In any business, it is an accepted fact that customers have a direct impact on the business’ success. Whether or not a business will stay afloat in the industry will depend mainly on how customers trust and patronize their products or services. Getting the customers to choose what you offer over your rival company is just one step of the process.
Landscape contractors know too well how challenging it can sometimes be to look after their customers. No two customers are the same; there are simple and fussy ones. Nevertheless, they both deserve first-rate customer care to gain their trust and retain their loyalty.
Keep your customers updated
Constant communication is the key to keeping your clients informed. Don’t lose customers due to lack of communication; landscape contractors should always initiate communication. Ongoing projects, upcoming maintenance, news, and other agenda can be communicated to the customers in many ways. It can be through an email newsletter, calls, and online updates.
Customers will appreciate a heads-up for upcoming appointments. Even just asking them if they are happy with the service and how they can improve will mean a lot.
Understand what they want
Be proactive when it comes to addressing customers’ concerns. The best landscape contractors can understand basic customer psychology and know how to listen and learn from customers.
What do they want? How can you best provide what they need? Do they have suggestions or feedback? Try to see things from a customer’s perspective. Make it easy for the customers to communicate what is on their minds. That is one of the keys to effective customer care.
Handle unsatisfied customers professionally
Any business is bound to have unhappy customers; it can happen even to the well-run businesses. When this happens, it is vital to listen to what they have to say with an open mind. Check yourself to see if there is any mistake on your part. Empathize with the customer and give them reassurance that you will do your best to fix the problem.
Of course, don’t forget to let them know that their concern has been addressed or is being acted upon. Thank them for the opportunity to improve your business.
Correct small problems to avoid bigger ones
Speaking of problems, it is essential to be open about them, no matter how big or seemingly small it is. Especially if it’s small – don’t give it a chance to escalate. As a responsible landscape contractor, correct it while it’s still in its early stage to avoid bigger hassle and costly ameliorations in the long run.
Have a record of everything
Now more than ever, customers are becoming more demanding and less tolerant. They tend to see and bring up issues easily. Because of this, it is only fitting to document everything: customers, their preferences, estimates, and jobs. Documentation is essential for future references should an issue come up. It can also be used to enhance customer experience and allow service consistency.
You have to lose some to win some
Sometimes, a negative situation can bring forth great rewards. You may find yourself in a circumstance where the risk of losing a part of your income is there. In the end, however, the situation resulted in an increased number of customers.
As a landscape contractor, you might have found yourself in a similar predicament. You may have sacrificed a portion of your income in the name of quality customer service. But the act of generosity illustrates your passion in your field; you are raising the bar, and customers will notice. And for exceeding their expectations, a long-term reward of new clients via referral is highly likely.
Understand the difference between “demanding” and “difficult”
Demanding clients are dissatisfied clients. A demanding client may bring up occasional concerns. Maybe they want things done differently. But the thing about demanding clients is that they are willing to compensate for the demands they make. Then, they become happy and satisfied customers.
Difficult clients are a different tribe. No matter what you do, they can’t seem to be happy. They may complain incessantly. They can be irrational and ask for things that are not included in the service agreement. Difficult clients are, in one word, impossible.
Many landscape contractors had their share of encounters with demanding as well as difficult customers. Finding middle ground with the customer to meet their demands or requests usually works. But in case of difficult clients who can be adamant about what they want, perhaps you may need to reconsider. Sometimes, you may have to cut ties with others to save your time, energy, and productivity.
Cultivate a culture of camaraderie
Strengthen your relationship with the clients and keep the connection growing. Establish a friendly relationship with them. Experienced landscape contractors know how to nurture their relationships with their loyal customers by treating them as people and not just mere numbers.
Remember them not as clients but as friends; recognize facts about each customer. Understand their background. You can even use the information to serve them better!
Establishing meaningful and friendly relationships with the customers will benefit both sides significantly. On the client’s part, the warm treatment will result in a positive experience and increase their confidence in your services. On your part as the landscape contractor, you will win their loyalty and may even get referrals. Keeping a warm relationship will help your business grow and thrive in this competitive industry.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by Emily Miller. Miller from Cacti Landscape is a marketing specialist, having her main focus on developing and implementing various ideas both for online and offline marketing. She is also currently specialized in content writing, having her main focus on home improvement, maintenance, and real estate issues.