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  #1  
Old 07-25-2011, 11:46 AM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is offline
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notifiying customers

How has everyone found the best way to notify customers is? For major problems I make a direct call. For up coming things like seeding, aerations, etc I make a not on the invoice and/or send out the mass email. I've tried to make calls, but seems between both mine and their work schedule its hard to make contact.

I've had pretty good success with email and invoice notes. Although I do have that handful of customers who sees "aeration will begin on the 15th" and they decide to call the 1st!
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:25 PM
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GreenI.A. GreenI.A. is offline
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Most of my customers I don't worry about notifications. Some I have to call/email a day before because of locked gates, but many of these have given us a key to the gate so that we don't need to bother them. In the event we need to get ahold of them for an immediate service that is not covered by their program such as a serious disease issue then we will email them and call for authorization. Most of my customers respond pretty quickly to email during business hours. We also do regular mailer/postcards for reminders for upcoming add-on services. For example a round of Aeration/seeding cards will go out in 2 weeks to all of my customers who do not have aeration/overseeding in their program. But to keep it simple we have found the best method to contact our customers for when it's needed. We know who responds to email same day, who returns voice mail same day, and who you need to just call 3 times a day because they don't regularly check vmail or email
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:57 AM
garydale garydale is offline
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Notifing Your state pesticide office.

Maryland pesticide reg's require the dept. be noified of any pesticde incident!

I'm sure every other state does as well.

If you have notified your agency , I recommend youu ASAP.

Otherwise you are inviolation of the law.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:55 AM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is offline
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Originally Posted by garydale View Post
Maryland pesticide reg's require the dept. be noified of any pesticde incident!

I'm sure every other state does as well.

If you have notified your agency , I recommend youu ASAP.

Otherwise you are inviolation of the law.
I'm not talking about spills. By problems I meant grubs, brown patch, diseases, etc.

I try to upsale me customers by sending emails and letters. I get some response but not a lot. I was just wondering how you guys make contact with your clients. At aeration time do you send emails/letters/phone calls to them saying when you will be aerating and do they want this extra service?
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:29 AM
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Wilson

I am not sure If I am answering your question BUT.

I used to write Newsletters on each months invoice telling of up coming seasonal events. I used the Newsletter as a selling tool in more ways than one. One way was of course to offer up sells like aeration. But I also would tell or educate for this up coming month. I will be doing post emerge Crab Grass kills because August Rainy Season was Crab Grass season etc. It offers more information than a bill for services. It also offers a conversation starter with their neighbors as to Who does what and When. This is then word of mouth for me. BTW I alway sold a basic one price per month for service package. Most standard maintenance was included.

The more interesting and informative you make your invoice newsletter the more readership you get. I actually have one DIY guy who I send the newsletter to and he has never been my customer. But he has send me a lot of customers over the years.
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:49 PM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is offline
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Originally Posted by Ric View Post
Wilson

I am not sure If I am answering your question BUT.

I used to write Newsletters on each months invoice telling of up coming seasonal events. I used the Newsletter as a selling tool in more ways than one. One way was of course to offer up sells like aeration. But I also would tell or educate for this up coming month. I will be doing post emerge Crab Grass kills because August Rainy Season was Crab Grass season etc. It offers more information than a bill for services. It also offers a conversation starter with their neighbors as to Who does what and When. This is then word of mouth for me. BTW I alway sold a basic one price per month for service package. Most standard maintenance was included.

The more interesting and informative you make your invoice newsletter the more readership you get. I actually have one DIY guy who I send the newsletter to and he has never been my customer. But he has send me a lot of customers over the years.

Thats a great idea. I do a newsletter through email and send it to friends, app customers and mowing customers who have provided my email. I don't do it every month.... mainly because I don't have time or enough info to provide. I usually hit the main jobs (pre app, fert app, aeration, seeding, etc). I also send one out if I start seeing an outbreak of disease.

I figure the hardest part would be getting a database of newsletters done. You could use the same ones year after year with a few updates in each one. It will take me some time.
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grassmasterswilson View Post
Thats a great idea. I do a newsletter through email and send it to friends, app customers and mowing customers who have provided my email. I don't do it every month.... mainly because I don't have time or enough info to provide. I usually hit the main jobs (pre app, fert app, aeration, seeding, etc). I also send one out if I start seeing an outbreak of disease.

