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How to Keep Your Lawn Care Customers Happy & Increase Your Customer Retention

You want to keep your lawn care customers happy and coming back to your business for their lawn care year after year. Customer retention is a lot tougher than it seems. Just do a good job, and they’ll re-commit again next year, right?

Well, what does “doing a good job,” really look like to your customers? To increase customer retention and keep your lawn care customers happy:

  • Focus on providing high-quality services that solve your customers’ big problems.
  • Provide the right options to suit your customers’ changing budgets.
  • Keep in touch with your customers using social media and email marketing.
  • Always respond to feedback and complaints. 
  • Make it easy (and rewarding!) for customers to refer your business

It’s all about delivering exceptional service and making your customers feel valued. Here’s how to build a lasting relationship with your customers: 

Solve Their Big Problems

Customer retention starts with a fairly simple question: Why did this customer hire your business? Not “What services were we chosen to provide,” but “What was the big problem that led this customer to find a lawn care company in the first place?”

Here are the common reasons customers choose to outsource their lawn care services and how you should solve those problems. 

1. Lack of Time:

Many customers hire lawn care services because they just don’t have the time to dedicate to lawn maintenance. For this customer, sticking to your schedule and providing consistent, reliable service is the most important factor.

Ensure their yards are well-maintained, and offer flexible scheduling options that allow them to fit your service into their life. Arrive promptly, efficiently complete the day’s service, and leave their property looking better than you found it. Attention to detail, like ensuring that gates are closed and landscape decorations are protected, will go a long way with this customer.

2. Lack of Equipment:

Some customers don’t own the tools and equipment required for proper lawn care. These could be first-time homeowners who haven’t purchased their lawncare supplies yet or elderly homeowners who can no longer operate that equipment safely.

This customer needs your help, and you have an opportunity to cross-sell or upsell services to this customer. Does the property have trees, hedges, or bushes? If these features need a trim, mention it in a visit follow-up and offer to take care of these items for an affordable price on your next visit. Consider providing small services as a courtesy to these customers: for senior customers, your extra effort will go a long way toward retention. For first-time homeowners, your extra effort could be the difference between a single-season contract and a lifelong customer. 

3. Lack of Expertise:

Lawn care and landscaping can be complex, and customers often lack the expertise needed to achieve their desired results. 

With these customers, the desire to have a beautiful landscape is probably there, but the know-how is lacking. Your company already has a team of skilled professionals with the equipment on hand, so this customer is likely to trust your recommendations for additional services. Ask this customer a lot of questions about what they want their outdoor space to look like, how they want to use it, and what they don’t like about it today. 

By understanding your customers’ real reasons for hiring you, you can address their specific problems. When their original issue is solved, renewing their contract is a no-brainer.

Cross Selling Lawn & Landscaping Services Without Overselling

Cross-selling your lawn care and landscaping services without overselling is an important skill for any business in this industry. Here are some commonly cross-sold services and tips on matching them to your customer’s original problem:

  • Lawn mowing + fertilization: Most customers who need mowed lawns also benefit from fertilization. The key is to explain the benefits of fertilization, such as promoting healthy grass growth and reducing weed growth, without pressuring the customer into purchasing the service. Make it easy for them to opt-in to this extra service, but don’t force it on them. 
  • Lawn mowing + Hedge trimming and tree pruning: Customers who need help with their lawns may also have trees, hedges, and bushes that need pruning. Explain how proper tree pruning can enhance the overall appearance and health of the yard, and offer to do this at a reasonable rate on your next visit. 
  • Mulching + weed control: When a customer wants mulching services, it’s a great opportunity to discuss weed control. Mulching helps retain moisture and suppresses weed growth, but weeds can still appear. Mentioning the option of weed control can save the customer time and effort in the long run. If the customer has children and pets, offer kid- and pet-safe weed control options and instructions for using the lawn after application. 

To avoid overselling, listen to your customers and focus on their original problem. Provide them with just enough information about additional services to help them make an informed decision. Avoid using pushy sales tactics, and let the customer feel in control of their choices.

Provide Options for Every Budget

Household budgets change from year to year, and providing options for lawn care customers can go a long way toward retaining those contracts. 

  • Offer various options for their lawn mowing service frequency, such as weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly visits. 
  • Provide options for additional services like trimming, edging, and debris removal, allowing customers to choose how frequently these services are performed.
  • Offer customized packages where customers can select specific add-on services, at specific frequencies, based on their preferences.

Options for Paying the Bill:

  • Offer multiple payment methods, including online payments, credit/debit card payments, and cash or check payments.
  • Provide easy-to-understand invoices that clearly outline the services provided and their associated costs.
  • Allow customers to choose between one-time payments or setting up recurring billing for regular services.

