One lesson we’ve learned over the years at Grunder Landscaping Co. is just how much poor communication can get in the way of great performance.
No matter how much energy and effort you devote to installing and maintaining landscapes, if your team members aren’t communicating with each other and with your clients, you’re going to have problems. Years ago one of our crews accidentally broke a pot on a job site. They meant to let their manager and the client know and to replace it, but then they got busy with other tasks and forgot. The result? Our client noticed the missing pot and thought we were trying to cover up that we had broken it. A small slip-up turned into a huge customer-service problem for us simply because we failed to communicate.
Fostering a Culture of No Surprises
Now we live by the mantra of No Surprises, for each other and for our clients. We train our folks to report problems as soon as they arise so we can work together to find a solution. And we remain in regular contact with our clients all throughout the course of a project or contract.
One tool that’s been especially effective in helping us to do this is our Maintenance Service Report, which lists out every task our crews perform at a site, along with any issues that arose and the next steps we plan to take. Our crews complete the report at the end of their visit and leave it at the door, while sending one copy to their production manager and another to the salesperson assigned to the account.
The report acts as a checklist for our crews to ensure they didn’t forget any tasks, as communication with our managers and sales team to prevent any surprises down the line, and as clear documentation for our clients of the services they’re paying for and any additional information they should have. If you’re relying solely on freshly cut grass or cleaned beds to tell your clients you were at their property, you’re missing a huge opportunity to communicate your value and strengthen your relationship. How many of your clients would notice on their own that you took the time and care to cut spent blooms or suckers off their plants? You have to tell them, and consistently reenforce the quality of the service you deliver.
A Tool to Help You
If you’re looking for ways to foster a culture of No Surprises at your company, take a look at our Forms Kit. It includes our Maintenance Service Report along with a whole host of other forms we use at GLC to ensure clear communication, improve efficiency, and stand out from the competition.
Have a great week!