How to keep your lawn care customers happy, even on bad days.
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Owning your own lawn care business means that you need to focus on the satisfaction of your customers regardless of the kind of day you are having yourself. I know this can be tough when things are going wrong and you end up dealing with an unhappy customer. However, you need to keep in mind that the success of your business ultimately depends on happy customers. In this article, I am going to talk about some tips and strategies that will keep your lawn care customers happy even when you are having a rough day.
Keep your lawn care customers happy
The first step to customer loyalty is taking the time to understand what your customer actually wants. Every customer is different so it’s not a one size fits all situation. The best way to find out what your clients want is by building a relationship that helps establish trust and keeps them coming back year after year. This wall starts with talking to the customer actively listening to what they are saying and establishing that your business is a good fit for them.
One of the biggest issues I hear from customers inquiring about our service is definitely reliability. Their current lawn care operator either fails to turn up when expected or fails to fulfil promises. This kind of behaviour can lead to a negative customer experience and eventually result in the customer looking elsewhere.
Knowing what makes a customer leave and implementing the strategies outlined in this article will help you offer an outstanding customer service experience and build a thriving business.
- You need to actively listen to your customers and understand exactly what they want
- Communication is king and is what is needed to build good relationships with your customers.
- When you say you are going to be there. TURN UP
- When you say you are going to do something. DO IT
Understanding Lawn Care Customers
When you have your own lawn care business you need to take some time to understand your customers. Every one of them is different and they are relying on you to keep their lawns looking good. Remember that this is where your money comes from and giving great customer service will help you maintain a steady flow of customers.
Like all good relationships, your customer relationship is built on trust. Trust is not something that happens overnight, it is slowly built up over time by providing a high-quality dependable service. Be honest with your customers, if they ask you to do a job that you cannot do tell them and put them in touch with someone who can. Doing this will help set realistic expectations and avoid misunderstandings.
One of the most important things required in building trust is active listening. When you are speaking to customers take some time to understand exactly what they are asking for. Ask them questions if you are uncertain. Not only will this help you deliver a better service, but it also shows the customer that you pay attention and are hearing what the customer is saying
The formula to get satisfied customers is quite simple really.
- Show up on time
- Complete the job as promised
- Follow up if needed
Doing this on every job will show that you are constant and reliable. This will also give your business a great reputation, increase customer satisfaction and keep those customers coming back
- To build a successful business you need to understand your customer
- Build trust by providing a consistent and reliable service
- When you are having a bad day. DONT TELL YOUR CUSTOMER.
Delivering High-Quality Lawn Care Services
As an owner of a lawn care business, I understand the need to go the extra mile and deliver a high-quality job is critical. A good job makes customers happy and in order to deliver that I follow the best practices in the industry.
One thing that is extremely important in delivering a high-quality finish is making sure that we use good equipment. We invest in quality equipment so you can deliver the service that makes the customer want to stick with us.
One of the best ways to deliver a great service is to pay attention to detail. We do all edges every time, cut the lawn at the right height and take the grass away. We also do little things like running over small unused gardens with the trimmer and trimming small branches that get in the way on narrow paths. These things only take a few minutes and can go a long way towards keeping customers happy.
One example that comes to mind is an elderly lady that I met when quoting on her lawn. She had small long gardens around some of her house then a path followed by the lawn. Her last lawn care guy wouldn’t touch the gardens because they were not lawns so in his words “were not part of the job”
They may not have been part of the job but they looked horrible and now she was calling me. I quoted a price that allowed me to spend less than five minutes a visit with a trimmer running around those gardens. She was paying me a bit more and everyone was happy. Except for the guy who didn’t think it was his job. Well, I guess he was right in a way, it’s definitely not his job now.
- Do a nice job
- Use decent equipment
- Pay attention to detail.
Maintaining Effective Communication
I understand that one of the most important things (after a great job) from a customer’s point of view is communication. Sometimes things dont go as planned and if you make it a habit of always keeping your customers in the loop so they know what is going on then this will help build the customer relationship even further. These are the methods that have worked best for me.
In Person Communication
One of the best times to get feedback from your customers is when you are doing the job. If the customer comes over to talk, it is probably because they have something on their mind. Talk to them, and find out what their concerns are. If they ask you to do something like “Can you cut the lawn a bit shorter” or “Can you trim this bit more with the edger” then say sure and make a note of it on the job sheet as soon as you get back to the vehicle.
