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Posted 03/16/2020 in Tree Service Marketing

How to separate your tree service from the competition?

How to separate your tree service from the competition?

As the owner of a tree service business, you’ve probably asked yourself this question. How do I separate my tree service company from the competition? It’s a valid question because in this industry there are pop-up tree service companies and only the strong survive. In fact, only 50 percent of tree service businesses make it past the first five years and 1/3 make it past the 10-year mark. There are plenty of reasons why tree service businesses fail, lack of differentiation from the competition is one that's on the top of the list. 

So how do you separate your tree service company from the competition? Standing out from your competition is a critical part of the success of your company. You know this already, businesses never take or put this practice into action. 

To make my point: I recently while driving downtown saw an advertisement for a tattoo parlor with the message on a banner outside saying. “We specialize in all types of tattoos.”

As a marketing professional, it made me shake my head. What are they really saying about their business? What kind of tattoos do they design? If I were a potential customer serious about getting a tattoo I would find it hard to believe that they can design any and every kind of tattoo excellently well. It throws up all kinds of red flags and makes them seem desperate for business and not being honest. It makes it difficult to know why I should choose a company that says they specialize in everything. To specialize in someone means you’re focusing and targeted on one maybe 3 particular areas of service. Let’s look at the definition of “specialize” which means to concentrate on and become expert in a particular subject or skill. 

If they had a sign that said, “we specialize in portrait tattoos,” that would be more realistic and honest. Many tree service businesses fall into the trap of being a jack of all trades, we will do any and everything pertaining to trees. They think they must serve everyone, be broad in focus because they feel they will miss out on customers. Being a specialist will hold higher and better-paying jobs because this is all you do. If you want to excel in the tree service business today, you have to separate your tree service from the competition, stand out, and get noticed. Otherwise, you look like all the other birds in the flock. 

So you’ve been trying to build and grow your professional tree removal business for years, and now you are wondering, “how to separate your tree service company from the competition. The fact of the matter is every season there’s a new pop up company, a couple guys in a pickup truck with a trailer and some chainsaws that start lowballing estimate and beating established legitimate companies out of jobs. If your buying leads and you going up against one of these types of guys then good luck. It’s a frustration we hear often from professional tree service company owners, due to anyone can call themselves a tree service company, it's getting harder and harder for legit companies to compete. You have to do a good job at separating your tree service from the competition, there are several ways to go about doing this and it has to do with your branding, marketing, communication with customers to let them know what to be on the lookout for. If you tell the homeowner these things upfront, it builds trust in you, honesty and being upfront can go a long way in winning a job even if your price is $500 more. 

There are several things that fly by night companies or guys in a truck won’t do. As a business owner, you have to separate your tree service from the pack. Here are 4 surefire ways you can separate your tree service from the competition.

1. Deliver extraordinary service.

Plenty of businesses say that our service is what makes them different. However, just saying it is not enough. You have to deliver on what you say, if you make the experience so memorable your customers wouldn't dream of calling other companies that step in and try to take your business. If you talk to the homeowner about all your happy customers, your 5-star reviews, the relationships you have with customers, that’s extraordinary service that you can’t get anywhere else. Think about how you can offer extremely extraordinary service that goes far beyond what your competitors are doing.

Send them a thank you card in the mail with a gift card in the mail for $25 to a nearby movie theater. You invest $25 upfront but that customer might use you again and again, why not. This could potentially generate repeat business and referrals they’ll surely tell other people about their experience with your tree service.

2. Focus on a narrow niche of tree services.

When you try to serve everyone, you serve no one. This is especially true with service-based businesses as a tree service company you are in the service business. If your company approach and marketing approach is for a wide variety of services it’s not cost-effective for your business and it makes it much harder for people to know if your company is the right fit for a particular project. Remember the tattoo shop I mentioned above? That’s a great example of what NOT to do. A great way to stand out is to narrowly define who you serve.

