Sunday, April 03, 2011

8 Things Customers Want - Lawn & Landscape Report 2011

I read an interesting special report from Lawn & Landscape magazine. The editors came up with a list of the top eight things consumers want in 2011. During a period of 18 months, the team surveyed a group of 450 people – property managers, building owners, investors, facility managers, apartment owners and homeowners – to find out what was important to them about their landscape and the company they hired to maintain it.

Many of these trends match what we at the Garden Media Group have been saying for years in our GMG Garden Trends Report. Here’s a little taste of the broad trends and and how you can take advantage of them in 2011.

  1. Someone to help them out: The Generosity Generation wants to do business with companies that care, that do right by their communities. So support a local cause, donate to a local charity, plant a NWF Certified Native Habitat with American Beauties.

  2. A low risk: Make your business a low risk decision. Show you care not just about price but that your products and services will last and you back up your work with credentials.

  3. Clear lines of communication: Ask your customers if they want e-mails, text messages, or snail mail from you. And honor it.

  4. Transparency: Many homeowners have been burned in the past by fly-by-night contractors. Be clear and professional about pricing, contracts and information on your company. Show you will be around until the job is finished and on their own schedule. Someone they know

  5. Be a good neighbor: Sponsor a local farmers market or sports team. Offer to install and tend backyard veggie gardens.

  6. Someone to be green: Green is still the big buzzword and clients want to protest their water supply, pets or children . We talked about Save our Society – SOS – almost eight years ago. Think LEED and the Sustainable Sites Initiative. Green project revenue is up 16.8% compared to a 12% drop in traditional projects.

  7. To feel at home: People are still staying home. They want calm, green spaces either at home or work. The Association of Perofessional Landscape Designers has lots of great ideas to help with eco-scaping.

  8. A good price: Let’s face it, for some, the only thing that matters is the bottom line price. Know your numbers and be clear about why you charge what you do.

For a walk through the survey with editor Chuck Bowen, click on Lawn & Landscape.

Suzi, Garden Media Group

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