In the landscaping industry, we know that loyal customers are key to business success. Great landscape companies achieve this daily by finding ways to tune into customers’ voices each and everyday, and then take action on what they learn from each client interaction. Acting on feedback continuously ‘closes the loop’ between what the brand promises and the experience delivered. Businesses should never under-estimate the value of meeting customers’ basic expectations but equally, we should also not ignore the financial benefits of exceeding them. By keeping the customer at the heart of your business, you can deliver an experience so good that it changes their economic behaviors.
So, how can businesses ensure they are keeping customers at the heart of what they do?
Action Item 1: Keep it professional with a ‘Personal Touch’
Many businesses become so inward-looking and focused on analyzing data that they stop hearing the real voices of their customers. It is essential to personalize the communication you have with each individual customer and to a take their feedback on board as an action point for the business to continually improve.
Action Item 2: Always celebrate success!
Your front line should be empowered to do the right thing for the customer; encourage them to take the initiative and be commended on results and feedback. Some companies we work with have a commission structure built around their individual customer feedback, which can be a great driver and incentive for staff to do the best that they can and excel in the service that they deliver. Build a real Customer Centric’ service delivery model.
Action Item 3: Create change with feedback, what’s work in the past might not always work in the present and or future.
Bring visibility to the customer journey by using measurement tools to track feedback, analyse and progress your service delivery model. A good starting point can be to measure what matters most to customers in the transaction experience, as this will have the most influence. Improvement goals for each area of the customer’s journey can be shared with the team to align their goals. Often, contractors just believe its the end result hat matters, in contrary, it’s the whole experience from start to finish that really matters.
Action Item 4: Bring the customer into the ‘Meeting Room’
It can be easy for the customer to slip out of mind when both executive and management teams are focusing on growing the business, so keeping them visible through conversation in meetings helps the whole business to understand how important customer experience is to the bottom line. Continually enlighten your TEAM with feedback, as well as areas for improvement, this enables you to keep the customer at the forefront of your business
Action Items 5: Fix what does not work…for good!
Focus your team on solving the customer’s issue/concerns or dissatisfaction the first time. Set a standard of say the ‘Top 6’ customer service standards that must be met through all client transactions. Make sure that these standards are measurable and delivered with each customer interaction.
Ultimately, while customers do not expect the brand they deal with to be perfect 100% of the time, by striving to deliver a great customer experience and quickly putting it right when you don’t, you can change their final perspective of the relationship and even the economic behavior of your customers and therefore your business results.
Oh, yes…Spring is in the air and it’s time to be prepared. Are you?
About the author; Steven Cohen is a landscape industry SME & Chief Innovation Officer at GreenMark Consulting Group; a Landscape-Snow Industry Business-Consulting/Advisory firm that specializes in helping small-medium sized growth oriented companies grow from under one million dollars to over five million dollars and beyond. You can reach Steven Cohen by phone at 610.905.3637. Email Steven at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.greenmarkgroup.com to learn more about our services.
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