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  #1  
Old 05-13-2014, 08:39 PM
RichardC RichardC is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: NH
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Scheduling new lawns

Just curious how anyone else schedules new lawn customers.. assuming the lawn is ready to cut right away, do you take care of it ASAP, or make them wait until they next time you hit the route you're adding them onto?

i just added one that needs to be done right away, but the route isnt due to be done for another 5 days. i'll be in that area tomorrow. i plan on taking care of it, but then it will throw off the timing, trying to add it where it needs to be.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:59 PM
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CNYScapes CNYScapes is online now
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for me, it has to be pretty close to where we are to mow it on an off day. Then I would put it on its regular day even if it is only 4 or 5 days after the original mow.

If it is too far away then I will make them wait until the next cut. I cant justify sending 2 guys in a truck across town to mow 1 lawn. It would probly cost more to mow then you make on it.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:40 PM
Cedar Lawn Care Cedar Lawn Care is online now
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If they are a neighbor of a client I am currently mowing I take care of it when I am done with that lawn if I have time. If we are talking on the phone I tell them the day of the week we service that area and tell them we will get it taken care of then.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:57 PM
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Locqus Locqus is offline
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I used to try and take care of any new client when they called, then it got really inefficient scrambling the jets every time someone was new. I usually get their address and specs and put them in the day that is most efficient for us. Really starting to tailor our new accounts to what is best and most profitable and efficient for us, and not the other way around to keep people happy.
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:13 PM
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Patriot Services Patriot Services is online now
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If its a big enough account and I'm guaranteed of getting it based on my immediate response I will take care of it personally. Picked up 3 nice ones on mothers day that way.
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:51 PM
RichardC RichardC is offline
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on this one particular lawn in question, i ended up taking care of it today because it was in desperate need, and told her i'll be back in 5 days (when that route is scheduled) to do it again. will do it at a discounted rate this one time due to the short time between mows, and then back to the quoted price from that point on..

maybe not the most effecient way, but at the moment my schedule isnt full, so i can afford the time
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardC View Post
on this one particular lawn in question, i ended up taking care of it today because it was in desperate need, and told her i'll be back in 5 days (when that route is scheduled) to do it again. will do it at a discounted rate this one time due to the short time between mows, and then back to the quoted price from that point on..

maybe not the most effecient way, but at the moment my schedule isnt full, so i can afford the time
Hopefully she appreciates the gesture. The appearence will speak for itself.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:41 PM
eastsidelandcare eastsidelandcare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardC View Post
on this one particular lawn in question, i ended up taking care of it today because it was in desperate need, and told her i'll be back in 5 days (when that route is scheduled) to do it again. will do it at a discounted rate this one time due to the short time between mows, and then back to the quoted price from that point on..

maybe not the most effecient way, but at the moment my schedule isnt full, so i can afford the time
Whatever path you take, if you go out of your way to accomodate the customer or discount for service make sure the customer knows what you did. Let her know you "squeezed her in and adjusted schedules to do it" and that then show on your invoice an expediting fee that you then show as "no charge" discount. Same for the reduced fee for the 5 day out job if you are discounting. Show it at full charge with a discount line item. In other words, toot your horn.

Lonnie
Eastside Landcare
www.eastsidelandcare.com
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Old 05-15-2014, 04:51 PM
RichardC RichardC is offline
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Yeah, that's one thing Ive learned for sure.. Always put every last penny they "should/could" be charged on the bill, and then discount it down if necessary. If you just bill cheap, they expect that to be the norm.. If you bill high, and give a discount, they feel special, while i keep it easy for myself to lessen the discount when the time comes to raise my prices.

On a different note, but still in regards to scheduling lawns.. I have one customer who only wants her lawn done every 3 weeks because she supposedly cant afford it more often. (which is debatable, but anyways..). I told her at the beginning of this season that the lawn is $45 every 2 weeks, which is already pushing the limits on timing. She opted to push it off until the end of this month, which means it's going to be a hay field when i get there, so i told her im going to charge her hourly any time she extends past 2 weeks due to the added time/effort to mow 9" long grass. i expect the bill to be around $80-100 when i bill hourly.

what do you guys do in situations like this? does it make sense to drop a big hourly bill once to hopefully sticker shock her into letting me do it every 2 weeks, or dropping me altogether (which wont hurt my feelings). She also had a habit last year of changing the day on me 2 or 3 times, this year im planning my routes better, so i told her once my schedule is set, it's done. if a customer calls you off, do you drop a bill anyways? should i tell her after this mow that her only option is $45/2 weeks, or just do it on demand at an hourly rate? in the end, i suppose i make the same amount..
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:03 PM
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OakNut OakNut is offline
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Location: Pittsburgh PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardC View Post
on this one particular lawn in question, i ended up taking care of it today because it was in desperate need, and told her i'll be back in 5 days (when that route is scheduled) to do it again. will do it at a discounted rate this one time due to the short time between mows, and then back to the quoted price from that point on..

maybe not the most effecient way, but at the moment my schedule isnt full, so i can afford the time
That's sort of how I handled a biweekly client that I was unable to contact to confirm keeping her on my schedule this season. I have two biweekly clients on the same street, so obviously they both get cut on the same day. Well, I hadn't heard from her and the other job was cut last week. THEN she called and said she wanted to have me continue service. Sigh.

Rather than having her wait another week (it needed cut now) I did hers this week with the understanding that she would also be cut the next week again in order to get her on schedule with the other property. She was cool with that, and I knocked a few bucks off the first cut for her.

Some people get all freaked out if you cut one day before the scheduled weekly stop - as if you're "cheating" them. (Although they have NO issue if rain delays you two days and it's up to your knees and you have to cut it for the same price)
Some people are very understanding and will work with you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eastsidelandcare View Post
Whatever path you take, if you go out of your way to accomodate the customer or discount for service make sure the customer knows what you did. Let her know you "squeezed her in and adjusted schedules to do it" and that then show on your invoice an expediting fee that you then show as "no charge" discount. Same for the reduced fee for the 5 day out job if you are discounting. Show it at full charge with a discount line item. In other words, toot your horn.

Lonnie
Eastside Landcare
www.eastsidelandcare.com
Indeed.
I took on a new client half way into the season last year. The day she called (Thurs) she said they had family coming in from out of town on Saturday and I said I'd stop for a quote on my way home and do my best to help them out if they chose to go with me.
Well, I bumped one cut to the next day (vacant house), stopped for the quote and intentionally mentioned to her that I had "adjusted my schedule to accommodate her" if she wanted me to cut it that day before I headed home.

"Oh, THANK YOU!!!", she exclaimed.
She wrote out a check for the entire month on the spot and is one of my best customers now. That "extra effort" on my part sealed the deal and had I not mentioned rearranging my schedule to get her cut before the family arrived, I would not have made as good an impression as I did.
It was one of the first things mentioned in her "novel-length" glowing review posted on Angie's List.
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