.  Customer loyalty, that can help carry a business through a downturn, is built using this model.  Low prices alone do not build loyalty, and may hurt a business' prospects during a downturn. 

If your customer buys on price alone in good times, what will happen when times are tough?

By all means, Crunch your Numbers to be sure your prices are as low as possible while making a profit.  But you may want to recognize a slow down as an opportunity to put in place the systems you need to build customer loyalty.

If you have fewer calls now, use the extra office time to set up an improved system for communicating with your customers.  If you have fewer service calls, use the time to train your technicians to present your own high quality service model to your customers.

View slow times not only as a challenge to be overcome, but as an opportunity to build for the future.  Now is the time to get your numbers right, print your new flat rate books, and implement those ideas you've been working on.

- - - - - - -

Give Mike Conroy a call to discuss your business, your numbers, your performance benchmarks, or your flat rate books.  Take advantage of his experience working with hundreds of companies like yours to help you achieve your own business success. 

Measure Monthly, Adjust Quarterly
 & Achieve Your Annual Profit Goals

Click Here to Crunch your Numbers Today!

 On-Line News

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Another Millionaire Plumber

Electrician Is an Electric Car Dealer Too

Energy Star Tax Credits



Call 800 841-8542 today to learn about our
easy, no interest, multi-payment plans for NSPG software products.

 Truck Magnet - Get them to call you again.

In This Issue

Phone 800 841-8542
Call today to get your own Flat Rate Price Books printed by the experts at NSPG. 
No software needed.


Numbers Cruncher

National Standard
Price Guide

Performance Dispatch Plus

Call 800 841-8542 today to learn about our
easy, no interest, multi-payment plans for NSPG software products.

Keep your company name
where they can find it!
Wrench Magnet - Get them to call you again!

NSPG Promotional Items Store
Magnetic Calendars

Freebie of
the Month

The freebie of the month is a web site or product that we feel gives you something worth looking at or using that costs you little or nothing.

This month's freebie is really a benefit for your customers.  It's the Energy Efficiency tax credit site.  This site spells out the credits that may help you sell your services to potential customers.

The site lists credits for homeowners, home builders, and businesses.

Recent changes in the tax credits include extension into 2010 plus increases in the maximum credit amount.  Also, some geothermal and solar improvements tax credit have no limits now.

If you have a favorite Free site, let us know.


To err is human--and to blame it on a computer is even more so.  
                Robert Orben

Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today.
               Herman Wouk

I told the doctor I broke my leg in two places. He told me to quit going to those places.
           Henny Youngman

Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical.
                    Yogi Berra

A conservative is a man who sits and thinks, mostly sits.
             Woodrow Wilson

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
             Bertrand Russell

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and Jill a rich widow.
  - Evan Esar

 Nexstar Owners' Spotlight Series VIP - Test Drive A Nexstar Membership At Owners' Spotlight Series VIP Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, March 12 to March 14, 2009


  • Two days of interactive training from Success Coach, Jack Canfield
  • 3 days of networking with over 250 successful residential service business owners
  • Access to all the Nexstar Business Coaches, ask about Marketing, Finance, Operations, Recruitment.
  • Business seminars from our premier member-trainers; they've been where you are. They'll help you get where you want to go

The Nexstar spring Owners' Spotlight Series meeting is all about YOUR SUCCESS. It's three full days of learning how to be a SUCCESSFUL LEADER of your residential service business. This is your exclusive opportunity to experience the benefits of a Nexstar membership. Only the first 8 companies to register will learn the SUCCESS PRINCIPLES presented at this meeting.

 6:30 - 7:30 a.m. Breakfast & Registration
 7:30 - 11:00 VIP Open Session
11:00 - 5:30 Optional Golf at Camel Back
 6:00 - 8:00 Welcome Reception
 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
 8:00 - 4:30 Keynote Speaker - Jack Canfield
 7:00 - 9:00 Reception & Dinner 
 6:30 - 7:30 a.m. Breakfast
 7:30 - 10:30 Leadership for Life
10:30 - 4:30 "The Success Principles", What's Working"
 4:30 - 7:00 Closing Reception
Register for VIP Here

 The next QSC Power Meeting will be at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort on March 18-21, 2009.

Today's service & repair plumbing and HVACR contractors face more and more challenges each day. Effective client service, business operations, getting and keeping clients, plumbing and HVACR technical training, employee recruitment and retention, and marketing development are just a few. The Quality Service Contractors (QSC), an enhanced service group of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association provides contractors with a means to find solutions to the many issues service and repair contractors face.

To help QSC members identify strategies to make their businesses more successful, QSC offers two Power Meetings each year that are packed full of seminars designed especially for the p-h-c service and repair contractor. In addition to the networking that takes place at the Power Meetings, QSC also provides valuable networking through its Peer Groups. Many QSC members also bring key employees from their company. 

If you thought that QSC might be a good fit for you, this is a perfect opportunity for you to see first-hand what the group has to offer - QSC's March 18 - 21, 2009, Power Meeting XXX in Daytona Beach, Florida. This will give you the chance to meet with QSC members and learn more about the organization. We will hold our meeting at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort.

We are excited about the opportunity to meet with contractors like you. If you would like further information on this program or QSC, please contact Dawn (, Patrice ( or Charlie ( or you can call them at (800) 533-7694.

We hope to see you in Daytona Beach! Join us, and experience what makes QSC contractor members "The Best of the Best."


QSC Professional Logo                                  



Numbers Cruncher and NSPG Flat Rate Price Books training


Wrench Magnet - Get them to call you again.
Truck Magnet - Get them to call you again. 

Ever Wonder

Where Did the Money Go?


HVAC Service Invoice                      Portable Desk for forms and invoices


Call 800-841-8542 now so we can answer your questions and show how we can help you build a more profitable business.

NSPG, Inc. PO Box 1168, Manahawkin, NJ 08050

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