When handling unsatisfied customers it’s important to recognize why they’re complaining. If you don’t know what the problem is, then it’ll be rather difficult to determine your response to landscape complaints. Here are some helpful tips to deal with an angry customer.
Talk To Them Before Your Response to Landscape Complaints
This may Sound obvious but we sometimes assume we know what the problem is before any discussion. Talk to the customer and ask them what made them unhappy with the service you provided. Are they frustrated with the lawn service? Did you order the wrong colored pavers? Where the wrong plants used in the wrong place?
When providing a service, of any kind, there are a number of things that might go wrong and it’s up to the business supplying the service to make things right again. And while you won’t be able to please everyone all of the time, you need to do your best to keep the consumer in question as a customer. Sometimes this means going above and beyond your normal job duties in order to make this happen.
If they call the office to make a complaint on the telephone, you need to realize that they’re expecting the problem to be resolved. They’re giving you the opportunity to offer a response to landscape complaints which means you need to fix it as quickly as possible. When customers complain, they aren’t trying to do damage to your business; they just want the issue taken care of.
If a customer leaves a negative review on Social Media, that generally means that they’re done dealing with you. Maybe the issue wasn’t corrected or their expectations haven’t been met.
All hope is not lost however, because you still have the opportunity to avoid future problems. Take a look at how your business is handling things and consider the fact that you might need to tweak or overhaul how your company is operating. Listed below are helpful ways to deal with unhappy customers when running a lawn care business:
Solve the Problem
If there is a problem, it’s best to solve it as soon as possible. Letting it go by the wayside does nothing to retain an angry customer. Little problems can also become even bigger problems and this can happen quickly, so it’s best to make things right, right away.
Listen and Learn
Ask the customer why they are upset and then actually listen to what they have to say. Don’t interrupt them while they are talking because doing so may create resentment. The client may think you don’t care about their point of view. When they’re finished talking, be sure to repeat what they just said, so that once again, they know that you’re listening…. a response to landscape complaints might be something like “Yes, the pump on the fountain isn’t working, and yes, we’ll be out to replace it tomorrow afternoon.”
After talking to the customer, it’s best to go back and examine your notes to see if maybe you missed something. Gather your team and talk to them as well. Did someone make a mistake? Look at the issue from the viewpoint of the customer and try to put yourself in their shoes. If this was your yard, how would you feel if something went wrong? If you discover that you or your team did something wrong, apologize to the customer and do what you need to do in order to fix whatever it was that went wrong.
What I mean by this is don’t hide behind your computer when something goes wrong. Get out there and make things right! A customer is more likely to respect you when you visit them at home or at their place of business.
It’s best to document every home or business that you landscape. You should have a file for each consumer that you service. Keeping good records allows you to backtrack in the event that something DOES go wrong.
It’s not a matter of if something goes wrong, it’s a matter of when, and you should always be prepared to make things right. When keeping documentation, however, it’s always best to be organized.
Cut Your Losses
While this method should be a last resort it may need to be considered in response to landscape complaints. When dealing with the public, it’s important to realize that you’re not going to get along with everyone. When this happens take a step back and determine whether or not this is a customer worth keeping.
However, if the customer is demanding and the two of you are not a good match, then don’t be afraid to speak up. You may want to refund their money after fixing their lawn, or you could always refer them to another landscape company. Perhaps you know of someone who might be better suited to meet their needs.
Observe the Outcome
Take note of what happened after the response to landscape complaints. Did you order the wrong flowers? Was an employee late, again? Determine what you can do in the future to make sure that you, or your employees, don’t make the same mistake twice.
No matter the complaint, it’s always best to keep a level head because it does nothing for you or your business if you get upset every time something goes wrong. In fact, feeling hurt of injured only tends to make the situation worse than it already is. So, if you get a complaint from a customer, smile, be polite and do your best to make things right!
Xeriscaping may be a new word for you unless you’re a landscaper, contractor or an outdoor property management company. Typically, xeriscaping is used as another word for dry landscaping, or desert landscaping.
Xeriscape is there to fill the void in the areas of the world that are too dry to have a lush, colorful garden.
However, within the context of landscaping, xeric doesn’t necessarily equal “dry”. The true definition of xeriscaping is: water efficient usage of resources.
Xeriscaping is at the very heart of sustainability. Xeriscapes consume less water and are often more attractive than other common types of landscapes. Interested? Then read on as we discuss xeriscape landscaping, xeriscape plants and xeriscape planting.
Getting Started With Xeriscape Landscaping
Xeriscaping can be applied to almost any local environment. The proper materials for xeriscaping can replace the existing materials in the environment to simulate the desert environment.
Xeriscape gardening and landscaping is ideal for gardeners living in dry conditions. A couple examples of xeriscape type gardening includes rock gardens and cacti gardens.
