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Constant Communication Holds As Much Power As The Goose That Lays The Golden Egg

If you’ve experienced the difference between a landscape management services provider that stays in contact with you versus a landscaping contractor that doesn’t, you already know the importance of being kept up to date. In fact, in this or any other business, constant communication is the often-overlooked goose that lays the golden egg. 

How so? Well, for one thing, as U.S. Lawns Hall of Fame Member Steve Ferguson recently warned competitors, “If you’re not communicating with your client, that gives me room to communicate to my future client.” As the Fergusons’ continue to experience impressive growth of their U.S. Lawns Hampton Roads franchise, we decided this is a subject worth examining more closely, so we asked Steve to tell us more. 

Nurture Client Relationships From The Very First Contact

At U.S. Lawns Hampton Roads, client relationships are nurtured from the very first contact. Ferguson explained that because theirs is a very large operation, he’s not always able to participate in the day-to-day details. So, he enables his team members with the training, tools and culture to ensure each customer is receiving the highest level of service. 

Then he takes it a step further by taking every opportunity to communicate directly with each client and prospective client his team has connected with in the past twelve months, through well-timed emails. These are not canned messages, but relevant updates that Steve creates and sends himself. The kind of information he includes ranges from making sure current customers are apprised of seasonal schedules to reminders for people to get in touch about landscaping services they need to add to their landscape maintenance plans. He even includes suppliers on his update list, so he can help jog their memories regarding any special orders they may have missed. 

Give Them Updates That Matter

To give you a better idea of how detailed Steve gets, he told us about his “Happy New Year Updates” email he sent out on the 15th of January. It began with a note about their winter operations since there was an upcoming threat of snow; mentioned that the seasonal flower order sheets would be going out by the end of the week; shared the good news that customers could expect to see the same U.S. Lawns team members they’ve become accustomed to, on their grounds working hard again during the upcoming year; had a short reminder that the first round of turf treatments would be coming up in mid-February; and included a few other current updates as well–but it was all information that mattered.

Experience Measurable & Profitable Results 

A real benefit of taking the time to communicate this way is that the results are both measurable and profitable. According to Ferguson, “It’s amazing how many emails I get back. I included our sales manager’s email and contact information in the email and since Monday (this conversation took place just two days later!), she’s gotten eight calls just from that email alone, from prospective clients.” This is a noticeable and immediate impact. 

Another action U.S. Lawns Hampton Roads takes to keep commercial property owners and managers informed is to utilize the U.S. Lawns LMR (Landscape Management Report), which is completed every time the team performs a landscaping service. 

Communicate With Purpose

The LMR is invaluable for keeping the team on track, but also has a comment section where any potential issues can be documented and reported back to the customer. For instance, someone may have backed their car into an electrical pole or driven through a hedgerow but didn’t inform the property manager, so the team is able to identify these items on the LMR. 

Since the account manager is already following up with an email that outlines the time the team arrived, the time they left, what services were performed, the date they plan to return, and which services will be performed, they are also able to include the unreported damage and begin the process to schedule corrective action. 

These routine updates provide an invaluable record for both the client and the U.S. Lawns team, and as far as the Fergusons are concerned, it’s all about accountability and communicating with purpose. 

Give Your Client Every Opportunity To Remain In Close Contact

The entire U.S. Lawns team has a deep understanding of how critical being good business friends is to every customer, and this is largely dependent on remaining in close contact–via email, over the telephone and in person. 

Steve told us that one thing they’ll do during the sales process is help clients set up a U.S. Lawns folder in their email, so they can simply drag each services report into it. With this easy-to-access record of every service and the date it took place, it’s a simple task to confirm U.S. Lawns is delivering precisely what has been contracted–especially since each proposal includes a calendar outlining each service to be performed. 

Then, when Ferguson or his account manager sits down with the customer during their six-month checkup, they can review everything together and make certain nothing has been missed. 

Personal Visits On A Regular Basis Are A Must

But the personal touch doesn’t stop there because they also make regularly scheduled visits to walk the grounds with the property manager or owner. Not only does this offer a prime opportunity to showcase the customer’s landscaping investment at work, but often provides fresh inspiration for landscape improvements that will more effectively support the client’s mission. 

The commitment to constant contact is very influential over customer loyalty, as proven with Steve’s observation that, “We probably over communicate. You’ll hear from us way more than you probably ever would a normal service provider, and that’s why we have very little turnover in our clients.” 

If you’re ready for a landscape management team that will keep you in the know while we’re keeping your landscape in pristine condition, get in touch with your local U.S. Lawns. You can depend on our commercial grounds care pros to attend to your landscape with the same care we give our own, and make sure you remain fully informed all along the way.

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