A common question in the field service industry is: “Should a service call fee ever get refunded?” In short, the answer is no.
You might also call it a trip charge or diagnostic fee, but once this fee is issued, it should always get collected and never refunded by your company.
The main reason not to refund this fee is because you’re charging for a service you’ve performed.
Why You Shouldn’t Refund a Service Call Fee
Customers know no service is truly free, and they’ll end up paying one way or another.
Even if you “credit” or discount the service call fee, customers know they’ll still pay for it within the cost of the repair.
Refunding your service call fee telegraphs to your customers that it was an unnecessary charge. This is bad for three reasons:
- It hurts the industry. We don’t want to tell customers that there is no value in having a trained professional come out to their house and diagnose their system.
- It hurts your bottom line. You’re still paying for this visit (i.e. your tech’s wage, the travel expense, service vehicle wear-and-tear, etc.).
- It hurts your credibility. If the customer believes you were about to tack on an unnecessary charge, you lose credibility in their eyes.
Even if your technicians are fantastic at on-site sales and can recoup that cost by charging more for repairs, this still leaves a question in the customer’s mind: “Are they charging me more than they should?”
If you want to provide incentive for a customer choosing you over a competitor, you could add additional services to your service call visit. Consider including a seasonal inspection, air-filter check, or something only requiring a few twists of the wrench to solve.
Also, waiving the cost of service call fees as part of your service maintenance agreements make those agreements much easier to sell.
The customer gets a tangible benefit from choosing you as their preferred field service business, and you get to avoid the awkward discussion on the validity of this expense.
Use the Best Field Service Software for Price Presentation
As your field tech wraps up the service call visit, any additional services spotted during their time onsite could lead to additional sales.
Using a cloud-based field service management software can help your field team with onsite sales presentations. Offering good, better, best options and visuals to guide the customer into choosing the repair journey that’s right for them.
See how FieldEdge can SUPERCHARGE your onsite sales presentation. Book your FREE personalized demo today!
Why The Service Call Fee is Beneficial
A service call fee benefits you and the customer in multiple ways:
- Provides the focused attention of a skilled professional
- While covering the cost of gas for the vehicle
- Recouping travel wear on the service truck
The customer will also have peace of mind knowing an onsite professional can also spot other areas that may not appear to need repairs at the moment, but could down the line. This allows for preventative maintenance to be done. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.