How many times have you heard the phrase ‘customer is the king’? We’re just going to go one step further and say ‘customer service’ is KING. Great brands are built on great customer service. Happy customers mean a thriving business, and the landscaping industry is no different. Customer service is one of the major differentiators, which can give you an edge over your competitors.
If you have great customer service then you almost always retain your customers, get more referrals to gain new customers, build a solid market reputation, and overall build a profitable business – the benefits are endless.
But what makes for great customer service for a landscape management company? Is it being courteous? Is it about being always available? Or is it about punctuality? It’s definitely all of this and a LOT more. Scroll down to know what the anatomy of great customer service looks like for landscaping companies.
1. Honest and Prompt Communication is Key as it Builds Trust
Honest and prompt communication is probably the most important pillar of great customer service. It is the foundation of a trusting relationship with your customer.
Being the service provider, the onus lies on you to drive the conversation. You may prepare a schedule to update the client with the ongoing work and remember – you always have to stick to it. It helps build a lot of trust if you are forthcoming with any issue. The trust is easily broken if you hide issues and your client figures it out themselves instead.
2. Ensure Your Sales and Operations Team Work in Tandem
Don’t promise what your team cannot deliver, especially by overcommitting on timelines. Read that again! Nobody likes it when what has been promised is not delivered so ensure that your sales team is pitching what your operations team can actually execute, within the promised timeline.
3. Always Go the Extra Mile to Keep Customers Happy
Customer service is all about keeping your customer happy. It may sound like an oversimplification but that’s how simple it really is. Doing that extra bit, especially when the customer doesn’t expect it can be a big differentiator between your company and others.
Always take cues on what’s important for your customers because it is not always one size fits all. For some, punctuality is more important, for some quality over meeting deadlines, for others discounts may matter more, or having a 24X7 availability.
4. Invest in Your On-Ground Crew
Finding a crew that delivers quality and also acts professionally is always a challenge in the landscaping maintenance business. This is a big differentiator which affects your company’s reputation. This is why it’s essential to train your crew to deliver quality service but also to be polite and professional with the clients. It will serve you a great deal if you give them a dress code, or even better a uniform. Your crew reflects your brand values when they are on the job.
For example: Train them how to greet the client, even passers-by when they are on the job. It also helps to keep them well informed on the high-level project status, just in case the client questions them about the job’s progress.
5. Build a Customer First Culture in Your Company
Customer service is not just a department in your office, it’s a culture that you have to instill in your employees. The leaders in the organization need to instill customer-first sentiment in the team.
6. Tackle Difficult Customers With Patience
Tackling difficult customers can be tricky and requires patience. At times there could be unrealistic or irrational demands from clients and you need to deal with such situations with a balanced and mature approach. If you know that your team has made a mistake and that the customer is right, take ownership and then try to resolve the matter by offering solutions to the customer.
Even if it comes to parting ways, keep in mind that one has to be polite and formal. Avoid making it sour and disrespecting them even if they are in the wrong. Disgruntled customers can easily bad-mouth you online and spoil your online reviews.
7. Build a Feedback Tracking System And Take it Seriously
Conducting periodical surveys and getting regular feedback from clients is one of the most underrated things. Taking that feedback seriously and course-correcting your services accordingly is equally important. Incorporating feedback from your customers into your service means you are literally giving them exactly what they want. Send out short and crisp customer surveys so that you get maximum participation. Sometimes, offering gift cards/discounts can go a long way in motivating your customers to provide periodical feedback.
At Attentive, we follow a customer-first culture and nothing is more important for us than keeping our customers happy.