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How Do You HandleThe Mowing Customers That Call To Skip

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jasonnau, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. jasonnau

    jasonnau LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 454

    I'm just curious how other LCO's handle the customers who call up saying " I Don't think the grass needs cut this week", when you know, you're going to have to double cut it the following week. I have a hand full of customers like this who either A: Try to save a little money, or B: Look at their sunbaked front yard, and fail to notice that their big backyard grows twice as fast and thick in the shade. I try to explain that even though it doesn't need it that badly this week, by the time I get back the following week, It will be high as a kite. I've asked this question to a friend of mine who also runs a LCO, and he said "I Cut it one time and leave all the clippings, this way, when they call, I can explain why it needs cut every week". I hate leaving anything looking bad, and I'm not sure if this is a good idea. But, I guess it would make the point. All I know is that with leaf season just starting, I do not want to waste extra time trying to get a yard back into shape from someone skipping a cut.
  2. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    The only time we skip is when the lawns are either totally browned out, or not growing at all, because if we skip a lawn on tuesday, and it rains on wednesday by the following tuesday you may have a jungle.
  3. ProLawns

    ProLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 476

    If it takes longer then charge accordingly and explain why.
  4. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383

    First, do enough advertising so that your schedule is completly full. This gives you posture. You can now present the "take it or leave it" to your customer - nicely of course.

    Next year, send out a letter that states that you will be allowing no skips or 2 skips per year or something like that. If you want biweekly service, that will be fine also - but the charge will be extra and the lawn will not look as nice.

    If someone wants weekly service and also wants to skip 3 times, they get charged for the mowing anyway or they get dropped. Because your schedule is full, you then sign up the next customer and go from there.
  5. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    Thats a good idea, but also a bad idea. I wouldn't do that if the customer was in my prime area. I would "try" to work with them. I would only do this if it's still raining atleast once every other week, but if it gets dry for a month like here in the northeast you kinda have to skip it. What are you gonna do make tire tracks every week? obviously this only applies to the "per cut" guys. Which makes up the majority of us.
  6. Jerry and Sons

    Jerry and Sons LawnSite Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 249

    Just a thought but I would try to talk to them and explain Why the lawn needs to be cut on a regular basis. If i have to I would offer to only cut the back of the property if the front is dormant. This is called customer service!
  7. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    This is the reason that many favor monthly contracts, dont matter what they do or dont think, you cut each week regardless.
  8. LawnGrassHoppers

    LawnGrassHoppers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40

    the best thing to do is try to shear some hedges or pull weeds or spray for weeds.allways try to keep the flow of money there every little bit counts.if they still dont want anywork done then when you come back to cut let it all fly. leave the clumps behind and deal with it if they call.then you can tell them and show them as well. stick to your guns because theres an endless amount of work out there.ive delt with this this summer if they cancell when you show up to the job charge a service fee(gas)if they call sell something else.NEVER CHARGE FOR SOMETHING THAT THE CUSTOMER DIDNT AGREE TO PAY FOR BECAUSE THEY ARENT OBLIGATED TO PAY AND ITS YOUR LOST TIME ! payup
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    this turned into a big problem for me this year. i'm all for cutting, wether it "really needs it" or not. but, this years drought really made me not be able to mow, alot of the time. so, depending on my arrangement with individual clients, some i skipped, some i "traded" other services for, like weeding, or trimming a couple bushes, etc. this IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. i'll tell you why: i need to be able to sell multiple services. my product line is a very small one. we mow grass. we pull weeds. we trim bushes. we fertilize, etc. i need to sell as many of these services to each client as i can. when you start trading off a lawn cut, for, let's say a weeding job, you have just set a precident. yup, next time the beds need weeding, they will request that you not cut the lawn this week, and pull weeds instead. when they need those 2 small bushes trimmed, they'll ask you to skip the lawn mow, and just trim the bushes this week instead. you'll have a hard time upselling this service. this year was the exception, not the rule(drought/skipping cuts). but in another drought like this, i am not yet sure how i will handle it, but "trading" of service, is not a good idea
  10. Cigarcop

    Cigarcop LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    but "trading" of service, is not a good idea[/QUOTE]

    I agree, you are the basically allowing them to think that weeding, trimming or any other service is equal to an amount paid for one weeks cut.

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