Customer Retention ideas - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Customer Retention ideas

Hello all, as you know we are taking it up a couple of notches for customer retention this season. So it is understood if we hold on to more clients now the better off ahead we will be into 2010.

A couple of things I want to say, if someone wants to cancel services due to dissatisfied results they should not be canceled! All I would like to happen is to say “Oh my gosh really, I have to have the manager from that department give you call, they need to know about this problem. Is there a better number to reach you at ?” This is an example! For those that are trimming expenses or cutting costs or trying to save money “Oh my gosh really, I have to have someone talk to you there are other payment plans available. What is a good number to reach you at?” This is another example. These are general and there are multiple statements to make, but just trying to paint a picture.

It can be over whelming hearing all the things that clients have to say and most the time none of us have the answer in the heat of the moment. But there are a few things that always stand true when dealing with customer care.

1) They know that the person who answers the phone will probably not be able to fix their problem…but they still want to tell you everything. What they don’t know yet is a) this person cares about my ordeal b) this person is going to do  everything in their power to help me c) that person just made me feel more confident hanging up then when I called in. So ask yourself “How can I get the client to know these things?”

2) They pay our bills…as much as I contribute to “that client is crazy” syndrome. It is only in house and I never, ever, ever let the client feel any of my frustrations, concerns or physcological analysis. I listen when I meet, I compliment about their property, I tell them how beautiful their garbage cans look or their tree is, I listen some more, then I tell them I am going to try and fix their problem. They usually are so gracious and relieved. I remember that this is an opportunity to fix not a lost cause. They want to give us a chance.

3) Mistakes will happen…they will happen with our techs out in the field with our crews, with our sales, with our office, with our managers, with equipment, with printing, with paperwork, with emails and especially with communication. Let me tell you, I do, and I most certainly will in the future, make mistakes. This I know. What I don’t know is how much I will learn from them in the future, when they come, but I will try and so should you. I have worked with customers where the same mistake that I said “I will take this circumstance back and teach others” and they stay with us. You know why, they make mistakes too, they’re human. Most of them have probably been yelled at to for making those mistakes. But their problem was fixed before and they know we can fix it again…and hopefully learn from it. So ask yourself when dealing with customers, what would you like to hear in this situation, what would make you feel confident that the company your working with is there to take care of YOU!

P.S. My customer service tips are not the end all be all but I have learned a few things (I think) and I am trying to learn more…so give me your thought please?

Terry Schmitz

IPM Tree & Lawn Care Manager


Broccolo Tree & Lawn Care