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Business Tricks and Tips for the New Year
Every year brings new business challenges and goals. The New Year of 2020 is around the corner, and you can count on these five business trends:
- 2020 is the year of the customer experience (CX)
- Digital marketing needs to take top priority
- Automation makes your business run 24/7/365
- Improving your company culture helps you find and keep enthusiastic employees
- Cut costs and develop a rainy day fund because recession appears on the horizon.
The Year of the Customer
Every year should be the year of the customer or you wouldn’t be in business for long. As a landscaping contractor who provides lawn sprinkler services, you see your customers face-to-face.
You’re making their watering chores more efficient and automated with Bluetooth controllers, rain sensors, and programming. But are your technicians sharing the same enthusiasm for your brand?
According to an article in Marketing Insider Group, 46% of consumers will abandon a brand if the employees don’t know about the product or how it works.
You want to build confidence in your brand and your crews need to know about the product inside and out. Plus, everything you do—from the brochure to the website, to how your techs interact with your customers, affects the CX of your brand’s reputation.
For a strong CX, you need to keep your customers at the forefront of everything you do as a company. Your marketing and sales should be focused on the customer experience—keeping happy customers while attracting new clients.
Here are nine tips for a successful CX:
- Your irrigation products and services need to be efficient and easy to use.
- Your lawn sprinklers and tree bubblers need to add convenience to your customers—both commercial and residential.
- Your technicians and team leaders need to be knowledgeable regarding your landscape sprinkler systems.
- Your technicians and crews should be friendly and be able to go the extra mile for your customers. For example, when your tech leaves a property, does he shut the gate?
- Customers want your website to load quickly and be mobile friendly.
- Customers want personalization in all of your communications. If you send an email blast, make sure you personalize the emails with your readers’ first names.
- Customers want a smooth mobile experience. They want to navigate through your website on their mobile devices quickly and easily.
- Your brand’s image means a lot to your customers. Can they trust your brand? Does your brand have a good reputation?
- Your website design and all your other marketing materials matter to your customers. Your customers want a “easy on the eyes” design. Too many blaring colors, music, and videos playing will turn off most of your customers.
Engaging Your Employees to be Brand Ambassadors
Labor shortages usually mean all the good employees are working for other companies. The landscaping and lawn care industry is struggling to fill crews with hard-working, pleasant employees.
While the labor pool may be small, you can instill pride in a job well done and make sure your technicians are well trained about your irrigation contracting company. Their attitudes affect your customers’ experience.
Employees with bad attitudes are the number one reason why customers leave a company. Your employees, from the receptionist to the office staff, to your technicians, are the human face of your company. Interactions with clients should be first priority.
Hire only employees who believe in your brand and want your business to succeed as much as you do. Engage your employees to know and understand your brand’s mission, values, and purpose.
You may also need to let go of employees who clearly don’t enjoy their job and don’t care about your company’s success.
Digital Marketing Must Be a Priority in the New Year
In 2020, you want SMART marketing goals. What are SMART goals?
SMART stands for
Here are six ways to get SMART about your 2020 digital marketing goals:
- Breathe new life into your website: Make it more mobile-friendly, use keyword phrases, improve loading speed, make it visually attractive, use compelling content, employ SEO, and add chatbots.
- Commit to consistent blogging: Regular blogging helps your website rank higher in a search. The lawn care and landscaping space is crowded and competitive. So, you need blogging—starting in January and going through December.
- Increase sales leads by putting up customer testimonials and links to Google reviews and Yelp.
- Get more conversions by interacting on social media: Where do your lawn sprinkler customers hang out? On LinkedIn for commercial clients, or on Facebook and Instagram for residential clients?
- Email has been one of the most effective marketing tools: Enewsletters and email blasts are still the most compelling forms of communication.
- Put money in your marketing budget to buy social media and Google ads: It’s a good idea to try out your paid ads on social media channels that your clients consume.
If it’s Twitter, then focus on Twitter. Study the feedback and the analytics of your ads to see if the most recent social media ad was successful.
16 Emerging Business Trends in 2020
Forbes.com and other business-related websites share their trends of what’s hot in 2020. Not all of these trends will apply to your lawn sprinkler business. Use what does make sense for you and your clients. Remember, it’s all about customer experience:
- Breaking out into specialties helps companies to differentiate themselves. For example, your sprinkler system services are a niche business.
- Improve your business operations by investing in automation. Business software and the cloud help you stay technologically up-to-date.
- Remember the customer experience. All of your marketing and other operations should center on a positive CX.
- Bring out the best in your employees. Improve your company’s culture, so your techs and office staff enjoy coming to work. Inspire them with your brand.
- Improve your SEO, so you get found locally and regionally.
- Invest in digital and social media ads.
- Provide 24/7 support and service through automation. For example, calendar apps allow customers to make an appointment on virtual calendar. Invoicing software helps customers to pay their bills online.
- Make sure you keep up with your social media and website analytics. It helps you stay ahead of the curve when marketing to your clients. It also provides valuable insights into what’s working and not working for you.
- Invest in customer relationship management. It helps you keep track of your leads and nurture them through the selling process.
- Old-fashioned word of mouth is still relevant. While social media is the digital form of referrals, getting referrals from your customers helps your brand to grow as well.
- Cut unnecessary expenses. For instance, long-term contracts save you money as long as you don’t need that revenue. While you’ll pay a little more with monthly payments, you’ll have that extra money available for emergencies.
- Get your company on the cloud. You can access all of your online business wherever you are. Plus, it saves you money from having to hire an IT company to visit your company because you’ve run into tech problems.
- Build a rainy day fund. FEMA says 90% of businesses that don’t open five days after a disaster go out of business. That’s pretty high. When you save for emergencies, you’re in a better position to open during that five-day window.
- Apply for affordable financing. A line of credit from your bank or an elite business credit card provides ready cash when you need it.
- Check-in with your CPA. Investing in a CPA will improve your business even if you have accounting software. You can turn to your CPA for business advice and planning.
- Find your peers. Running a business can be lonely. And it never hurts to exchange ideas. So, network with your local Chamber of Commerce, join NALP, and the Irrigation Association to broaden your network.
How K-Rain Helps Develop Your Brand
When you join our Premier Contractor Program, you have the option to put your company’s name or logo on our control panels and other irrigation products. You can enroll in our PCP program on our website.
You can find K-Rain irrigation products at any of our authorized dealers. If you have any questions about K-Rain’s sprinkler systems and parts, contact us today at 800-735-7246, email us at CUSTOMERSERVICE@KRAIN.COM.