1-Minute Mentor: Bill Cox

May 20, 2013 -  By

Meet Bill Cox, president of Lawn Management Co. (LMC), Houston

Who’s your mentor? Dr. Steven Hotze, CEO of Hotze Health & Wellness Center in Houston. I’ve known him for 35 years. Our kids went to school together. In my opinion, he’s a pioneer in innovating unique business practices that differentiate your business from the competition.

Bill Cox

Headshot: Bill Cox

He inspired me to take service to a higher level and encouraged me to take best practices from all types of industries—not just landscaping—and use them in my own business.

How do you build your business? By hiring exceptional people, who in turn provide outstanding customer service. The ideal way to grow your business is to grow organically through referrals and existing customers. Ninety percent of our business comes from those two things.

LMC has an official customer philosophy. Why? It keeps us on track. We live by these principles every day, whether it’s focusing on customer service, helping clients problem solve or listening to them. If you listen to your customers, then you can deliver what they want. If we can align ourselves as their partner, then we’ve become more valuable to them and our relationship is strengthened.

Customer appreciation also is part of LMC’s philosophy. Yes, you can’t say “thank you” enough. We’ll take clients to lunch or a ballgame, for example. It’s just common courtesy. When someone buys something from you, you should say “Thank you.” It creates a tighter bond with the customer and has helped us grow the business a lot.

How do you ensure the philosophy is being practiced? If we have happy employees and happy clients we know it’s being practiced.

Tell us a little bit about LMC H20. It’s our smart water management program designed to conserve water, save our clients money and maximize efficient water use on our clients’ properties. It’s an amazing system. From it, our clients have realized a 20 percent to 40 percent reduction in their monthly water usage.

You just celebrated your 33rd anniversary in the landscaping industry. What have you learned in that time? The more I give back to others the more successful I become.

 Off the clock

What job or professional affiliation has influenced you most? The Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) and the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET). They’ve provided excellent resources that have helped improve our business over the years and allowed us to share best practices with other companies. Being part of the National Hispanic Landscape Association (NHLA) also has contributed to our success.

What’s one thing in your life you can’t do without? My faith.

Any given Sunday, you’ll find me… At my river house watching the sun come up.

Texas barbecue or Tex-Mex? Tex-Mex.

Who’s in your family? My wife, Connie, and my sons, Brad and Kyle, who are now running the company. I’m here for support and to make sure the culture here stays the way it’s been for 33 years.

Visit the Web Extras section of LandscapeManagement.net to view LMC’s official customer philosophy.

About the Author:

Geraci is a freelance writer based in Cleveland. She has worked as a professional journalist for more than 15 years, including six years as a writer for the Chicago Tribune. A graduate of Allegheny College and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Geraci began her career as an editor at a newswire service in Washington, D.C., where she edited and distributed press releases from the White House and congressional leaders. She went on to become the community news reporter at the Jackson Hole Guide newspaper, winning two national feature writing awards. Her other experience includes working as a book editor in Chicago and as a professor of business communications at Cleveland State University.

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