Service-based businesses like landscaping contractors depend on two things to survive and thrive: reputation and customer communication. Your reputation is strongly influenced by the quality of service your company provides, and when talking about landscaping that involves the beauty and maintenance of a client’s property. However, your business cannot thrive on reputation alone. You need to be proactive about gathering leads and securing positive references to lend credibility to an established or developing reputation.
Communication is critical to the bolstering of your business. While a client may be satisfied with the service, if they do not feel heard or appreciated, then your reputation may struggle. Service businesses are more about personality and relationships than other enterprises, which is why it is crucial to take a different approach to marketing and consumer contact. Text messaging is significantly more beneficial than other traditional and digital marketing efforts, and it can help your landscaping company succeed in at least four ways.
There is no denying the need for traditional and digital marketing practices in lead generation for landscaping businesses. Using conventional means, like print ads, and digital measures, like websites and pay-per-click advertisements, a company can expand its reach beyond simple word-of-mouth or grassroots campaigning.
However, a company can bolster its reach even further by using text messaging in its digital endeavors. Most consumers today want simplified and contactless approaches to communicate with companies, yet they also want to have a personal connection. Text messaging offers the ultimate solution, and it can help your business with lead generation in three distinct ways.
Text messaging provides a unique opportunity for rapid responses to consumer inquiries. As any landscaping business owner understands, the quicker you respond to a consumer, the more likely you are to receive their business. Many small companies still rely on email and phone for most of their contact with consumers, which can be a costly mistake. Did you know it takes a person, on average, 12 hours to respond to an email? In that amount of time, a landscaping business using text messaging could have responded to the client and scheduled an appointment.
Many small operations choose to avoid text messaging as a service because they overestimate the difficulty of implementation. In reality, incorporating a texting service is as simple as contracting with the right company, like CanaryTEXT, and placing a texting button on your website. You can choose to either have the button embedded or floating. An embedded click-to-text button stays on your website permanently, regardless of the device a potential customer uses. A floating button, alternatively, will only appear when a client is using a mobile device. The option really depends on what you feel is better for your client base.
Beyond optimizing your website, it is wise to optimize your Google ads. For example, you can add a text-to-contact option on your Google Business listing, allowing local searches to text message your company instead of calling or sending an email. You can also add the same option to Google AdWords. In your local listing, the prompt will appear in line with the buttons for directions or calling, and in your PPC campaigns, the text option will often include a unique message, whatever you choose, like, “text to get a 20% discount off your first cut.”
As with any service-based business, communication is paramount to service and repeat business. A company must demonstrate that it hears and understands the customer and that the opinion of the client matters. Now, that does not mean a business must subject itself to verbal abuse or interrogation from the client, but it does mean that communication is respected on both sides.
While it may sound strange, text messaging is a practical approach toward establishing mutual respect between the client and your business. Through text, you can eliminate traditional boundaries and help the customer feel that they are essential to the business’s success. There are at least five ways texting improves customer communication.
Information and question gathering
It is not unusual for a potential client to have numerous questions for a new landscaping service. They may want to know about costs and frequency of cuts or fertilizing and any number of other lawn care information. When reaching out to several landscaping companies, who do you think will get a curious customers business, the company who responds the same day, same hour, or the one that takes a full 24 hours to respond by email? When competition is high, like among landscape contractors, every second counts. Texting allows a business to reach out to a client first, which makes the customer feel appreciated.
A frustrating thing for prospective clients is the need to wait for an accurate estimate. As a landscaper, you need to understand the scale of a project to know how much to charge. Often, a picture is enough to tell you whether you can finish a yard in a half-hour or longer, which contributes to cost. By using a texting service, you can ask a client to take a photo of their lawn and send it, which will allow you to give an accurate and unique quote to that particular client. Again, time is of the essence in the service industry.
Text messaging can also allow your company to automate some rudimentary tasks, like scheduling a quote or service request. A customer can text that they are interested in receiving lawn care from your company, and through an automated response, the client can access a link to your company calendar, which will allow them to schedule an assessment. Your office will get a notification of the potential new client, and you can then verify their appointment with a personalized response or with yet another automated message.
