Depending on the weather, spring might still be a slower season for your landscaping business. Many people really don’t want to start cutting their grass after the initial post-winter cut until it starts greening up as the temperatures get higher. Or people will start off with great intentions of cutting their own grass before realizing the burden of weekly or once a week cuts. That’s when they turn to the professionals. So while you may have used the winter to gear up for the first wave of calls in the spring, it’s time to be ready for the summer calls.
Review your inventory, staff and equipment
Do you have enough parts handy in case a piece of equipment breaks down? Is everything running smoothly or does equipment need maintenance or repair? It’s also important to take a look at your staff – whether you have enough to handle the volume or you need to hire more. Summer is a great time to hire high school or college students looking for a summer job.
Increase advertising and marketing
Get your name out there. After all, you’re in a highly saturated market. Whether you take out ads or place signage around your coverage area, when people think of landscaping, you want your name to pop up. Consider your customer experience and the service you provide. Word-of-mouth marketing is major in the landscaping industry. You want people to share their great experience with you to friends and family looking for a service.
Figure out what you do differently
Scope out your competition and find out what sets you apart. Are your prices the lowest? Do you offer more comprehensive services? If you don’t have a key differentiator, you might consider creating one. Even if it’s a deal for existing customers – like one free mow a year after six months of service or a 15 percent discount for signing a yearlong contract for new customers.
Make sure your website looks great
You can put your name and number on signage, but the first place people are going to go is your website to learn more about services and prices. Most landscaping businesses have a contact form on their website and offer a free quote to new customers. Your website is where people are going to get the bulk of their information before calling you, so it needs to look up to par.
Have your phone line staffed
Between new leads, existing customers and those requesting quotes, you need to have someone on your phone lines to handle all the requests and providing necessary information. If you don’t, then your efforts to grow your business will be wasted. You want to provide great customer experience but sending customers to voicemail to wait for a call back is poor customer service. Not being able to answer when prospective customers will likely result in your prospective customers calling the next landscaping business on their list. If a quote comes in through email, you want to respond to that as quickly as possible to increase your conversation rate.
Who’s answering your calls?
If you don’t have a dedicated employee to answer calls during your business, consider hiring one – even if it’s just seasonally. If that’s not in the budget, perhaps you could rotate employees in 2-3 shifts to cover the phones. But if your staff is stretched thin and you need all your employees out tending to yards, then an answering service is your solution.
What is an answering service?
An answering service, at the most basic level, is a team of operators available to answer your calls when you aren’t. You can choose when your calls are answered and operators will take messages and send them to you. Then you can prioritize who to call back first. This frees up time and ensures you aren’t missing calls during business hours.
VoiceNation’s landscaping answering service
At VoiceNation, we know your business hours aren’t 9 to 5. That’s why we’re a 24/7 live answering service. That means weekends and even holidays! We also do more than just answer calls and take messages. We can handle your scheduling, forward your calls and we provide bilingual operators, all at no additional cost to you. We are the trusted answering service for thousands of businesses. Give us a try for free or call us to learn more! 877.679.3777.