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Customer Service

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by LawnsRUsInc., Feb 19, 2007.

  1. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 916

    What procedures do you people have in place or procedures you are working on to better take care of your clients ex. Telephone, voice mail, mail etc....

    My co. seems to be having a issue with a timely responce to clients calls and also estimates any way that you can think of that i could help resolve these issues thanks in advance

  2. cklands

    cklands LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Posts: 360

    What size company are you, how many employees? I have 4-6 employees. I was asking the same thing a couple of seasons ago. I now have committed myself to selling and customer service. I have the office phone forwarded to my cell when I can not be in the office. I also push them to email me which I get on a blackberry. When that phone rings I want to get right out there are either take care of an existing customers question or do a new estimate.
    In order for me to be able to do this I had to hire someone to take my spot on the everday crew. When you take on another paycheck you have to make sure that you are going to sell your butt off and get back to the customer ASAP. If your are not going to commit to the customer service and sales you will just be taking more money out of your pocket.
    Hope it helps.
  3. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 916

    Thank you cklands Yea i hear you on that i have been using many of the tools that u have been using blackberry forwarding etc.. I have 14 emp. full time and 1 sales person to help take care of the estimates but iam looking to revamp some things at work. Just alot of issues as i took on all maint. and landscape clients and have my sales person taking on new clients for maint. and landscape but it seems like i have 2 many existing clients to get back ahold of. Any ideas with software to log info or do u have a secretary answering service idk?
  4. cklands

    cklands LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Posts: 360

    Until this season I have not had a secretary. This season I my wife will be in their part time and I will try and handle the rest. As for software, no. I do have a log record for each customer in their file that I right down each and every time they contact us or we contact them.
    I try and get a feel for the phone call as far as how quickly I need to try and get back to them. I try and do it within 24 hrs. Obviously there are times that I can't. I try and pick up on things said on the phone like "when you get some time", or "if your in the area". Things that make it sound like they are not in a huge hurry.
    The other thing that I have done is to lean on the crew leaders. Mine have been in the business long enough to be able to judge how many man hours and materials a job will take. If they are on the job or in the neighborhood I can trust their judgement. I will NOT let them give a customer a price though.
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I found that my newsletter for existing clients almost eliminated the pita calls. It explains what we are trimming this month, what we are fertilizing, how much we are watering, what is good to plant this time of year and so on.

    To speed up bidding (and everything else) you need systems, so it is the same simple procedure to do the estimates each and every time.

    My sales system goes like this,

    They call for bid, I send out info package that day. 1-2 days later they get package.

    They read it and if my service is a match and they don't oppose my hourly rates they call back for a bid usually another 2 days .

    We set appointment usually within 2-3 days. I come out, we fill out questionnaire together. I get basic contact information, likes-dislikes, pet peeves, frequency of service etc.

    I inspect the property, if it is not in great condition I suggest a landscape evaluation. This starts at 300.00 and goes up from there. If they don't want to do an evaluation, I make decision to continue or stop there.

    If they do, I get service call guy out within 2-3 days and he compiles information gets it to office. We use boiler plate paragraphs, plug them as they apply and produce the evaluation.

    I get back out meet and go over evaluation make recommendations for needed improvements. They agree and I schedule the work. If they don't agree to fix problems I usually stop there.

    Now we schedule the work to be done.

    Now I can produce a accurate bid because I know what condition the irrigation, lights etc. are in so I am sure the crew will be doing maint rather than fixing things.

    I do a bid using a spreadsheet take it back to the office put it on the computer and package with contract and business practices.

    I mail it or drop it by or meet with them, however they want to do it. If they agree to use us I get a pre pay deposit, a signed contract and get them on the schedule within the month.

    At this time I also get a more detailed contact information such as pool company, builder, emergency contact information, all the phones and e mail addresses, pets and kid names, anything I can get so if there is a problem I can take care of it asap.

    Each and every one of these steps has worksheets and a pre-determined schedule of events so there is not much in the way of grey area. I find that indecision takes time. Sorry this post is so long but I don't know another way to explain it.

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