Every season we work with lawn care companies to get them up and ready for the year. Each year we witness great business fall short of their goals and potential. We often see potentially great business take the wrong steps, and they simply cannot recover from it. Here’s 17 major red flags that can hamstring your entire business.
1. Poor Customer Service:
Having poor customer service can lead to a massive interoffice disaster.. This is never a good situation. Without building personal relationships between representatives and customers you risk major dissatisfaction. Be sure you have your customer service team on a path for great success. Allow them several means of contact with customer and assurance they’ll deal with their preferred rep. Whomever takes the initial complaint should be the person who gives the resolution. Unless a customer explicitly requires a supervisor, any complaint call should be resolved immediately. You can learn more on our blog about customer service!
2. Poor Service:
The backbone of any lawn care service is the production itself. Knowing what each lawn tech is capable of is the first step. Accounting for your service area is obviously important as well. Any competent lawn care company will optimize their route to compete as many services as possible in a given day. Failure to establish a proper route will cost everyone more money than needed.
3. Lack Of Follow Up:
Not following up can throw major red flags for your customer. If you tell someone you will call them back do so. If you have a problem such as a bad Google review try your best to fix it. That will surely help you .
4. Continuous Service :
You must remind your customers about continuous services. In some states there are laws regarding this topic as well. Not reminding your customers of continual service can cost you a lot of money and time. Be sure you keep yourself and your staff on top of reminding customers of continual service.
5. Poor Scheduling:
When your schedule is out of whack and you start to miss appointments it can really cause you some issues. You must be sure that you stay on top of your schedule. From personal experience the last call you want is “ Why did you not come again today?”. You need to be sure to stay on top of your scheduling and be on time! It will really impact your customer retention.
6. Not Doing Call Aheads:
If you offer call aheads to customers the night prior to service be sure you do so. I cannot count the amount of $1,000’s we have seen companies loose over lack of call aheads. It is essential that you get call aheads done on time and that you make contact with the customer.
7. Forgetting Pre Pay Letters:
If your currently not utilizing pre pay letters than it may be time to start. If you do send them out don't forget to get them out early. Did you know that an average of 6 out of 10 customers are used to prepaying for their services. Keeping up with your customers is essential, be sure you beat your competition to the punch line or it can truly affect your bottom line sometimes by even up to 15% in worst case scenarios.
8. Overuse of Chemicals:
Excessive use of weed control and even fertilizer can have catastrophic effects on your lawn. Fertilizer burn is a common issue with poorly applied service or uneducated ‘do it yourself’ applications. Proper use will mean noticeable effects to your turf in possibly a single season. Utilizing a professional service will ensure the correct combination of chemicals and timing of applications.
9. Bad Billing Systems
Having a bad billing system can lead to a long term issue for both you as a business owner and your staff. The loss of profits from improper billing can lead to catastrophic events within your business financial system. If you do not have your billing set up that is something you should look at immediately.
10..Make False Promises
Do not make false promises to your customers. If you give them your word get the job done. This is one of the most deadly sins in business. By giving your customers your word and not following through you are failing yourself and your customer. This can lead to a lack of trust in you and your brand. Also be sure to instill this in your staff as well.
11.Start service to early or late
Starting your services too early or too late can lead to a loss of customers rather quickly. All customers have a predetermined concept of when service should start. Also every business has a consistent start time. As long as your not out in freezing weather seeding, or mowing when the grass is dormant you should be ok. Just be sure overall to keep a decent schedule.
12:Having Poor Reviews
Having poor reviews can lead to utter chaos. Being a company that works with lawn care business reputations we have seen it all. I cannot tell you how bad it can get when you have poor reviews. We had a company at one point we were trying to turn around that have 3 locations and over 90 negative reviews. Those reviews lost them a total of $438,000.00 in a period of 12 months. How did this occur? Well when you are counting loss from new customer cancellation over reviews, lost leads over reviews,and the customers lost placing the reviews they took a hit. We highly suggest that no matter what else you do you keep a very close eye on the reviews for your business. This will be your greatest tool or worst enemy par none.
13. Excessively Marketing Aeration
We all love upsells in our industry. That revenue is usually where we make most of our profit margin to be honest, but overdoing it will scare customers off and tick others off. When you are doing a sales campaign do not over call the customers. Even if the good old method of forcing your sales staff to make dozens of calls to the same number is key, it can also lead to a lot of canceled accounts. Be sure you set call limits for yourself and your sales staff. 6 calls to the same number is a great standard to call. After that move that contact to the not interested list. Also be sure if a customer request calls stop that they do.
14. Miss Information
Giving your customers poor information or improper information can cause a lot of issues. If you are quoting facts in your sales pitch be sure you know what your speaking about. Also every homeowner in modern day time thinks they are a certified grass pro due to YouTube. Be sure you have your diseases and fungi down or let a customer know you are unsure what the issue is and seek help.
15. Under Educated Applicators
If your team in the field is not trained properly this can really drag your team down in the production side of the business and the sales side. This issue has a 360 Degree effect on your business due to the fact that lack of training leads to poor choices in the field and much more. To avoid miss applications, damage, and even someone being hurt it is essential to train your staff properly prior to letting them enter the field.
16. Failure to Follow Up On Previous Seasons Promises
Every season will suffer from dissatisfied customers and poor applications. Besides being the nature of the business, it has a simple conclusion. Knowing that the previous season’s production issues are priority is integral. It’s quite common to lose customers due to lack of follow through. Keeping an open line of communication and multiple points of contact will ease the dissatisfaction.
17. Failure to Retain Good Employees
An effective, productive employee is a rare commodity. Understanding their value is paramount to maintaining a satisfied and happy clientele . Utilizing a combination of production incentives and general appreciation will ensure a grateful and productive sales and front office team.
If you have any of these 17 issues affecting your business currently it is essential that you get them fixed. If not you will deal with long term customer retention issues, bad reviews and possibly more. Always be sure to keep in tuned with all of these aspects of your business!
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