The lawn care business is all about customer service. Your workers know doubt have the perception that all you do is cut grass. But in reality you are creating an environment for a home or business. You don't "work for" that lawn or green space that you work on. You work for a customer and the satisfaction of that customer is what will determine if you will be working on that lawn one time or if you have landed a long term customer who will use you for a wide variety of projects.
The lawn care business thrives on customer service. And as the owner of that lawn care business, it is you who has direct contact with the customer. In a way, you have two skills. You must be a master of yard care to guide your workers to do a professional job on each yard. But you also must be a master of customer relations and even psychology to understand the customer and to find out what you can do to make that customer happy.
Part of great customer service means giving your customers ample opportunity to stay in touch with you. That means if they need to call you to reschedule their yard care appointment, to ask a question or even to complain, they don't get put through a phone answering system that sends them to a recording. Give them your cell phone number and no matter where you are, answer that phone. You might even have a cell phone you carry at all times that is only for customers to use to get in touch with you. This might change when you have thousands of customers. But most lawn care services are very local and you know your customers well. Let them get to you so you can answer their concerns instantaneously.
Instruct your workers to also have a customer service mentality. If they are working at a site and the customer comes out to talk to them, they should stop working and talk to that customer. If a sweet grandma wants to bring them lemonade, drink it! When you go onto a person's property every week, you become a trusted part of the home. So behave like you are part of the family and that bond with the customer will serve you well.
Also be on the alert for anything you can do for the customer that is above and beyond the call of duty. Never miss a chance to do something for free for customers that you are building a long term relationship with. It may be no more than cleaning up a mess around the trash cans or nailing a few boards up on their back fence to keep the dog in. Those little acts of generosity will endear you the customer and build that sense of trust that results in long term customers who recommend you to friends and neighbors alike.
In every way behave like a guest when you are on the property of a customer. Don't smoke or allow your workers to smoke in presence of a customer and above all, don't throw the butts on the ground. Dress like professionals and have in a civilized manner even when working on the lawn of your customers. Don't embarrass your customer to his or her neighbors. Every minute you are working at a customer site, people are watching from the other homes in the neighborhood and they can see the sign on your trucks identifying your lawn care service. Be aware of those eyes and use the time you are working to present a professional image to onlookers. Those hidden watchers may be evaluating you to use for their lawn care service too.
Maintain scrupulous behavior standards for your workers when at a customer site. You should clean up after yourself and leave the site looking immaculate when you are finished. When the job is done, go to the door and thank the customer for the chance to work for them. As you depart with a cheerful, "see you next week", you build relationship and expectation that you will be back when needed to knock the customer's socks off with outstanding customer service once again.
Lawrence L. Hoyle, author, 54 years in the Landscape Profession. Check out his main website at: http://www.web-landscape-design-ideas.com. This website has free Landscape help for Do-It-Yourselves and a online Landscape Design Services for Homeowners, Landscape Contractors, Real Estate Professionals and Home Builders. Designs online since 2003 with designs in 40 states. Get your new Landscape Design today!
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