I figure the hardest part would be getting a database of newsletters done. You could use the same ones year after year with a few updates in each one. It will take me some time.
Wilson

IMHO a Newsletter was part of the Professional service I provided to my customers. It went to both Full service as well as those who did much of the work themselves. The end of each month they got a Invoice/newsletter that told them what to schedule to do the next month. It also gave my full services customers a reason to pay a little more for a complete professional yard care because they were being told what to expect in the way of service. And I believe it was a very valuable sales tool.
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Old 07-29-2011, 01:52 PM
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GreenI.A. GreenI.A. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grassmasterswilson View Post
I figure the hardest part would be getting a database of newsletters done. You could use the same ones year after year with a few updates in each one. It will take me some time.
I would try to find the time to get something good together in time for aerations and fall seeding. Then over the winter work hard to build your database of not only existing but prospective customers as well. Also during that time get your marketting prepared for the fallowing season. I do alot of postcard marketting, I have found that aslong as my logo is clearly seen then my current customers recognize that it is not junk mail, and respond. Over the winter I prepared all of my marketting and to save money had everything printed in advance. Something like 30,000 postcards went out for spring fert/irrigation startups. Because alot of customers may initially sign up for fertilizer/weed control only and not do grub, I did another mailing geared towards grub control, explaining the benefits and the difference between my gaurenteed control and dyi'er using the product at the big box stores. Some of my existing customers who did not originally sign for grub control called to sign up, & some prospective customers saw it and called to sign up for a program starting late. I'll do the same with aerations and seeding, those will go out in the next few weeks. My thing is professionally prepared marketting, my postcards are all 5x7 full color, glossy both sides. Comparing my cards to TG or Scotts, you would never tell a difference based on quality or marketting investment.

My main point is that you need to get it all done ahead of time and be prepared for marketting thoughout the season. When i placed my large order during the winter I also hd them print 25,000 mosquito postcards. They were printed but not addressed. As soon as the first story of EEE hit the news, I emailed the printer the addresses and the postcards where in peoples hands 3 days later
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:11 PM
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RigglePLC RigglePLC is offline
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Ric is right--so true. A newsletter can add upsell possibilities, answer questions in advance, and advise customers on mowing and watering practices. It can include mention of precaution at the same time.
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  #10  
Old 07-30-2011, 07:50 PM
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americanlawn americanlawn is offline
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$50,000 unit vs "come back later"

Notifying customers before we arrive? We do this when requested and when needed.

We normally call customers the evening before (usually if they have a locked gate or maybe cuz they left their dogs outside). I don't live that way, but I guess some prefer fences & locks.

Had one 3 weeks ago..... They requested to be a 'call ahead' due to "mowing". (I never could figure out what "call ahead cuz of mowing" meant) But they said, "Okay, come on out". We arrived in late morning the next day only to have the homeowner say, "I'm getting ready to mow, so come back another day." We thought WTF!!! Cuz we already spoke with them the previous evening asking us to come on out.

My main concern is this customer is 40 miles away! That's 80 miles round trip. Figure 12 about miles per gallon, salary expense, overhead, etc, etc. (Not good). Then figure a Chevy/GMC 2500 HD with a T3000, dual carrier rack, Tuflex spray tank, Hannay reel, Hypro refill pump, etc. Thats's a large investment IMO.

Both the husband & wife are "school teachers" (liberals) in Adel, Iowa. Our 'leave-behinds' always say we get the best weed kill when the weeds are fully leafed out, so it's best not to mow before we spray weeds ---- NOT before you have mowed them down. (if I was a "scrool" teacher, I think I'd be able to read)

I know both these folks. One drives a car, and the other drives a minivan. Both cars a JAP vehicles (Toyota). The wife drives the JAP minivan, and has an Obama (osama) sticker on her rear bumper. Neither of these "schrool teachers" seem to care about America or American small businesses. They merely have to work 180 days a year, then get "benifits" from you & me.

This customer is at the top of our list for next year to DUMP. We call them a "D.N.R." (Do Not Renew)

my 2 cents
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