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1. Will automated marketing help estimate acceptance?

Certainly. People won’t always accept estimates the first time. Some never bother responding. While a variety of reasons exist for no response or rejection, nurturing these leads with a follow-up marketing campaign provides sales teams opportunities to overcome objections, gain positive responses and win sales. Automated campaigns allow you to set up digital and print drip communications and can boost estimate acceptance by more than 8%.

2. Can automated marketing improve retention?

Yes! Consistent communication is a retention cornerstone. After-sale marketing is critical and becomes a more intensive education. Why do customers need to continue service? What additional services compliment the initial sale? Are there any new conditions found on the property and if so, what services do you offer to remedy them? Your campaigns need to answer these questions on a regular basis.

After-sale marketing also includes essential customer care messages such as when you’ll be on their property, reminders to open gates or ensure Fido, the kids and their toys are safely inside during service. Lawn care tips specific to each customer, payment reminders or a heads-up their on-file credit card is about to expire are also expected and appreciated.

These automated communications may seem routine, but to your customers they indicate you care about them and understand them. They’ll feel you’ve taken the time to know them and be more inclined to stay loyal, even if a discounted competitor pops up.

3. What’s an easy way to increase revenue?

Upsells. Upselling services to existing customers through opt-in email, letter and postcard campaigns increase customer value and your bottom line, without increasing territory or overrunning marketing budgets. So, routes stay tight; field staff generates more revenue per stop and marketing ROI increases.

You save time, fuel and vehicle wear with minimal spend. They are a simple and effective way to increase sales and keep your marketing budget in check. Upsells make sense for any service-based business. You have all your customer’s data. You know which services they currently have and which additional services would benefit them going forward.

4. Do I need to keep current customers engaged?

Indeed. Maintaining engagement helps maintain your company’s relevancy in customers’ busy lives. Attention spans are shrinking, and the worst thing that can happen is losing customers because they’ve forgotten why they’re paying you. A short digital newsletter in your automated marketing strategy helps keep customers engaged, allows you to reach them on their mobile devices and continue educating them about your company, products and services. Further, personalize their experience with news and offers specific to them, especially why your service is vital, repeatedly reminding them of your company’s value.

Start an automated customer appreciation campaign utilizing automated marketing. Consider sending a “thank you” email or postcard to your customers on service anniversary dates offering them a free or discounted service. Showing customers in a tangible way that their business is appreciated helps nurture customer loyalty and can result in them referring others to your business.

5. How can I win back canceled customers?

Marketing. Customers cancel for numerous reasons. Targeting automated digital and print marketing campaigns toward cancels allows your sales team to reconnect and provides opportunities to win them back. Offering special pricing provides added incentive. Because they were recently your customers, open rates are higher. Actual win-backs can exceed 7%, with minimal effort and expenditure.

Brad Leahy, Blades of Green

Brad Leahy
Blades of Green

Not only has Real Green Systems changed how Brad Leahy and his brother, Mark, run Maryland-based Blades of Green (B.O.G), they were also encouraged to expand their lawn service operation to include a pest control division while attending a Real Green Systems’ conference. “During a breakout session, we learned that if we could do lawn care well, we could do pest control event better,” Brad Leahy says.

Leahy notes that what makes Real Green Systems’ Service Assistant (SA) software such a game changer for B.O.G. Pest Control is Automated Marketing Assistant (AMA). Connected to SA’s functionality the AMA system allows B.O.G.’s team to send email updates to customers after posting finished work to the software.

The B.O.G. team send after-service emails, rejected estimates and canceled customers campaigns. Once the emails are written and the AMA program set up, Leahy says it is easy to monitor campaign results and direct more focus toward completing jobs. Each email campaign can be customized to include as many or as few details as he needs and sent at specific intervals.

After-service emails send as soon as service is complete. “It (AMA) sends customers an email update that says ‘Hey, we were there, here’s what we did, what we found and here’s some recommendations for additional services or tips,’” Leahy explains.

The emails are built into the system, making it easy for service technicians to send them from the field. An email form from the AMA system populates with promotions, service information and tips. B.O.G.’s after-service updates include recommendations for the client, such as trimming bushes or ridding the property of standing water.

People conduct business according to their schedules, Leahy points out, so it’s crucial for his company to be able to interact and respond to customer requests during off hours. “We’ve made hundreds of thousands of dollars over time from having this program set up and working 24 hours a day for us,” he says. “We literally walk into the office in the morning, and we have sales generated from the automated system.”

AMA connects with Real Green’s Customer Assistant® Website (CAW), an online customer portal for streamlined, synchronized data. CAW allows customers to log into the website anytime and see which services were completed by B.O.G. technicians. “They have full access to their accounts and can purchase or request additional service,” Leahy says.

When Leahy’s company started using Real Green Systems in 2003, revenue was $600,000. Since adding B.O.G. in 2008, the firm’s projected revenue will exceed $9.3 million. Through it all, Leahy says his company uses the software for everything. “It’s the brain of our operations,” he says. “Without it, we can’t operate.”

From his experience with company growth, Leahy says AMA is excellent for both small and large companies. “The small guy doesn’t have time to do anything else but work. And for large companies, there’s so much work, that it costs money to pay someone to manage it,” he says. AMA helps manage the business at a low cost and is entirely automated, so it’s a ‘set it and forget it’ program.

Leahy says B.O.G. will be implementing pre-service notification communications, allowing the team to alert customers of upcoming service.