Preventive Problem Management in the Green Industry

In the world of lawn care, landscaping, and tree care, the best time to address a problem is before it occurs. Anticipation is key in practicing preventive problem management. By evaluating the current quality of your service and looking ahead to the future needs of each client, you can identify and mitigate potential issues before they become significant problems. Just as we recommend preventive maintenance for our clients’ landscapes, we must also practice preventive maintenance in the service we provide to them.

Here are some strategies for effective problem prevention:

Educate Your Clients Continuously

Assume that your clients know little or nothing about your services. Continuous education is crucial. For example, you can send out seasonal newsletters to clients to help them anticipate potential issues due to seasonal changes. Regular communication, whether through mail or email, can address topics relevant to your clients’ needs and keep them informed about what you are doing and why it’s essential.

Use Visual Aids to Highlight Potential Problems

Take pictures of potential issues on your client’s property and go over them while making the appropriate recommendations. Always present possible problems with ready solutions. You can attach these photos to an email and alert your client to a situation quickly, helping them visualize the issue and understand the necessary steps to resolve it.

Develop Front-Line Staff for Proactive Problem Identification

Train your front-line staff to pay special attention to site details and report problems or likely problems immediately to their supervisor. Utilize tools like the Landscape Management Report and have a process for daily review of these reports. Additionally, use a dry erase message board for posting issues observed by the crews. This ensures that everyone on your team is aware of potential problems and can act quickly to address them.

Proactive Client Communication

Call your clients before they call you. Regularly make suggestions about how your service can improve the appearance of, and investment in, their property. Proactive communication demonstrates that you are attentive and committed to their satisfaction, which builds trust and strengthens your relationship with your clients.

When Problems Arise: Stay on Offense

When a problem does arise, always stay on offense. Act, don’t react. Take an offensive, not a defensive role. This proactive approach helps you maintain control of the situation and shows your clients that you are dedicated to resolving their issues swiftly and effectively.

Simplify Client Access to Problem Resolution

Keep the line of access short and simple. Minimize the number of people a client has to go through to get their problem solved. This streamlined approach ensures that clients can get their issues addressed quickly and without unnecessary frustration.

Have Ready Solutions

Prepare a list of the most common problems you encounter and have a system ready for solving them. This preparation allows you to respond promptly and effectively when issues arise, demonstrating your competence and commitment to high-quality service.

Additional Tips for Preventive Problem Management

  1. Conduct Regular Site Inspections: Schedule routine site inspections to identify potential problems before they escalate. This proactive measure helps you stay ahead of issues and maintain high service standards.

  2. Client Feedback Surveys: Regularly survey your clients to gather feedback about their satisfaction with your services and any concerns they might have. Use this feedback to make continuous improvements.

  3. Staff Training Programs: Invest in ongoing training programs for your staff to ensure they are equipped with the latest knowledge and techniques in the industry. Well-trained employees are better prepared to identify and address potential problems.

  4. Implement Technology: Utilize technology such as mobile apps and software to track job progress, manage schedules, and communicate with clients. These tools can enhance your efficiency and help you stay on top of potential issues.

  5. Document Processes: Maintain detailed documentation of your processes and procedures. This ensures consistency in service delivery and provides a reference point for addressing any problems that arise.


Preventive problem management is essential in the lawn care, landscaping, and tree care industries. By proactively addressing potential issues and maintaining open lines of communication with your clients, you can provide exceptional service and build lasting relationships. Remember, the goal is to anticipate and prevent problems before they occur, ensuring a seamless and satisfying experience for your clients.

“Live and manage by this simple principle: Don’t get caught by surprise.”

Be Well, Do Good Work, and Keep In Touch.

Fred Haskett

To Learn More Contact Fred at TrueWinds Consulting

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