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Steve
10-28-2008, 06:52 AM
One important thing to remember is that most lawn care customers who are going to cancel service will cancel it shortly after signing up with you From another post, a forum member who studied this said “When researching our cancellation history I found that most of the cancelled lawn care accounts had been cancelled within the first 3-4 months. If they had been more informed from the beginning, maybe we could have saved the sale.”

So if we know that most customers who cancel, tend to cancel early on in the service, due to buyers remorse or a feeling of guilt for spending money on lawn service, why not stop that problem before it happens. Give the customer a good reason why they should keep having you service their yard. Show them the value they are receiving.

One way to do this would be to create a before and after customer letter that focused on a specific problem you were able to resolve. How can you do this?


When you first sign up a new customer, take some photos of problem areas on their property.
Within 3 months, try to resolve at least one of those specific problems and take photos of how the property looks afterwards.
Then send a letter to the customer that shows them how you are working to resolve issues with their lawn and show how you were able to achieve it on this specific section.
Maybe put this letter in with your 3rd month invoice or send it separately with a special envelope that says 3 month lawn status on the back.
Ultimately the customer will feel they are receiving value and will want to continue using your lawn care service.


What other things would you add to such a letter?

http://www.gopherforum.com/uploaded-files/images/before-and-after-letter.jpg

I added a free lawn care customer template to help you get started with this. Download the letter sample here (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?p=42202#post42202).

agrilawn
10-28-2008, 09:07 AM
Excellent Idea Steve! I think it would work great for smaller companies. Our company is a little to big to do this. With 15 techs and an average of 25 lawns per tech, it would be difficult to keep track of.

I think making sure the customer is well informed on how your company handles different situations would help with the customer retention. In my welcome kit, I have tried to include answers to every question they may have.

I started my welcome kits in July. Next month I will do an analysis on the retention rate from the customers that received a welcome kit to see if it really has any affect.

Steve
10-28-2008, 09:27 AM
In my welcome kit, I have tried to include answers to every question they may have.

Do you mean a general list of business frequently asked questions? Like when who to contact. How you bill etc.

Or do you mean more like lawn specific problem questions?

Next month I will do an analysis on the retention rate from the customers that received a welcome kit to see if it really has any affect.

I can't wait to hear how your welcome kits effected your retention. I do hope they retention rates go up. This could help get your boss to let you experiment more with your marketing.

LawncareMarketingMagic
10-28-2008, 04:38 PM
I can see how sending a personalized letter with specifics about the property could be very beneficial, but at the same time it's almost too much work.

I think agrilawn hit the nail on the head in the sense you want to create materials that are reusable and duplicatable. Instead of taking Before & After shots of that particular customers lawn, using 'a lawn' you've done previously should be enough to convey the story you want to get across.

Also, consider sending a few 'welcome' letters. One immediately after they sign the contract and before the first service visit, could be agrilawn's 'Welcome Kit'. Another immediately after the first service visit. And then maybe another one a week later. Each one would contain something different that cements the relationship, reminds the customer of all the benefits they'll be receiving, and potentially even upsells or lets them know about additional services you offer as well.

Ultimately, it comes down to building a relationship with the customer and viewing them like a person, not a transaction. The instant they become simply a transaction is the instant they're on their way out the door as a customer. Especially in today's economy.

Steve
10-28-2008, 04:49 PM
One immediately after they sign the contract and before the first service visit, could be agrilawn's 'Welcome Kit'. Another immediately after the first service visit. And then maybe another one a week later.

What is your view as to that frequency? Why one a week or so after the first service?

agrilawn
10-29-2008, 09:10 AM
Do you mean a general list of business frequently asked questions? Like when who to contact. How you bill etc.

Or do you mean more like lawn specific problem questions?

Both. It contains the frequently ask questions about how we do business & answers about how much the lawn should be watered, mowed, etc. Also answers about what to do after the applications, and if they come across any problems with their lawns.

agrilawn
10-29-2008, 09:12 AM
Another immediately after the first service visit.

That is a good point. I think I will look into doing that also. Maybe by sending them a survey to see if we have met their expectations so far, or to see if they have any questions we may be able to answer.

Steve
10-29-2008, 01:37 PM
It contains the frequently ask questions about how we do business

What kinds of questions do you suggest other lawn care business owners try to address in their initial welcome letters?

LawncareMarketingMagic
10-29-2008, 06:05 PM
I always suggest sitting down and making a list of general questions. Ideally they're ones that come up frequently, but it could also include questions that we might think are extremely basic.

One thing to remember is that it's easy to assume people know the basics about what you do. In most cases however, people don't have the first idea so my rule of thumb is never assume anything.