Brandon Moxam on Strengthening Customer Relationships
Blog by: Brandon Moxam, Vice President of U.S. Lawns.
It’s about being a business friend
In commercial grounds care, much like all other service industries, strengthening customer relationships all begins with the concept of radical personalization. In the most basic sense, it’s all about developing a business friendship.
Defining business friendship
Now, we’re not talking about getting together for beers and chicken wings here, so before we get into the how’s of being a business friend, let’s define what a friend is. A friend is someone you confide in; it’s somebody that you share experiences with; and it’s someone that you watch out for. It’s someone that you know has your back and will come through for you when you really have a need–and you do the same thing for them.
Business friends are more than just vendors or service providers
As it applies to our customers, being a business friend means climbing a few steps up the value chain, so you’re not just existing within a customer/vendor relationship.
It is this approach, which separates U.S. Lawns from competitors. Our franchisees are all committed to being true business partners and true business friends with our customers.
See yourself through your customers’ eyes
We’ve found that the most effective way to best accomplish this is to look at yourself though your customers’ eyes. This is how you can determine if you’re delivering what they’re really looking for. First and foremost, ask yourself these questions:
Are you easy to do business with?
No one likes to do business with someone difficult. And as you ask yourself this question, be sure to look at whether you’re offering a quality service and/or product. Ultimately, it won’t matter how great you are at building relationships if you have a really poor product or service to offer, because nobody’s going to want to do business with you.
Are you convenient?
Convenience means getting what you want the moment you want it, without bending over backwards to make it happen. In the commercial landscape management business, you’re setting yourself up for failure if you’re just sitting by the phone waiting for the customer to contact you.
At U.S. Lawns, responsiveness is in our DNA. Our franchisees have weekly contact with customers through documentation of the services performed that week. Not only does this foster engagement between your team and your customer, but it also provides an opening to discuss future enhancement opportunities as well as things you’ve seen on the property that could impact your customer’s business.
Are you delivering what was promised?
Before you can strengthen a relationship, it’s important you start off on the right track. It’s all about setting proper expectations. So, when you start a new relationship with a customer the agreement you execute should outline exactly what services have been mutually agreed upon for that specific property. There should be no gray areas.
Then, from more of an operational perspective: set the job up correctly; document everything; communicate exactly to your crews how to properly service that property; and communicate the customer expectations to your crew leader and crew members.
If all you do is deliver upon what was promised when you started that relationship–if you just show up do what you committed to doing, you’re already going to be 90% better than the competition.
U.S. Lawns Customers: We’ve got your back
What we’re really saying is this: U.S. Lawns has the backs of our customers. We’re going to be there when they need us, and matter of fact, we’re going to be there before they need us.
We understand that as commercial real estate/property managers and owners you have a lot of different things going on in your world and at the end of the day we want to take that landscape service piece and sweep it off your plate.
You don’t have to worry about this, we got you.