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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lasher66, Jun 25, 2002.

  1. lasher66

    lasher66 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 395

    I know I posted a message about this a while back but I ran into some more probs with customers. This is the first week that everyones lawn is getting to that stage where its turning brown and might need to be skipped on certain weeks. Anyways, I put a letter out early this spring about the changes that will take place this season. Included in it was a part that said I will no longer be on a on call basis when it gets to the hot part of summer,I will arrive at the location every week and inspect the lawn and I will either decide to cut or skip it if need be. Well today I got home from my other job and found about 5 messages on my machine telling me not to cut the lawn this week. How do I explain nicely to these customers that I will not run my business this way without sounding too forceful with them about cutting the grass? One customer called me yesterday to tell me to skip it and I told her that I will be there every week to inspect the lawn. Well ,she got mad because she thought that I didnt believe her about the grass not needing cut and I just wanted to show up so I could cut it and get the money. At what stage do you guys skip the lawn. I had a lawn today that was pretty brown but their was clumps of high spots everywhere and just looked bad , so I cut it to make it even. Any input would be greatly appeciated.

  2. 2tall

    2tall LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    I do the exact same thing you do. Go by and check to see if it needs to be cut if not wait till next week. Just tell them that you have a schedule to stick to even if you don't. They will never know.
  3. Grasshog

    Grasshog LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    For the lawns I do by the cut. If they would call me ahead of time and let me know it doesnt need cut. That would be great.
    Look at the time it would save me. Man, I wouldnt have to spend time traveling to their location. I could get home quicker or could spend more time on other location. I think you have it made now, you just dont know it.
    You do know they own the lawn. If they dont want you in it stay out. If it takes you a little longer the next cut. Charge them more for it.
  4. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,516

    I have never had any customer to call me and tell me that the lawn didn`t need cutting. That woulod be a real PITA, in the seven years I have been doing this. Something funny though, my first year, I had 2 customers that made me come back on saturdays to cut the brown dry grass every week, because I left them go on the day I was there. They like fresh stripes in their lawn every week and will pay for it, so now I do them every week, and they are happy campers. All of the other customers know that I will only cut if it needs it, will not waste my time cuttng dust. They have never questioned on a cut that I have charged for.:D
  5. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    Try to remember they pay you for your work to cut THEIR lawn. This is a customer service business. Try to please the customer within reason and you will keep most or all your current customers next year. :D
  6. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    There are two ways to look at it. 1. they hire you to cut their lawn or 2. the are hiring a professional service to maintain their property.

    Sounds like you are wanting to be # 2 and they are wanting to hold you to being a simple minded grass cuttin boy :)

    As you get new clients make sure you have made the mental switch. (you do not cut on call...in fact you don't even consider it as an option) You are a professional service.

    Maybe it matters to them maybe it doesn't, but at least you can get yourself thinking you are professional and sometimes that can carry over into them wanting your service more than the some fly by night grass cutter.
  7. TFL

    TFL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    The way i solve the cancellation calls is i try to go look at the Yards that are on my schedule for the week sunday afternoon to see how they are growing then i call then monday to see what they think ( costomer like to feel you value their opinion)
  8. rvsuper

    rvsuper Senior Member
    Posts: 930

    I always go for a ride on Sunday afternoon's to check my places too. Gives me a hint on how the week will shape up. It's been kind of dry around here, and I have been encouraging customers without sprinkler systems to water their lawns.
  9. CLM1103

    CLM1103 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    When I first started, I took on some jobs "by the cut". This caused a lot of problems such as you mentioned. I now only take jobs on a monthly basis (here in Florida it is based on 12 months a year). I only specify "cut as needed". If it needs cutting, I cut it and if it dos'nt need it it gets skipped. I never have a problem with this. During the rainy season, I cut weekly, during Dec. to March, I may cut only once a month depending on the weather. I get paid the same amount each month regardless. I keep my yards looking nice year round and I have cash flow year round. We are both happly.:blob3:
  10. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    What not offer other services of equal time and cost in lieu of mowing. For example; edging, weeding, pruning, etc. I do this and I know that other guys on this site do that as well. Let the customer know before you start with them how this works. We rely on our income as mush as everyone else. How would they feel if their boss called them and said don't bother coming in today nad we are not going to pay you, in fact we will call you when we need you again. If they don't get it find another customer who will.

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