Summer is prime time for landscapers. The results of your hard work are blooming around the neighborhood, creating the perfect calling card for attracting new customers. Are you maximizing the potential of your existing customers to refer new clients to you? Transform your existing customers into referral machines with these seven tips.
- Put up signs in customers’ yards. Once landscaping work is complete, ask customers if they're willing to put up a yard sign visible from the street with your business name, website URL and phone number. You can offer a discount on services in exchange for putting up the sign.
- Focus on your best customers. Long-time lawn care customers or those who come back to you again and again for seasonal landscaping services are your best bets for quality referrals. You know these customers will say good things about you, and they’re also likely to have friends and family members with similar landscaping needs.
- Reward customers for referrals. One tactic that works for many landscaping businesses is giving regular customers gift cards at a certain time of year. At the same time, politely ask them to please tell their friends and neighbors about your services. You can also offer customers a credit to their account of $50, $100, etc. if somebody they refer becomes a regular customer or hires you for a landscaping job.
- Play your cards right. Be generous in giving out business cards. Every once in a while, hand cards to existing customers in person or enclose a few in your bill and say, "Please share these with anyone else you think might be interested in our services."
- Encourage customers to post reviews of your landscaping business. Reviews on sites like Angie's List and Yelp serve as "virtual" referrals to attract new customers to your landscaping business. Create a system for requesting reviews from customers after a landscaping job is complete or when you know they are happy with your ongoing lawn care services. Lighthouse 360 simplifies the process of asking for reviews. After every job, you can automatically send the customer a thank-you note and review request. All positive reviews are automatically displayed on your website, your social media accounts and the review site RateABiz.
- Include requests for referrals in your email marketing. Do you send out an email newsletter to your landscaping customers? Include a call to action in each newsletter asking customers to forward the email to friends or neighbors who might be interested in your services. When you use Lighthouse 360, it’s easy to stay in touch with customers via pre-written email templates. Just review the template, customize it and hit Send.
- Use social media as a referral network. Prospect seeking landscaping services often turn to their social media connections for referrals. In addition to posting photos of your work on your business’ social media accounts, engage with your customers on social media and ask them to share photos of the work you’ve done on their yards, patios and landscaping. A picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to attracting attention to landscaping services. Use Lighthouse 360 to easily keep your social media pages up-to-date with the latest offers, photos and reviews—and you’ll have more time for all those new customers.