With a rock garden it is important to choose mostly native plants that are accustomed to living among rocks.
You aren’t limited to just those choices for your garden however. You can opt for traditional types of flowers and grass, you just have to better plan your irrigation methods.
As for your lawn, a xeriscape will typically either eliminate the lawn entirely or it will keep it as a side piece only.
There are many different methods for xeriscaping. One method is to group plants that require the same amount of watering together in order to conserve water. This is good for plants that do better in dry conditions because this will ensure none of them get too much water. Likewise, it will be good for plants that need more water because it will ensure that all the thirstiest plants get enough water.
A good choice for xeriscape plants are cacti. They don’t need much watering. There are also many different types of cacti, so you can give your desert garden a very unique look.
Another good choice for xeriscape plants are seedums. Seedums are perennials that can grow in almost any climate in the Continental US. Usually they bloom in the fall season. Other options include: vines, shrubs, ornamental grasses, and ground cover.
As the world moves towards greener living, xeriscaping will probably become the future of landscaping, so everyone should research it. Help your friends make the world more sustainable by sharing this article with them and point out the diagram below.
Actual trees at our farm
The Iconic Big Trees
Big trees in the U.S. are most notably from California, where the redwood and sequoia trees are found. Since their discovery during the Gold Rush in the middle of the 19th century, big tree finds have spread throughout the world, particularly in the US and Europe, but also in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa and South America.
Interestingly enough, sequoias will reach a height of 30ft (10m) after one decade, and after 5 decades will usually reach a height of 130 ft (40m). Some of them can grow over 300 feet tall, as tall as a city skyscraper.
What Are The Requirements For Big Tree Landscaping?
The biggest trees are strong and hardy; they aren’t easily affected by insects or diseases. Because of this, they can live for many years.
However, big trees take many years to mature & the success of big tree landscaping depends a lot on the matching of the region’s climate to that of the tree family’s location. Oaks, maples, cypress, & cherry trees are examples of trees that fall into the category for our region.
So, you won’t grow the large tree you want within your lifetime if you are just now considering planting a seed.
Unless you use an already existing large tree…
How You Can Get Started With Big Tree Landscaping Now
Big tree sales create a feel of maturity when transplanting existing big trees into your landscape. This is the fastest method for big tree landscaping. A big tree nursery raises strong and healthy large trees for transplanting.
So, what are some of the benefits of big tree landscaping?
- Blocking noise
- Blocking wind and shading the house can reduce heating and cooling utility bills
A fully matured large tree can be worth anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000 (small trees were found to have no effect on sales prices)
- A big tree will give a newly built house the illusion of maturity and steadfastness with a large tree or two planted around it.
- Underneath certain types of big trees is a good place to grow certain types of plants. The types of trees that don’t cut off all light to anything growing underneath are good candidates for this. Many plants that do well with partial sunlight or shade will grow very well under big trees. Ask your local nursery for advice about these “base” plantings.
Our farm has an excellent selection of mature trees which include Autum Blaze Maples, Pin Oaks, & Yoshino Cherry trees. You can view examples of these and others on our BIG TREES page.
There are many different factors to take into consideration with big tree landscaping. For more information on these other factors, check out this thorough article on the subject.
Summer isn’t the best time to undertake plant relocation. The heat and sun angle are not plant friendly. However, there are times when the only option is to perform plant relocation during the summer. You can have success with plant relocation during any season by following these easy guidelines.
Plant Relocation Guidelines
- Water the plants to be dug and relocated at least a day before you plan to move them. This will make certain that hydration will reach all areas of the plant prior to the start of relocation.
- Dig and relocate only during cloudy days or in the evening when it is cooler.
- Prior to digging or removing the plant from its current location, be sure to water the base liberally. This will ensure that the soil will stay with the roots when it is removed from its current location.
- Do not expose the roots during plant relocation to wind, heat or sun. If relocating multiple plants, only work with one plant at a time. Do not remove multiple plants from their current location at the same time.
- Water the intended plant relocation hole before moving.
- Put the relocated plant into the hole and pour water in until reaching half way point of the hole. The water will merge the root soil and the hole soil. After soak, finish filling hole with soil.
- Once the plant relocation is complete, you can tamp the soil but do so lightly.
- After the plant relocation is in place, water the entire plant again including the leaves.
- Keep the plant shielded from direct sunlight. A floating row cover or leaning a board between the plant and the direction of sun will work nicely. Do this step for 3-6 days.
Be sure to check on the plant relocation site every day for 2 weeks. Relocated plants will need watering at least once every day. If the plant is wilting give it water. Keep water the plant once or twice each day until it becomes established. If the plant has less roots than top growth or is very large, it will need more water.
This may seem to be an inordinate amount of attention, but the disturbance of being relocated is stressful to plants at any season. During the summer, taking extra caution is important to allow for the transition of your relocated plants.