Insights: Knowledge is power

Updated Feb 2, 2018

Sometimes, even when we do our job well, a disconnect occurs with the end user. In our industry it can happen with the property owner who hires you to design, create and maintain a green project. How does that customer learn about proper maintenance practices and all the nuisances of keeping their plants and turf alive and thriving in between your trips to service them? The answer is good, consistent communication.

Most customers know how much they pay for landscaping services, but do they know how to properly care for them? Do they know which plant varieties you have installed for them? And even though you may be doing all of the maintenance, do they know why it requires so much?

A recent issue of Consumer Reports magazine contained a section dedicated to lawn care. In it, they explained how homeowners can handle many of the different weeds, insects and other problems associated with taking proper care of a lawn. For the do-it-yourself, weekend yard warrior, this section offered a virtual step-by-step process to making their property the Garden Club Yard of the Month award winner. To me, it reinforced just how much time, effort and money is required to maintain a small- to medium-sized yard, and how cost-effective professional landscaping services are.

One especially interesting bit of information in the article was the results of a survey on professional lawn care sent to readers nationwide. Almost half of the respondents hire professionals to fertilize, mow, apply chemicals, aerate the lawn or undertake the spring and fall cleanup projects. A whopping 65 percent of the readers polled choose local landscape companies to do those jobs, as opposed to 19 percent who picked regional and national companies. The satisfaction level reported by those customers who use a local landscaper was a good: 62 percent of respondents were satisfied with local companies, compared to only 46 percent satisfaction with a regional or national company.

My hypothesis is that satisfaction is closely related to good communication. As consumers, we all want to know what we’re paying for. And for the uninformed, landscaping and lawn maintenance services can cause significant sticker shock. For that reason alone good communication can turn a reluctant, once-a-year customer into a regular who tells everyone what a great job you do for them. Communication also helps create community – a real relationship with customers that goes far beyond paying your bills every month. Get your customers involved in what you are doing for them by educating them about the process, and you’ll reap both the financial and the satisfaction benefits that come from developing a loyal customer.

The Attachments Idea Book
Landscapers use a variety of attachments for doing everything from snow removal to jobsite cleanup, and regardless of how often they are used, every landscaper has a favorite attachment.
Attachments Idea Book Cover