Lawn care business owners know that a common customer concern is the use of chemicals on their lawn, specially with regards to their children and pets. Addressing any concerns head on with clear, honest, and easy-to-understand information will not only help you gain your customers’ trust but alleviate the concerns they have.
Here are some important tips when talking to your concerned customers:
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
Effective communication is absolutely critical when getting to the root of any problem. When it comes to chemical use, there are several reasons your customers may be feeling concerned, and you must understand what is driving those concerns in order to address them. In many cases, a customer’s concerns may be based on myths, or misconceptions that they’ve heard rather than rooted in science.
Talk to your customers and find out what is behind their concern. Ask:
- Is it environmental?
- Is it safety?
- Is it about how the lawn will respond?
Most likely, their worries are based on one of those three main issues. Once you understand whether it’s one primary concern or a combination, you can begin to address it.
Address the Concerns
When addressing your customers’ concerns, it is important to provide an educated answer. Therefore, you must consider who will be talking to the customers and whether they are qualified to answer questions. Whether it’s a lawn care technician, the salesperson in the office, or yourself, everyone must be educated on the issues that customers will ask about.
Let’s take a look at each of these common concerns.
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to the impact of fertilizer on the environment, and the majority of these concerns are not rooted in science. Science shows that when fertilizer is applied properly to grass, that’s where it stays. Make sure to explain to customers that responsible companies, like yours, clean up any product that may have gone on the sidewalk during application.
While some customers may be concerned about runoff, science also shows that healthy fertilized grass actually reduces runoff. According to an Environmental Protection Agency report, dense vegetative cover of turfgrass will ultimately reduce pollution and runoff by providing a natural buffer.
If your customer’s concern has more to do with their family’s health and safety then it’s important to focus on how your company sets a precedent for safe and responsible lawn care.
Explain how you utilize signage to indicate when you’ve applied product and that you are always available to answer questions and to communicate with customers about their concerns. Also, be sure to inform your customers that your technicians are certified and well-trained, as this isn’t always the case with smaller, fly-by-night operations.
In addition, if part of your lawn care program includes insect control for pests such as ticks, be sure to also explain how these types of treatments will ultimately keep their pets and children safer, as reports of Lyme disease and other insect-borne diseases are still on the rise.
If your customer’s main concern has to do with a fear that you’ll harm their lawn in some way, it’s important that you inform them of your technicians’ abilities. Make sure the customer knows that all of your techs are well-trained and 100% competent. How your techs conduct themselves on site—whether it be with wearing a uniform, cleaning up when they’re done, or being polite and courteous to customers and their property—also goes a long way in earning people’s trust.
An Organic Offering
There has been some growing interest in organic fertilization programs. If this is something that you offer, educate customers on the option. Help them understand the differences between a more conventional route and an organic fertilization program so that they can make an educated decision.
While customers do like the idea of fewer chemicals on their lawn, they must be educated up front that an organic program is simply not as effective. While the organic products on the market are improving, there are typically still weeds that break through and require hand-pulling. Customers must also be made aware that these products are much more expensive.
At the end of the day, the more you can educate your customer, the better you’re able to position yourself as a company that is well-informed and conducts itself with the highest integrity.
The most important thing you can do when talking to your customers who are concerned about the use of chemicals on their lawn is get to the root of their concerns or the reasons behind them. Most concerns surface from misinformation and not being educated on the subject. As the subject matter expert, you can alleviate your customers concerns with good, effective communication - and open communication also goes a long way toward building trust and an ongoing relationship with your customers.