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Our Future and the Service Revolution

Surrounded by greenery, indoor waterfalls and a brilliant sun, the future smiled on U.S. Lawns last week. Those of us who made the pilgrimage to Nashville set a record for U.S. Lawns conference attendance; but our team spirit was close-knit and intimate. We closed the three-day production with lighthearted bluegrass and laughter, cheering for each other’s achievements.

To any outsider, we looked like a family. A tightly-bound tribe who’d come to learn, grow and improve. As we boldly sported the U.S. Lawns star through the corridors of the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, we made an impression. And it was more than just a logo or a polo shirt.

We looked like a group who thought big, but acted small. Visionary ideas; plans for the future; but close relationships with each other, our customers, and vendors.

We looked like a company with a pretty great culture. Maybe, even, the best place to work.

We looked like a team who was “all in.” Sure, there were lively debates in the hallways after breakout sessions; but everyone clearly wanted to be part of the U.S. Lawns team, and contributed passionate opinions.

Finally, we looked like a corps of determined business professionals, ready to change the world of grounds care.

And that’s exactly what we are.

This past week at our annual conference, we learned that the customer connection is our opportunity to beat the competition. There’s a revolution afoot in the business world—a service revolution. Companies like Starbucks, Walmart, Zappos and Amazon are competing on service, not just price. They offer customer intimacy, or (as we call it) Radical Personalization. And they’re winning at the game.

We live in uncertain financial times. Corporations are getting bigger, while consumers/small businesses are reeling from a recession. People are tired of this trend. They want companies to think big, but act small. Our competition is growing bigger and more impersonal. We can’t make the same mistake.

Look around you. Is Starbucks leading the coffee business? Are Amazon and Zappos changing the world of e-commerce? Is Walmart dominating retail? The service revolution has already come to those industries. Are you ready to bring it to grounds care?

We’re uniquely positioned to do it. Our national network allows us to think big, but our local owners (that means you) can deliver service that “acts small.”

We can’t tell you what Radical Personalization will look like to your customers. That depends entirely on what your customers want. Be responsive; open a line of two-way communication, and ask. Always add a personal, customized touch. Go above and beyond to treat property managers like human beings, not mere business associates. Get involved in the community.

If you do, we promise that U.S. Lawns will beat the impersonal, corporate-giant competitors to become the #1 company in our industry. That’s a guarantee.

Thanks for coming to Nashville. Now, let’s spend the next 12 months figuring out how to deliver a service revolution and shake up our competition—for good.

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