Guide to Trades Service Reminders (+Free Templates)

November 28, 2023 | Read: 13 minutes

service reminder guide

A great service reminder can be the difference between winning and losing recurring work.

After all, reminding customers an inspection is due and staying top-of-mind when they need additional services is how you build a thriving business.

Luckily, it all comes down to sending a better reminder than your competition.

Let’s get started…

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What are Service Reminders for Trades?

Service reminders are messages sent to customers to prompt them to book an inspection, maintenance, or service appointment. 

Service reminders can benefit trade businesses by boosting the number of returning customers, appointments booked, and revenue. 

They’re perfect for customers with recurring maintenance agreements and service reminders are a great way to show customers you want the best for their appliances. 

The best service reminder management platforms allow users to create custom message templates for each service they offer and send reminders out automatically. 

Why are Reminders Important for Your Customer Experiences?

Reminders should be a cornerstone of your services. After all, providing great customer experiences makes it easier to win repeat business.

You may fear you’re annoying customers with emails or texts reminding them to have their wiring installation or HVAC unit inspected. 

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However, you’re doing customers a favor! Without your reminders, they may wind up with no electricity or heat in the middle of winter, end up with expired safety certificates, or worse.

Now that you know the importance of service reminders, let’s review a few of the basics when deciding how to send them.

When to Send a Service Reminder

It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of timeliness in a service reminder guide. 

Ultimately, being the first to inform customers of an upcoming service, means you’ll be far less likely to miss out on their business.

This means you need to establish dependable service reminder workflows internally. 

But there’s an important balance to strike: service reminders need to be sent early to allow your customers to make a decision and get back to you, but you also need to ensure you’ll be available for the work order. 

If you’re struggling with this, a job management platform can help your team expertly handle any scheduling challenges your team faces!

The best time to send a service reminder depends on your business, but a good rule of thumb is to send out reminders around a month before they’re due. 

Recurring services shouldn’t come as a surprise to the customer, so a reasonable heads-up is to be expected. 

Be sure to establish a process to ensure you send reminders regularly, at the same time each month for example, to guarantee you don’t forget any!

Send a reminder too early and the customer is likely to ignore it; send it too late and the customer might already be in contact with your competitors. 

Did we pique your interest? Keep reading our service reminder guide to discover more!

Service reminders can be a good marketing tool to generate additional revenue throughout the yearDiscover these tips for re-booking customers!

What to Include in Your Service Reminders

Whether your field service company works across different industries, like plumbing, electrical, or HVAC, or works for different customer types like commercial or residential, having a basic service reminder template is a great place to start (these can later be customized based on the needs of specific customers).

Your service reminder message can be as short as a few sentences. What’s most important is that you highlight the information that grabs their attention and persuades them to choose your team again.

In fact, a study by the email marketing company Boomerang found that messages written at a third-grade reading level get the best response, and the sweet spot for email length is between 50 and 125 words.

Here are the must-have components for your next service reminder message.

Service Details

Your customer might have only worked with your customer once before. Use this as an opportunity to recap what your team installed, serviced, or inspected, and why they should book a maintenance appointment with your team.

For any customer you reach out to, it’s important to specify which appliance (if any) you’re referring to, and which service your team will perform. This is especially useful for customers with multiple properties.

Company Information & Contact Options

If a customer has worked with you once before, to have an appliance installed, for example, it’s important to know they don’t necessarily have to work with you again. 

Providing your company information can serve as a great reminder. Reestablishing and building trust is crucial; you can write about why your team is the go-to option for the task.

If this is a reminder for a regular customer, your company details and contact information won’t be necessary.

In both scenarios, be sure to clarify the action you want your customer to take, like whether you prefer customers should call or email for example. 

Or, some of the best service reminder software offer the ability for customers to digitally book appointments from a link within their service reminder message. 

This self-service solution frees up admin tasks while empowering customers to request jobs outside of regular hours, or when they don’t want to make a phone call.

HVAC software with service reminders portal

Pricing and Payment Information

If you offer flat-rate prices that can set your team apart from competitors, including them in service reminders can compel price shoppers to choose you. 

In the same light, clarifying any financing options or discounts you provide can be extremely helpful.

If the customer has a service contract with your company and has a complimentary inspection appointment, for example, use this message to remind them! They’ll appreciate you being proactive about maintaining their appliances.

Links to Resources

One of the key purposes of service reminders is to win your team more return business. 

Including concrete examples within your messages can encourage customers to take the initiative and book preventative maintenance appointments with your team.

For example, you can share a tidbit such as “regular electrical generator inspections can prevent pricey issues like low coolant or oil, clogged lines, or wiring issues”. 

Further, you can provide information about their appliance and the benefits of annual service appointments.

Service reminders email

Personalizing Reminders Based on Customer and Job Types

Creating multiple service reminder templates saves time in the long run. To start, we recommend beginning with one for commercial building managers and landlords, and one for residential customers.

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Why spend hours trying to write an amazing reminder when it’s just a click away?

After all, regular interactions are instrumental to maintaining healthy customer relationships. This practice will also keep your business at the forefront of a customer’s mind for both services and repairs.

Residential Customers

Residential customers are not under the same legal obligations as commercial clients. 

Therefore, you should structure their service reminders as well-meaning advice. Use your template text to remind them of the benefits of regular annual services and guide them toward making an informed decision.

Promoting your business is crucial. Depending on the service in question, your B2C customers may have many service providers to choose from. 

