Monday & Tuesday Clients

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Last August, we re-routed our mowing schedules for driving efficiency. This meant moving some clients from Mondays or Tuesdays to Thursdays or Fridays. It also meant moving some clients from Thursdays or Fridays to Mondays or Tuesdays.

    When we did this, we left a note on the door the week before, telling the client that we were changing their mow day starting next week.

    There were around 6 or 7 clients who called to complain. We caved on two of them and gave them Th/Fr service because they weren't too terribly far out of our way. Of the remaining clients, all but one has cancelled.

    It is kind of weird. If you tell a client from the very beginning that they'll be on Mondays or Tuesdays, they will usually be ok with it. Some will start whining about Th/Fr service immediately, but the vast majority are fine with it. Oddly, these demands are just as likely to come from renters in $140K homes as they are to come from millionaires living in $600K homes. They all think they're important to the lawn mowing company.

    Either way, if they want Th/Fr service and they're arrogant enough to ask for it, they will eventually get what they want...either with you or a competitor.

    I think the lesson of the story is, if the client wants Th/Fr service, there are enough competitors with empty mowing schedules, they don't have to tolerate Monday/Tuesday service for even another day. The only way to fill the Monday Tuesday slots is to get clients who are more inclined to not b!tch and be good clients than those who would just as soon b!tch and moan.

    If they are b!tching about Th/Fr service, you either move them or lose them. It is that simple.

    If I can't move them, the game for me is to stall and lie and tell them it's right around the corner, just another week or two...I am just waiting for someone on Th/Fr to cancel. I'll get all the revenue out of them that I can before the arrogant ****** ****** hires someone else. These pompous ******* are going to cancel eventually...I just want to keep the revenue coming in as long as possible.

    Right or wrong, that's my M.O. Feel free to blast away!

    Later,
    DFW Area Landcaper
     
  2. willretire@40

    willretire@40 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from VA
    Posts: 1,388

    Who says you are lying about some one cancelling on thrusday or friday. It could happen at anytime. They will screw you anyway. Remember it is your company and their are more customers out there that are cancelling other companys and will be ringing your phone. Always have to watch YOUR numbers.

    It is good to see that you are doing good. Not to long ago you was ready to get out of this line of work. Now you added 3 more trucks. Are your profits going up? Are you making or see yourself making what you want to make?
     
  3. Allens LawnCare

    Allens LawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 926

    I have several only friday or saturday cuts....They work hard and like to enjoy their yard on the weekend....the pay for it though....their needs help me with my needs $$$$$$
     
  4. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    You demonstrate that you STILL have the business ethics of a complete ****-bag.
     
  5. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Fiveboy01,

    You are exactly right. It is all about the money with me. You see, before we re-routed everything, my crews were grossing around $600 per day and after routing for efficiency, we are getting $800 per day.

    Now, if I tell a client the truth about Monday/Tuesday, that this is area is ALWAYS going to be Tuesday and you will never get Friday from us at this address for any price, they WILL cancel immediately. I don't get a chance to prove my reliability, I don't get a chance to prove that we are good about closing gates, that our trucks are always clean, our workers always in uniform, that if we damage a sprinkler head, we repair it for free, that our blades are kept sharp, that our billing is accurate or that our chemical program and customer service is top notch. We don't get a chance to show the client any of those things. So when they do switch to a Th/Fr guy, he is likely not going to be as good as us and they will hopefully notice.

    More importantly, if I do tell them they will never get Th/Fr from us at this address and they cancel immediately, I don't get any more revenue out of them. They're gone forever.

    It's a little white lie. I don't feel guilty about it. They can cancel at any time.

    As far as I'm concerned, these clients are simply arrogant. I mean, they don't want their lawn mowed 4 months of the year, which is only normal becaus it's dormant. I understand that. But if they are only willing to accept Th/Fr service, I mean, in a perfect world, who doesn't want Th/Fr service? If all our clients were this arrogant, we'd literally have to make all our money working 2 days per week, 8 months per year. If someone is so arrogant that they can't even see this, I have no problem stringing them along with a fabrication of the truth.

    I guess it is true: If all our existing Th/Fr clients cancel at once, they'll get Th/Fr service.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  6. Pennings Gardens

    Pennings Gardens LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Just get enough lawns for wens, thurs and fridays and fill monday and tuesday with landscape work (mulching etc.). we make as much, or more money doing other maintenance and landscaping as we do mowing....
     
  7. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Surprised you're still in business dude. The "it's all about me attitude" isn't going to take you far. I agree that sometimes you have to put your foot down, but sometimes serving the customer FIRST is a little more important.
     
  8. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    Commercial accounts Monday and Tuesday and residential accounts Wed, Thur, Fri, everyone want their yard looking good for the weekend and commercial accounts want their yard looking good during the working week. This is the way I have been doing it for over 15yrs and everyone of my accounts agree with my mowing schedule. If you stop and think about it you will see I'm right.
     
  9. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Penning Gardens,

    The problem with filling your Mondays and Tuesdays with shrub trimming & clean-ups is two-fold:

    1.) When you are solo it works great in the spring time. But then, when June rolls around and spring fever is gone, you will find yourself fortunate to have work on Mondays and Tuesdays. In March & April, it's great. The other 10 months of the year, finding work for Mondays & Tuesdays is not easy.

    2.) When you have multiple crews, it only makes sense to either equip a crew with mowing equipment or shrub trimming/clean-up equipment. If you try to equip all your crews with equipment to do both, your capital costs start sky-rocketing. Additionally, shrub trimming/clean-ups require a lot more know how than mowing lawns, so if you lose a well-trained driver, you are really in a pinch to replace and retrain a new guy.

    Believe me, I've been there and done that with being solo and doing clean-ups on Mondays and Tuesdays. The work will dry up around June and you'll be sitting there Sunday night wondering what you will do to pay your helper or if you will just tell your helper to check in on mow days only. It sucks.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  10. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    I can honestly say I've never really had this problem

    I was just bidding on a larger condo yesterday n asked em if they had a prefered day ....n they said nope .... just that it's done on a consistent day
     

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