Perception vrs. Reality

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by olderthandirt, May 27, 2006.

  1. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Whats the differnce and does it matter? Perception is making a job look great while taking many short cuts, and still keeping it safe. You can mow, blow, go, and still leave the prop looking great even though you did not trim around a couple trees. Install are the same most customers have know idea and thats why they hire us, so would you or do you take short cuts that might not show up for a long time if ever. Or do you actually do everything as perfectly as can be done? Remember the customer is happy either way and everything is safe. One way saves you time and adds a few more $$ to your pocket.
  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Well I have a personal work ethic that keeps me from cutting corners and doing a 1/2 azzed job.
    Everbody finds ways to be more productive but they should be ways in which the actuall work is not compromised .No my customer might not know if I use inferior materials and charge them for the better stuff , if I skip steps in a process..but I know and I just can't do that.It eventually will come back on you in one way or another.
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Mac, there is an old saying that sums it up nicely. "The seek for perfection is the murder of the good."
  4. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    Perception is worth more then reality. People only know and understand what they can see. You can do an expert job but if the customer cant see the differance then they are not gonna be willing to pay for it no matter how well you try and educate them.

    As a mechanic I can tune a machine to run perfectly but if I dont clean it people act like I didnt do a darn thing to it however if I clean it and do nothing else they tell me what a great job I did. I just do both now and charge a lot extra. :drinkup:
  5. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,886

    You should be charging enough to have the time to perfect the job. Trim around every tree every time. Cutting corners is immoral and bad for business.
    Ask the customer: "Well sometimes I get really busy and need to get more jobs in so I can increase my income, so as a result I am going to do a half-azzed job on your yard those days. I hope you don't mind me cheating you?"
    See how far that gets ya. lol
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    EACTLY- Its whats a customer percieves as a great job even though it could be better. The best, most well built house won't last forever. But a second one well constructed can cost as much as one that looks as nice and the builder can save a lot of money between the two.

    Don't waste time trying to make everything perfect in your eyes because the customer never knows the extra work that you put into it. Just make it look good to them and there as happy as can be. And those few dollars extra you make can add up to thousand in a few yrs.
  7. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,597

    This thread hits home for me... when I sold my business, the company that took over for me was different in many ways - particularly with how they handled our former regular maintenance clients. The "perception vs. reality" approach was the direction they went in - for example, just mowing...

    From the customers front window things relatively looked the same - grass cut, lines straight, same mowers used, etc... but I found out quickly that this is where the similarities ended.... I got phone calls, stopped in the grocery store, etc... with people either complaining or asking us to "come back" explaining that there just wasn't the same attention to detail - not the same level of concern for the property....and detailed examples were given >>>

    small clumps of grass left at times, edges not done weekly, obstacles not always trimmed around, wet grass not completely removed from hardscapes, grass covering windows and blown into planting beds, and so on and so on and so on....

    I think what it comes down to is what the client expects, what the client pays, and what the client may be accustomed to getting for what they are paying.
  8. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,886

    Exactly Sean. Customer expectations and since we can't read a customers mind its best we strive for perfection for every yard we do everytime we do it for every customer. Some customers may not be that much into details but I am. Drives me crazy when I miss something. They may not know it but I do. I get in my truck and look over the yard one last time. If I see something I missed then I get back out and get me weedeater and take care of it. I assume that every customer expects perfection everytime. I expect that of myself too. You can do perfection and do it fast. You work fast enough so there is time to fix errors.
    Ya and it pretty slack to aim the mower toward the house and cars and beds...
  9. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    But the customer did not percieve a great job they seen sup par workmanship
    If the customer had not seen shoddy work do you think they still would have complained? Theres a differnce in what we see as perfection and what the customer percieces as perfection, and as LCO were more observent of imperfections than any customer.
  10. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    Perhaps I should have added the comment that most customers are able to see and understand that the grass looks like a carpet and the edges are trimmed. They can easily stand on thier door step and spot the tall grass you missed by the fence. Yes perception means everything and your customers can percieve the work you do in thier yard so any slacking is in fact noticeable.

    You have to see the world thru the customers eyes and make sure that what you do is pleasing to them otherwise they will never be happy no matter how good your work actually is.

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