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Old 02-05-2015, 02:40 PM
Susanf@AGM Susanf@AGM is offline
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Location: Raleigh, NC
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Making customer relationships stronger

What is your biggest challenge with maintaining customer relationships?
For you, what is your favorite way (phone, email, etc) to talk to your customers?
What are you currently doing to help build relationships with your customers?
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2015, 02:58 PM
FoghornLeghorn FoghornLeghorn is offline
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Corrected version below
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Originally Posted by FoghornLeghorn View Post
I like to email and text. It allows the person on the other end to respond at their leisure. If I have a text conversation that's beginning to happen that I see is going to take a long time or is very detailed, I call just so that I'm not texting back-and-forth for four hours to have a 10 minute conversation.

Every now and then,also like to send lunch to the management company for however many people are there.

If you have a manager you really like, take them and their spouse out to dinner and get to know them on a personal level. That usually seals the deal
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Old 02-05-2015, 02:58 PM
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Woody82986 Woody82986 is offline
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I will communicate however the client prefers to communicate, but I prefer to utilize email and texting because it creates a paper trail that helps me keep better track of things. My biggest challenge to maintaining client relationships is a lack of interest from the client to keep communication open and often. It makes it harder provide the results a client wants and I want to give when they aren't good communicators. I try to set the pace of communication from the outset of the business relationship.
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:37 AM
lukemelo216 lukemelo216 is online now
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I prefer picking up the phone and calling. I try to do this once a month with all my clients. Some I am only on the phone with for a few minutes, others I chat with for 10-15 minutes. They all appreciate it. It allows me to see how we are doing, make recommendations much easier etc. The biggest benefit is you can actually gauge how someone is responding to you. How many times have you texted or emailed someone and they responded, and you weren't sure if they were mad or not? I know I have received multiple texts and emails where I thought someone was mad but they weren't and vice versa. Now I still text and email them too, but I make it a point to pick up the phone and actually talk to them, or even better meet with them. Go out to lunch, stop by whatever. Regarding a paper trail. Follow up. Pick up the phone call them and then send an email to just verify what you discussed.

Relationship building is really about good communication, and doing what you say your going to do. Its also about doing little things for your clients. I have quite a few who own vacation/weekend homes. When I know they are away, I make it a point to swing by their homes and just check in on it for them. They all have security cameras etc, but that added touch goes a long way. Especially in the off season, when were not there. I see a package on their porch, pick it up and put it in their garage, or in their house. Send them a quick text and say "Hey Mrs Jones, I was in the neighborhood and I know your not in town right now, but I saw a package on the front door and just moved it to a safe location for you. My best clients give me the keys to their house so we can check things. If their is an issue, we call the proper service company, handle the payments and bill our clients.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:43 AM
FoghornLeghorn FoghornLeghorn is offline
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Originally Posted by lukemelo216 View Post
I prefer picking up the phone and calling. I try to do this once a month with all my clients. Some I am only on the phone with for a few minutes, others I chat with for 10-15 minutes. They all appreciate it. It allows me to see how we are doing, make recommendations much easier etc. The biggest benefit is you can actually gauge how someone is responding to you. How many times have you texted or emailed someone and they responded, and you weren't sure if they were mad or not? I know I have received multiple texts and emails where I thought someone was mad but they weren't and vice versa. Now I still text and email them too, but I make it a point to pick up the phone and actually talk to them, or even better meet with them. Go out to lunch, stop by whatever. Regarding a paper trail. Follow up. Pick up the phone call them and then send an email to just verify what you discussed.

Relationship building is really about good communication, and doing what you say your going to do. Its also about doing little things for your clients. I have quite a few who own vacation/weekend homes. When I know they are away, I make it a point to swing by their homes and just check in on it for them. They all have security cameras etc, but that added touch goes a long way. Especially in the off season, when were not there. I see a package on their porch, pick it up and put it in their garage, or in their house. Send them a quick text and say "Hey Mrs Jones, I was in the neighborhood and I know your not in town right now, but I saw a package on the front door and just moved it to a safe location for you. My best clients give me the keys to their house so we can check things. If their is an issue, we call the proper service company, handle the payments and bill our clients.
^^^this guy pretty much summed it up!
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2015, 01:39 PM
lukemelo216 lukemelo216 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoghornLeghorn View Post
^^^this guy pretty much summed it up!
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Thanks. If you read various trade magazines, surveys etc. There are so many articles that show you what drives consumer satisfaction, what drives people to hire companies etc. The number one response is good communication. Pricing, like everyone always says is usually never even in the top 3. That includes commercial and residential surveys. I can't tell you how many times I have sold jobs at 15-25% sometimes even 40% higher than the "normal going rate" because I take the time to talk with the client build a good relationship, get them comfortable with me and my company.

To answer the OP's other question of what we do to retain good relations with our clients....here are some of the many things we do:

1: Send out thank you cards. All of our maintenance clients get one at least once a year. D/B clients get one immediately following the completion of the job. Handwritten.

2: Holiday cards. Every year all of our clients receive a holiday card. Again handwritten.

3: Gifts. Larger clients who spend more money with us also get a gift from us, whether its a gift basket, fruit basket, sweet treat, or gift card to a upscale restaurant we send it to them. Generally at least $100 value.

4: Phone calls & in person meetings. We try to call our clients monthly and meet with them at least 3 times a year.

5: Partake in their charitable interests. When you talk with them and get to know them you tend to find out what causes they are interested in. Every so often we will send them a letter and say we would like to make a donation to xyz charity in their name. A few days later we will call with a follow up and make sure its ok.

These are just a few of the ways we build relationships and keep our clients happy. Lets not forget the basics of doing what we say we are going to do and simply just doing good work. Not cutting corners or half assing something because you under bid the job or your just looking to make an extra couple dollars.
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  #7  
Old 02-12-2015, 10:09 AM
Susanf@AGM Susanf@AGM is offline
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Thank you for your response! You had some great points- It's clear you have great relationships with your customers!
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