Service Plan Trends in Precision Agriculture

By Joanna King | January 31, 2018 Advisors

 

In a roundtable at the Precision Farming Dealer Summit, AgriSync Co-Founder and President Casey Niemann moderated the Packaging, Pricing & Promoting Service Plans roundtable. 

Precision Farming experts across many locations and specialties including sales, management, and support shared best practices they’ve learned over the years and how they are applying this knowledge in their 2018 operations. Read on to learn more about precision ag trends in service. 

What’s included in a service plan?

Many dealers included the first year service plan as a line item in the new wholegoods sale. This allows the farmer customer to have the first experience with the service plan. See examples of service plans from our partners at RDO Equipment, Johnson Tractor, and HTS Ag.

  • Exclusive offers

    • In-season priority access

  • Proactive training

    • Product use training sessions

    • Access to Precision academies and events

  • Preventative maintenance

    • In-warranty service inspections

    • Equipment walk-around and start up when equipment is delivered

  • On farm visits

    • Spring planter setup

    • Harvest combine yield monitor setup

  • Remote Support

    • Support for setup and operation questions

    • Remote support access via tools like Agrisync

    • Remote viewing of displays in field when requested for troubleshooting

  • Loaners & Warranties

    • Loaner equipment for warranty repairs beyond 48 hours

    • Service calls for warranty repairs

    • Guaranteed parts availability

Adam Gittins, Precision Ag Advisor at HTS Ag says:

“All can be rolled into service plans that provide priority access in-season. That’s one of the biggest things, when our customers need help, if they know they have a service plan, they know they’ll get special treatment. They’re going to be able to get a hold of us quicker and easier than if they don’t have a service plan.”

How do you structure your service plan cost?

For years dealers have been giving away service labor for free when it comes to precision technologies. But great customer experience doesn’t mean free. Everything in the dealership should have a price tag on it: iron, parts, service, you get it. You shouldn’t be giving away your service plans just to move iron, but should instead set the precedent that you are a service oriented dealership.

  • Tiered service plan packages with different levels of offerings

  • Service labor billed hourly

  • Billable by acreage

  • Discounts and special priority for service plan participants

Jason Pennycook, Precision Specialist at Johnson Tractor says:

"You can get to a really profitable spot providing some really great service for your customer that they’re very happy to pay for because they realize they’re getting preferential treatment.” 

How do you communicate ROI to Farmer Customers?

The roundtable attendees emphasized the importance of delivering value in the service plan, even if the customer doesn’t have a lot of problems. This allows the customer to see the value of participating in an annual service plan versus a transactional relationship.At the end of the year, you should be able to share with that customer on a per line item approach the value provided vs. what it would have cost if they had not participated in a service plan.

Jason Pennycook, Precision Specialist at Johnson Tractor says:

"With the service plans, you’re out there talking to the customer, getting more one-on-one time. The more that happens, the better relationship you’ll build and the more they’ll want to come to you to work on their equipment. When Jan. 1 rolls around and we renew all our service plans, we have the annual salaries covered for two full-time technicians in the first month of the year.”

Add value to your service plan.

Get started with your free trial of AgriSync to see why agriculture experts rely on AgriSync to better manage their time and spend more time solving issues instead of driving from farm to farm only to push a single button.

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