Record of previous conversations
One of the most significant aspects of using a text messaging service is that you will have a record of all past communication with a client. Having a history of previous conversations means that you will be able to recall specific facts and details of a project or request, which again aids in making the client feel appreciated. Having these previous messages also makes it easier to know when you have addressed all the customer’s needs using the text record as a checklist. The messages will also serve as protection against accusations of wrongdoing.
Feedback or reviews
While there was a time when clients would take a service at its word, that is no longer the case in most instances. People trust the word of other consumers over the business they want to hire. Therefore, it is more critical than ever to encourage happy customers to leave reviews of your landscaping work. Unfortunately, many satisfied customers avoid leaving reviews because they feel the task may be too time-consuming. Text messaging can help ensure positive reviews and even help make the process easier for clients. After you have finished a yard, send a text message to the client, asking them to leave a review if they are happy with your work. In the message, provide a link to the review site.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Beyond improving communication channels with potential and current clients, text messaging can enhance the overall customer experience. It is necessary to respect that clients have busy lives and that your business may not be their top priority, which is why you need to do everything in your power to ensure that the customer thinks about you, and often. Through text messaging, you can improve four areas of the consumer experience to ensure that they remember your landscaping service.
Appointment scheduling can be a hassle for customers because they need to communicate with you, but at your convenience, which may not be a convenience to them. By using text messaging and automated prompts, you can allow a client to set up their appointments without the need to wait for a response from you. By providing links to work calendars and times, a client can set up their appointment, and then you or your service can confirm the details at your convenience.
Beyond scheduling, text messaging services, like CanaryTEXT, allow your service to remind clients of their appointment at whatever interval works best for you. For example, you can set reminders to go out the day before a service or even the day of. You can also have your landscape crew send out a text when they are twenty minutes out from a job, which allows a homeowner to prepare their property by unlocking gates or putting pets away.
In a world where going green is increasingly important, the more paperwork you can eliminate, the better. Text messaging allows for the quick transmission of invoices and any other crucial documents, like service contracts. You can send a link to the paperwork, allowing the clients to click on it and review the documents at their convenience. Thankfully, because of the higher reading rate of text than an email, you can rest assured that your client received the items they need.
Finally, as your clients have busy lives, you cannot blame them if they overlook a payment or invoice. Text messaging allows you to set reminders to go out at scheduled times, meaning that you can set them and forget them. You will never have to wonder again whether a client received their bill because you will have a mobile record of the exchange. These reminders are not meant to be belittling or heavy-handed; they are instead meant to assist the customer experience, ensuring that all parties are happy with the transaction.
While there is no denying the importance of customer interactions and their ultimate experience with your landscaping service, text messaging is equally essential to the management of your operations. Through messaging services, like CanaryTEXT, your company can succeed on both the external and internal fronts. Externally, texting improves your communication and experience with your clients, but internally, texting increases operational efficiency, employee satisfaction and profits.
Using landlines and computers to call and email potential and current clients is inefficient. Your business can only make so much money when all transactions involve one-on-one exchanges. While texting does not eliminate the one-on-one intimacy necessary for establishing long-lasting professional relationships, it improves multitasking. Think about it. You cannot speak with two or three clients simultaneously about different projects while talking on the phone, but when texting, it is not only possible, it is manageable. Also, unlike with email exchanges with slow response rates, a client is more likely to respond quickly to a text.
The ability to multitask or carry several conversations at once is also beneficial to employees. When a worker needs an answer quickly, they can often not wait the twenty minutes or more that you need to get out of an ongoing conversation with other managers. Texting allows you to see and respond to worker notifications quickly. The rapid response to employee problems means that workers or team members feel appreciated and like their role matters, which improve satisfaction in their work life.
Lastly, texting helps you increase your profits by allowing the quicker finalization of service contracts. While texting is a tremendous advantage in the service sector, the advancement of smart devices makes texting even better. You no longer have to spend days exchanging emails or scheduling in-person meetings. You can simply take a picture of the paperwork and send it by text to your client, who can then sign the contract digitally, meaning you can move onto the next prospect.
If your landscaping service is not yet taking advantage of text messaging in its advertising and marketing efforts, what are you waiting for? Contact a representative with CanaryTEXT to find out exactly how text messaging can benefit your business, helping to improve customer satisfaction and improving your profits and leads. While it may sound too simple, texting is the way of the future in consumer and business communication