Genie in a bottle

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 1MajorTom, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    3 years ago we got a phone call from a woman that was looking to replace her current lawnservice. Her complaint: They weren't dependable, showing up whenever they felt like rolling in. Her lawn never looked presentable, and they always had some excuse as to why they couldn't get there.
    So we told her, "sure we will be there every week like clockwork." I'm sure she was doubtful as talk is cheap as I find it is with ALOT of people.
    Anyhow, first year went great. Second year however, the old man would come out grumbling, "you here to cut it again?' We'd smile and say, "yep, it's Wednesday again."
    This year the old man started in May, coming out the door waving his hands, "it don't need cut". ya ok sure, it's spring and it don't need cut. Well Matt wasn't having any of it. The old guy caught him on a bad day, and Matt snapped. He says, "what do you think I look like, a genie in the bottle, and you can pull me out when you want? It don't work like that, I told you I cut every week." The guy says, "well, do you really think it needs cut." Matt says, "YES, it springtime and the grass is growing like a fiend, but you know what... never mind, find someone else, I'm not gonna be hassled every week like this." The guy tried to get Matt to come back, but Matt said "seeya".
    I came home today and on the answering machine it was the old man. He says, "Please call me back this is "so and so" on "such and such" street, I really want my genie in the bottle back." Unbelievable. I guess the ole genie in the bottle line must have stuck with him... LOL

    So how important is dependability in this business? For us, it's a huge part as to why we are still around. How do you see it?
     
  2. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    We just got a request for a quote on weekly service..........
    Their current company is one of the larger companies around and the complaint was lack of service, they'd show up when they felt like it. We were told that the accounts we service in the area are done the same day EVERY week and our work was admired.
    This is in a new developement with $500,000-$1,000,000 homes.
    Great impression they're making, huh?
    It's the third account we will be getting from this "other" company for the same reasons.
    Go figure..............
     
  3. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Every week yards? It must be nice! How about every 2-3 weeks here. And yeah, Im a Genie.
     
  4. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 824

    I think it's very important. I retain over 95% of my customers each year. They know that I am dependable.
     
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    Very important.

    I tell people when they sign up. We will be here on Wednesday. Quite often I get a look of, did he just say he will always mow on the same day. When I see that look, I say well that of course assumes Florida's weather co-operates, but we have not been more than a day late on any property (hurricanes excluded) in 2 years. And that includes when my truck got crushed, so yeah I don't see much of a problem getting here.

    Signed up quite a few because of that despite the higher price.
     
  6. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    ha ha, good story!

    over here clients tend to like paying when it suits them....so I tend to cut their grass when it suits me!

    The best payers get the best service....and from there is goes, but more and more people are becomming slow payers it is a serious problem, either money is tight, or they simply don't respect this industry.... :) :sleeping:

    That's why I don't negotiate, the buggers will shaft ya every chance they get, never do people here stick to a reg. service quote, they go straight from a cut per 2 week price to mow monthly or more for same price....obviously when this becomes a habit I stretch em out more and cut a few corners so my time per service still works out, them when they call panicking funny how I'm booked for at leat 2 weeks!

    Stuff em! :dizzy:
     
  7. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    I feel we lose a little more each year than other lco's in different areas. But we don't lose them on dependablity issues, we lose them to death since most of our clients are elderly.
     
  8. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,873

    Yup, lost a dear client this year. She was 90 and I miss seeing her.
     
  9. lqmustang

    lqmustang LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 620

    The two top reasons I get from prospective new clients that are lookin for a new LCO are poor job and unreliablility of their current LCO. My customers can almost set their clock by me every week (barring rain delays and such), and the lawn will alway look very nice when I leave. Most of the customers I lose are also due to death, or moving out of the area.
     
  10. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    i am getting referals every week from the little old lady network from my dependibility, seems one of the more experienced lco's in town likes to do it when he feels like it, and they have all told me what he charged and i am 5 bucks more....

    im there on time every week, unless its bad weather

    i know it helps
     

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