Your Landscape Business Needs An Account Manager
No landscaper opens a business so he can sit behind a desk all day, Unfortunately, that is exactly what happens to the more successful ones. Instead of being outdoors doing what they love – that is, getting their hands dirty – they end up doing paperwork.
Still, the paperwork must be done and the best owners hire someone to do the job – an account manager. This allows the owner to concentrate on growing the business by interacting with current and potential customers.
Account managers fill an essential position in a successful landscaping company and provide many benefits especially if they are provided with the proper tools such as the superior landscape management software available from ProfitLion. Here are some of the more notable ones:
They Handle the Paperwork
It’s the worst! As a landscape owner, you didn’t decide to own your own company to sit inside all day and go over paperwork and reports. You need to be out in the field! Getting your hands dirty doing what you love. You need to hire help. Someone you can trust to oversee your customers. Enter the Account Manager. This all-encompassing position can become the lifeblood of your operation. A dedicated account manager can provide insight by providing that insulating pad between you and your customers.
Someone needs to be able to take the heat, and also get results.
They Represent a Single Point of Contact
Many customers are discouraged when they call your business and get an automated message or an answering service. They need a human on the other end of the phone! Your customers need a one-stop shop for adding services or resolving problems. In the long run, both you and your customer will be much more satisfied with the result.
They Offer Superior Customer Service
A dedicated sales team is designed to get in the door of a client company and make the first sale – and their compensation metrics reflect this reality. Your sales team rarely maintains the client/company relationship beyond the first thirty days. Instead, sales reps are encouraged to search for new customers while current customers can become the responsibility of account managers. The result is communication that is facilitated both inside the company and with clients. In short, a division of labor in regard to overall customer service simply delivers the best results
They Are Mobile Capable
Account managers will likely be drawn in several directions at once. Having access to a landscape management software that allows them to multitask while on the road is essential. The software available from ProfitLion allows them to not only maximize their own time but also that of the crews under their direction by reducing downtime due to travel and the delivery of materials.
They Recognize Innovation
A fact hardly ever recognized by many owners of a landscaping company – but still one of the best benefits – of account managers is their overall grasp of current landscaping trends. By simply dealing with their customers, these employees are able to follow and understand what residential and commercial real estate owners want – and need! – in their landscaping. In short, account managers are some of the best “eyes and ears” in the business when it comes to determining what current and potential customers want in a landscaping firm. The right landscape management software will also help transfer these insights to other customers. The result is communication that is facilitated both inside the company and with clients.
They Facilitate Change
Whether an expected delivery does not arrive on time or an unexpected spate of weather delays a job, an account manager can mediate in several ways. They can get ahead of the customer service issue by informing the customer of the problem and explaining why the completion date may need to be extended. In addition, the account manager can serve as a facilitator with a late-delivering vendor and free up the time of the on-site supervisor.
They Expand Regular and Recurring Sales
Account managers generally have a more intimate knowledge of what a customer needs – more so, than even the customer himself. Unfortunately, this knowledge does not translate into a sale. Still, the account manager’s greater experience and knowledge of the landscaping business as a whole means they can make some highly informed and relevant suggestions to the customer. For instance, adding lighting displays or making additions to their current landscape design can improve the look of the residential or commercial space at a quite affordable cost. The end result is usually more business for your company with a current client and at a price that is beneficial to both parties. A landscape management system that assists with communication between your sales team and your crews in the field is integral to accomplishing this goal.
They Help Define Budgets
At a certain point in their growth, a landscaping company will land a major regional or national commercial property that needs landscaping services. These companies do not operate on an ad hoc basis and demand that a budget is prepared for each of their locations. This process can be daunting even if the client company only has 100 or fewer locations. An experienced account manager can be tasked with this job and deliver a bid that is suitable for both his own company and the client. If your account manager has access to a landscape management software that breaks down labor and equipment, they can more efficiently and accurately quote larger jobs.
They Provide Necessary Follow-Up
No matter how good a landscape company does its job, they cannot read the mind of the client. It is absolutely necessary to follow-up with a customer to find out how well they feel about the job. This task is an essential part of an account manager’s job and must be done on a regular basis. It also provides another significant opportunity for the account manager to upsell the client on added services or an additional project. A final note – clients truly appreciate this aspect of the customer service process as it indicates that you are not just interested in their dollars but also in their complete satisfaction.
As you can see, a good account manager will cover a lot of – no pun intended – ground for your company. Providing them with the right landscape management software tool is integral to success – both theirs and your company’s. For more information on the ones available from ProfitLion, please contact us online at ProfitLion.com or reach us directly at 412.539.1187.