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Chris Kozol uses video blogs to educate and communicate with customers.

Lee Chilcote | January 3, 2012

The days when Chris Kozol was able to personally meet with every customer to educate them on lawn care treatment options and discuss their service plans are long gone. Since founding Forest Green Lawn and Landscape in Omaha, Neb., nearly 15 years ago, Kozol has hired a team of salespeople to interface with his loyal customers.

Nonetheless, in the past few years, he has begun using a low cost, tech-savvy marketing tool to reach out to customers – at least, in a virtual sense. Through creating video blogs that he emails out to every customer in his database, Kozol is able to provide lawn care tips, company updates and, of course, sell his services.

“It’s impossible for me to be out on every yard, so this is another way of touching my customers,” he says. “Video blogs are becoming increasingly popular. This is a nice way for my customers to see from the owner of the company, to hear from me.”

To create the short, 2-3 minute videos, Kozol hired a local Omaha blogger. He decided not to hire a professional marketing firm after noticing that some of the most popular content on Internet sites like YouTube is shot and edited by amateurs.

“I knew that I didn’t need to hire a production company,” Kozol says. “People get bombarded with stuff every day, so I wanted the videos to be quick and easy – something to brighten their day, give them knowledge and let them know we’re here.”

As he began to develop the videos, Kozol jotted down a list of topics that he wanted to address throughout the course of the year. He took his cues from frequently asked questions and seasonal topics such as shoveling a driveway in the winter.

“It just started snowing here, so we had a little blog on snow safety,” Kozol says. “When it’s time for pre-emergent in the spring, then we’ll do something on that.”

Forest Green’s video blogs are delivered in an engaging, off-the-cuff style, yet Kozol still devotes time beforehand to developing ideas and listing what he wants to say. “The person that films me throws in his two cents, and we work on it together,” he says. “I think the most we’ve ever done is three takes, and they’re quick. I will say a lot of different things – they don’t have to be in the perfect order – and he’ll edit it.”

At the end of the day, and for a fairly modest investment, Kozol will have a fun, useful video blog that he can email to his entire client base, post on YouTube and add to his website. He knows that marketing professionals would probably criticize the production quality of Forest Green’s blog, but he doesn’t care because his customers love it.

“I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from our customers, including many who said they’d gotten to know us better,” he says. “The goal is not to spend a ton of money, but want it to be nice. I don’t want it to be super-professional – I’d just like it to be me.”

 

This is one of three stories that appeared in Lawn & Landscape’s Growing Green e-newsletter. To continue reading about Forest Green Lawn and Landscaping:

Service strategy: This company has grown by adding new offerings for customers.

Great expectations:
A commitment to excellence is important in meeting customer demands.

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