"partial program" customers + $$

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by americanlawn, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,846

    Anybody charge more per app for customers who take only 2 or 3 treatments a year?

    How 'bout service calls....free? Not free? Or does it depend?

    We do not charge extra per app, and our service calls are nearly always free, but we inform partial prog custs that they may be charged for service calls.

    rcsvp, thanks:usflag::canadaflag:
     
  2. DUSTYCEDAR

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    i dont like partial program people i will do them and try to inprove there lawn however most tend to be problem customers.
    and i will charge for a service call.
     
  3. vegomatic40

    vegomatic40 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 6
    Posts: 406

    I try to discourage "partials" but I still do them. Since I do a 6 app. program on turf, anything 4 apps. or less is considered a partial and cost is somewhat variable according to distance from full-program customers, size of the property and condition. Generally I add 12-15% if they pay by the app. If they pre-pay, I offer them standard pricing, whereas if they are full-program and they pre-pay I take 10% off. Really helps to generate cash-flow this time of year before production begins next week. The ones to really avoid is those that only want one app. of pre-emergent, fert. and broadleaf control (it's one of the reasons I do split apps. of prodiamine), they are required to pay up front before I get a truck to the property. No exceptions. That way you aren't out a ton of $ on pre-emergents and they complain of "results" after only one app. Realistically I don't begin to make a good margin until the 3rd app. on customers. Service calls (did 27 on a customer base of 1260 last year) are free to all F/P customers. No guarantee to the others.
     
  4. jbturf

    jbturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,411

    i think vego summed it up pretty good,

    i also charge more for partial program customers,
    which is fine for the legit ones.

    i hate those that sign up and cancel after
    3 to 4 treatments, leaving us providing the
    expensive apps and not rebounding with
    the late year apps. is it worth pursuing?
    probably not, but i take note and charge more
    the following year
     
  5. boats47

    boats47 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 244

    I would have to say vegi summed it up pretty good. We all hate to have those customers that only want half of a fert program, but it is $$.
    I have found that I don't take a hit with the customers that decide to bail mid season if figure acual costs per application. My pricing is based on square footage from 0-3000 to start with and a base hour rate, plus my materials. This way for an application of insect control, which is substancially higher in cost, that particular $ reflects that app. When I give an estimate the customer sees various prices for each step, not one average price throughout the fert program. I can see how you would potencially eat some profit if the pricing was averaged out the season verses individual step pricing.
     
  6. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,846

    Thanks guys. We have some customers who take just 2 or 3 apps, and most of these lawns look very nice. They tend to mow high, on a regular basis, and with a sharp blade. So by doing their part (mowing right), they get by with fewer apps and still have a nice looking lawn.

    I treat my lawn once or twice a year, and it is thick, lush, and nearly weed free. I admit I have nice soil, and it's not compacted.

    Some customers have lawns that are several acres in size, so many of them opt for a 2 or 3 app program due to cost.

    Note: we have over 3000 lawn accounts, and most take all five apps. Many grub apps too, plus about 400 fall aerations. Bottom line is I'd rather WE treat these lawns twice a year instead of competitors. Very few of our partial program customers complain or ask for a service call, and they easilly fit into our regular routes. Our 2 or 3 app customers seem to be satisfied. Heck--we even have a handful of one app customers.

    We take 'em all. It pays the bills, and we get referrals from them too.
     
  7. deltascapes

    deltascapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 122

    Partial are a headache,they would be complaining about their yard when the next application was due. I spray partials when I finish all my full service customers and payed when we start the app. with the understanding that the yard will not look as good as a full service customers.
     
  8. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    I won't accept partials. They're either on board for the whole program, or they can find someone else. There are too many problems associated with doing partials.
     
  9. LIBERTYLANDSCAPING

    LIBERTYLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,283

    I agree! One problem is that neighbors & others driving by don't know that the homeowner only took a partial program, and the lawn is a reflection of YOU. If they see the lawn looking less than 100%....You get blamed:cry:

    When I WAS doing partials, it seemed as is I had more calls from them, then my full program customers. I don't like spending more time with people who pay less.:dizzy:
     
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,910

    I am with you American. 3 treatments--even only two per year on certain big lawns. Ok with me. But...I don't want to make a special trip--they have to be fit in with my route. They don't often call with complaints--but I usually tell them up front, if you don't take the full 5 aps you lose the guarantee during the month you skip.
     

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