Customer Service???

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by lawnservice, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    Been reading this forum for some time (and I chime in now and then)

    There is a post about fert delivery coming earlier than requested and ice will be a problem. (me? I'd just refuse the early delivery and stick with my request for a later date...been there, done that)

    Some time ago there was a post about Turfco and an unsatisfied customer, not unsatisfied with equipment but rather customer service. (turfcobob blew my mind when he said he wouldnt travel 500 miles for a service call unless he had others in the general area...I must admit I agree with the poster of that thread, that is poor service)

    Way way back there was a thread about Real Green and their poor customer service (I have experienced their lack of urgency in returning calls)

    Way way way back a thread that mentioned Clip and poor customer service (I know many landscapers who use clip software or used to use clip and poor customer service is common theme among them)

    Sooooo folks, how about your business?? Do you provide Customer Service? or do you get ticked off because you'll need to drive a few miles out of your way to please a customer or even a potential customer?

    I been around lawncare a long time. I run a lawncare business like the old chemlawn I used to work for 20+ years ago.

    All phone calls are answered before the end of the day.

    All service calls are performed free and within 48 hours.

    We follow up on service calls with either a phone call or postcard depending on the situation/customer.

    We (I) insist employees are in a clean uniform that we provide and are groomed (I dont like hair on the face of employees but it is allowed as long as they start in winter so that when the season starts their beard is groomed...starting a beard in mid season is not permitted, period)

    We insist that all emplyees are courteous/polite (this one seems like a no brainer but i've heard and seen stuff...wont allow it here)

    We are not the largest lawncare outfit by no means....then again we aint tryin to be either. BUT we do want to be the BEST

    Just wonderin, for sake of discussion, what you all (or y'all for my southern friends) do to provide customer service?

  2. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    I agree with everything you've mentioned.

    When I worked at the Lawn Company of Cape Cod, we returned calls by the end of the day and either left messages or talked to the customer. We also performed free service calls within 48 hours and were always well groomed.

    While I no longer apply the products, I still take this approach with my current job. I now work for John Deere Landscapes (formerly LESCO) and I still believe that excellent customer service goes a long way. My manager and I provide an exceptionally clean store and our uniforms are always clean. We keep free drinks in the refridgerator, freeze pops in the freezer and penny candy on the counter - FREE for all customers. We always call our customers back in a timely manner and either leave messages or talk to them directly. Also, our deliveries are delivered as promised. We get a lot of nice compliments on how we operate.

    If you're a professional, you have to look and act like one anytime you come in contact with a customer.
  3. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    I surely agree with the starter post! I check my messages at least twice a day, and call back immediately. I have a very tight route, while not large, but growing. got rid of last year's dead wood, and only carried over 8 accounts, but I've already doubled that with 700 door hanger responses so far.

    Show up ON TIME for appointments. Look neat and professional. ALWAYS make the customer feel important. (and if you do it right, he IS important!) Always get back to people... I have a 4 hour rule. All my accounts are within a mile of my home. I can pop in and check for messages easy, several times a day. I can show up at an account the same day, usually within a few hours. Most importantly? I'm not trying to be a jerk here, just repeating what my new customers are saying to me... I speak english.

    People hate the fact that when a crew shows up, there isn't one that they can talk to. Absentee owners.... people don't like it much.
  4. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,956

    Maybe it's cuz I was raised on an Iowa farm by depression-era parents, cuz I find it difficult to agree with lawnservice's bitching. Sometimes it's best to "get along" and appreciate the hard work that companies like TURFCO, Real Green, Clip, etc. provide for me and many others. My two cents worth.
  5. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    I have no comment on any of those companies, as I am not a customer of theirs. I didn't take the starter post as complaining, rather a discussion of what we as providers expect of ourselves.

    I think prompt attention to returning communications and being responsive to service requests is pretty much a given, isn't it? Maybe he was complaining.... I know I tend to project what I do into my expectations for vendor responsiveness at times. Nothing could get me more annoyed than being ignored when I have an issue, but is this some sort of can of worms thread that I stumbled into? Yikes!
  6. Shades of Green LService

    Shades of Green LService LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,011

    Goes back a year or so. .............BOTH guys are very valuable to this site. Oh yeah, i try to return calls if there are any, the same day and show up the next.
  7. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,163

    I think customer service is what seperates most companies.

    At the end of the day we are using the same products....and should get the same results if applied correctly. Yes price may have a little to do with it also, but I feel that customer service is the biggie!

    Just little things like stopping by to talk (and not sell anything), thank you cards, small gifts ($.44 pen or notpad) etc.

    I think like you guys....that returning phone calls and responding to a customer in #1!
  8. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    will the 'real' american please stand up....i mean is this american or one of his employees (one never knows, I guess folks from Iowa dont know how to set up their own screen names??)

    so, i wasnt bitching at all, seems you're the only one that read it that way?

    you, american, started a post about getting a delivery earlier than you requested and were 'bitching' (instead of "getting along") i simply picked up the fact that you were disappointed at what I'll call poor service (you are free to call it what you like)...i picked up on a post from TSM a few weeks ago about turfco....i agrred with him after hereing turfcobob say he wont travel 500 miles for a service call for 2 aerators (thats what, $7000 worth of equipment their customer purchased?)
    I remember posters complaining about realgreen and clip as well as lesco and others that dont readily come to mind
    I simply was looking for a freindly discussion on customer service
    you, once again, show your true colors

  9. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 707

    customer service? depends....if they have paid me then I tell them they have to wait till i'm in the area....who knows how long they'll have to wait??

    if they are from a farm in Iowa I tell them to go run in the corn feild and stop botherin me :rolleyes:

    if i want and appreciate their business i make custmer service top priority.

    for those who do not appreciate my humor....maybe move to a farm in Iowa??
  10. New Green

    New Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    Well , can't we? I can see with not getting along with the local competition that stole that last big account and bad mouths you every time he gets a chance. But most of us are not even close to one another. I have had the frustrating discussions with lawnservice. It is all good. I have also learned a thing or two from him in other posts. Whether it is Realgreen, Gopher, an Iowa farmer or a former TGCL guy there is always something to learn beyond how to make grass green.
    This is a great site.
    Thanks to all that are helpful and share your input.

    As to others, I have found that bickering with anyone (especially peers,,, that includes lawnservice) is only a waste of time and digital space. :)

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