Residential Customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lawnstar, Apr 23, 2000.

  1. Lawnstar

    Lawnstar LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    I have seven residential customers on one street. One lady called me and said, &quot;I don't think our grass needs mowing this week, but said you can come over and look at it.&quot; I went over there two days later to mow my other accounts. I looked at the one in question and the bermuda and zoysia had gone to seed. I told her it definatly needed mowing, so I ended up mowing it. The way I see it is if there is a little bit of &quot;fuzz&quot; out there, then it needs mowing. I'm not in the business of bailing hay. I've had customers who have said, &quot;It's not tall enough to cut.&quot; I told them fine, but if it's too tall next week then I wouldn't cut it. This has been very frustrating for me, over the years. Just wondering how you guys approach situations when customers want you to skip mowing one week. Does any charge more the next week? I never have.<br>All comments welcomed.<p>Lawnstar
     
  2. DMC300

    DMC300 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 325

    I HAVE CHARGED DOUBLE ON THE FIRST MOWING,IF THEY WAIT TO LONG TO CALL.AND I LET THEM KNOW THAT IF IT GETS HIGH THEY WILL PAY MORE OR HAVE GRASS LAYING ON THERE YARD WHEN I'M FINISHED.<p>----------<br>DON<br>LIANNES' MOWING
     
  3. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    Lawnstar,<br>Ive had the same problem. How I fixed it is by only mowing on a weekly schedule. I let the customers know that any mowings other than weekly are billed at triple time, which is insane, but emphasises the point. <p>There are many other posts on this topic that will reassure you that you are not alone. Click search above for more...
     
  4. sue

    sue LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    we charge for a double cut the next time. and if they don't like that we leave the grass laying. it is to hard on our machines to cut through foot high grass.
     
  5. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 627

    Had that same thing happen to me last week before all the rain came here up north; guess who'll be calling me tomorrow...........<br>I tell them it'll be too long by next week, & throw in added thoughts like yours will be longer than your neighbors by then, they're forecasting rain in the next few days, & I tell them I have to keep you on your scheduled day. It's not fair to other customers to bounce them off their sched. day, I'd have to do it for everyone if I did it for you, & I'd never get anyone done if I rearranged my schedule all the time-lay it on thick! They usually get the message.<br>THEN, WHEN I DO COME & CUT, LIKE THIS WEEK, I DO NOT CUT THEM DOWN TO WHERE IT'S SHORT & NORMAL! I've had people tell me to wait a week, then try & give it 2 cuts worth in one sitting-NO WAY! That cheats me & I won't do it. I cut 1/3 of the blade & it insures that it'll need cut next week. Also a good time to remind them about the 1/3 rule of our industry- only cut 1/3 of the grass hgt. at any one mowing; otherwise it can put the grass blades in stress shock, make them more suceptible to disease, etc., not to mention leaving lots of clumps & long clippings over the yard- cutting twice because of that=double price that day.<br>Alot of customers will jip you if you let 'em.<br> It's your business, not theirs. I remind them I have the schedule set up for maximum running efficiency- if I change it around, then it messes everything up, & then EVERYONE GETS BEHIND.<br>If they don't think it needs cut, & there's rain in the forecast before the next time you'll be out there, tell them that, & cut it! If nothing else, tell them all that & then say if it's short the next week after you cut it that day, THEN you'll let it pass a week. Stay in charge no matter what.<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<p>
     
  6. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,949

    The only time I change my schedule is during droughts. I will extend the mowing period then. I am paid per cut. So during high growth if the regular customer calls me and says i need to come sooner because the grass is getting high. I believe them and will try to put them in earlier. And why not? This saves me from cutting high grass and then I cut it more times per year and make more money. But be firm when it comes to customer saying my grass doesn't need cutting this week even though it has been raining normally. Tell them that they are on a schedule and their price is set on that schedule and that you don't cut high grass. That you can't afford to ride around and look at yards to see if they need cutting. If they give me much more of a hard time I drop them. I hate to lose customers but its just not worth argueing with them. You are running a business and they need to respect that fact.
     
  7. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    I agree with Charles, I don't like to loose customers, but if their lawn actually does need mowing, I tell them I will have to replace their lawn with one that needs mowing each week, because I have to eat each week. That usually changes their minds, if not, it's not worth arguing over.<p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.townserver.com/elm/&quot;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>
     
  8. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    Lawnstar,<p>First Off:<p>I lost about 20 yards this year due to changing the way I do business. Went from 40 yards last year to about 20 this year but I have picked up 5 more so far.<p>1)I only mow on a weekly or bi-monthly schedule. Bi-monthly being more than weekly. I eliminated the &quot;every 10 day&quot; mowings, saves alot of aggravation in scheduling.<p>2)I set up a minimum mowing charge. This helped to eliminate the crap yards and the customers who only look for the cheapest price.<p>3)I tell the people who get mowed every week that I'll be there on a certain day and if they feel the yard doesn't need mowed than they call me before I come out. This keeps me from having to call people every week or showing up to mow and the customer getting upset because the yard doesn't need mowed. They are informed ahead of time if they skip a week and the yard is really high the next time they will be charged extra.<p>4)I started offering yearly and seasonal contracts so that I would have income coming in year round.<p>5)Because of the equipment I have(riding mowers)I overbid the yards I feel I can't be competitive on and stick to mainly residentials, if I get them I get them if not than thats ok too. In the future if I can afford the ZTR's than I'll go after the<br>commercials and bigger jobs.<p>Like I said I lost half of my yards this year but the customers I have now are better paying and easier to work with. I have made twice as much this year with 25 yards than I did last year at this time with 40. <p>Final Thought: The one thing I have found out by making the above changes is that the yards are not as plentiful as they were last year. I've went out and given many quotes but like I said I have only gotten 5 new accounts, but the aggravation I eliminated is definately worth it. <br>
     
  9. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 790

    Tell them that their only other option is to<br>get a bush hog guy to do it next time.Tell<br>them to picture a 7000lb tractor/slasher<br>roaring around their yard. They'll soon see<br>it your way. :)<p>Karl<br>
     
  10. cutntrim

    cutntrim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 474

    Charge by the month and not by the cut. Don't reserve space on your list for customers who dictate to you when, or if, there lawn needs to be cut. Replace them with someone who you'll receive steady income from whose lawn can be cut on a weekly schedule all season long without uncalled for complaints or hassles.<p>----------<br>Dave in S.Ontario<br>www.cutntrim.com
     

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