Getting customers to commit!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LoneStarLawn, Mar 18, 2000.

  1. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    How do you give a new customer the idea that there lawn needs to be scheduled on a timely basis? some of our new customers like to call to tell us when to cut it next. Doing this sometimes gives time conflicts with customers who have set times. (every week, every two weeks). Even some customers have the idea of once a month. Cutting once a month becomes more time consuming during the job since the grass is really long. I dont know if we sure charge the customer more since it's once a month or try to convince them to schedule a timely basis to cut to make it easier on us and on them since they won't have to call us each time they want a cut.
     
  2. John Deere

    John Deere LawnSite Member
    Posts: 128

    Holy COW! Once a month! Bottom line, put your foot down. I can't tell you how to run your business so I'll just tell you how I run mine. Once a week max. All of our accounts are set up on a weekly basis. Anyone that wants mowed every 10 days or longer will have to call our competition because we can't do it. When you service 100 accts. weekly there is no way I even want that headache. However, if you don't have that many accts. and can work their schedule the way they want it then that's up to you, but there is no way I would even mow a lawn every 10 days or longer just simply due to the length of grass. You don't realize how much more wear and tear will go into you equipment when the grass is that long. Also, an answer to a sur-charge for an account that wants mowed every 10 days or more HECK YES! Sorry if this isn't what your looking for, but it just depends on if you want to run your business or if you want your customers to run it.
     
  3. NateinAtl

    NateinAtl LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 121

    I would suggest that you try to become a little more aggressive in your sales tactics. Let them know up fromt that your BASIC service is on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. If you allow them to tell you when you will be at their house, you will surely miss out on other jobs while waiting for the phone call. <p>My goal is to know exactly what I'm going to be getting out of the customer at the beginning of the season. I don't have time to worry if Mrs. Jones is going to call me to come mow on wednesday. That would give me the biggest ulcer ever imagined.<p>Good luck to you.
     
  4. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    We used to have a few of the every two week customers but I only have one that is on that schedule now and it is only like that during slow growth periods. I still have her because I offered her service for $75 a month(small lawn) and she wouldn't bite, she chose 30 a cut instead. She pays me on average $90-$120 a month from April until November and then $60 from December till March. The lawn does remarkably well for this system, it is never really difficult even with the extra growth. I guess it has trained itself :)<p>My advice, give them a big charge for the bi-weekly service and make the weekly look more attractive. Do not cut once a month, if you do you will attract more of these customers. This type always has friends who are looking for the same deal
     
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I have a line in my contracts that states that if the cutting interval exceeds 1 week then I am not responsible for the way it looks when I get done. Not one single customer has declined the contract because of this clause. When you work alone scheduling is very critical and you have to be able to project how many lawns a day you will cut. If a customer wants to exceed 2 week in interval then there is a surcharge for the added time it takes to cut taller grass.
     
  6. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446

    We have 2 programs:<p>1: Cutting every week: fixed price.<br>2: Cutting whenever they call: $65.00 per man/hour plus travel time both ways.<p>I actually have 2 customers with the 2nd pricing schedule.
     
  7. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,866

    I agree with everyone. I have a week, 10 days or 2 weeks. They can choose. I have only 2 customers who try to delay their cutting. One is out of state and she delays her paying hoping I delay my cutting. The other one has had brain surgery and she not right. I hope I got her straightened out this year. Bottom line is you should have a schedule to stick to. 2 weeks max on the cutting. The only way I let customers delay is under drought conditions. I do let them call me to come let met cut sooner than was scheduled. I tell them that I will try to fit it in.
     
  8. MWHC

    MWHC LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Posts: 202

    Lots of good posts here. The way we do it is like this: The customer has a choice of <br>1. weekly or bi-weekly. Bi-weekly costs more per cut. <p>2. 10-12 day accounts are not even considered. Thats a nightmare, don't even start that.<p>3. The customer can call when they think it needs mowed. We go on time just like Lazer. Usually when they get a $35.00 to $50.00 dollar invoice for a lawn that would be $20.00 they don't call back. Problem solved.
     
  9. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    If the off schedule customer is nearby do it. If you have to travel out of your way then it isnt worth it. I accepted these types in the beginning, but force them into weekly schedules or drop them as I add better accounts.
     
  10. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    Great posts... the biggest problem is that these &quot;calling customers&quot; are about half of our accounts since we are starting out. We really dont want to continue the cutting but we need to to surive at this point. When we get more accounts we will raise their prices or drop them.<p>
     

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