With this new year ahead of your landscaping company, you may find yourself wondering how you can work on customer relationships more.
Without dedicated customers, every business would fail, and this is why finding and retaining quality clients is crucial to surviving and thriving.
Just like you do with friends and family, it’s an excellent idea to show customers they are important and that they play a significant role in your company.
For some businesses, this could mean sending out seasonal cards, discount offers or even hosting events to show your appreciation to clients.
Take a look at why hosting these kinds of events can prove beneficial and what you can do as a landscape company owner to ensure your shindig hits all the right notes.
Is it worth it?
Initially, company owners might see it as frivolous and unnecessary to host a party or an event for clients, but according to theadvisorcoach.com, it can prove extremely beneficial. The site says that simply put, if you don’t appreciate your clients, someone else will.
Hosting events that show client appreciation helps you get referrals from a stronger and more loyal client base, boost your credibility, increase awareness of you and your brand and also lets your customers see you in a new light.
“A client who feels appreciated is more likely to stick with you,” theadvisorcoach.com states online. “You might feel like you’re holding onto clients with a periodic phone call, but it will eventually come back to haunt you. If there’s a down market, you want the client who continues to consolidate accounts and invest more assets. You won’t get that from someone who doesn’t know you or trust you. An impersonal phone call or birthday card won’t cut it.”
If you’ve decided to host an event, there are a few key things to keep in mind during the preparation process.
Timing, demographics and interests
There’s no point in hosting a customer appreciation event if none of your customers will be able to attend.
While it’s true you won’t be able to settle on a date that works for every single client, it’s extremely possible to find one that works for the majority.
Talk to your customers and get an idea of dates and times that would work for most of them, and even if you know some customers can’t attend the date you set, be sure to invite them anyway just in case their plans change.
Much like with timing, it’s going to be hard to host an event that everyone will equally enjoy. Be sure to take a detailed look at your customer demographics and their interests to see what will resonate with the most them.
For example, if you have a large portion of customers with small children, having a black-tie event that includes alcohol might not be as inviting, and a company with a fair number of formal clients may not be as partial to a casual park barbecue.
No sales pitches
This might go without saying, but if you do host an appreciation event for your customers, do not try to sell or pitch to them or potential new customers while at the event. This is neither the time or place to talk shop, as this event will be strictly for the enjoyment of your guests.
“A client appreciation event is about showing gratitude and building loyalty,” theadvisorcoach.com states online. “The only thing you’re ‘selling’ is how great it is to be your client.”
However, if you do have guests specifically ask you about business-related topics, don’t brush them off. Simply make a follow-up appointment with them and express how interested you are in talking with them more about becoming a customer.
“You could have the greatest event in the world, but even a shred of a pitch will have clients feel like it was a slimy sales event,” theadvisorcoach.com states online. “Have faith that the topic will come up eventually because it always does. Again, let the client initiate the conversation.”
It’s always a good idea to have business cards on hand during these events just in case you come across someone who wants to talk more, as this allows you to exchange information without breaking up the flow and fun of the event.
Plus ones and making the rounds
It’s important that your clients always feel comfortable at these kinds of events, so encourage them to bring their families or a guest. This helps them feel more relaxed and comfortable, turns it into a group outing and can sometimes lead to you getting more referrals.
There will always be certain customers you gravitate to more than others, but when hosting an appreciation event, be sure not to spend time with only a few customers. Take time to make your rounds and talk to each customer individually. This makes them feel more appreciated and can help boost their opinion of you.
Leading up to the event, it’s a good idea to reach out personally to invite and remind customers of the upcoming celebration. This can be done during routine visits, or you could even take a day out of your week to visit customers for this reason specifically.
You can also take the technological route when promoting your event and incorporate email reminders, Facebook event posts or add a page to your company website dedicated just to events.
If you’ve hosted events in the past, consider keeping photos and information about those on the site as well to give new customers a taste of what you have to offer.
“Keep your old events on the ‘events’ page,” theadvisorcoach.com states online. “Don’t delete them. Instead, push them to the bottom and say, ‘previous events.’ This reinforces the image that you’re here to stay and are committed to continuously providing excellent customer service.”