The mid-season landscape blahs are here, do you have them? The landscape business is seasonal even if you live in a warm climate and most customerw think of landscape season during the spring and summer. About this time every year the crews seem to slow down, the customers are thinking about summer vacation, the warm weather and summer is half over. This year has been especially warm, with above normal temperatures across much of the country, making working outdoors less than pleasant. So what to you do to motive the crews and the customers?
The crews need to get some loving from management, a picnic or a barbecue at the end of the week to show that you care. Have the supervisors deliver cold water to the crews a couple of times a week, something that is out of the ordinary. This is the time when you can ill afford to let your customers down, keeping the crews motivated to do their best is an important challenge at this time of year. Doing things to keep the crews interested in performing at a high service level is key to keeping the customer happy. A let down in performance will be remembered as we head into the renewal season, don’t let it happen.
Motivation for the customers is also important. This is the time of year when many Property Managers are becoming tried of the summer and looking for- ward to the winter season. Remember that it takes a lot of effort to get the landscape looking good and the season has been tough with the drought and the warm temperatures this year. The HOA Boards don’t understand why the landscape doesn’t look as good as they remember it last year. It is time to visit your customer and educate them on the things that are going on in the landscape, let them know the conditions are difficult and what you are doing to combat these conditions. Now is the time to meet them head on and discuss what you are doing just to maintain a quality landscape.
It is also time to think about fall sales, landscape improvements that can help for next season. It is sometimes hard to educate your customer, but the landscape is a growing and living thing, that requires planning and forethought to keep it looking good year after year. Now is the time to make the suggestions and plant the seed for future project that can help improve the value and the look of their landscape. Keeping the landscape in front of the customer is part of your responsibility as the landscape contractor. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
The summer blahs are tough on everyone, but if you work with your staff and customers, you will get through the season. You might even find that you are generating more work and happier customers. Don’t let the blahs get you.