How you handle mowing call backs.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassmasterswilson, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Missouri
    Posts: 517

    Don't establish a system.

    They should work because they have a job and are getting paid to do that job. Be the boss and put your foot down and tell them that these callbacks are unacceptable and start giving them days off when you get call backs...

    Joe was trimming on that route that day and a callback was about trimming being missed....Joe gets a day off the next week......

    that being said, the first week there are no callbacks have a McDonald's breakfast on Monday morning.......BUT be clear it is a thanks for listening to you.........the boss and is not to be expected every week.

    I don't understand bonuses for doing the job you are hired to do. Bonuses are for going above and beyond and finding ways to save the company money. Such as a guy sees a simple way to improve the route. It saves you an hour a day so by the end of the week it saves you 5 hours a week which equates to, let's say $2 to 300 a week....you give the guy that pointed that out ( not the entire crew) an extra $50 for saving you hundreds.

    You don't reward people for doing what they are supposed to do.

    If you are hired to cut grass and edge and trim and blow, what I pay you dictates that job. If I pay the guy 10 an hour to mow, trim and blow, then he gets paid 10 bucks an hour. The guy doesn't get an extra something something for doing his job. He's already taking 10 bucks an hour out of your pocket to do the job he is supposed to do...why give him more money out of your pocket to do the job you're already paying him for? It makes no sense.

    He does his job well or he doesn't do it at all. If you're going to give them a bonus for doing their job, then you might as well pay them that per hour and raise your hourly rate.
     
  2. Tom-N-Texas

    Tom-N-Texas LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370


    .....if you're only getting periodic calls about "sticks in beds" then sounds like you're doing ok. If I had a customer call me at the end of a long, hot day and complain about a stick or two in her beds my gut reaction would be, "seriously?....what's wrong with you, calling me after hours complaining about that...." My instinct would be to blame the customer, not the employee. If my employees went around picking up every stick, turning over every stone, picking up every piece of litter, rolling up every hose, blowing off every last blade of grass, I'd go broke. Not only that but I'd go bananas watching them do it, all the time watching the clock tick and my profits fizzle away.

    Even so, everyone makes mistakes. Our eyes can't see everything all the time. ...the idea that an employee would have to go back on his own time is just silly. I would not do that to my employee, as my good employees are worth way more than a customer who complains about not picking up sticks or other "small things." I'd much rather have an employee who works like a freaking bat-outta-hell mad-man, making/saving me 10s of thousands of dollars each year than a guy who takes forever on a lawn because he's living in fear of me, worried about every last detail, in fear that he'd have to go back on his own time. I'm certainly not a charter member of the "look how great I can make your lawn look" club. I'm a member of the "I'll cut your lawn fast and inexpensively...and I'll do it for the next several decades, but you better not complain" club.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  3. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    I try and remember mistakes happen and you don't have to go back and fix every little thing, the customer is simply letting us know so I acknowledge their communication and so long it is minor get on with life, how to do that.
     
  4. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,471

    Thanks for the advice. I've been the guy on the mower for 10 years and got very few call backs. Now I'm sending a 2 man crew out without me. Part of it is nerves that the quality will drop to a point that I start losing some of the customers I worked so hard to gain.

    I need to create a "duties" list for each customer to make sure they are doing what is asked.

    What I find and you probably find the same thing is I tell them to make sure the watch for weeds and sticks in beds. Often by the end of a long hot day I feel it starts to become closer to mow blow go or they work on the front of the beds and not the back corner bed of the property.

    We have a prune/mulch job at a 3 lawn stop today this morning. I'm gonna send them over first to start mowing while I go get the mulch. Hopefully they will be close to finishing when I arrive and we can do a walk through to show them what I expect.
     
  5. Tunica

    Tunica LawnSite Member
    Posts: 124

    You feed your dog everyday He barks when strangers come close to the house. He is doing what He thinks he should and your happy because he does. Don't you reward your dog with a treat when he does what he is supposed to? People like treats too. Be a hard azz and the dog will run off, people for the most part are smarter than a dog! Treat them better and you wont have issue when one day you back to a solo because your two guys went somewhere else! If someone was to tell Me "you messed up" you get one day off next week no pay. I'd use that day to find another job.
     
  6. Caddyshack Lawn Care

    Caddyshack Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 732

    Smart man.:clapping:
     
  7. zackvbra

    zackvbra LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 554

    its pretty simple. mow all the grass, trim all edges, blow all clippings that are on all driveways and walkways, and blow all clippings that are clumpy, and pick up all debris.

    if they cant do all that each and every time, they aren't cut out to be a professional lawn maintenance technician, and id let them go and find someone who is passionate about their work and that can do it. just don't expect to pay them $10/hr.

    I wouldn't give them bonuses for doing their job right. they should do that anyway. im paying you to do this work, im not going to pay you even more for doing it right. no sir.
     
  8. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,847

    What if the grass was soaking wet when they mowed...you are going to have a few clumps. You have to weigh a customer's complaint to deem if it is reasonable or not. Most of the ones (which are few) that I get are not really reasonable complaints, i.e. customer expects you to work magic in less than ideal conditions.
     
  9. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Missouri
    Posts: 517

    The "treat" is the $12 bucks an hour he's paying them to do the job correctly in the first place.
     
  10. sehitchman

    sehitchman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 751

    I'm not on one side or the other in this debate. When you do give a spif or bonus, do it in the form of lunch or a gift card at a restaurant, the cost will be less. No ss match or benefits to pay.
     

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