By allowing customers to customize their contract in these areas, you can ensure that their lawn care experience is tailored to their needs, budget, and preferences. Happy, empowered customers lead to long-term partnerships.

Stay in Touch to Build Stronger Connections

Staying connected with your customers is essential for staying at the top-of-mind, and ensuring their satisfaction and loyalty. You can use social media and email marketing to address their concerns, offer helpful tips, and showcase any new services or promotions. 

Social Media

Social media platforms can be invaluable tools for a lawn care company to connect with its customers and keep them informed. On Facebook and Instagram, your lawn care business can showcase special offers, share educational lawn care tips, highlight customers with great-looking lawns, and provide behind-the-scenes glimpses of their hardworking crews.

Featuring special offers on social media can entice prospective customers to choose your lawn care services. Whether it’s a discount on a seasonal package or a promotion for new customers, sharing these deals can generate interest and drive people to your business. These posts will often need to be ad-supported to reach new audiences.

Educational lawn care tips are also a great way to engage with your existing customers on social media. By sharing advice on mowing techniques, watering schedules, DIY landscaping, and pest control, you show your expertise and offer helpful guidance. This is a great way to establish your company as a trustworthy source of advice.

Featuring customers who have beautiful, unique, or interesting lawns and landscapes on your social media, with the customers’ permission, can serve as a source of inspiration for others. It’s also a great way to say thank you to existing customers and help them celebrate the beauty of their homes. By highlighting the success stories of satisfied customers, you not only recognize their efforts but also demonstrate the results your services can achieve.

Showcasing your crews at work through behind-the-scenes content adds a human touch to your business. Customers appreciate transparency and love getting a glimpse into the hard work and dedication your team puts into maintaining their lawns.

Use Email for Appointment & Rebooking Reminders

Email marketing is a smart way to stay connected with your lawn care clients and send them appointment and renewal reminders.

Start by collecting email addresses from your clients during sign-ups or service requests. Use marketing automation tools to schedule reminder emails in advance. Send reminders a few days before appointments, or a few weeks before annual renewal dates, to provide ample time for your clients to plan and make necessary arrangements.

Use the client’s name in the email salutation to make it feel more personalized. Keep the email content brief, clear, and easy to understand, emphasizing the date, time, and location of their appointments or renewals.

Make it easy for your clients to confirm or reschedule appointments or renew their services by adding prominent call-to-action buttons in your emails. These buttons can direct them to a user-friendly online booking system or a designated contact person.

Ask for Feedback & Take it Seriously

Not only is email a convenient and accessible way to send your customers important reminders,  it also allows you to send thank-you emails and gather valuable insights about your services. 

After each service, make sure each customer receives a thank-you email letting them know what services were performed today and giving them a way to leave a review or alert you to a problem. 

When you receive positive feedback, don’t just let it sit in your inbox. Take the time to respond and express your gratitude. Thank your customers for their kind words and let them know that their satisfaction is your top priority. This not only shows your appreciation but also fosters a strong customer-company relationship.

When it comes to negative feedback, respond promptly and acknowledge the issue raised. Now is the time to pick up the phone and personally call your customer. Apologize for any inconvenience caused and express the steps you’ll take to resolve the problem. Offer a solution or ask for more details to better understand and address the situation. Follow up by email to thank them for taking the time to talk with you, and reiterate the solution you agreed to.

Taking negative feedback seriously shows that you value your customers’ opinions and are dedicated to improving their experience. 

Deliver Fast, High-Quality Service

Customers expect quick responses and efficient solutions to their problems – lawn care is no exception. By providing fast, on-schedule, reliable service, you build a strong reputation for your brand.

However, speed should not come at the cost of quality. While delivering service, it is important to prioritize accuracy and attention to detail. Finding the right balance between speed and quality can ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to long-term success for your lawn care business.

Use the Right Equipment for the Job

Having the right equipment on hand is step one. Your lawn care company should have multiple deck sizes of zero-turn mowers and stand-on mowers available. 

  • Match the equipment to the job: Different lawn care tasks require different equipment sizes. Having a range of mower sizes allows you to tackle any job. For smaller lawns in residential neighborhoods, you’ll probably need to pass through a backyard gate or two. A more compact zero-turn mower will fit through those gates, while larger properties, unfenced properties, and acreages may allow you to use a larger deck size and provide the same quality cut in a much shorter time frame.
  • Increase productivity: Using the right-sized equipment can significantly increase productivity. Trying to tackle a large area with a small mower means spending more time and effort. By having multiple sizes available, you can complete jobs faster and move on to the next one.
  • Ensure quality results: Using equipment that is too large or too small for the job can result in subpar results. For instance, using an overly large stand-on mower on smaller lawns could cause damage to landscape features or create an uneven cut. Having the appropriate equipment size ensures high-quality results for every customer.

