Listen to this GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Podcast in mp3 format..
I am constantly learning new things on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. The things that amaze me the most are the things that I just would have never thought of without the help of others. Take for example this simple topic. How many welcome letters should you send to each of your new lawn care customers? I would figure one would suffice. However, when we started talking about it, I learned that other lawn care business owners were sending up to FOUR! Four welcome letters at different times to a new customer! Who would have thunk!
Initially I was talking about a concept where each new lawn care customer would get a letter specific to their needs. However as we got into this the discussion grew and taught me as your lawn care business grows, so does your need to change your marketing. As your client list grows longer, you are probably going to be afforded less time to individually customize your marketing for each client. Instead you will find a need to create more generic material that can be used for all of the new customers.
Ed: “Our company is a little to big to customize our marketing. With 15 lawn care technicians and an average of 25 lawns per technician, it would be difficult to keep track of.
I think making sure the customer is well informed on how your company handles different situations would help with the customer retention. In my welcome kit, I have tried to include answers to every question they may have.
I started my welcome kits in July. Next month I will do an analysis on the retention rate from the customers that received a welcome kit to see if it really has any affect.”
Steve: “Do you mean you include a general list of business frequently asked questions? Like who to contact. How you bill etc. Or do you mean more like lawn specific problem questions?”
Ed: “Both. It contains the frequently ask questions about how we do business & answers about how much the lawn should be watered, mowed, etc. Also answers about what to do after the applications, and if they come across any problems with their lawns.”
Chestin: “I can see how sending a personalized letter with specifics about the property could be very beneficial, but at the same time it’s almost too much work.
I think Ed hit the nail on the head in the sense you want to create materials that are reusable and duplicatible. Instead of taking Before & After shots of that particular customers lawn, using ‘any lawn’ you’ve done previously should be enough to convey the story you want to get across.
Also, consider sending a few ‘welcome’ letters.
- One immediately after they sign the contract.
- Another before the first service visit, this could be your ‘Welcome Kit‘.
- Another immediately after the first lawn care service visit.
- And then maybe another one a week later.
Each one would contain something different that cements the relationship, reminds the customer of all the benefits they’ll be receiving, and potentially even upsells or lets them know about additional services you offer as well.
Ultimately, it comes down to building a relationship with the customer and viewing them like a person, not a transaction. The instant they become simply a transaction is the instant they’re on their way out the door as a customer. Especially in today’s economy.”
Ed: “That is a good point. I think I will look into doing that also. Maybe by sending them a survey to see if we have met their expectations so far, or to see if they have any questions we may be able to answer.”
Steve: “How do you suggest coming up with a list of frequently asked questions, to answer?”
Chestin: “I always suggest sitting down and making a list of general questions. Ideally they’re ones that come up frequently, but it could also include questions that we might think are extremely basic.
One thing to remember is that it’s easy to assume people know the basics about what you do. In most cases however, people don’t have the first idea so my rule of thumb is never assume anything.”
So the next time you sign up a new lawn care customer, you will be well equipped to do the best you can to retain that customer for the long haul and make them feel appreciated and wanted. Join this discussion further at the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.