Despite the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there have been many, there have been some businesses in the outdoor sector with plenty to celebrate. Lawn care company Greensleeves achieving a record-breaking year in network turnover over 2020 is one. David Truby, MD of Greensleeves, has some advice for landscaping businesses on how they can push on into 2021.
At Greensleeves, we’ve had a fantastic end to 2020 having welcomed new franchisees and seen six consecutive months of record-breaking income but we won’t rest on our laurels as we head into 2021. So, here are my top tips on ensuring that your landscaping business can be successful in pushing on into the new year.
1. Add value instead of discounting
What does ‘adding value’ mean? Well, adding value to your service means going the extra mile for your clients. Discounting only lessens the perceived value of your product or service to the customer and if you need to cut corners to recoup the value of the discount, your chance of a positive review or repeat custom will reduce significantly.
Listen to your customers’ concerns and understand what their motivation is to buy from you - what could you do to add the cherry on top? Ensuring you deliver your services quickly and efficiently is another excellent way to add value to your service - will it give them that extra day to enjoy their garden or mean they don’t have to brush the cobwebs off that old trowel?
2. Provide exceptional customer service
In the world of lawn care, we rely heavily on repeat business and referrals, so ensuring good customer service is essential to our success moving into next year.
You can provide exceptional customer service by using positive language, turn your 'maybe' into a 'definitely' and your 'I'll try to do that' into an 'I will do that'. This language lets the client hear that your goal is to fulfil their needs.
Providing exceptional customer service is vital both in person and online. Making sure that you answer customers’ questions over the phone and via email without long delays leaves them feeling that you care about them as individuals. Businesses who master this side of customer service will benefit in the new year.
3. Investing in marketing rather than cutting back on budgets
Investing in your marketing going into the new year is a must if you want your business to make an impact. If you’re looking for new clients, remember it can take them coming into contact with your brand up to seven times before they will buy from you. So, when it comes to deciding where your money goes, marketing to create those seven touch points should be at the top of the list.
Marketing activity can also help keep existing clients engaged. If you reduce your marketing, you’re leaving the space for competitors to grab their attention, this isn't something any business can afford post-pandemic.
Landscaping businesses which add value to their services, provide excellent customer service and also market themselves to their core customer demographic won't just survive in the new year, they’ll flourish.