Maintain Your Equipment to Keep Your Day On Track

Your customers expect you to be where you said you’d be when you said you’d be there. When a mower goes out of commission without warning, your entire day (maybe even week) is officially off-track and out of whack.

The importance of proactive equipment maintenance cannot be over-emphasized. Regular maintenance ensures that your equipment stays in top shape and uncovers risks before they happen in the field.

Plus, maintaining your equipment helps maximize efficiency and productivity. Well-maintained machines perform better: sharp blades cut gas more evenly and quickly, for example. This, in turn, allows you to serve more customers in a day. 

By investing time and effort into proactive maintenance for your lawn care company’s outdoor power equipment, you can ensure that your lawn care business runs smoothly and keeps your customers satisfied. Don’t underestimate the impact of regular equipment maintenance on your company’s success.

Train Your Employees to be Customer-Oriented

Training all your employees should go beyond equipment operations and include customer service. Your lawn crews need to be polite, respectful, detailed, and thorough on every job. Cultivate a customer-first culture at your company:

  • Lead by Example: As the owner or manager, it’s important to set a good example by being open and friendly in your interactions with both employees and customers.
  • Emphasize Communication Skills: Provide training on effective communication and active listening techniques. This helps employees understand customer needs and address any concerns or questions promptly.
  • Teach Proper Etiquette: Train employees on etiquette essentials, such as greeting customers with a smile, introducing themselves, and using polite language. Encourage them to always be respectful of property and personal boundaries.
  • Set Clear Expectations: Clearly define the level of quality and professionalism expected from employees and the importance of completing tasks thoroughly. Use regular feedback and performance evaluations to reinforce these expectations.
  • Encourage Problem-Solving: Basic equipment troubleshooting skills are essential to avoid delays on the job. Provide training on troubleshooting common issues, such as mower or trimmer problems, and encourage employees to proactively identify and solve equipment-related challenges.

By following these steps and prioritizing customer satisfaction, you can create a positive culture within your lawn care company that values professionalism, respect, and attention to detail. Customers will benefit, and your retention rates will rise.

Launch a Loyalty & Referral Program

Launching a loyalty and referral program for your lawn care company is a smart move that can help boost your business. Make your program attractive to customers by offering rewards and incentives that are relevant to your lawn care services. This could include discounts on future services, free consultations, or even referral bonuses for new customers.

Spread the word about your loyalty and referral program. Use various marketing channels, such as social media, your website, and email newsletters, to inform your existing customers about the benefits and how to participate.

Remember to track and reward participation! Implement a system to track customer participation and reward them accordingly. This could be through a digital platform or even a simple punch card system.

Offer Loyalty Incentives

Annual loyalty incentives can be a great way to keep customers coming back and show them how much you appreciate their business. Here are a few examples of loyalty incentives that you can offer:

  • Discounted Services: Provide special discounted rates for long-term customers who have been with your company for a certain number of years. 
  • Free Upgrades: Surprise your loyal customers with free upgrades or additional services. For example, if they regularly sign up for a basic lawn mowing service, offer them a free weed control treatment or mulching service as a thank-you for their business. 
  • Priority Scheduling: Give your loyal customers priority when scheduling their lawn care services. This ensures that they receive the highest level of customer service and convenience.

Make Your Referral Program Worth the Effort

Your customers are busy, so make sure your referral program is easy and worthwhile for customers.

Provide customers with everything they need to make a referral. This could be a unique referral link or code that can be easily shared with their friends and family, a stack of flyers to share with their neighbors, or even just displaying your company’s signage on their lawn. 

Reward both the referring customer and the referred prospect. This way, both parties are motivated to participate. Referral bonuses can include things like discounts, free lawn treatments, additional services, or even a gift card to a local home and garden store. The more enticing the rewards, the more likely your customers will participate. Send your customers a short survey and ask them what kind of rewards would motivate them to participate!

Don’t forget to announce and promote the program. Explain all the benefits and rewards to your customers. Highlight how they can save money, receive extra services, or even contribute to a greener environment by referring others in their neighborhood to your lawn care company. Make sure they understand the value they’ll receive for their efforts. This not only helps in expanding your customer base but also strengthens customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Get Everything You Need for a Successful Season

As you head out for another season of satisfying customers and creating lawns they’ll love, make sure you have the equipment your crew needs to get the job done right.

Demo days are back again at Ty’s Outdoor Power! Take the latest and greatest models for a test cut, and don’t forget to ask us about our flexible financing options for our commercial lawn care partners.

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