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Customer Service - Calls regarding schedule change

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by JCLawn and more, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    For me I run a full week and if it rains hard or I get a breakdown I have to push the accounts following the event back. When you are visiting 20 accounts a day, calling each one is a task and really not effective. Anyone have a unique way to handle this to keep customer service up?
  2. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,884

    Tell them up front that there will be no set day for you to mow. The schedule can change due to the weather. So when it rains a lot, you may be late. That is just the nature of the lawn care business. YOU also have to take this fact into account by limiting how many lawns you service. Most customers don't care if you service 20 accounts per day--and they shouldn't care. That is your problem and not theirs. They should be reasonable. Allowing you a few days to be late is reasonable on a weekly lawn. 3 days on a bi weekly lawn and you could be asking for trouble.
  3. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 896

    Our office uses a service called "voiceshot" for sprinkler scheduling. Easy way to send group voice mails or texts for appointment reminders.
  4. gardiner

    gardiner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 171

    Myself i would let call me. When they do i will then explain to them . That with all the rain. That i behind schedule and i will be there as soon as i can . Most of my weekly client. have been with me sence day one . So only the replacements will call me . Even tho i did tell them from the beginning that there scheduled day is weather permitted

    I run solo and i'am limited up to 3 days a week for mowing . i have enough stops for 2 days a week . with clean ups and other things i'am booked solid . With all the rain we got . getting me behind on mowing it has effected my schedule on clean ups . that i have actually lost one clean up.
    By sounds it time to add another crew . or back off. to make a scheduled make up day. i could never see doing 20 lawns a day 5 days a week and give the customer what they pay for . I'm only scheduled to cut 12 lawns a week but it take better then 16 hours to do them . not counting windshield time .blade sharpening , dumping debri ,
  5. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    Them letting me call was my existing plan. It's not flying so well with new customers. So it's a growing problem.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. RedSox4Life

    RedSox4Life LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,480

    X2 for explaining it up front when picking up new customers.

    "We aim for every 7 days but because of rain or mechanical break down our schedule will vary"
  7. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,509

    B.C.S. [that's "Best Case Scenario"] is to make your best efforts to set up to run from M-Thu, and then you can keep Fri & Sat open as "swing" days to make up for rain, breakdowns and holidays.
  8. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    I run through Friday. What broke the camels back was a week of 4 days of rain, then my employee took 2 weeks of vacation to see extended family "which he really needed" then had an alternator blow on my truck mid afternoon 30 miles from real civilization.... The rain week I just skip and bagged small lawns that looked like crap, and then when my alternator blew I had a couple of Thursday-Friday clients get pushed to Monday because I planned to have off that Sunday. The people who are on my thurs-fri list want their lawn mowed by sat come hell or high water. I do understand, but if it's not a vacation house and you work 7 days a week (especially weekends), be a little flexible. I just hired on another employee and my other guy will be back so it should be smooth sailing from here on out, but if like to be able to communicate with my clients better.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,001

    I never call I just show up and do it. I do try real hard to keep on schedule.

    A regular timed route is everything in this business.
  10. oqueoque

    oqueoque LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Jersey
    Posts: 1,832

    If it looks like rain is coming, I move customers up one day(ie. I'll cut Thursday accounts on Wednesday). That helps, when it rains one day. It is easier to cut dry grass one day ahead, as opposed to wet grass one day behind. I don't cut 5 days a week, only Tuesday through Friday, or Wednesday through Friday depending on the time of year. If I have to, I will cut on Saturday, if needed. If it rains 4 days in a row , good luck. Think positive. That is better than a drought. A backpack blower works like a hair blow dryer. I would cut less days, but longer hours per day if possible. Or cut less days and give the cutting crew other work on non cut days. This gives greater flexibility. I let customers know this, the first time, I meet them.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014

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