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View Full Version : Last Year=Crappy Year=Customers Blame You!


danslawncare
03-03-2006, 11:34 AM
I've had about 6 customers call and cancel this year, especially with ferterlizer but also mowing because their yard dosen't good. They say i did a great job mowing, but it dosent' look healthy. WELL NO ****, we had the worst drought in 150 years!!!! DUH!!!!!!!! How do you make these people believe you are a professional? Do you send them cupons? Same deal with landscapes, plants die, they say you didn't install them right. NO rain, and you don't hardly ever water....what the h@!! do you think will happen. Can anyone stop my renting and raving.:angry: :angry: :angry:

lawnwizards
03-03-2006, 12:48 PM
i'd say good riddance. those 6 look like the type that will ***** and nit pick everything anyway. i'd say forget em and don't look back. find 6 good customers.:waving:

lawn_pro
03-03-2006, 01:45 PM
yeah, we had that same thing happen about 3 years ago...nothing you can do, unless you physically go over and water for em..I wouldn't take it personally you will be able to replace them soon..good luck this year, hope you get some rain

prizeprop
03-03-2006, 02:21 PM
I'd say between the drought and alot of guys coming up short on their leave cleanups, there's going to be alot of that going around.

Remsen1
03-03-2006, 02:29 PM
It's probably good riddance, if they really can't understand that grass needs water and under the circumstances (no water) you made the lawn look the best that it could possibly look then they are not customers that you want. They aren't coming out and saying it, but they are probably pinching pennies and aren't so concerned with how their lawn looks (which is what they would like you to believe) instead they have decided that they don't want to pay to have a nicer looking lawn and since they are relegated to having it look poor, then why not pay the guy who will do it for $10 cheaper and whom they can also push around and have them mow it once every 3 weeks during a drought.

Fantasy Lawns
03-03-2006, 02:48 PM
Maybe consider having something like this attached to your contract or aggreement

Irrigation: Due to various watering regulations, seasonal adjustment needs and personal preferences, we do not program controllers. If programming is done at your request, please verify accuracy yourself. We assume NO responsibility for programming accuracy or legalities.

Warranty: Service by us does not imply a warranty of any kind on your pre-existing plants & material. You have 10 days from the date of service to notify us of any additional problems that we missed or that arose after we left. We will return and bill you for additional parts if needed and on the job time only.
Return Service after 10 days or if no problems are found will be charged $ 35.00

All material is guaranteed to be as specified. All work to be completed in a workmanlike manner according to standard practices. Plants & Material guaranteed for 90 days provided irrigation system is working and no acts of God or Vandalism (to include pets owned by property) occur. New Landscaping is not regulated by local water restrictions first 90 days of install.

Exclusions include Flowers, Recycled Plant Materials, Acts of God (storm damage etc.) Vandalism, work performed on plants by those not employed by Fantasy Lawns; lack of water due to faulty or non - functioning irrigation

danslawncare
03-03-2006, 03:12 PM
But now i've got people who's good word of mouth has been changed into negitive word of mouth. I mean people talk right? Subdivisons are very tight right? They think i do faulty work, how do i change their minds? Do i offer them cupons for a discount?

lawnwizards
03-03-2006, 03:29 PM
But now i've got people who's good word of mouth has been changed into negitive word of mouth. I mean people talk right? Subdivisons are very tight right? They think i do faulty work, how do i change their minds? Do i offer them cupons for a discount?dan, i get calls for estimates from people either i cancelled or who cancelled me all the time. i don't think people remember stuff like that very long... just forget about them and prove to everyone that your work is superb... you can't build a future living in the past...

PlantSolutions
03-03-2006, 03:30 PM
Think marketing and sales......
Probe, probe, and probe... Make an appointment to see them individually. If they say no, tell them you only want a few minutes of their time to discuss what went wrong so that you can make it right with other clients. First, LISTEN to them, LISTEN some more and then discuss the problems with drought last year and address the problems. Most people don't listen and if you do, you can address each need they might have. They will think you really do care and then tell them that you value their business and is there anything you can do to keep it. Guarantee you will get at least 1 or 2 back. The others will move on, but most likely not talk bad about you.

