As the owner of a landscaping business, chances are strong that you’re having an increasingly difficult time reaching customers by phone and email. They’re busy with other things, and that broken communication is an ever-present threat keeping you from getting paid and retaining customers.
So what can you do? You need to grab customers’ attention, and that’s where text messaging comes in clutch. Texting greatly enhances your communication efforts, it can elevate your reputation and boost your overall customer satisfaction.
According to Text Request, 95 percent of texts are read within three minutes and 89 percent of people prefer to text with businesses. The average response time for a text is only 90 seconds
By texting with your clients you’ll be able to book services, ask for feedback, provide top-tier customer service, bring in new leads, collect payments, and much more. Below are five points that show how texting can take your landscaping business to the next level.
Book More Appointments Through Texting
When it comes to connecting with your customers, an email or a phone call will only go so far. It takes about 24 hours on average to receive an email response, and phone calls aren’t always convenient for everyone.
You’ll be better able to get everyone on the same page when you start texting. Since texting is a quick and convenient way to communicate, you’ll be more likely to book more appointments while providing stellar customer service at the same time.
Enable your customers to schedule services and receive reminders. How can you start? Have your customers text your business number directly from your website, or if they’ve filled out a form, follow up with them via SMS instead of a call or email.
They can even text in photos of their yard, and you can provide an estimate on the spot. From there, you’ll be able to set up a one-time service or ongoing.
Timely responses on behalf of your business will show your customers that you prioritize their needs, helping them feel confident in your services.
SMS Marketing to Upsell and Promote Seasonal Services
Customers may only need your services once a year, or for a season. If this is the case, they may reach out to you a single time, and then not contact you again. Avoid this by staying relevant and texting out reminders for seasonal services, as well as upselling other services.
Try sending out messages like:
Business: “Hey, John! It’s the perfect time of year to fertilize and seed. We’ve got time later this week, want us to come out?”
Customer: “Thanks, sounds good. Could you come Thursday afternoon?”
Business: “Absolutely! We’ll see you then.”
“‘Tis the season to plant your winter annuals! Respond for more information on what we can do for your lawn this winter.”
“Did you know that we also provide pressure washing services? Reply to learn more!”
The off-season is a great time to do things such as repairs, garden planning, pruning, cleaning, and more. Take advantage of the slump and use this as part of your marketing strategy.
Plus, repeat customers cost 7x less than new customers, and they’ll spend up to 100 percent more. Reaching out to past customers shouldn’t be a backup plan.
Use Texting as a Way to Boost Lead Generation
You’re spending money to bring people to your website, but are the leads pouring in as much as you’d like? If not, there’s a big chance it’s because communication isn’t quick enough, or you aren’t available to customers when they’re searching for your services after business hours. Thankfully, texting fixes those challenges.
Implementing an SMS chat widget on your website makes it easier for customers to contact you.
SMS chat works like a live chat, but it begins a text conversation. A customer can leave their name, phone number, and message. From there, you’ll be able to respond to your leads over text.
Customers want to text you, and when you provide that option, they’ll be more likely to communicate with you. Customers will be able to ask quick questions and receive an instant response, helping them make faster decisions and helping you close the sales you need.
More importantly, you’ll also be able to connect with prospects faster and get more responses than if you were only emailing or calling. That makes a significant impact on your bottom line.
Request Payments Over Text
More and more of your customers don’t carry around checks anymore and calling to pay is a hassle that customers put off. Your client might not even be home when you’re performing a service.
Instead of waiting around, encourage your clients to pay for your services over text. Text your customers their bills and send payment links to speed up the payment process.
Customers can opt to make payments via text after they’ve left a card on file with you.
“Hey, [Name]! Thanks for using [Company] today. The [service] will be $50. Can we go ahead and charge your card ending in ?”
You can even send an image of an invoice for complete transparency.
Texting allows your services to become a seamless experience, especially when you incorporate payments over text. You’ll be able to greatly increase your cash flow when you make the payment process a breeze.
Offer Incentives for Writing Reviews
You need online reviews, and plenty of them if you want to stand out from your competition. When people are searching for landscaping services or a local lawn care company, you need to rank high on the search engine page in order to bring in new business.
Reviews are the fastest way to grow your lawn care business’ reputation online, and texting helps you earn more of them.
After a service, send over a text with a direct link to your review page, whether it be on Yelp, Google Reviews, or something else. As a thank you for leaving a review, offer your customers things like a discount on their next service.
When you make it more convenient for your customers to leave you reviews, they’ll be more likely to give the feedback you need.
So how do you begin implementing these texting best practices to grow your landscaping business?
As you get into it, you’ll notice texting from a personal cell phone creates more challenges than it solves, and you’ll want to opt for a business texting software.
We typically recommend starting with one of these use cases. For instance, start with seasonal promotions because you know that will drive a quick return. Once you’re comfortable, layer on a second use case, and so on.
Incorporating a solid texting strategy into your landscaping business will keep you top of mind with your customers, and make you more attractive to prospects, thus boosting your bottom line all year round.
By Jessica Ayre, a content marketing specialist at Text Request, a business texting solution used by many landscaping companies across North America.