For all the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there have been many, there have been some franchises with plenty to celebrate. Lawn care company Greensleeves achieving a record-breaking year in network turnover is one. David Truby, MD of Greensleeves, has some advice for franchises on how they can push on into 2021.
With October’s financial performance solidifying 2020 as a record-breaking year for Greensleeves, we are lucky enough to be going into the new year very optimistic, and there’s no reason your business shouldn’t be too. So, here are my top tips on ensuring that your franchise can be successful in pushing on into 2021.
- Add value instead of discounting
What does ‘adding value’ mean? Well, adding value to your service means going the extra mile for your clients. Discounting only lessens the perceived value of your product or service to the customer and if you need to cut corners to recoup the value of the discount, your chance of a positive review or a repeat custom will reduce significantly.
Clients look for products or services that feel like an investment rather than a purchase, so providing a valuable service will put your business in a great position pushing into 2021. To add value to your service, listen to your customers’ concerns and understand what their motivation is to buy from you – what could you do to add the cherry on top? Ensuring you deliver your services quickly and efficiently is another excellent way to add value to your service.
Providing expert advice on the benefits and processes of your services shows the customers the value in what you provide. In Greensleeves’ case, this would be explaining how a winter lawn care service is essential to your lawn looking great in the long run. These are sure-fire ways to add value for a client.
- Investing in marketing rather than cutting back on budgets
Investing in your marketing going into the new year is a must if you want your business to make an impact. If you’re looking for new clients remember it can take them coming into contact with your brand up to seven times before they will buy from you. So, when it comes to deciding where your money goes, marketing to create those seven touch points should be at the top of the list.
Marketing activity can also help keep existing clients engaged. If you reduce your marketing, you’re leaving the space for competitors to grab their attention, this isn’t something any business can afford post-pandemic. Think about sending ‘keep warm’ messages to your customer database, whether that’s by email or post – examples from us include advice on the best bulbs for spring planting whereas other home service franchises could send tips on taking down the Christmas decorations safely!
- Provide exceptional customer service
In the world of lawn care, we rely heavily on repeat business and referrals, so ensuring good customer service is essential to our success moving into 2021.
Providing exceptional customer service is vital both in person and online. Making sure that you answer a customer’s questions over the phone and via email without long delays leaves them feeling that you care about them as an individual. Businesses who master this side of customer service will benefit in the new year.
You can provide exceptional customer service by using positive language, turn your ‘maybe’ into a ‘definitely’ and your ‘I’ll try to do that’ into an ‘I will do that’. This language lets the client hear that your goal is to fulfil their needs. A customer wants someone as passionate about their goals as they are. Another customer service tip is to ensure that you don’t promise something you can’t deliver as this is an easy way to lose business and a client’s trust.
Greensleeves has had a fantastic end to 2020 having welcomed new franchisees and seen six consecutive months of record-breaking income but we won’t rest on our laurels as we head into 2021. Franchises that add value to their services, provide excellent customer service and also market themselves to their core customer demographic won’t just survive in the new year, they’ll flourish.