You landed the bid, got the homeowner to sign the dotted line. The landscape installation crew has completed the last finishing touches on the garden setting with the final shovel of mulch being used for touchup. Now it’s time to collect the last draw and move on to the next client. Wow! Not so fast. Let’s examine the final moments you have with this client in order to wrap the ribbon on the package! Follow up after the sale should be considered while you’re still on the job. Here are a few steps I recommend to complete the landscape installation and exceed their expectations.
#1-Inspect all areas finished. Don’t wait for the homeowner to point unfinished areas out. Inspect every last inch of the property including the areas that were staged for breaks and equipment storage. Pick up all debris, sweep, and blow ensuring the area looks better than it was found. Go beyond the perimeters, covering porches, driveways and in between. Leave it spotless.
#2-Walk around with the homeowner. With contract in hand, walk through the area serviced and remind the homeowner of the space before and the process taken to exhibit the final product or package. This will give a chance to explain procedures taken to ensure the job was a success. The homeowner gets a chance to ask questions, verify and observe the end result. Suggest any care or maintenance that will be necessary for the existing installation. Do the plants need fertilized next spring? How much water will they require? This valuable time will build confidence in your care of the client’s project and give them confidence to maintain it or call you for assistance. It’s also a good time to suggest your service offerings for the future. They may know you do landscapes but not know you do tree work or hardscapes.
#3-Leave something in their hand. Other than the bill or a handshake, leave something in their hand meaning, a brochure, business card or promotional item that will remind the client to call you again. Let them know you will follow up in three to six months to make sure all is going well and how they like their new additions. At this time, when you feel the client is pleased with your work, ask for a review on your favorite social media outlet. (i.e. Angie’s List, Google+, Facebook, etc.) Give a handout explaining how to get to these sites or a mail-in review form. If they’re game, ask for a video interview and record with your phone a two-minute review and post.
#4-Send a thank you card or email. Thanks are always appreciated. It takes time to sit and write a thank you note but the investment is always worth it. Without your clients trusting in your expertise, you wouldn’t be working. Again, with the card, always include a business card/information to use later or pass along. Staying reachable builds bridges and fills in gaps.
#5-Schedule on your calendar for follow-up. Calling for a follow up three months down the road after the install shows you really care about your clients. It also gives them a chance to ask questions and inquire about your services. Inform of changes that should be happening in their garden or chores that need performed. The opportunity may present itself for you to explain more services you provide or ask for a referral.
Giving great customer service the minute you take the initial phone call to the minute you drive away is critical to winning the bid and keeping a repeat client that will refer you! These are easy steps to take to ensure you have a system in place for follow up. If you need support with follow up or any other administrative tasks, I am a virtual assistant for the landscape industry and I can help. Contact me today.