Winter Mowing problems......

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SouthernYankee, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 789

    I am still cutting about once a month or so this winter and I am having some problems and I was wondering what you guys who cut year round do about this problem.


    For instance I have client A, nice yard needs to be cut every week from march to late october. When the weather cools down it needs to be cut randomly. Maybe once or twice a month. Ok no big deal, but I seem to be getting customers like this.


    They call me and tell me tell me where I have been and why I havent cut their grass. So I drive by and waste my time and go to their yard. They dont need a cut, but they still want me to monitor their yard.

    What should I do?

    A. Be a nice guy and call them and ask them if their yard needs to be cut

    B. Pretend to cut their yard by running my mower over their lawn while the blades cut nothing.

    I dont mind them some of my clients calling me and letting me know that their yard needs a cut, but I am not going to drive by and monitor their yards. what do yall do with yards that are dormant. thanks
     
  2. LLandscaping

    LLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,016

    We are in the process of going to all 12 month Lawn Care Agreements. We provide a set schedule so we don't have customers calling and wanting to skip,etc. I think this is the easiest way because both you and the customer have an agreement before you start.
     
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    The best thing to do is to do a 12 month agreement/contract.
    Specify it will be a fixed equal monthly payments for 11 or 12 months.

    In the agreement, specify that the normal scheduled cycle will be weekly from March thru October, then bi-weekly or monthly or by appointment, but not more than ___ times a month November thru Febuary.

    Of course you would decide this by property as each is different. But the point is to lock things down, fix your income year around and get rid of the headaches. Here is a practical example.....

    2006 calendar year agreement.
    Say it's $50 a cut.

    Bi weekly Jan - Feb
    Weekly Mar - Nov (thanksgiving week OFF to equal 3 for Nov)
    Bi weekly Dec

    This comes out to 44 visits x $50 = $2,200

    Put this on 11 pay at $200 a month... and point out the fact they will have no December bill which is a relief around Christmas.
     
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I would just check up on, and call them or knock on the door and say one of two things:

    1. Do you think that the lawn needs mowed this week?
    2. The lawn does/does not need to be mowed this week.
     
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Ohhhh I call these the 'boy who cried WOLF' cases, yeah I get 1 or 2 like this always, lol !
    Believe it or not, this usually comes from my better customers (so long this is an only factor).

    It really is frustrating but what I have done is I let them do it once or twice (in other words, I don't assume anyone is crying wolf until...) Then if I've been out there a couple of times and nothing, after that I make a note on my schedule so in the future I will know WHEN they call, I follow my schedule first before I heed their call.

    Now you have to be careful because you can get into this situation, I mean they really DO want you to drive by, see... So what I do is check my schedule and if I'm pretty sure it doesn't need cutting, I call them and let them know their yard is on the winter rotation and is being tracked on a relaxed schedule. I thank them for reminding me their yard needs attention, have made a note of it and will stop by in the coming days and tyvm blablabla (end the call).

    Then, swing by their yard IF you get the chance (meaning it's on the way to something you have to do anyway). Usually, anytime in the next 2 weeks is good and if I can not (do not) have the chance to do it in the rig, I might swing by there in my car (knowing it's likely a waste of time but... - This MIGHT be a good opportunity to see if you spot some extra work :) If you do, it may be an easy sell, tack on 10 extra bucks for the personal drive and attention but only if you need it, so to speak.

    I've been pretty lucky thus far, all they really need is a little re-assuring that they have not been forgotten, has been my experience.

    p.s.; If it isn't one of my better customers, it appears I sometimes forget to follow up on the message.
     
  6. Greg313

    Greg313 LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Posts: 61

    SouthernYank, let the client know that since it is unseasonably warmer this winter that you will still cut bi-weekly(for client A) and once a month for the others. I still see lawn crews cutting here and it's extra income for you!
     
  7. Greg313

    Greg313 LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Posts: 61

    Great plan Envy!
     
  8. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    I had a lady that lives two blocks from that wanted me to drive by on occasion and mow it when need be.Oh yeah....it was a yard that was mostly warm season grass that had a patch of fescue. She said her former LCO would mow the patch of fescue for free until the bermuda started coming in and then mow it all for pay...still on the monitoring bases. I told her flat out I don't work like that. I don't even do one-time mows unless it's $65 minumum.
     
  9. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Customer is always right. I fhtey want you to cut nothing and are willing to pay for it then do it. Its their money and their happiness.
     
  10. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,690

    If they dont have rye grass here, they dont get cut until Late March. With a winter lawn, we cut every week.
     

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