The purpose of any relationship is that it makes you better. Healthy relationships last when everyone gets what they want. To accomplish this, it’s necessary to have checks and balances that keep everything on track.
When you are hiring landscaping services you have certain outcomes in mind. To get them, you need to choose a company that makes you feel safe, confident, and in control.
Most homeowners are concerned about what they expect when making a significant down payment on a landscaping project. They want to know that they are putting their trust in safe hands.
The Service Relationship Is Collaborative
The complexities of creating amazing landscapes demand that everyone work together as a team.
You have to trust your landscaping company to do their job while doing yours. The best companies structure their service to streamline the customer experience, keeping you involved so that you can ask questions and make suggestions.
Some homeowners may initially resist involvement, such as tracking down paperwork necessary to secure permits. Yet viewing it as a collaboration facilitates achievable outcomes.
Keeping this in mind, here are seven ways to know that the landscaping company you hired is the right one.
#1. Likeable Customer Relations
Planning, designing, and building a landscaping project can be a roller coaster ride. There will be excitement and anticipation that can also create some anxiety and stress.
You know you are in good hands when steps are taken to smooth out the highs and lows of the process. Experienced landscape professionals know what you are going through and they want to make things right.
They have people in place that are trained to do whatever is necessary to keep the process moving as smoothly as possible. They know that rising summer temperatures can heat emotions too. You may have important events planned while also facing unavoidable weather delays.
Sometimes it’s necessary to communicate and prioritize everything to create the best possible outcomes. The best companies will be open and honest and involve you in the process of meeting your needs.
#2. Reliable Systems and Processes
For you to trust your landscape contractor there must be systems in place that promise to keep everything on track.
In any situation, we look to the one with the greatest authority for answers. In any business-to-consumer relationship, that’s the business.
You will know you hired the right landscaping company if its representatives can consistently answer one simple question: What’s next?
A reliable system informs everyone what to do without hesitation. The confidence these systems and processes give the company translates to consumer confidence.
#3. Responsive Communications
How a phone or email is answered is one of the quickest ways to evaluate new relationships.
You should know their communication preference and give them yours. The right landscaping company will detail their preferred communication channels, including backup plans should a primary contact be unreachable.
You’ll want to be sure that you’ll receive sufficient notice of what’s going to happen to avoid surprises. Nobody wants a late-night phone call or pre-dawn text message to interrupt their day.
Inquire about when people, materials, and equipment will be on your property and when you will be expected to make progress payments.
Be clear that once the contract is signed your permission is required for any changes, including upgrades and anything that affects the timeline and ultimate completion target date.
Unpredictable weather is always a factor that can break the schedule. Every homeowner appreciates being notified when in advance when the crews will not show.
It respects your time and the trust you’ve placed in them.
#4. Accurate Planning and Timelines
Commercial landscaping projects are nearly always held to strict timelines with penalties for running past deadlines. Yours may be residential, but your contractor should still be held to the planned schedule.
You may not lose money if your project takes longer than expected, but you will be inconvenienced nonetheless.
Accurate planning should allow for inevitable delays. That gives you peace of mind that the finish line will arrive more or less as planned.
Sometimes that plan has to change. If so, it should happen with little disruption to the schedule that was agreed to when the project was launched.
#5. Timely Logistics
Nobody likes surprises during stressful times. While a landscaping project creates great excitement the process of getting there can disrupt your lifestyle.
The company you hired should not add to that stress. Plants should arrive on the days that they will be planted. Exceptions might be staging them at one time to minimize subsequent traffic that would otherwise compact soil.
Think of it this way. A landscaping project is a series of small projects. Just as you clear your desk at the office to focus on the project at hand, so it should be with your landscaping.
This makes everything proceed more smoothly and safely.
#6. Resourceful Troubleshooting
One aspect of customer relations is troubleshooting to find solutions to problems. Sometimes there are costs involved that customers are willing to share if it means meeting their priorities.
There are nearly always multiple ways to solve the same problem. As a homeowner, it’s important to know that there can be unforeseeable circumstances. These are typically found underground, such as the foundation of an earlier structure, bedrock that will be costly to remove, or sandy soils that have to be stabilized before building.
Every company has faced them and you can judge for yourself as to whether they are being honest about them.
#7. Relentless Professionalism
The motivation for choosing any kind of professional is to save time and money while getting a better result than you could get on your own. You are paying for their experience and systems and processes that have been refined from years of continuous improvement.
This can be measured by the decisions you have to make.
Most people don’t want more choices, they want to be more confident in the choices they make.
For example, there are hundreds of plant varieties and cultivars to choose from. However, there are usually a few dozen at the most that will perform well for years to come.
A professional landscaping company will present you with the best choices for your landscape based on their experience and expertise. They will eliminate the choices that could be problematic.
There is no way that any buyer can know as much as a professional that relentlessly upgrades his or her craft. These people and the companies they represent have your back.
You Are Buying An Experience
Landscape contractors are service businesses. Many of them have outstanding products and services, but some homeowners suggest they have essentially the same products and services. A key differentiator can be the experience of acquiring and enjoying those products for years to come.
At Proactive Landscaping, we feel our relationships with clients are ongoing opportunities to deliver more than is expected. We’d love to talk about how we can make your next landscaping project amazing!