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Inside LANDSCAPES 2020 Day Two Sessions

Midway through LANDSCAPES 2020: The Virtual Experience and the sessions are still going strong. Concurrent education sessions were held on topics ranging from leadership & supervision, financial management, sales & marketing, innovation & technology, human resources & training, employee recruitment & retention, and safety.

Creating the Forever Subscription Customer

Beth Berry with Real Green Systems led a session on Creating the Forever Subscription Customer.

In Berry’s session, she explained how moving customers to a “member relationship” allows you to disrupt the status quo and establish market dominance.

Recurring services such as mowing, chemical lawn care, mosquito control, pool maintenance and tree care are all services that can easily be offered as a subscription. Berry says even design/build companies can take advantage of this by providing subscriptions for the ongoing services they offer.

Berry says that COVID-19 has increased e-commerce and online bill pay for those new to the category by 46 percent, leading to digital acceleration.

Subscription customers equal better lawn results as no one is placed on financial hold and are serviced on time. By having customers on autopay, your company has more revenue and flexibility with scheduling as you do not have to wait for payment.

Berry says subscription customers are also easier to upsell, as consumers are already accustomed to purchasing bundles with ‘good,’ ‘better,’ ‘best’ options.

Convenience is crucial in order for subscriptions to work and get customers on board.  

To have a successful subscription service, you need to have a credit card on file. Next you need to establish the ‘budget bill’ mentality. A frictionless billing system with accurate pricing models is also necessary. Berry says you need to nurture the forever customer and commit to communicating with the client year-round.

“Every green industry business has the opportunity to offer recurring services using budget billing,” Berry says. “Now is the time to leverage the disruption COVID-19 created by accelerating online payments and transforming your business to a subscription-based ‘membership model’ creating unprecedented profit and customers for life.”  

Cultivating and Keeping Key People

Another session presented today was Cultivating and Keeping Key People, which was hosted by Jason New and Chris Psencik with McFarlin Stanford, a recruiting and consulting firm for the landscape industry.

Recruiting does not happen on accident. In order to cultivate and keep your key people, New and Psencik encourage hiring outside the box. This includes using an employee referral program to bring in new hires. It is important to define your ideal team member, so you know what traits to look for.

“Don’t settle,” Psencik says. “There are good people out there and it may take time and it may put you in a bad way but understand it’s worth the wait if you find that right individual that’s the right match for your team.”

Treat job candidates like clients as you are never their only option. Conduct multiple interviews, but move through the process in a timely manner, otherwise, they might accept a different offer.  

Onboarding successfully also helps with retention, which calls for having a process and being prepared for your new hire’s first day. Provide your new employee with the information they need to get started and intentionally teach your culture to them.

New and Psencik say you also need to build trust from the top down. Companies should work to engage with team members and get to know them.  

Develop your key leaders with cross-training and provide a career path for everyone on your team. Ask your team members what their goals are and where they want to be in five years.

“I think it’s letting people know that we’re looking out for their future and we want to see them grow beyond where we’re hiring them,” Psencik says. “I may hire you as a garden manager or an account manager, but I see you one day managing a team of garden managers. Let’s give them a reason to want to be with you for the course of their career.”

If you missed any of these sessions, or haven’t registered for LANDSCAPES yet, there’s still time to view this content with the 365 Day All-Access Pass.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the content manager for NALP.

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