One of the biggest challenges in running a tree service, lawn care, or landscape company is figuring out how to retain more customers.
But striking a balance between increasing customer retention and increasing customer acquisition can be a challenge. In fact, it's much like riding a seesaw with the majority of time and money spent on one, only to see the other go down.
But, as we've discussed in a previous post on how to use your lawn care software to get more business, it's less expensive and less time intensive to get your existing customers to buy again than it is to acquire a new customer. Unfortunately, for many business owners, once payment has been received it's easy to think that's the end of the transaction.
But, it's not.
This is where you've got the opportunity to turn a customer into a loyal customer. How?
Follow these eight steps to retain more customers in your tree service, lawn care, or landscape business.
1. Have great customer service
Sure, there’s a lot of talk about having great customer service and a lot of companies think they DO have great customer service. But, your customers might have different ideas. In fact, the nature of customer service has changed today and it’s not a bad idea to provide proactive service rather than reactive customer service. For example, don’t wait for the phone to ring with a complaint. If you see a review or a social media post in which someone has left a bad review, proactively respond.
Oftentimes, the very act of responding quickly is enough to make a customer happy.
One other HUGE aspect of great customer service is acting like your customer’s ally, not their enemy.
2. Say thank you
Maybe we’re a little old fashioned, but what would happen if you actually sent a thank you note in the mail to your customers. Sure, if you’ve got a lot of customers, this may not be a possibility. But, there’s something powerful about receiving a hand written thank you note in the mail. Remember, your customers didn’t have to choose your company and can spend their money elsewhere.
But, they made a decision to give that hard earned money to you for the services your business provides.
3. Over Deliver
What would it look like for your business to over deliver for your customers? It doesn’t even have to be something big, but small gestures of doing something your customers didn’t ask for that provides added value goes a long way.
4. Stay in touch with your customers
Oftentimes, once we’ve got a customer’s credit card number or have received a check for payment, we completely stop following up. But, you’ve got a unique opportunity to stay in touch with them at no cost (if you’re using a lawn care, tree service, or landscape business software).
Send follow up emails asking for input about their experience with your business, email coupons or special preferred customer discounts, be creative. The point though, is to stay front and center in their minds and provide added value to them.
5. Engage on social media
If your customers mention your company on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, reply back. Again, simply taking the time to respond is a huge value add for your customers.
6. Act like a not-for-profit
Here’s what we mean by that statement.
When a donor gives to a non-profit, the non-profit puts a lot of effort and resources into keeping that donor. They acknowledge the decision the donor made to give their hard earned money to that cause, thank them for that decision, and keep the donor informed about how their money is helping the non profit.
Obviously, you’re a business. But, by acknowledging the fact that a customer chose your company over your competitors, you’re strengthening the relationship with the customer.
7. Respond quickly
Responding to customer inquiries or issues in a timely manner communicates that you value your customers. It says “you’re important.” Not doing so can come across as “you’re a nuisance.”
8. Take an honest look at yourself
The best way to do that is listen. Are there common complaints you’re hearing from your customers? If so, take a close look at what’s causing those complaints, evaluate your processes and procedures related to those complaints, and make necessary changes.
Your existing customers are the most important group in your business, and they should be taken care of. Applying these eight tips will ensure they stay around for a while.
The easiest way to manage these customer relationships is with a customer relationship management software (CRM). At Arborgold, we’ve made managing these relationships an easy and seamless process.
Click here to learn more about how Arborgold tree service, landscape, and lawn care business software can grow your business.