One of the BIGGEST challenges of growing any successful lawn care business is making sure your customers stay with you month after month and hopefully year after year. It can be especially difficult in situations like what our current economy is presenting because people are really watching their expenses and the competition is extremely stiff, with many of your competitors willing to cut their prices down to basically nothing.
In spite of all these challenges you’ll face, it’s critically important to recognize that your most valuable asset is still your existing customer. Because it’s at least 5-10 times more expensive to land a brand new customer, you really should do everything within your power to keep those customers you already have.
If you can keep your customers longer than your competition, you’ll position yourself to sell more services, increase your transaction amount because of the increased trust, and ultimately be able to grow your lawn care or landscaping business much faster.
Here are a few quick ideas to help you fight customer attrition and hold onto them for longer:
- Communicate with them consistently. And sending them a monthly invoice DOES NOT count. If you’ll reach out to them a couple of times a month, either via email, hard copy newsletter, or a phone call you’ll quickly develop a reputation as a business that cares which will really help you when the ‘low-price, low-service’ guy knocks on their door.
- Send them holiday, anniversary, or birthday cards. In addition to communicating with them on a monthly basis, you should also reach out to them on special occasions. Nothing tells people you’re genuinely interested in them more than a timely greeting card on their birthday or anniversary. And because holiday cards are usually saved for friends and family, by sending them one you’re letting them know you’re much more than just a service provider.
- Reward them for their loyalty. If you have customers that have been with you for a long time, let them know you appreciate their loyalty by sending them inexpensive, but heartfelt gifts. While you might be tempted to give them a free service, I’ve always believed that when you send something outside of what they normally get from you it will be more memorable and have a greater impact.
Ultimately, the thing to remember is that your customers don’t owe you a thing. Just because they’ve done business with you in the past doesn’t mean they’ll continue to do so.
By making sure you communicate consistently with your customers you let them know you truly do value the relationship and they really do matter to your business. Follow these 3 simple suggestions and watch you customer retention rates climb and your competitors scramble to find another lawn care business to steal customers from!