There are many ways to differentiate your company, as such timely reminders, flexible payment options, and sharing resources, as we’ve covered earlier.

Working with B2B2C clients can be challenging. Using a service reminder platform that allows you to customize whether messages will be sent to landlords, property management, tenants, or all, is a great way to stand apart from competitors and provide excellent communication.

Commercial Customers

Property managers will need a service reminder that details each of the properties that need to be tended to and the required services. 

As these services are a legal requirement, this reminder is more of a notification rather than a sales pitch.

While the general service options can vary, the main difference between your residential and commercial service reminders is how you phrase the copy in your message.

Commercial clients want to work with trustworthy and speedy, service providers that don’t come with complications. 

Service reminder software can help your admins customize which decision-maker will receive the reminder message.

Jobs with Contracts

Service contracts or agreements are legally binding documents that outline the timeline of the specific services your business will provide to a client.

Your customers are busy, and depending on the length of time between appointments, some of them may forget they have a contract with your business. 

Further, with so many recurring contracts to manage, it’s all too easy for details to slip through the cracks. That’s where automated service reminders come in handy; everyone receives the updates they need when they need them.

Use your reminder message to clarify important terms of your agreement, stipulate when the service should be booked, and remind customers whether the service is included in their contract or not. 

Other Considerations When Sending Reminders

Change Your Tone of Voice

This wouldn’t make for a great service reminder guide if we didn’t recommend practicing your tone of voice. 

Don’t simply send the same information for every type of reminder. Minor adjustments to the wording you use can make an impact on how well and how quickly the customer responds.

It’s largely a matter of your tone of voice. You would not use the same words or tone when addressing an elderly homeowner–who you might know personally–as you would when addressing the facilities manager of a five-star hotel.

A method that marketers often use (remember, a service reminder is also a marketing tool!) is to picture the customer while writing/editing the reminder. What sort of marketing message would get you to select a service?

This way, you strike the right balance between professionalism, attention to detail, and friendliness. And that’s the sort of personal customer care that gets you positive reviews

Understand the Urgency

It is a good idea to introduce a note of urgency in your service reminder but do this with a lightness of touch. 

For example, you can rely on warranties to help persuade residential customers to do a routine inspection on their electrical installation–since appliance manufacturers often provide warranties that only remain valid if the setup receives an annual service.

If the customer is a property manager or planning to rent out the property, you might refer to the fact that a regular service record is important when putting a house on the market. 

Likewise, you can mention that inspection forms might be required in the event of an insurance claim. The phrase “peace of mind” often comes in handy here!

Use Promotional Offers Wisely

Remember, every contact with a customer is a potential sales opportunity, and that includes service reminders! 

Supposing the majority of your work happens in the busy summer months, you might want to offer a seasonal discount on winter services. 

Or, if your service record shows that an installation is coming to the end of its warranty period, you should offer additional coverage or a replacement deal.

Utilize the Word ‘Remember’

Remember the word “remember.” 

Adding this important word to the subject line of your email (or the beginning of your letter or SMS reminder) separates your helpful reminder from the marketing messages and junk mail bombarding your customers.

Also, the positive “remember” is more effective than “don’t forget” in getting people to actually, well… remember!

Start With a Friendly Greeting

Your service reminders should always open with an acknowledgment of who you’re reaching out to. Simply addressing them by their name is an easy way to improve customer care.

Opening your emails with “Dear Toby” instead of leaping into the reminder prevents customers from thinking it’s a mass (read: spam) email, according to an article in Fast Company.

Be Direct

Always assume your customers are short on time. Just like you, they have a lot to handle each day. DJ Waldow, in his Entrepreneur article ‘The Keys to Writing Reminder Emails That Work’, says it best:

‘There is a time and a place for long, creative, cutesy copy. Reminder emails are not one of them. Focus on short, clear, and concise copy. No fluff. Don’t mince words. Tell your subscribers why you are emailing them and direct them to the call to action.’

Be sure to end your message with a clear call to action that makes it easy for customers to do what they need to do. For example, include a highly visible link for them to click and schedule their service appointment, or ask them to call your (also highly visible) number to set it up.

What if Your Customer Doesn’t Respond?

If you send a service reminder and don’t receive a timely reply, don’t panic! A clear follow-up process makes service reminders less stressful.

On average, only 21.77% of emails sent from field service businesses get opened. Don’t assume that no response automatically means they aren’t interested in getting that service booked in.

Job management software can automate customer follow-ups. It can even send a different email to contact those who haven’t interacted with the first message. This way, your team can devote more time to higher-value tasks, such as following up with a phone call.

You’re much more likely to get in touch with customers over the phone. use this conversation to discuss the work they need done, stress the urgency of the appointment, and provide more information about how your work can prevent costly issues in the future.

If your customer doesn’t reply to repeated reminder messages and phone calls, it’s time to stop reaching out. They might reach out to your team if their appliance breaks.

Using Software to Automate Your Appointment Reminders

With Commusoft’s Service Reminders solution, you can send reminders on a schedule that works for you (since not all services are annual). With customization at the center, Commusoft clients build and utilize different email and letter templates for each customer and service type.

Commusoft reminders are always consistent with your business’s style, meaning you can provide expert customer care every time!

Learn more about Commusoft’s Service Reminders here!

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Originally by Cristina Maria. This content has been updated with the latest advice!

When I'm not writing about the best digital solutions for trades businesses, I'm either playing with my three dogs, or baking sweet treats!

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