How to Get More Landscaping Customer Referrals

Read Time5 minutes

PublishedMay 3, 2024

How to Get More Landscaping Customer Referrals


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Customers are your best brand ambassadors. Clients who value your work will enthusiastically refer your services to their colleagues, associates, friends, and family.

Tapping into customer loyalty sits at the heart of any referral program. 

Building a strong landscaping customer-referral program takes creativity and strategy. 

A well-executed referral program becomes self-sustaining, continually attracting new customers at minimal cost and creating a cycle of ongoing referrals.

Continue reading to find out how to build a referral program for your landscaping business.

What is a landscaping customer referral program?

A landscape referral program is a grassroots, typically word-of-mouth marketing strategy in which existing customers receive rewards for generating leads for new business.

Well-executed referral programs leverage existing customer relationships while opening opportunities for new business. Because referrals require little to no paid advertising, they offer a high payoff at low costs.

How to build a successful referral program for landscaping customers

A well-designed, thought-out, and timely referral program is essential to getting new customers for a landscape company. Ensure your referral program offers valuable incentives that make it worthwhile for customers to take the time to recommend your services. Consistently deliver on promised rewards to maintain trust and encourage ongoing participation.

The following elements can get you started.

1. Create an appealing incentive structure

Referral programs thrive on making the offer worth a customer’s time. 

Whether you offer discounts, swag, or gift cards, make your offer stand out in your market.

  • Consider a scaled model where the rewards increase based on the number of customer referrals. 

  • Gift cards or cash-in-hand go further than deductions off the next service, even if they cost the same.

  • Extend a bonus to employees who recruit a referral

Every referral brings the opportunity to add more revenue to your bottom line. Don’t skimp on otherwise free advertising.

2. Simplify the referral process

Offer a variety of ways for customers to refer their friends, family, and neighbors.

  • Include a leave-behind postcard for them to fill out. 

  • Offer a phone number and email to send information directly.

  • Create a referral form on your website that’s quick and easy to use.

  • Limit the fields required to complete the form. Customers will bail on a clunky or time-consuming referral process.

As referrals convert into sales and customers claim their rewards, activity will increase exponentially. 

3. Clearly communicate the program benefits

Like every other service your company offers, referral programs must articulate their advantages.

→ Keep the terms of the rewards straightforward, leaving no room for confusion.

Referral programs benefit both sides. You get a lead on a new customer, and the client receives a reward.

4. Promote the referral program

You have to engage your customer base with your new referral program to gain participation.

Communication is the key to promoting any program, including referrals. 

  • Maximize word-of-mouth advertising through customers and employees to get it moving.

  • Create cards or one-page information sheets to leave on a door handle or in a mailbox.

  • Include referral incentives on invoices, social media posts, and your website.

  • Send a targeted email to your subscribers that focuses on referral bonuses.

  • Mention your referral program to longtime customers who are consistently happy with your work. 

  • Remind crews before they go out daily to include the referral program in their conversations with customers. 

5. Implement tracking and analytics

Poor tracking and analytics can hinder the success and longevity of a new referral program. When a lead has been referred by someone they trust, the chance of a rep closing a deal is much greater than with cold calling.

→ Follow up on referrals within a day or two, first by email, then a phone call. 

If it takes a while to connect with the prospect, make a note in their file about the incentive. Landscaping software with integrated CRM, such as Aspire, tracks every step of the customer relationship.

With comprehensive management software, you’re able to leverage your customer data to send an email inviting them to join the referral program, and track if outreach messages convert new customers, helping you fine-tune future messaging and improve metrics.

Once the new prospect signs on, pay out the referral immediately.

6. Express gratitude

Whether the referrals result in new customers or not, loyal customers went out of their way to recommend your landscaping business. Thank them for their time and effort.

A timely thank-you—such as a personal thank-you note—builds loyalty, trust, and future referrals. Notes can be handwritten, but email or text message works as well.

7. Continue to deliver exceptional service

Whether a customer chooses to be part of the referral program or not, they deserve great service. The same goes for people who refer a new client who doesn’t pan out. 

Provide quality landscaping and lawn care services by focusing on customer experiences that will continue to build your brand. People who love your services will spread the word to friends and family. 

The following elements of a referral program will have the best chance at conversions.

When is the best time to mention the referral program?

When you promote your client referral program is just as important as how. Here are some guidelines.

  • Depending on the type of work you do, late spring or early summer tends to be when lawns look their best. Customers probably agree, too.

  • New services are great tie-ins to a referral program. Offer a free trial with a successful referral.

  • Customer satisfaction is never higher than right after they renew their contract. Include referral information on the first communication after they extend their initial contract.

Use common sense when promoting renewals. If workers don’t complete a job to high standards, avoid leaving behind any advertising that promotes referrals. 

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Streamline your referral processes

New customers are essential to growing a landscaping business. Referrals allow you to grow your customer base without increasing your marketing budget.

As homeowners grow to trust their landscaping services over time, they become more likely to write online testimonials and make referrals to family members, friends, and neighbors.

Ensure referral rewards offer more than a coupon or free lawn mowing. Invest in some Visa gift cards or offer a free trial for a service your lawn care company already promotes.

Ultimately, referral gifts pay off tenfold with new business and brand awareness.

Want to learn more about how Aspire helps you build a referral program that leads to new lawn care business and increased growth? Book a free demonstration today!


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