We never thought the spring of 2020 would begin with a worldwide pandemic. Customers who frequent restaurants, shopping malls, and sports venues are staying inside as much as possible. People are erring on the side of caution like never before. However, there are some things that will and must go on. You still buy food, you still need to pump gas, hair needs to be cut - AND lawns still need to be mowed.
Spartan Mowers realizes that all of our dealers have an amazing customer base. They are real people, with real concerns and have real needs. Spartan has never taken our customers for granted, and now we have a great opportunity to roll up our sleeves and show them how much they are valued and appreciated.
Here are a few tips we recommend that will help your customers during these unique, trying days. The steps you take now can propel you to greater success when we emerge on the other side.
One of the best social-distancing and therapeutic things anyone can do is to spend time outside the house. Working on landscape projects and mowing the lawn can be hobbies that definitely reduce stress, and can cause one to take a break from the cares of the world. This positions our dealers at Spartan to provide tips and advice that you have gathered over the years for your customer’s lawn and landscape projects. Encouraging them to make the most of their “down time” is key. NOW is the time to increase communication with existing and potential new customers through technology - which brings us to the next tip.
Staying in touch is always a good idea. We are finding these days - in particular - that our customers are open to more communication than normal. Communicate early and often. Consider increasing your outreach and marketing strategies, providing them with helpful ideas such as:
Develop a wide-reaching email list to promote sales events and other information. Some dealers have replaced Open Houses with Virtual Tours of their store posted online.
Use this list to send out a short “tip of the day” via email and on social media platforms.
Send out a Spartan Blog link every week, providing a short message from the dealership about why this particular blog is beneficial to them.
Send them the link from our website that lets them build and customize their very own Spartan Mower!
Provide virtual promotions with live video via Facebook Live or Instagram where you highlight a specific mower and the “advantages” that it comes with. Or you can send links to Spartan Mower Creator, Robert Foster as he shares some amazing advantages.
Consider recording short, informative VIDEOS that you send out via email or post online. This will help break up the monotony of written/email communication. These videos can be fun, funny, as well as informative. Use your creativity. It may be that one or some of your staff members have a knack for this “on camera” idea.
Share YouTube video links that provide maintenance and mowing tips.
Encourage interaction on your Spartan Facebook Page, inviting customers to share their success stories, ideas, tips…
Create a specific Facebook Group (if you haven’t already) where you provide “next-level” insider ideas and information.
Consider boosting some of your Facebook posts.
Encourage and celebrate “acts of kindness” as people mow their neighbor’s lawn or help them in other tangible ways.
The key to using a variety of digital tools is to engage the customer. Communicate often. Get in their digital space, and be a part of their lives - even if it is at a distance.
This assurance comes two-fold - assurance for your customers, and assurance for your staff. Spartan Mowers not only values the clients, but our staff of professionals we work with every day are part of the family. Use this time to encourage them, pat them on the back, consider highlighting one each week as “employee of the week or month,” and give them prime parking privileges (for example). Be the leader that you can be - providing them with confidence and job security. There is light at the end of this tunnel - and you will be amazed at how the level of loyalty can be increased just because you showed genuine praise and interest in them. Every person carries an invisible sign that says, “I need to feel important today.” Let them know it.
The second area of assurance is obviously for the customer. Let them know that their Spartan Dealership has taken every precaution to ensure their safety during the Covid-19 days, as well as in the days to come, as we begin to see the country open back up again. Consider providing drop-off maintenance service where the customer never has to leave their vehicle. Some may live within range to where you could offer picking up their mower for servicing and returning it when finished. Perhaps you could even service their mower on site. For those who do come to your place of business looking for a new mower, or to buy a replacement part, demonstrate safety with the use of gloves and facemasks when appropriate. This not only protects them, but it protects you. Letting them know that you have their health and safety concerns first and foremost on your mind will go a long way!
It’s one thing to talk the talk, but another to walk the walk. An idea that would really help the community is to consider offering lawn care services or products to your local medical and law enforcement professionals for free, or at a discounted rate. They are on the front lines, and are giving so much to your community. You could also employ the services of some of your local lawn care businesses and send them to specific addresses and businesses on your dealership’s behalf.
Another idea is to collect canned goods and other items that you would then take to a local food bank or charity. Some Spartan Dealerships may even consider a discount in services in exchange for a quota of food bank donations they bring to you. In any case, think outside the box - and think outside of your circle. Send homemade cookies or other items to your customer base. Acts of kindness like these will help develop and strengthen bonds in your community, and will build customer loyalty in the future.
Spartan Mowers has been, and will always be, focused on the many “advantages'' provided by our line of mowers. One additional advantage that we will never take for granted, is the benefit we enjoy through having satisfied and loyal customers. It is advantageous for us to use these “lemon days'' and make the most of them through creative communication, community service, and acts of kindness. This will not only benefit your business and its long-term success, but it will also help to strengthen the relationship with your amazing customers and with your community.
We are family. Let’s support each other, let’s support our customers, and take advantage of what we can do for one another!