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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a couple of customers that call every 3 or 4 weeks and want their yards cut. What is the best way to have them at least go bi-weekly? You guys know doing there yards on that type of schedule makes it hard for me and my mower because of the growth that has occured. How do I explain to them that they need to at least have it done bi-weekly for both our sakes......
 

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If you do not have a full schedule and need the business sometimes yoiu just have to bite your lip and do as requested. If you are in a position to start picking and choosing, nicely explain the benifits of regular lawn maintenance. If they insist on you being thier on call lawn guy make darn sure it is worth your time and wear and tear on equipment. First year I had several of these. Do not miss them at all.
 

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Dump them. Even with charging extra it just isn't worth the wear and tear on your equipment. Just explain to them that in order to do the best job for them you have to do a weekly cut. If they won't go for it then tell them you won't be able to help them. Your time would be better spent getting new weekly accounts instead of mowing those yards.
 

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This is how I explained it to a lady who wanted to call off every other week. I told her I have a high demand for service, and that although while I appreciate her as a customer, that when she called off it was costing me money. Her spot in the schedule was preventing me from taking a customer that would like weekly mowing, and that I was losing money on having her as a customer that would call off every other week. I explained that the lawn business was the way I made money, paid my bills, and supported my family, and I needed to fill the schedule with regular customers. And then I said that to retain my services, she needed to be a weekly mowing customer and to stop calling off. (She was also mowing it between my mowings) I told her that of course on weeks of dry weather or adverse conditions, I was more than willing to work with her to skip the mowing, but otherwise she would have to be a weekly customer. She called me and told me okay, and I've never had a problem.

You can try that approach. If that doesn't work, dump 'em. If you are only mowing every few weeks, you aren't making that much money off them and are most likely losing money. And you have to be willing to back your policies up with action, or else customers will walk all over you.

I have just a few every other week customers, and they are all old customers I've had forever. I don't take anything but weekly customers now, and I encourage you to do the same. I have seen very few lawns that truly only need every other week mowing, and the hassels involved with long grass and trying to cut jungles because people are cheap just aren't worth it.

:D
 

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Well said. I do not take any more bi weekly cuts but do remember at the beginning they were my bread and butter. Most are gone now except for the ones that I enjoy working for. Just all depends where you are at in the food chain at this particular moment
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok I see what you guys are saying. I do this part time and my mower was given to me so I really have no overhead to be concerned with. This is my first year so I am still learning things as I go along. This site and you all have been really helpful. The next time these "blue moon" folks call I will tell them exactly that. One in my neighborhood, his yard has not been cut in about 3 weeks now and with all the rain it has really grown up. When (and if) he calls I will tell him that unless he agrees to a regular schedle I cannot service him.
 

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I've got this one guy who's done his lawn a few times himself. First time he was on strike so I figured I'd let go. Maybe he didn't have the money. Next 2 weeks I go there and do it. No problem. 3rd week I'm there and see he's cut it again. "Figured I give you a break" he says. OK, I see he's not working again due to a broken toe. He could cut the lawn though, right? That was last week. I go there today(I've got 8 of his neighbors also) and see that he's home again w/ the broken toe, but him, his wife and kid are all out doing stuff around the house. Painting, etc. As I doing the other houses(from where I start, his is #6) I'm thinking as to why do I let this guy jerk me around. If he called and asked not to be done because of financial reasons I'd be OK w/ that, but I don't know if I'm doing his lawn till I get there. I see the lawn need cutting, but should I just bite my lip and do it? Cut around, over, thru the dog poo while I'm at it? No! I just did the other 5 near him and loaded up and drove up the block to the other 3 houses. He can either continue to do it himself or pick the poo up and I'll do it every week. I'm not calling him to ask if I can cut his lawn again. I don't need him. I do neat work. Respect my customers, and expect the same courtesy from them. I think that's fair. I don't intend to cut him next week or ever unless he comes to me and asks why I'm not doing him. I'll explain it to him and just say it's all or none. What if he drove to work one day and they told him he could take the day off without pay? That would make him understand, right?
 

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Stan... Just a thought..... this was discusssed once (or more than that) before here, and someone else mentioned that it's actions like you suggest that help to give us all a bad rep. Stop showing up,and that's what he'll tell everybody..... "Stan just stopped coming....."

Just a suggestion here.... send him a letter explaining that due to irregular scheduling, you can no longer provide service to him. If you'd like you could add that you will provide service on an "as called" basis (at an increased rate, of course)

In other words..... make him feel that you'd be more than happy to provide service when he calls, but don't worry, he probably wont, and if he does, be sure your new pricing makes it worth your efforts......... hey, you're in the 'hood anyway..... why not try to make a few extra bucks from this guy if he ever calls.
 

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Navig8r

Yes, I know it appears as though I'm a "no show", but this is the kind of neighborhood where everyone knows everyone elses business sooner or later. This guy's not going to get any attention by blabbing to his neighbors I just never came back when I've been doing the other houses for 4-6 yrs and the reason I've got these customers from the last LCO's they had was because of the work I do and I always show up. It's not that I don't want him as a customer, but I'm feeling like he thinks I'm biodegradable. Know what I mean?
 

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I have one that is "on call" Doesn't bother me alot really as it's not out of the way and I do one right behind it in the same stop, and he mows it between times when he has me come so it's never overgrown.
 

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And it could be that he's trying to tell Stan he's not wanted for his services without telling him, you know what I mean? Make things difficult for Stan so he just stops showing up. If the guy is worried about cancelling out or feeling insecure about losing his job he might not want to call and cancel. When I worked in the retail world, when managers wanted to get rid of employees without firing them, the first thing they would do is mess with that employee's schedule.

Just a thought.

:D
 

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Navig8r

Yes, I know it appears as though I'm a "no show", but this is the kind of neighborhood where everyone knows everyone Elyse's business sooner or later. This guy's not going to get any attention by blabbing to his neighbors I just never came back when I've been doing the other houses for 4-6 yrs and the reason I've got these customers from the last LCO's they had was because of the work I do and I always show up. It's not that I don't want him as a customer, but I'm feeling like he thinks I'm biodegradable. Know what I mean?
As for the dog poop not being picked up, He tells me his son usually does it but he just had an operation. OK, I'm not unsympathetic, but there's nothing wrong with the old man. I'm sure that next time I'm over there he & I will talk and I'll let him know how it is from my end. I mean, it's not like I told him to "F" off.
 

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I've got a couple of call customers. I dont' mind. They know that when they call I will fit them in when I can and that my regulars come first. And of course the higher rate is good too. And they pay me on the spot, so I don't have to add them to the billing.
 

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If this was a "will call" customer, I'd understand. He's not. We had a verbal agreement to do the lawn each week. He's the one who broke the verbal agreement, not me. If he wants to make it a "will call" account, the OK, but the price goes up accordingly and the dog poop gets picked up too! Right now it's $35 for each mowing. The 2 x's I did it after he had mowed I didn't charge any more for even though he only did maybe 60% of the lawn himself. I'm thinking if I go to a "will call" service w/ him I should charge him $10 more. What do you guys who do "will call" service charge. Mind you that I am already mowing the houses around him and so it's not out of my way. Thanks.
 
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