For instance, I recently talked to the owner of a remodeling company, marketing for whole-house remodels, kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, in their metro area. He recently changed his focus to target just bathroom remodels. Now when he bids against other companies his customers appreciate the fact that he specializes in just bathrooms, that's all his company does. As a customer, why would I hire a company that does all types of remodels when I want a bathroom remodel. He went from closing 1 out of every 10 leads to now he closed 1 out of every 5 or 6 leads. Bathroom remodels take 2 weeks and he said he consistently keeps 3-4 bathroom remodels going on at a time, has a project manager, several crews, and it’s constant. 

3. Create a powerful offer or guarantee.

Guarantees are a great way to reduce the perceived risk of hiring a service. Some owners of tree service companies think this is desperate, but not if you are branded and marketing as a legit credible business. Eliminating the hesitation for the homeowner hiring you can lead to a higher close rate and more sales. Plus, a guarantee can also make your company seem more trustworthy and likable.

For instance, if you remember a few years ago the online shoe retailer Zappos.  Zappos is famous for its year-long return policy. It reduces the barriers to buy their shoes because you can take an entire year to decide whether you want to keep the shoes. Not to mention, shipping is free both ways. In the tree service industry, rarely will a fly by night company or guy in a pickup offer a satisfaction guarantee. It could be something simple such as we guarantee you will be happy with the completed job, we won’t leave until you're happy, and if you are not there when we do the job and you need us to come back we will, until your happy. Put a satisfaction guarantee on your website, on your trucks, on your marketing efforts. It will make a difference. 

4. Create a cause marketing effort.

Giving back to the community is a fantastic way to make a name for your company while doing some good. It’s what we do here at Arborists Near Me, when a tree service company signs up we donate to One Tree Planted an organization that plants trees and restores forests. When a tree service company signs up we plant a tree, a give-back program because trees provide income and work for so many tree service companies in the U.S. along with the many other benefits trees provide. Essentially, cause marketing is the idea of creating a partnership or relationship with a non-profit or cause. The idea is that the business lends its time, money and expertise to help promote the non-profit. You’ve probably seen this at a larger scale level with big corporations that support breast cancer awareness or St. Jude’s Hospital, for example. Do something at a smaller, local level. 

Benefits of Separating your Tree Service from Competition

If you want to close more customers and be able to charge more per job on every job you do, this can be possible. Doing some of these things listed above can help. There are many other ways to separate yourself from the competition. A great way to separate your tree service is to position yourself as an industry expert, a leader in the field, being more knowledgeable about trees, the different varieties of trees, explain to the customer the proper way to trim a tree along with the process you will go through.  The more education you can provide the homeowners during a quote,, the more training you have gone through over guys that just picked up a chainsaw and call themselves a tree service,, the more credentials you have over them, the more you are going to set your tree service apart from your local competition. You should if you consider yourself an industry expert join a trade association. Join an association like ISA or TCIA get certified in your craft, take the proper training courses to display on your website, your trucks, and marketing. Let it be known to customers that you have gone through extensive training and education to service trees. Explain to the customer that they should be leary of door knockers or people that show up in unbranded trucks, and can’t prove they are licensed, insured with workers compensation, or bonded, that they are putting themselves at risk. This shows the customer that you care, but also you've invested the time, the money and training to be able to handle tree service jobs in a safe and professional manner.

Homeowners will spend money with who they feel comfortable with, no one wants to get ripped off. They would rather pay a little more to work with a reputable company, with standards in the industry. In addition to doing some of the things listed above will truly separate your tree service from the competition.  

You are in the right place if you own a professional tree service company create a listing in Arborists Near Me we have over 200 companies listed at this time. If you want to separate yourself from the competition get listed, you can select up to 20 cities and up to 10 service categories. Arborists Near Me, unlike other websites, only lists tree service companies most are ISA and TCIA with certified Arborists on staff. In addition to that, we verify online reviews if you maintain 4.5+ star reviews online that tell us you care about your reputation and want to take care of your customers. Every month thousands of people come to our site looking for a variety of services from brush chipping to tree trimming to lot clearing. Getting listed takes 2 minutes of your time, if you need help and want to talk to someone about setting up a profile send us an email or ask for help in the chatbox.

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