Since 2006, there has been an energy efficiency tax credit that homeowners in the US can take advantage of. This credit expired on December 31, 2011 - end of me having to print out 7 pages of information to stuff into each customer's packet of stuff to keep. Packets include: an invoice, a warranty card, a completion certificate, and 5 pages of info for the tax credit. I even have tax credit information broken down with a cover page - said cover page tells you everything you will need to know including what the gov't wants to see. Now, this tax credit has been renewed retroactively to cover 2012... as of January 2, 2013. Did you see what I just did there? Yes, this credit was not talked about, not in effect, not even in the foreseeable future beyond 2011. It just magically reinstated when the last bill vote went through not even 2 weeks ago.
So now, I need to let all customers from 2012 know that they qualify and also give them product specific information. This is over 100 jobs - some jobs were doors, some windows, some siding, and a few "other" type jobs. All require different backup paperwork. I should say that I am in no way legally obligated to let anyone know there are credits available - but we have been in business for over 20 years and customer service is what we are known for, so I feel I should.
Here is the biggest problem I face: how to let everyone know without indirectly pissing them off. I recently let last week's customer know that they now qualify and they are able to take a tax credit, but it must be for the year 2013, because that's when we put it in.
I was then treated to a 25 minute "discussion" on "how we are pissing money away" and "why didn't I tell them sooner" and "how did I not know!" This was customer #1 - how am I going to explain this to customers so I don't look dumb and so that I don't get yelled at?
My vote is a postcard in the mail directing them to our website with an entire page devoted just to tax credit information. With simple 1, 2, 3 instructions. But, not all of our customers have internet access, in fact a lot of them don't - I'd say around 40%. I live in the woods, city people, where cable just don't cross the highway because there are only 6 houses for 10 miles of road and only a few farmers carry their Nokias out into the field.
Either way, I feel slightly sick this morning. This is a lot of work, a lot of printing, and a lot of explaining. Are there any canned speeches I can say to diffuse people? Anyone? Help? Ideas?
PS: My boss is out of the country for another 3 weeks! So no big guy to back me up and take problem customers off my hands.