When I started mowing lawns in the nineties, the high-end businesses had pagers and that was as good as it got. We didn’t even have email back then. If something went wrong we had to ring the customer to keep them informed.
Nowadays with texting and email, there is no excuse not to keep the customer in the loop. If we have a breakdown and run out of time to mow the last couple of lawns then we text them and we don’t stop there. We text for everything. We have a generic text on autopilot that goes out to some customers the night before we visit. Not every customer gets one of these. Only the ones who have to unlock a gate, move a car or pick up dog poo.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when dealing with lawn care customers?
As you probably know, it’s not always going to be plain sailing. No matter how well you plan sometimes things will go wrong and when this happens it is better to have a plan. Sometimes when something goes wrong you can turn it into a positive experience and gain an advocate for life.
Dealing with Accidents and Mistakes
From time to time accidents will happen. If you accidentally break a window or damage something then dont ignore it and hope they dont notice. Time is of the essence and you should let the customer know ASAP. You want to tell the customer BEFORE they notice it themselves. You dont want angry lawn care clients and you have worked hard to get those good Google reviews let’s keep it that way.
Dont make excuses or try to shift the blame. Take full responsibility and then tell the customer how you are going to make it right. When you have made it right then why not give them a gift card too to make up for any inconvenience? The customer will respect your honesty and not only will they stick around, they will probably start recommending your lawn care company to their friends.
How can I ensure customer satisfaction even when I’m having a bad day?
Remember that the customer has no idea what kind of day you are having and vice versa. Always be professional and never complain to your customers about anything (except perhaps the weather). They are not there to listen to your problems and you are there to provide a professional service. Keep it simple.
Strategies for Customer Retention
Customer retention is a must for a lawn care business. Even if you are picking up lots of work, you can’t have it dropping off the other end. Building a good business requires your customers to stick around. These are some of the techniques we use in our business.
1. Provide Excellent Customer Service
Make sure that every job you do is your best work. Dont cut corners as the customers will eventually notice. If you are leaving a job and you notice that all the grass from the blower ended up where your vehicle was parked, then stop and fix it. Dont just ignore it and carry on.
The same goes for bits of grass that may have been missed or anything else that you might notice when leaving the property.
It also doesn’t hurt to go the extra mile sometimes. If a small branch hits your vehicle every time you go down the drive then trim it with your loppers before it becomes an issue. If there is something that can be done in a few minutes that will make a big difference then go ahead and do it.
Smile and wave when you see the customer, you need to genuinely like your customers.
Doing this will get you lots of good customer reviews and also get you jobs via Word-of-mouth
2. Do what you say you are going to do.
This one is pretty simple really.
- Turn up on time. If you are ever going to be late then let the customer know.
- Keep your promises
- Prioritize the customer. If your phone rings when you are talking to a customer then ignore the phone. Let it go to voicemail and retrieve the message when you get back to the vehicle.
let the customer know that their custom is valued. This used to be known as good old-fashioned customer service. It’s a bit sad that you can stand out in today’s world by doing something common fifty years ago.
3. If the customer asks you about a service you dont provide do your best to get it done.
A lot of your customers will assume that because you mow lawns you must also do gardening, trees and other small jobs around the property. If you dont offer these other services dont tell the customer that you cannot help them. Not only is this unhelpful but the customer might decide to look elsewhere.
The next thing you know the customer is firing you because he has found someone prepared to do both the lawns and garden. Now you have lost control of the job.
The best way to keep your customers happy is to get someone that you know who does that work to contact them. This will require you to have a few names of different businesses in your contacts and I talk more about how to do that here. Now you have solved the customer’s problem and kept the job in-house. It’s a win-win.
To sum up, keeping customers happy must be your number one goal to succeed with your own lawn care business. A business with happy customers will keep growing.
Always be on the lookout for little things you can do to make customers feel valued. Be reliable and never do a substandard job. Admit when mistakes are made and dont argue with customers.
Smile and wave when you see your customers because it doesn’t matter what kind of day you are having. Your customer may be having a worse day and that smile and wave could make all the difference.
Remember a smile breeds a smile and everyone feels the better for it.
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