Emphasizing education

A customer’s lawn won’t look as good as it can if you aren’t educating them on all the steps they need to take behind the scenes.

Every client wants the perfect, pristine lawn.

But getting it isn’t as easy as signing up for lawn care services. President of Turf Pride Lawn Care, Dave Petti, says it’s a two-way street between company and client.

“Education is one of the most important things,” he says. “If your customer is not educated on what they have to do, your results won’t be there.”

At his Mentor, Ohio-based company, Petti says the vast majority of customer complaints can be fixed with improved communication and educating the client on what they need to do to benefit the lawn once the technician leaves.

“Nine times out of 10 when the customers are not happy with the results, I can go on their account and find the issues…Usually it’s something they are doing, like cutting the lawn too short,” he says. “The problem isn’t always our service, it’s what they’re doing. And you have to be willing to discuss that with the customer.”

One of the most effective modes of communication are emails that are immediately sent to customers after each application.

“We always educate them by doing an after-service email that shows everything the lawn technician saw on their property and how they can fix those issues — whether it’s adding another service, or something they have to do,” Petti explains.

Petti also advises overcommunicating with clients.

“Communication is huge for us,” he says. “Every piece of the puzzle has to come together for that lawn to look its best.”

New this year, Turf Pride will have service managers follow up with customers who continually mow their grass too low with a phone call. That way, they can head off any problems later in the season.

“Emails are one way, but they’re not the only way,” he says. “If customers aren’t cutting properly, we will give them a phone call and ask if they’ve seen the email that says they’ve been mowing it too short. We’ll tell them the why and how to do it and go that extra step.”

Petti notes the company might even use text messaging to get the point across, as customers have different communication preferences.

He adds that mowing length has always been an issue and something he’s been educating customers on since he started the business 20 years ago.

“When I was out treating lawns myself, there were many times I was in their garage raising the mower blade for them,” he says.

Instilling this education with customers shows them you care just as much as they do, Petti says.

“I always tell customers we have the same goal as they do — we want them to have the best-looking lawns on the street,” he says. “Because our vans are wrapped, and we have marketing signs in their yard and that’s how we grow. If their lawn doesn’t look the best, then we’re not going to pick up the neighbors.

“We let them know what they can do on their end to get the best lawn and the best results out of our program,” Petti adds.