In the lawn care and landscape industry, some degree of customer turnover is a fact of life. But did you know it can cost 5 times as much to attract a new customer as it costs to keep an existing one happy? In an industry with a great deal of competition and frequent newcomers, customer loyalty is paramount to maintaining a thriving business.
If you’re looking to increase customer loyalty in your lawn care business, here are 5 ways you can begin.
Establish Customer-Centricity in Company Culture
If the long-term vision is to build customer loyalty for your lawn care or landscaping business, start with forward-thinking leadership, a great company culture, and a customer-centric business strategy.
- Your company culture is the beliefs, processes, and ways that you do business that determine what the customer sees and experiences.
- A customer-centric business strategy puts the customer first; all business processes focus on positive customer experiences and building long-term relationships.
A customer-centric culture begins with company leaders establishing clear values and expectations for delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Get Employees Invested in Customer Loyalty
Service technicians are the face of your company and its culture. Empower these representatives by training them in methods to create lasting customer bonds and to deliver the level of service you’re striving for. To accomplish this, start with these steps:
- Set policies for customer interactions and be sure that all customer-facing employees understand how they factor into the customer-centric mission. Let them know what’s expected of them, and how they’ll be measured and held accountable.
- Evaluate employees consistently and establish benchmarks to build upon as you work toward a fully customer-centric culture and workforce. Consider the impression you’d like customers to have of your company, then train employees accordingly.
- Take care of your technicians and make sure that safety standards, business operations, and company culture reflect how much you value them. Happier, healthier employees are more likely to go above and beyond for customers, supporting your goal of customer-centricity from the field.
Build Trust in Your Lawn Care Brand
You’ve heard it before: trust is earned. One sure way to establish trust is through consistency with technicians, frequency and quality of service, and communication.
- Assign the same technicians to the same customers each time so they can build rapport with customers and monitor brand sentiment. A customer that has a relationship with a lawncare technician is less likely to end service than when they don’t have a name or face representing the company.
- Earn customer trust by delivering on your promises; show up on time and perform services with the same high level of care each visit. Own up to mistakes or missed appointments right away.
- Communicate frequently. It’s vital to communicate any service changes or if service will be performed late. Touch base seasonally; for example, if you’ll decrease service frequency as summer heat and sun slows growth.
- Be proactive. Handle potential issues before they become problems.
Nurture Customer Relationships
Great relationships aren’t built overnight. Like a lush green lawn, a good relationship requires you to invest time, effort, and care. Nurturing long-term relationships is an effort worth making, as most companies get 80% of their revenue from 20% of their customers. Begin nurturing loyal customers by following these guidelines:
- Get to know your customers and their individual needs and goals. While one customer may want you to find ways to save them money, one may want VIP-level service.
- Set clear expectations for the scope of services from the beginning, then deliver on those expectations, and when you can, deliver more.
- Look for ways to add value for each customer. If you notice a small task that you can handle, offer to take care of it for them. This kind of goodwill will go a long way in building a loyal customer base.
- Inform and educate customers about lawn care via fliers or pamphlets. It’s another outlet for communicating with customers while providing added value as a trusted advisor. For example, information about treatments you’ve applied during a visit, like fertilizer; or tips and tricks for preparing outdoor plants for winter.
Support Customer Retention & Loyalty
Explore simple ways to retain, nourish, and reward your loyal customers with initiatives like:
- Auto-Renewing Contracts or Subscriptions
- Service Bundles
- Loyalty Programs
- Pre-Pay Discounts
- Referral Programs
Long-term customers are better customers. Show them how much you value them and they’ll refer more business, provide more profits over time, buy more services, and pay less attention to discounted pricing from competitors.
Begin increasing customer loyalty for your lawn care business by implementing the 5 suggestions discussed here and you’ll be richly rewarded.