Hope this helps...it helped me in the corporate world.

sheshovel
03-03-2006, 03:53 PM
The only problem with your reply Fantasy Lawns is that people back there don't HAVE irrigation systems installed.Most of these guys don't have that option.
They have to depend on the customer to water.
Wereas here you don't do installs without installing a system too..and it is very rare to find a lawn or garden without an automatic watering system of some kind or another.

Richard Martin
03-03-2006, 05:46 PM
The only problem with your reply Fantasy Lawns is that people back there don't HAVE irrigation systems installed.Most of these guys don't have that option.

That's the case here too. I can count on two fingers the number of lawns that have irrigation in my area and one of those doesn't use it. You never, ever see irrigation companies in my area.

Richard Martin
03-03-2006, 05:48 PM
Think marketing and sales......
Probe, probe, and probe... Make an appointment to see them individually. If they say no, tell them you only want a few minutes of their time to discuss what went wrong so that you can make it right with other clients. First, LISTEN to them, LISTEN some more and then discuss the problems with drought last year and address the problems. Most people don't listen and if you do, you can address each need they might have. They will think you really do care and then tell them that you value their business and is there anything you can do to keep it. Guarantee you will get at least 1 or 2 back. The others will move on, but most likely not talk bad about you.

Hope this helps...it helped me in the corporate world.

This is excellant advice. I think that within 10 seconds of talking to the customer "face to face" you can figure out whether they are salvagable or not. Even if they're not you can do some damage control.

danslawncare
03-03-2006, 06:42 PM
Right, but most people around here dont' want to meet with the "lawn guy" I don't care how big of a company you have, they just don't have time for YOU. Do you send them a letter? What would you say in it? I just worry because edventually you have to run out of "new prospects" I mean the scrubs take enough business as it is. More and more every year. So you say "well i'll provide better service" If theres a crappy year, you cant' do anything to make your lawn look better then the scrubs.

cantoo
03-03-2006, 09:34 PM
Maybe you can find a published report about the dry weather and the effect it had on lawns last year. Something short and sweet that they might actually read. What do the other lawns near your customers look like?

danslawncare
03-04-2006, 09:09 PM
complete crap.

DLCS
03-04-2006, 09:58 PM
Jusr remember you can't please everybody. I know it sucks but we expirienced the worst drought last year. Customers with common sense will understand. Those 6 customers are just looking for someone to blame and try to get something for nothing. I wouldn't look back. I may have asked you this before but where in Illinois are you?

danslawncare
03-05-2006, 12:48 AM
South Chicago Suburbs...how about you? Also, your right Deere ROCKS!!!

PlantSolutions
03-05-2006, 10:50 AM
Right, but most people around here dont' want to meet with the "lawn guy" I don't care how big of a company you have, they just don't have time for YOU. Do you send them a letter? What would you say in it? I just worry because edventually you have to run out of "new prospects" I mean the scrubs take enough business as it is. More and more every year. So you say "well i'll provide better service" If theres a crappy year, you cant' do anything to make your lawn look better then the scrubs.

Do you want to be the "lawn guy" or a "lawn professional"? That is the question you need to ask yourself. I am a designer and I actually have a "lawn guy" and I talk with him often even before I became a designer. If you make the time for them they will make the time for you. You may be underestimating all clients. If you want to be a professional, you need an open line of communication with them, this will also help with getting leads. Start by knocking on their door or leaving a note advising them of any changes in the lawn condition, weeds, watering needs, etc. Most people don't understand how to water correctly. If you are using fertilizer (w/a licence of course), what you used to prevent what? Do they have kids or animals? If so, advise them, to stay off the lawn.

Get the customer interested in their lawn. They are investing money with YOU. If they don't care, still advise, it can't hurt and they will look at you as a professional and not just another "lawn guy". :)

jeffex
03-05-2006, 11:12 AM
I think it a great opportunity for selling irrigation systems. Here in Md we have fairly cheap water due to several reservoirs surrounding the area but there are not many lawns with irrigation systems. you can look at that 2 ways. Wide open sales opportunity or it will never sell. In the south most new homes come with irrigation systems or they would have no lawn. If you don't want to learn how to install and sell irrigation systems then you could investigate and recommend a company to your customers. That will make you seem "professional" and help convince them of the importance of irrigation. If they don't go for it drop kick them because people are always looking for someone to blame for their own stupidity!!