Why landscaping programs benefit from a year-round services program

SMS Assist

Recent customer research suggests that first impressions are critical to lasting customer trust. Roughly one in five people say they won’t return to a business if they suffered a bad first impression. Businesses are more likely to win trust—and repeat customer business—when incorporating a customer’s first impressions into their brand strategy.

When it comes to creating memorable first impressions, landscaping plays a critical role in reinforcing brand value and the customer experience. It’s the first thing that customers see as they approach a location and will influence their overall opinion of a business. Well designed and maintained landscaping speaks to the cleanliness, attention to detail, and care that a business has for its facility. It is also an opportunity to reinforce brand image. These subtle, but important, signals for a customer that a business is trustworthy.

Across multi-site locations, combining landscaping with an exteriors facilities program provides the greatest return on investment when it comes to brand experience, customer impressions, and cost stability. Instead of managing similar services separately, operators that use an integrated approach can experience greater consistency in service, ensuring that customer impressions and brand value is maintained at all times. There are several advantages in outsourcing this program to a centralized provider.

Dedicated 365, 24/7 support and greater flexibility

A combined program provides service at any time of the year, including routine landscaping services, snow and ice management, and after-storm care. This ensures that no matter the weather event that a location’s grounds are properly maintained with dedicated support in operations and strategy.

Companies that use this model find success through a scalable supply model that provides access to qualified, vetted providers to cover landscaping and other needs across a portfolio regardless of the need. Being able to outsource renewals, contract negotiations, and reactive needs provides greater return for companies that integrate landscaping into other exterior services. These services usually come with access to operations and subject matter experts for reactive and emergency support.

Additional opportunities for cost savings

Operators experience several challenges when trying to manage exterior services independently:

  • Lack of subject expertise to manage program and strategy to ensure spend matches scope of work
  • Missed, erroneous, or excess services that don’t align to original scope
  • Overspending on routine tasks that are marked as special requests or that fall out of scope

An combined services program that includes landscaping ensures that the right services are performed within the scope of work throughout the entire portfolio. This is done because all information and requests are centralized through one provider instead of being managed by several providers. This has several advantages:

  • Leveraging site-specific data and historical patterns to right-size spend and adjust frequency based on past usage
  • Maintaining consistency of appearance regardless of the weather event such as removing unexpected snow or cutting grass because of a warmer than expected spring
  • Bundling work orders to understand costs and provide better budget transparency for the entire year to optimize spend

Operators realize the cost-savings benefits of a landscaping program entirely tailored to the specific needs of multiple locations—one that’s right-sized for service type, scoping needs, and overall frequency.

Greater location performance and enhanced visibility

At the end of the day, your landscaping program should be designed to create a great first impression for customers, generating the kind of initial interest that leads to lasting trust and improved brand value. But it’s only possible if your program is designed for performance and visibility. Beyond sourcing, hiring, and maintaining the most qualified providers, you also need data analytics and reliable reporting.

Data visibility will make it possible for you to intelligently adjust service details for landscaping work at specific locations, generating long-term performance and spend improvements without sacrificing quality. This data will provide access to insights about specific landscaping topics across your portfolio—about the locations, services, and individual providers that can be optimized to make a difference for your brand.

Combining this landscaping data with snow and ice management data as well as information from other exterior services will provide even more intelligence to successfully manage, and budget, your services for the year.

Partnering with a provider that offers multiple exterior services will help you achieve landscaping program success in the coming year, eliminating headaches and freeing up time so you can focus on customer satisfaction and brand strategy. Get in touch: weknowFM@smsassist.com.