Yesterday, we talked about the need for a scripted call taking process and specifically “what you can expect during our visit to your home”. Most companies just find a time that’s available and book the call. No relationship or value building. Nothing to give the customer an idea of what’s going to happen when the technician gets there. As well, the script makes it very clear there is a diagnostic fee. Some of you might balk at that but the reality is that it costs you money to pay the tech to get to the customer’s house. There’s the overhead associated with your vehicle too. (Gas, insurance, wear and tear, etc.)

Yes, some customers are going to object and believe it or not, that’s a good thing. We want them to know that it is going to cost some money to have one of your professionally trained technicians come to their house.  For review, here’s the “what you can expect” script again:

CSR: Let me share what to expect during our visit to your home today. I’ll be sending you a fully trained technician in a truck loaded with thousands of parts so he can do the repair then and there rather than go back and forth to the parts supplier on your dime.  When he gets to your home he’s going to do a complete diagnostic to find out the source of the problem as well as a free safety inspection of your entire system.

Then he’s going to sit down with you and share your options and give you a “you choose” price, right down to the penny BEFORE any work is done, that way you can choose what is the best option for your home. Now to get our fully trained technician in his truck loaded with thousands of parts to your home, we charge a small diagnostic fee of only $99.00. Work is payable upon completion. We take VISA, MasterCard, Cash or Email Money Transfer. Can I make a not of how you will be taking care of that?”

Now you’re going to probably get some objections and they are:

  • Why do I have to pay a diagnostic fee, I already know what the problem is.
  • Joe’s plumbing doesn’t charge a diagnostic fee.
  • What? $99 just to come out to my house?

The best approach when overcoming these objections is to pretend they didn’t hear you. That’s right. Assume they didn’t hear a word you just said and re-read the entire script to the customer but at the end of the script you need to add the following words, “That’s correct, there is a diagnostic fee to send our fully trained technician to your house.”

You will often get one of the aforementioned objections again and the reason you are getting them is that your Chuck in a Truck, Dan in a Van, Cheap Charlie competitors don’t charge a diagnostic fee and the customer can’t understand why you do.  And here’s how you respond:

Why do I have to pay a diagnostic fee, I already know what the problem is.

CSR – I understand that you believe you know what the problem is however to properly diagnose the today’s repair, we still need to have our fully trained and licensed technician identify the cause of the problem. Often there is an underlying reason for the breakdown that only a fully trained technician would be aware of. But don’t you think that $99 is a small price to pay for a fully trained technician in a fully stocked truck loaded with thousands of parts where he can do the repair immediately saving you time and money? I have an opening at 1:oo PM today. Would you like to book the call?


Joe’s Plumbing Doesn’t Charge a Diagnostic fee!

CSR – I wonder why they would come out to your house for free, I mean nobody works for free, do they? (Pause for five seconds. Let that sink in with your customer.) Maybe they’re desperate for the work but probably they have buried their diagnostic fee into their pricing. At ABC Heating and Air, we are up front with all our pricing so our customers can make an informed choice. I have an opening available today at 1:00 PM. Would you like to book the call?


What? $99 just to come out to my house?

I understand your frustration and I’ve put your call on immediate priority. These kinds of breakdowns happen when we least expect it and I know how you feel. We’re sending a fully trained technician in a truck stocked with thousands of parts so he can repair the issue right then and there. I have an opening at 1:00 PM and when my technician arrives he can show you how to get that diagnostic fee reduced for today’s repair. Would you like to book that call?

It’s all about having a structured process in place. Don’t be afraid of charging a diagnostic fee. Remember, what matters most to people is time … not money. How soon can you get to the house? What’s going to happen when you get here? I just want this problem fixed!

Build the value. Show them how you’re different and better! Now go have a profitable Wednesday!