Do you followup?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tony Harrell, Mar 16, 2002.

  1. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 739

    If you service a customers property when no one is home, do you followup with a phone call to make sure they're happy before the next service? If not, do you think this is a good idea?
     
  2. No, I don't think most of them want to hear from me every week. And 95% of my customers are not there when I work so I could spend as much time following up as working. If there is something extra that needs to be taken care of I make a phone call. Other that that, I do try to make face to face contact a couple time per year so they they know me and I'm not just the "lawn guy".
     
  3. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,516

    I think it is a very good idea to do that. I have some customers that I may see once in a couple months. When I first started doing this, I made it a point to call and check about the service if I had not seen them in a couple weeks. The funny thing is that most of them were so shocked that I even called, that they didn`t know what to say. They told me that no one had done that before. I make it a point to do landscape maint on saturdays to se them and most of the time the customer is so happy to see you, that you end up getting more work out of it. :D Most of the time now, if I don`t see my customers for a while, when I do see them, I start out asking how they are doing and we talk for some time and the work that I do never even comes up. The first times this happened, I was kinda uneasy, but I realized that if there were problems, they would have told me about them.

    I think it is a shame that the service business has come to what it has. I am not talking about the companies that give good service, I am referring to the ones in all trades that don`t know what service is. And That is a shame for all of us in the service business!!!
     
  4. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    Slip a quick questionaire in with the billing.

    Some people want their hand held, but most just want their property to look good.
     
  5. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    Every customer is different and requires a different touch. You call some people every time you service their property, they're going to boot you to the curb because you're bothering them. Some people on the other hand like the interaction.

    I'm thinking you are referring to possibly the elderly in your statement, they may like more interaction because they have a little more free time on hand. Either way, what ever keeps the customer happy. I certainly don't have time, and don't want to call every customer every week. If I had to, I would drop them, that's ridiculous. I certainly would be in contact with them sometime throughout the year. I have customers going into my second season that are very happy with my work, signed up again for services, and I've never even meet them. Phone contact or e-mail only. Whatever works for them is pretty much fine with me. It's not the norm, but there are some. Most of my customers I see probably twice a year, not really much more.

    Again, every situation is different and you need to do what is right for the customer.
     
  6. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 738

    Every customer is different and requires different interaction. Problem is, they don't always tell you this upfront - so you have to figure it out over time.

    We classify our customers into three categories: A, B, C. This helps the foreman understand what the customer expecations are for service, which will to some degree help him determine the type of relationship he should have with them. We service each property the same way - so an A customer doesn't receive a better mowing job then a C customer - it just speaks to how much work we do and how proactively we need to communicate with the customer.

    A customers are customers that have us take care of the whole ball of wax. From weekly service, fert, annual flowers, replacing plants, disease and insecticides as required. I could go on. Basically, they trust us as the professionals on site. Do we have a "blank check"? On some we do - but what is very important is good, proactive communication through phone calls and notes on site.

    C customers are those that want a mow and blow type service. We might leave them a note if we see something that is of concern. If they call us, fine. But the value of the contract does not necessitate us calling, hand holding, etc. If they want more service they'll need to ask for it. We will let them know what we can do for them, but we won't go out of way to knock on the door and beat them into submission on services.

    B customers in our opinion are those that can't figure out if they are A's or C's. Some have you trim the bushes, but ask first. Do the weeding, but I plant my flowers. We will give them more attention than A customers, and a little more than C customers. Are goal with B customers is to gain their trust and have them become A customers through upselling.

    Last but not least, we have several customers that qualify as AA customers. These are the do every and anything for them. If they call me at 7 pm in the evening because they want more firewood carried into the garage from the outside wood pile - I'll be there. We put up their Christmas trees, clean out their gutters, put away the patio furniture in the fall and wash it each spring, maybe take the garbage out to the curb for them on a weekly basis. You name it, we do it (no baby sitting!). You get the idea.
     
  7. Commander

    Commander Banned
    Posts: 116

    When I get a new customer I get as many of their phone numbers as I can. The only time I will make a phone call at or after service is if something is wrong. I have been at places working and find a water line broken pouring water out all over the place. I immediatley start making calls to see about getting it shut off. Other times I will be somewhere and a light is on when nobody should be home, or a door is open or what have you. Basically if something is wrong I will call. Otherwise I just talk with the people when I see them during the course of the year.
     
  8. AGG Lawn Maintenance

    AGG Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    from Elberon
    Posts: 422

    Everyone is bringing up some very good points. From my experience I can tell you that most old folks like the inter action and most likely will be home to "greet you" so you won't have to call them. I think if it is a new customer its a good idea to make some type of contact with them. Realistically can you call them all guess it depends on how busy you are. A questionnaire in with the billing is a good idea as Kent said. You may also look at typing up letters you can send them to ask how the service was and if they have any questions.
    Travis
     
  9. jaybird24

    jaybird24 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 623

    I agree with what most guys are saying about knowing your customers and feel them out. If I see a customer regularly I rarely ever call them. The ones I never see I call when it's time to trim shrubs and such in the summer just to touch base and see if there is anything else they want done , and in the fall before cleanups. just enough to let them know I am on top of things and care about what they think.
     

Share This Page