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  #1  
Old 05-22-2014, 09:35 PM
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LawnMowerMan2003 LawnMowerMan2003 is offline
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Taking customers from people who don't care

I may have mentioned this before, but not recently. I think that there is plenty of business for people who make sure they are providing quality service (including good customer communication). I have discussed this with customers and other LCOs many times, but I just had a recent example come up talking with a new customer.

The most interesting thing about this experience is that I charged this customer a bit more than I would have normally. I normally leave flyers with estimates, and I could tell the front lawn was somewhat overgrown, enough to taker longer to edge, and I couldn't see the back.

After talking to my new customer she tells me she had a lawn service before, but he would always take a couple of days to call her back, after she called him. OK, I understand that people get busy, but why can't you call that customer at the end of the day, at least? Nobody should have to wait 2 days for a return call. The last time he was supposed to mow the yard, it took him 2 days to call her back. And then he said he could mow it Saturday morning. He calls back Saturday morning to say he can't mow it in the morning but he can do it that day. He doesn't do it that day. He doesn't even mow the lawn on Sunday, and finally her husband tells her to just call somebody else. Conveniently, I left a flyer there.

Sure, that's her story, I don't know if it's true, but I believe it. Because I've heard so many of them from my customers. If you are reliable, and you do what you say you're going to do, I think it puts you ahead of a large percentage of people in this business (maybe many others, I don't know). It's a sad fact, but it's also an encouraging one.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:46 PM
larryinalabama larryinalabama is offline
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It is very likely that the potential customer is a Pain. But you never know.

I cant say it enough times, a Set Route/Schedule is everything in this business.
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:06 PM
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LawnMowerMan2003 LawnMowerMan2003 is offline
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Well I considered the possibility, but so far everything is good. She didn't ask for anything special, in fact said the back didn't really need edging, partially because there was some brush there that she didn't expect me to trim around.

I always try to set up a schedule, but with lack of rain and water restrictions here, nobody will commit to it, so I just tell them I will call them in 2 weeks (almost nothing here would need it in 1 week, unless they really fertilized St. Augustine and watered it more than they were allowed to). I trimmed most of the back anyway, because it probably took 5 minutes.
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:55 PM
oqueoque oqueoque is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnMowerMan2003 View Post
I may have mentioned this before, but not recently. I think that there is plenty of business for people who make sure they are providing quality service (including good customer communication). I have discussed this with customers and other LCOs many times, but I just had a recent example come up talking with a new customer.

The most interesting thing about this experience is that I charged this customer a bit more than I would have normally. I normally leave flyers with estimates, and I could tell the front lawn was somewhat overgrown, enough to taker longer to edge, and I couldn't see the back.
That must had been some high overgrown grass in front, if you couldn't see the back. What was it 6 or 7 feet high? How did it get so overgrown, if it does not rain? Sounds like it has been growing for years without being cut.
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:13 PM
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Chilehead Chilehead is online now
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Originally Posted by larryinalabama View Post
It is very likely that the potential customer is a Pain. But you never know.

I cant say it enough times, a Set Route/Schedule is everything in this business.
Well spoken. Granted, I will never turn down the opportunity to showcase my services to a prospect. However, I wont start on their property until I have worked their location into my route. Clients who cause you to skip around town are a detriment to any kind of commitments that have already been made. And to Lawn Mower Man: you're right about calling back customers promptly.
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:46 PM
PenningsLandscaping PenningsLandscaping is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oqueoque View Post
That must had been some high overgrown grass in front, if you couldn't see the back. What was it 6 or 7 feet high? How did it get so overgrown, if it does not rain? Sounds like it has been growing for years without being cut.
.... i hope you're kidding

but either way, haddon heights! i grew up in collingswood.
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:52 PM
PenningsLandscaping PenningsLandscaping is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryinalabama View Post
It is very likely that the potential customer is a Pain. But you never know.

I cant say it enough times, a Set Route/Schedule is everything in this business.
you would be amazed how often i hear "I can't get my lawn service on the phone."

to the OP: Never feel bad, you lose accounts for two reasons: (aside from moving, death, ect)
1) You're a F off, you don't call people back and you're unreliable.
2) You get lowballed. You didn't lowball it, so you're golden. Mow away, guilt free.

I picked up a handful of accounts from companies like this this season. Slacker Lawn Care, No Show Landscaping, and Unreliable Idiot Mowing Service LLC have been really great for my business.
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  #8  
Old 05-23-2014, 12:03 AM
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kemco kemco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryinalabama View Post
I cant say it enough times, a Set Route/Schedule is everything in this business.
I probably would have hit the ceiling on growth for my one crew had I not dropped about 20 yards that were not in my tight cutting route. These 20 yards were killing me with paying for windshield time and gas. Best thing I every did was drop these outliers and concentrate my advertising efforts within our existing route. Getting rid of those 20 opened the door to be able to fit about 50, if not more, customers into the same work time.

When someone pulls up or stops me at a gas station with the "how much would you charge me to cut my lawn" the first question I ask is where is the yard. And if that yard is outside our "cutting area" I politely tell them so and don't think twice about it.
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  #9  
Old 05-23-2014, 10:19 PM
oqueoque oqueoque is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenningsLandscaping View Post
.... i hope you're kidding

but either way, haddon heights! i grew up in collingswood.
I am, but how can you estimate a cutting if you can't see in the back. the back is where the nightmares are, whether it is a house with five dogs and the last time anybody picked up was 1993, or someone bought the rest of the outdoor furniture store liquidation and there are 35 pieces out back. Or even worse the furniture and the crap are in the same yard. Some areas you don't want to weed wack.
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2014, 10:32 PM
oqueoque oqueoque is offline
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I have some customers in Collingswood. One with kids toys scattered all about, luckily they are picked up 75% of the time and it only takes 2 to 3 minutes to relocate them when necessary. I have had backyards full of toys constantly worse. To the point where I had to say something. Then you get the people, who buy 15 perennials and plant them all about in the lawn, without any bed and complain that you wacked a few.
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