Skip policy

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

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

    Anyone think this skip policy will fly with customers?

    Basically, customers who want to skip scheduled cuts will pay $2 extra for all of their other cuts. A weekly client who skips 6 cuts per year would pay $27 X 28 = $756/yr. A weekly client who doesn't skip would pay $25 X 34 = $850/yr.

    I think I will have good success with it in the spring and summer, but my ability to dictate terms to existing clients in the fall isn't as good. They can fire me in October and not worry about the problem until next spring, at which time they can easily hire another company.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. dsmrolla06

    dsmrolla06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 305

    Are these skips going to be skips they tell you of in advance, say in the beginning of the season? Or are they going to just come out of the blue? Im curious as to how this is going to work out into your pricing for the year... If someone just decides to skip a mowing mid season, do you raise prices for all future cuts and add a surcharge for all cuts already made? If this is the case, i think it would be hard to enforce if someone decided not to pay if you didnt have a contract.

    Sorry just read it off your site and it made alot more sense. One thing that came to me is someone signing up for weekly, and skipping every other week. You should set a limit to the number of skips, or something. Just a suggestion.
  3. DFW Area Landscaper

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

    Basically, the game plan is to explain the Skip-RIghts program to a client when they call to skip a scheduled cut. We do explain it in the welcome letter when they sign up too.

    If they have ANY common sense at all, they already know we don't want to get that call. Some small part of them must feel like an a-hole. Kind of like ordering a a burger and a courtesy water...we all know they want us to order a cola with our burger.

    So, when they call and say "You know, our lawn just isn't growing that fast right now. Can we move to every other week for a while?" then I will explain the Skip Rights program and they can either start paying $2 more for all future cuts or stay on the weekly schedule.

    It is not an unreasonable plan. If a customer is reasonable, they should understand. I don't want to lose any clients, but if a client is unreasonable, I am probably better off without them.

    I just wonder how it's going to go over in October when they can cancel and find someone else 6 months later. In the spring and summer, I've got some leverage. We have almost no leverage in the fall.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  4. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Posts: 867

    The only potential problem I see is that customers who choose to have skip rights are paying an extra $2, so they may be inclined to skip more than 6 cuts just because they can. It seemed to me at first that you are taking away your leverage and giving it to the customer by letting them dictate their mowing schedule, but at the same time it gives you an opportunity to earn more than if the cuts were biweekly. I think it is a good idea if you have a problem with people calling to skip cuts a lot. It should go over easy with new customers, old customers might have a problem working into it, though.
    BTW DFW, that's a nice website you have there.
  5. DFW Area Landscaper

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

    Thanks for the compliment on the website.

    I am definitely going to make this policy effective with new clients. As for existing clients, I am contemplating including this paragraph with the e-mail statements that go out tomorrow tomorrow night:

    Dear Customer :

    Your statement is attached.

    We are altering our policy for clients who skip cuts.

    Weekly clients are scheduled for 34 cuts this year. Sometimes customers call us to skip cuts so they can save money if their grass isn't growing very fast.

    The price we charge assumes that every weekly client takes 34 cuts per year. For this reason, we offer everyone “Skip-Rights”, which gives a client the right to call us and skip a cut whenever they want. The clients with Skip-Rights pay $2 extra per cut.

    If you need to skip a scheduled cut, we need to be notified by 3:00pm the day before.

    I guess I will have to make a final decision about this by tomorrow night when the e-mail statements go out. Maybe it would be better to just explain it to customers as they call to skip a cut.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  6. mgm

    mgm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    " our grass isn't growing very fast right now , can you mow every other week for awhile" We sure can - we will have to move you out of your shceduled Friday weekly service , into an every other week schedule and we will not be able to keep your original weekly schedule open -- so when your grass starts to grow again and you call us to get your old Friday schedule back, it may not be the day you want , now lets see -- We will be back in your area on Monday and Tuesday , which day would you like ?
  7. z_clark

    z_clark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369


    Like MGM said: I will usually move them to Mondays if they are habitual about skipping cuts. I also have little pity for "clumps in the yard" if we have skipped the previous week.

    This works for me, as Mondays seem slow for us. Sometimes they cancel because of this...but better than dealing with their skipped cuts.
  8. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    We have a skipped cut fee. We do this because even when the grass doesn't grow very fast it seems like all of the edges do. And our trim time on the next visit increases significantly.
  9. ZaK18

    ZaK18 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 188

    I don't allow skips for mowing. If they choose the recommended weekly mowing, we will mow their yard each week. Bi-weekly customers will be mowed every other week. :laugh:
  10. DFW Area Landscaper

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


    Do you lose customers in the fall?

    I would guess about 10 to 15% of my weekly clients called to switch to every other week in the late fall. If I just told them "We don't allow skips" I am certain I would lost some of them.

    I thought seriously about trying that approach but I never had the guts to actually try it.

    What are your experiences?

    DFW Area Landscaper

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