When you hire a commercial landscape company to care for your property, there could be up to a dozen different specialties that have a role in your landscape’s success.
Here’s a list of some of the different positions that are part of our landscape maintenance teams:
1. Crew Leader
2. Mow Crew Team Member
3. Detail Crew Team Member
4. Irrigation Technician
5. Spray Application Technician
6. Landscape Designer
8. Business Development Manager
9. Branch Manager
10. Office Manager
11. Accounting Technician
…and last, but certainly not least….
12. Account Manager
Out of all these different roles, responsibilities, and specialists, why is the Account Manager the key to a great looking commercial landscape?
Imagine an Olympic rowing team for a moment. Can you see them all paddling in unison, gliding along the water? It looks so effortless, doesn’t it?
It looks so easy because there’s a guy (or gal) at the front of the boat, calling out instructions - keeping them all in line. Their job is to make sure their team is working together to get from start to finish as quickly, and as smoothly, as possible. If even one team member is out of sync, the whole boat will be thrown into chaos, and the race will be lost.
Your Account Manager is the guy (or gal) at the front of the boat, calling out the instructions.
Account Managers don’t have a specific list of tasks in their job description.
They know how to mow the grass and prune the shrubs, but you rarely see them on a mower or with shears in their hands.
They know how to design flower displays and how to optimize an irrigation system, but you won’t usually find them planting annuals or adjusting sprinkler heads.
That’s because more important than knowing how to do all these tasks themselves, they need to be able to teach others how to do all the things that keep a landscape looking its best.
In fact, if you really think about it, the Account Manager’s job could be summed up with this simple instruction: “Make sure your people are happy.” Sounds easy, but it’s remarkably difficult.
It’s hard because Account Managers have two groups of people that they always need to keep happy. First, they are responsible for hiring, scheduling, and overseeing the work of their service crews. Their service teams must be organized, outfitted, and supervised every day. They need the right gear to get their jobs done safely and efficiently. They need crystal clear instructions to make sure they are doing the work in the way we’ve committed to doing it.
The second group of people Account Managers need to keep happy is the Client. Clients need to be informed about when their properties are going to be serviced, and what we’ll be doing when we get there. Clients need to be reassured that any problem areas are being taken care of, and that we’re living up to the promises we’ve made in our service agreement. Account Managers (the really good ones, at least) become trusted members of their Clients’ team, ready to jump in and help at a moment’s notice, no matter what time of day or night.
At Yellowstone Landscape, we’re fortunate to have a great group of Account Managers. We’re not all perfect, and we certainly make mistakes from time to time. But we’re always training and striving to get better.
With spring’s arrival, this year’s training sessions and workshops are coming to an end. It’s time for our Account Managers to get back out in the field and manage our clients’ landscapes through the tough spring and summer growing seasons.
So remember, the next time you see a great looking commercial landscape, thanks should go straight to the guy (or gal) at the front of the boat, keeping their team in sync. It’s a lot harder than it looks.
Photo Credit: Joe Brunton, via Wikimedia Commons