Horticulture Week Business Award - Customer Service Excellence

Winner - Tendercare

Tendercare has developed a range of events and service offers, each designed for specific groups within its diverse client community that includes trade and retail customers, designers and landscapers.

The Middlesex-based nursery has expanded and diversified throughout its 30-year life and its client base is increasingly broad and varied. The business recognises that the needs of each customer type are different, from private clients looking for a special plant to liven up a shaded -border to landscape architects specifying mature trees for commercial projects.

Activities for private clients include workshops and outdoor cookery demonstrations, while professionals benefit from events that can contribute towards continuing professional development hours. The company’s student offer is particularly generous, with experienced staff providing talks, presentations and guided tours of nursery stock.

In addition to offering nursery-based activities, the company has also expanded its garden consultation service for private clients. With three main, clearly-defined services from which to chose, clients can select the one that best suits their needs. Should a garden be more complex or larger than the standard services accommodate, a bespoke consultation and design service is also provided.

Recognising the increasing requirement on developers to present landscape proposals as part of the planning process, Tendercare now offers a full suite of services for this market. Requirements range from advice and recommendations for street trees, specifying for complex planting situations such as podium or roof trees, through to the creation of masterplans and full specification documentation for hard and soft landscaping.

Events and services now include a wreath-making workshops, winter tree workshops for students, a personal shopper service, pruning workshops for retail clients, working with other horticultural specialists and trade bodies to extend professional services and site assessment visits followed by summary reports and inspirational visuals. An event in April 2019 featured a discussion on plant health ahead of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show’s Forestry Commission garden.

These ideas and others have led to an increase of 38% in customer retention, an 82% rise in social media engagement, 72% growth in sales from mobile application and a 39% increase in sales because of trade event days.

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