The foundation of any strong relationship begins with trust. When it comes to building trust with your customers, communication is key. Educating your customers on their potential lawn care issues is a great way to build rapport and trust. The way in which you communicate these issues however is important. If you fail to in a timely or effective manner, you may actually damage that relationship and do more harm than good.
Here are some tips for educating your customers on their potential lawn care issues:
When It’s a Simple Issue
Lawn care issues that are easy to fix, like a small dry patch, are issues that are fine to address via a quick email or a written note. Your crew should inform the customer of the issue and how it was handled. Furthermore, if there was an issue that couldn’t be resolved, why it couldn’t be fixed and how you plan on fixing it should be communicated.
Bear in mind that customers do appreciate personalized notes. If it reads like a generic form letter that everyone else in the neighborhood received, it doesn’t do much to open the lines of communication or build that trust. It’s not only a missed opportunity, but customers may even be inclined to overlook the note altogether. Even if it’s only a sentence, try to add something specific to the note that addresses that customer’s property individually.
A note or an email isn’t always appropriate but would work in these circumstances:
- When the issue is simple enough to write out in a note
- When the issue is easy enough for the customer to understand without a verbal explanation
- When a customer isn’t home and you are communicating that you need to talk to him or her as soon as possible regarding a lawn care issue
Even if it’s a small issue and you already resolved it on the spot, take the opportunity to communicate that information to your customer. Those are the kinds of situations that help you build value and that make you irreplaceable in the customer’s eyes.
When It’s a Complex Issue
If the lawn care issue is more serious, such as the emergence of a turf disease or a pest problem, it’s important that you help your customers understand these concerns with a verbal explanation. Education plays a vital role in getting your customers on board with a solution. It also plays a big role in helping your customers understand why lawn care treatments cost what they do. Once they understand the critical importance of good soil health, they’re willing to pay more for quality service that helps maintain that health.
In addition, it’s important to note that the first signs of many very destructive lawn care problems like pests and diseases aren’t noticeable to the average individual. That’s why it’s critical that you build a trusting relationship with your customers and that they look to you as the experts. There is a lot of value in your ability to point out a lawn care issue before it becomes something more serious.
Admittedly, it can be difficult to find time to talk to your customers in person. You may need to use a telephone call to take a few minutes to explain a potential issue to your customer. More and more lawn and landscape companies are taking advantage of video-chatting technology to have a quick conversation with a customer even if they can’t find time to meet in person.
Education in Advance
With education comes great opportunities for prevention. If there are certain pests or diseases that are common in your region or emerging during a particular season, make sure you educate your customers on what potential risks exist. This way, they might consider preventative treatments.
Taking the time to educate customers also positions your company as the experts in the field. That helps build a trusting relationship. Customers will turn to you for advice on what they can do to protect their lawn. They will also be more accepting of the cost that might be required to do so.
Conversely, suggesting lawn applications or specific services without an explanation will have the opposite effect. Customers will begin to think you are just trying to squeeze every penny out of them rather than offer the best service possible. It’s critical that they understand the reasoning behind the service in order to understand its value.
The Bottom Line
When all’s said and done, a lawn and landscape company is focused on providing a service. And in this service-focused industry, communication is king. Your customers want a landscaping company that’s honest, knowledgeable, and that communicates large or small concerns effectively and immediately. Make sure you keep your customers well-educated on potential concerns by regularly communicating with them because, at the end of the day, a well-informed customer is a happy one.