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View Full Version : Lost an account to TruGreen/Chemlawn...


ThreeWide
08-02-2004, 01:07 PM
I took over this Zoysia yard in May. At first sight, the yard had what appeared to be dollar spot. My first assumption was the previous company had been short on nitrogen.

In my quote letter to the client, it was clearly noted that he had dollar spot.

After my 2nd application of fertilizer last week, I noticed the dollar spot was still there. So I now concluded it might not be dollar spot. Had an expert go out with me this morning who said it was brown patch. It sure looked like dollar spot to me though.

Only problem is that a TG/CL sign is in the yard. I called the homeowner to get the ok for a fungicide, but he had already called TG/CL to do it. He actually thought I was doing nothing about the problem. He also said that he left me a voice message, but I know that is not the case.

One lesson I learned from this was even though I was taking steps to diagnose the supposed "dollar spot", the customer didn't know it. I suppose you can never communicate too much with your clients.

So now it is too late for me to save face unless TG/CL really screws up his lawn. I'm sure they eventually will, but he will likely forget about me by then.

This was not a huge loss for me money wise, its just the overall principle that makes me angry.

Green Dreams
08-02-2004, 04:53 PM
Been there done that....too many times. It eats at you and that is good. You learned a lesson. One of the ways I lay the wood the comp is by communication. When I get to a house I ask myself, "If this was my yard, what would piss me off?" Ask yourself that and go from there. You are more pickier than an average homeowner, so you'll do better work. Your customer will never will never say so, but he will tell everyone else that you kick ass. Always knock on the door and always leave good notes.

I used to work at TGCL (anyone here not work there?) and I always had the fewest callbacks and the fewest cancels. That trend has followed me everywhere I go. Now hopefully that trend will make me a living on my own.

This is what I'd do... send him a letter thanking him for the opprotunity to serve him. Apologize and just admit you communicated embarassingly bad in this situation. Send him your card and a check for his last application (I'd do it, but it's up to you) and tell him if he was ever kind enough to call on you again that you will do a better job of communicating. WHEN (not if) Tru Green drops the ball, he will think of you. May not call right away, but you'll always be on his list.

When it comes to disease/fungus... I just call it a "diseased area" and treat with an all purpose fungicide if I am not sure. If in doubt, put insecticide on it, too. It won't hurt anything....

Now for the legal disclaimer...

(Use of this advice on customer service anywhere within 100 miles of me is strictly prohibited by law) ; )

James Cormier
08-02-2004, 05:14 PM
"This is what I'd do... send him a letter thanking him for the opprotunity to serve him. Apologize and just admit you communicated embarassingly bad in this situation. Send him your card and a check for his last application (I'd do it, but it's up to you) and tell him if he was ever kind enough to call on you again that you will do a better job of communicating. WHEN (not if) Tru Green drops the ball, he will think of you. May not call right away, but you'll always be on his list."


Great advise...very well put.