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'Word of Mouth' Marketing for a Lawn Care Business

By Steve Sutherland

'Word of mouth' marketing is so important for businesses in the service industry and the lawn care business is no exception.

'Word of mouth' refers to the business that you can pick up simply by having people talk about you. This can sometimes be through a referral from one of your satisfied clients or can be just from people hearing about you in some other way.

While most industry players now recognize the importance of 'word of mouth' marketing for a lawn business, not many fully understand how to take control of it and encourage it to spread even more. After all, 'word of mouth' marketing is free and the leads that it provides have been warmed up to some extent.

If you really want to get your customers to mention you to their friends and associates then just providing a high level of customer service in your business is not enough. Here are some ways to improve 'word of mouth' marketing for a lawn care business.

Always Over-Deliver

One great way to impress your customers and encourage 'word of mouth' is to always go the extra mile whenever possible. Provide the services that you have agreed to and then always be on the lookout for other small things that you might be able to do to add value. These tasks may only take five minutes but they can go a long way towards impressing a customer.

Create Unique Customer Experiences

Make your customer's experience with your business simply unforgettable. Make your service such an interesting or humorous part of their day that they can't help but tell friends about you. One of our motto's here at LaVoie's Landscape Mgmt is "Giving you such a great experience you wouldn't know what to do without us!"

Position your Lawn Care Business in the Minds of your Customers

Make sure that you keep reminding your customers that you are there. Having some kind of regular communication with them aside from an invoice is a good way to build and maintain a positive relationship. Send them a newsletter that offers them valuable information on topics like lawn maintenance and gardening. Send out cards or gifts at Christmas time wishing them well and thanking them for supporting your business throughout the year.

Remind them that you care by frequently asking them if they are happy with your service and if there is anything that you could do to improve. Customer surveys or feedback forms are a good way of doing this.

Ask your Clients for Referrals

One of the easiest ways to get people talking about your business is simply to ask them. Without being too pushy you can let them know that you are trying to expand your business and would really appreciate it if they could pass on some of your business cards or flyers to their friends and neighbors. You can even take this one step further by preparing a referral letter and asking your clients to email or mail it to their friends. If you are polite in your approach, cover any expenses such as postage and even go as far as offering them a small gift for their efforts then they should be happy to help you out.

Offer Incentives

Offer customers a strong incentive to talk about your lawn care service by offering them a big discount off their next invoice if they successfully refer customers to you. The best way to do this is to offer both parties a discount for a successful referral so that your clients don't feel like they are taking advantage of their friends and contacts.

Create the Impression of Success

If you tell people that your lawn care business is really busy and that you are almost unable to take on any new customers then you are creating an impression of scarcity and you may find yourself in demand even more. People always want something that it seems they cannot have and they may feel particularly special if you can find time to service their lawns or the lawns of one of their friends. Let your clients know that you are currently only able to take on two or three new accounts and that you would be happy to reserve these places for any of their friends or relatives.
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People like to talk about successful companies and may use your case as an example in discussions about how well the economy is going.

On the other hand, if you let word get around that you don't have enough work then people are inclined to think it is due to your poor services rather than feel sorry for you and they may not want to send business in your direction.

Community Involvement

Support community events and local charities. Getting out there in the public eye and being seen to do some good for the community is one way to get some positive buzz about your lawn business in motion.

Business Alliances

Try forming loose alliances with similar businesses where by you mention their services to your friends and associates and they, in turn reciprocate by mentioning your services.

Media and Publicity

Some kind of publicity stunt or media attention can work wonders in getting your name spread around your community. This kind of community or media attention can be amazing for your business but you must proceed cautiously to ensure that the attention is positive.

By thinking of ways to encourage 'word of mouth' to spread among your customers and the community you can enhance your lawn business marketing efforts and tap into a free stream of new prospects.

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