When people need lawn care, they typically begin their search on the internet. Unfortunately, you don’t have complete control over your online reputation. If negative landscaping reviews appear online about your company, removing them is often difficult, if not impossible. Even worse, negative reviews can keep potential customers away.
Fortunately, preventing bad reviews is easier than many people realize. Use the following lawn care business tips to avoid negative reviews from appearing online.
Here are the top things NOT to do so you can maintain an excellent online reputation:
Create Confusing, Generic Invoices
Your customers should never feel confused about costs. Create clear, professional invoices that are easy to understand at a glance.
Keep each invoice short and simple. List the services performed, their itemized rates, and the day performed. Double-check that the invoice if free from spelling and grammatical errors.
Also, the invoice should prominently feature your company’s name, contact information, and logo. If using a generic invoice template, personalize it. Customers often find that custom invoices seem more professional.
Send Different Crews Each Time
No matter the size of your lawn care company, try to keep the same employees at each location for every service call. Customers tend to feel comfortable if the crew remains consistent. They can develop a rapport with the crew members, and don’t have to worry about strangers hanging around the house
Plus, keeping your crew consistent helps improve the quality of the services you can deliver. When employees understand the specific needs and wishes of the client, they can create custom services.
Act Combative Online
Imagine you discover a review online that’s trashing your business. The person is complaining about the bad lawn mowing job you supposedly did. Even worse, they’re completely misrepresenting the situation.
If you’re like most people, it’s only natural to want to set the record straight. You probably want to call the person an idiot while you’re at it, too. However, generally, you want to avoid acting aggressive or argumentative online. It rarely appears professional.
Marketing experts recommend keeping your cool, acknowledging the issue, and responding with empathy. Your best option is to publicly invite the person to continue the discussion via private message.
Acting responsibly and professionally as you attempt to resolve a customer’s complaint, especially if they’re acting angry and irrationally, helps turn a negative online review into a positive marketing experience.
Leave the Gate Open
Leaving a gate open is probably the single most common complaint about lawn care services across the nation. While the issue is annoying at any time, it takes on a specific significance if the open gate results in a beloved pet running away. (Ideally, pets should stay inside during landscaping sessions, but that’s not always possible.)
Train your employees to always close gates, even while they’re working. Make closing gates a habit performed automatically by your team. Also, another helpful strategy is to create checklists your employees must complete for every job, and make sure “close all gates” is the last item on the list.
Leave a Mess
Lawn care is a bit unusual because you have to leave behind grass clippings and other debris. However, you don’t want to leave behind a mess.
Always properly bag everything up and place it in the designated disposal area for the location. Also, only leave behind garbage generated on the property. For instance, it’s okay to bag up grass clippings. However, if your mower breaks, you can’t leave broken engine components in the customer’s trash bin. You need to pack that type of equipment with you to dispose of later.
Show Up Inconsistently
Customers should never wonder where you are or when you plan to arrive. Create a schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
Work with your client to service schedules based on what’s convenient for them. Of course, you can’t accommodate everybody, but try to present clients with a few options for service times.
Delays will occur on occasion. Despite your best efforts, you can’t always guarantee the same time week after week. However, when problems occur, keep your customers informed.
Generally, customers remain fairly tolerant of reasonable delays and schedule changes. However, what people don’t like is a lack of communication. Contact your customer as early as possible if you need to make any schedule modifications.
Use Pushy Sales Techniques
Upselling is a terrific way to increase the services need from your existing customers. However, you want to suggest new services in a polite, respectful way.
For example, your customer might have a lawn that needs aerating. While you’re on-site to mow, you can suggest aeration. But if the customer says no, drop the topic. People don’t want to feel pressured.
However, don’t feel shy about keeping your customers informed. Remember, they’re not lawn care experts; you are. Let them know about any problems or potential problems related to their landscaping. Offering advice is a great solution for how to get lawn care customers to like you.
Customers will only hire you if they consider you trustworthy. One way to increase trust among your customers is to operate your business in an organized way. Customers won’t trust you if you miss appointments, lose important documents, or lack overall consistency.
One easy way to stay organized is with field service management software such as Lawn Care Business Software from WorkWave. It provides a suite of services including invoicing, inventory control, employee tracking when in the field, and more.
Plus, it even helps with lawn care marketing. If you don’t know how to market a lawn care business, you can rest easy, because the software helps guide you through long-term strategies.
Field service software acts like a trusted business partner. If you’d like to check out the software yourself, contact WorkWave today to schedule a free demo.