Good communication and a solid partnership with your commercial landscaping provider go hand-in-hand. But if you’ve ever spent time trying to reach your landscape company in the midst of an emergency situation (like an unexpected weather event)—or even just because you need to get an answer to a question—and they’re nowhere to be found, you know first-hand how frustrating it can be when there are breaks in the line of communication.
You shouldn’t have to jump through a lot of hoops just to get in touch with your commercial landscaping company when you need them.
At Yellowstone Landscape, we frequently receive questions about how we communicate with our clients. In order to help provide you with some of the answers you’re looking for, we’re addressing some of those questions in this article. We’ll walk you through your points of contact throughout the process so that you have a better understanding of how we proactively communicate with our clients.
Who is the Point of Contact During the Sales Process?
In the process of beginning a relationship with a commercial landscaping provider, like Yellowstone, the timeline usually starts with sales. At Yellowstone Landscape, the salesperson that you connect with will be tasked with ensuring that we have a complete understanding of your expectations.
We believe that fully understanding your expectations is the start to a great partnership, so early on, we’re very focused on making sure that you have ample opportunity to fully communicate your expectations to us—and that we’re on the same page.
During this process, we spend time reviewing your RFP document and make sure that the specifications you’ve presented align with your expectations (and your budget) so that we’re able to provide you with the experience you’re seeking. We understand that a lot of miscommunication happens at this stage when other commercial landscape maintenance providers fail to take the time to ensure that all of these things align.
What Resources are Available to Perform Continued Research on Yellowstone?
Your salesperson should be a valuable point of contact during the consideration process and should be able to answer all of your questions. That being said, we know that you also want to perform additional research on our company—which, as an educated consumer, is a wise choice.
With the Internet readily available at your fingertips, taking the time to look at the websites of any commercial landscape company that you might be considering is also smart. This is one of the easiest ways to learn a lot more about a prospective vendor.
One of your “stops” on the website should always be the commercial landscaping company’s portfolio. This should be an opportunity to view other projects and to get a sense of the type of work they perform.
It’s also really helpful when you can view the prospective company’s blog, which ideally should contain helpful content that can assist you in the process of hiring a commercial landscaper whether you ultimately choose that company or not. Content like this helps demonstrate whether a company truly knows their clients’ needs and can serve as a valuable resource to you (and the communities they serve, at large).
What is the Startup Process Like?
Once you’ve performed your research, if you decide to choose Yellowstone Landscape, then you might be wondering what our startup process looks like. We like to keep this as smooth and easy for our clients as possible.
Once you sign the contract, then you will begin a partnership with your dedicated account manager.
This is the person who is focused on the day-to-day operations required for your project. They are the one responsible for running the crews and serving as the go-between for clients and the people who are actually performing the work. While your salesperson is no longer part of the daily operations, they will still check in regularly to ensure that the relationship with your account manager is solid and that we are meeting your expectations.
We sometimes refer to our account managers as the “hub” at the center of the wheel. That’s because they are the person that is connected with all of the different lawn and landscape professionals who are working on your property—irrigation, lawn care providers, mowing crews, tree care, and so on. You have that one single point of contact who is at the center of it all.
What if Something Needs to be Changed Last Minute on the Contract?
If the contract has not been signed yet, then your salesperson can still handle changes for you. If you’ve already signed a contract but need to discuss something that’s changed, then the startup process has already occurred and you can reach out to your account manager.
We’ll explain in a lot more detail what that communication looks like with your account manager, as well as what other contact points you may have, should you have an issue.
What is the Communication Like with the Account Manager (and What Additional Levels of Communication are Available)?
As we mentioned earlier, we value communication and understand that without good communication, we can’t build a successful partnership with our clients.
That’s why our account managers typically provide weekly updates to their main point of contact (usually a property manager or someone in a leadership role on the HOA board). Depending upon what you prefer, this can come in the form of a call or an email. A lot of our clients do prefer an emailed report explaining what was performed that week (including photos) and detailing what the plan is for the following week.
In addition, supporting our account managers is a branch or operations manager who will drive around to each account on a monthly basis and check in. That’s a second-level quality check that we perform. Our clients not only have the direct contact information for their account manager but for this branch manager, as well. If they don’t like what they’re hearing from their account manager for some reason, they have that additional point of contact.
On top of those weekly and monthly checks, we also perform annual customer surveys which are reviewed at both the regional and the corporate level. It’s just another way that we try to communicate as completely as possible, and give you opportunities to provide feedback on the work we’re doing.
You can see how our process includes multiple levels of communication so that you can feel confident you’re going to get answers. Those fallbacks are in place for a reason. If there’s ever some reason that you can’t reach your account manager, or are unhappy with what he or she is telling you, we want those additional levels in place so that you don’t feel like you’re stuck.
Whom Do I Call if Something Needs to be Taken Care Of During Off-Hours or on the Weekend? What if That Person Does Not Answer?
We understand that you may have concerns related to the ease in which you can reach your account manager. Perhaps you’ve had bad experiences in the past where this person (at a different commercial landscape company) wasn’t available when you needed them.
We hear those types of stories a lot and we understand how it can be a huge frustration. It’s the main reason why we supply all of our account managers with smartphones and expect them to have it on at all times. We know that things can unexpectedly go wrong—and as Murphy’s Law would have it, it’ll probably happen in the middle of the night.
That’s why we expect all our account managers to be available 24/7.
But we also understand that our account managers have lives of their own, too. Things come up on their end. They have families and they go on vacations. We’d never want to leave our accounts hanging, which is why we have redundancies in place. We provide all clients with a phone tree that will list out who you should call (and when).
If you can’t reach your account manager for some reason, the next in line is the branch manager. If you can’t reach your branch manager (which would be incredibly rare), you would then reach out to your regional manager.
The point is, we have multiple levels of contact so that someone can step in and help if your account manager is unavailable for some reason. We won’t leave you hanging.
This is one of the downfalls of hiring a smaller commercial landscape maintenance company. While it might be really appealing that you get to know the owner on a personal level, what happens when something goes wrong? That one individual can’t possibly handle everyone’s needs—and you may never get to know his or her managers if you’ve always worked directly with the owner.
Although it may feel “personal” to work directly with a company owner, it can ultimately be a major detriment if that person is trying to wear too many hats. The personal relationship won’t mean much if you’re in the midst of a crisis because of an irrigation leak or a fallen tree and nobody is calling you back.
Find a Company You Can Trust to Practice Proactive Communication
Clear communication really is essential during every step in the process of building a partnership with your commercial landscape provider. That’s why it’s so important that you choose a company you can trust will be dedicated to you and your needs.
You want a company that takes communication seriously.
Fortunately, you’ll be able to get a good sense of how the company will communicate with you early on.
Pay attention to how things go during the bidding process (including how responsive and receptive the company is to questions). If you’re struggling to get a company to communicate while they’re trying to gain your business, it should absolutely raise a red flag about how well they’ll communicate once you’re their client.
At Yellowstone, we believe in proactive communication.
In fact, this article is a great example of it. Hopefully, we’ve answered all of your questions about communicating but if we haven’t, let us know! We want to be a trusted resource for you.
After all, we truly believe that educated consumers make our industry better. You’ll never find us shying away from questions or reluctant to be transparent. It all adds up to this simple fact: You can count on us to communicate each and every step of the way.
Are you ready to feel confident in making a wise choice in the bidding process with a company you can trust to communicate with you? Request a consultation today. We’ll meet to learn more about your property and its challenges and come up with a comprehensive plan to take care of all of the details for you.