Service Agreements

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike & Lucia, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. Mike & Lucia

    Mike & Lucia LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Gents (and ladies if you're out there),
    Many of my clients have reached the end of the service I include with system installations. I have received great feedback from folks who are interested in signing up for continuing service plans. I've done a bunch of reading and research. Approached this from many angles and still don't have a plan. Service is definitely a potential profit center I don't want to pass up.

    Some thoughts:
    Group re-lamping, how often, how much $
    Annual set-fee contract, no labor or parts unless physical damage
    Per service call flat rate charge

    Also, how do you handle clients who insist on changing bulbs themselves?

    Please share anything you've done that works, or hasn't worked. And pricing methodologies, not necessarily numbers. Do you set prices by the transformer, by the fixture, by the period?

    Looking forward to exchanging some solid ideas on this topic. This is the type of thing that sets us head-and-shoulders above the guy who "throws in some lights".

    Thanks, Mike
  2. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    Hello Mike,

    Service agreements are a great add on service to offer your clients. This is what I do.
    About 60 days prior to the expiration of my warranty, I send my client a service contract that tells them that I will:
    change all lamps
    clean all lenses and fixtures
    adjust fixtures as needed
    check wire on trees and adjust as needed
    check transformer (tighten lugs and add corrosion inhibitor if needed)
    trim any vegetation that might be interfering with the lighting effect
    repair any problems in the system
    I explain that just like any other quality system of the home (A/C, water heater) it requires annual maintenance.

    I figure out how long it will take to complete the job (with travel). What lamps I will use and how much I will charge for them. What other overhead I have in the job (cleaning products, rags, corrosion inhibitor) and give a price for the whole thing.

    I ask them, that if they find the agreement acceptable, please sign it and include a check for the amount specified.

    I also continue the warranty on the system as long as it is under my maintenance plan.

    For clients who want to change lamps themselves, I will sell them the lamps and explain that the warranty will expire. I also remind them, if there are fixtures in the trees, it's a long way down.

    I hope this is helpful.
  3. Mike & Lucia

    Mike & Lucia LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Thanks for the info, Paul. Looking forward to input from others as well.

    Do you mind if I 'borrow' your point about the tree lights? Love it!

  4. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    No problem. Good luck.
  5. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    Anyone else with thoughts regarding this topic? This is something everyone should be doing.
  6. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    Paul, I have a question, can you take a basic job you would install...nothing fancy..uplighitng, some tree lights, pathlights etc. what would you charge for a maintenance contract. As I have told you, I have had no success with contracts up here...I don't know if it's the $$$. The last one I can remember presenting a contract on was 3 visits...doing pretty much what you typed above. Replacing all lamps once during that year...probably 50 lamps..assortment of mr 16's, loq's,wedgebase,single contact bayonet,and yes you know my favorite the par 36's. I would say more par 36's than anything else. I think that was around 1200.00
  7. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    I charge $65 per man hr, one hr minimum. There are usually 2 men on the job. I charge retail prices for my lamps. If it is a very large project, like you described, I might give a little break on the cost of lamps. Those par lamps are expensive!! I would say that your price is pretty much right on the head.

    Most of my projects have some moon lighting. If I put fixtures 30' in a tree, the client is probably going to buy that service contract.
  8. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 324

    There is one you can download from the Cast website. That is basically what I do but also have not been real successful yet with every client on yearly service agreements.

    Sam IV
  9. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    Here ya go Mike, let's bump this back up to the front page.
  10. Mike & Lucia

    Mike & Lucia LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Thanks for the ol' college try, Paul. But I have a feeling there are more questions than answers on this issue. I'm going to get my draft done this week, come hell or highwater. Mind if I email it to you for some feedback?


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