As lawn care professionals know well, it can be hard to draw attention in a crowd of companies. Reliable, high-quality service will get you word of mouth, but today’s marketplace requires more. Since the basis of lawn care is customer service, here are some tried and true ideas that will help set your company apart. Do what you say you’re going to do. For lawn care pros, this means showing up when you said you would. This is less of an issue in the spray trade, since customers aren’t necessarily home when you visit and a certain amount of flexibility is assumed. However, you never know when a customer telecommutes or unexpectedly needs to stay home with a sick child. It’s wise to act as though someone is watching at all times.
Know your customers, and train your staff to do the same. Whether you’re a one- or two-person venture or a bigger operation, every person who comes into contact with a regular customer should be familiar with that person’s lawn and its needs. Smart phones and other devices make it easy to take photos and record notes to refresh memories later. Respond to calls and e-mails as fast as is practical.
Develop a strong brand identity. This may seem like a low priority, but consider how many cartoon mascots and advertising jingles have collected in your mind. People remember interesting logos and short, direct slogans, especially on the side of a big truck that regularly passes through their neighborhood. Eye-catching employee uniforms are another plus.
Maintain professional marketing materials. Although some worry that digital technology is too impersonal, your website is actually a great way to connect on a human level. You can tell your story the way you want to, explaining why you chose the lawn care industry. Lists of your services and pricing can give “shoppers” much of the information they need to make a decision before they even contact you. You can show off compliments from satisfied customers and photos of lawns that have benefited from your work.
There are some important practices that are specific to lawn care, like taking care not to get spray on sidewalks or roads and leaving lawns as clean or even cleaner as when you arrived. But even these are expressions of the same central idea: looking for ways to go the extra mile. If every employee of your company assumes personal responsibility for each and every lawn you care for — well, you might not be literally one of a kind, but you sure won’t have to worry about standing out.