First of all, you can’t talk about customer service in commercial landscaping and tree trimming without including the two types of customers. There are external customers, which pay us to deliver service on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. And there are also internal customers, which are your employees. They are both equally important. If your internal customers are not happy, meaning your landscaping employees, then you are not going to make your external customers happy. Your customers aren’t going to get the quality service that they deserve. You have to take care of both, and it starts with the internal customers, your employees.
For your internal customers, let them know you care about them. Let them know you appreciate what they do. Thank them when they do a good job or when they do something well. Treat them the way you would want to be treated. Internal customers want to feel like you care and feel like they are part of something bigger than just the work they are doing.
External customers want dependability; to know that you are going to be there every week, same day, same time. They want consistency; the work to be done the same way that they have specified in the contract. They want quality; the level of quality that they expect and were promised. They want responsiveness which means handling requests, problems or issues in a timely manner. They want communication; listening to them and keeping them informed on a regular basis of the condition of their landscapes.
Commercial property managers and facility managers have a lot of other issues to handles besides the landscaping and tree trimming. If Team LMC can take that burden off of their plate, the customer is going to appreciate us more. This means regular meetings with your customers, to either walk the property or just meet with them in their office to go over what’s happening on the property. Let them know when you are changing seasonal color, checking the irrigation systems, when it’s time to mulch or when tree trimming needs to be done. Follow up is also very important. After completing certain tasks or requests, let them know that it’s been done. Otherwise, they are just guessing or hoping that it got done. Again, communication is very, very important.
Finally, it is important to be proactive. I can’t put enough emphasis on the importance of seeing potential issues in their landscaping before they do.
Each of these actions build a relationship of trust between the landscaper and the client. Building long-term relationships is a combination of developing trust and getting to know your clients on a personal level; when’s their birthday, what are their hobbies, what restaurants do they like, what is their family like? Find some common interests that you might have with them. Once you establish the relationship and transition it from a business/customer relationship to a personal relationship, you’ve reached the point where there is a bond. Remember, the more you’re interested in others, the more interesting people find you. Maintaining these relationships never stops. LMC prides itself on creating customers for life. Building meaningful relationships with both our internal customers and our external customers is how we achieve this goal.