Getting towards end of season....How to handle customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 22rimfire, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. 22rimfire

    22rimfire LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 4

    Without rain for the past month here in central NC it looks like we are getting to the end of the season about a month sooner than I had planned. Being my first year doing this part time I am unsure how to transition my customers over from weekly or bi weekly cuts to selling them on leaf cleanups over the next few weeks/months. I take care of about 15 regular weekly/bi weekly properties mowing wise with the "Can you come cut my grass" random customers thrown in.

    I have 10 customers lined up for this Thursday and am thinking about sending them this email.

    "Good Evening,

    Your property is scheduled for a weekly or bi weekly mow this coming Thursday. With the lack of rain and cooler weather these past few weeks the grass growth has started to slow down.

    If upon arrival your property does not need a full cut/edge/trim and blow we will be mulching whatever leaves have fallen in lieu of your normal service. If you would like to push out your normal cut one more week please let me know. Otherwise we will be by later this week to service your property.

    As a reminder, once the grass stops growing we will be doing leaf cleanups through Christmas. We normally do these cleanups in one of two ways, a onetime service at the end of the season or in three cleanups (one in two weeks, halfway through fall and at the end Dec/Jan). Please reach out for an estimate for your specific property if this is something you would like done.

    Thank you for your business and have a nice week!"

    Thought's? We are in a pretty big drought here and I don't want to show up to the property and have customers cancel on me after driving there. I know, I need a clause that says if we show up you get charged XX. That being said I want to take care of my customers and not charge them when their lawn hasn't grown in weeks. Thanks ahead of time
     
    huskerlover likes this.
  2. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,741

    You should be showing up every week regardless. If it needs serviced, you service it. If it doesn’t need serviced, then you don’t service it. Bill if you service, no bill if you don’t. Pretty simple, just need to be setting that up on the initial quote request.

    But since it’s this late and you’re already in this position, yeah I’d go ahead with a simple email letting them know you will be starting final cuts/leaf cleanups this coming week, unless they opt out. Then next year start selling your service on a weekly/as needed basis.
     
    AlohaMowing likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    22rimfire

    22rimfire LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 4

    Hi, thanks for the reply. I have been showing up to every customer every scheduled visit. I had 6 scheduled last week. The last three, upon arrival did not need to be cut. I emailed all three customers and let them know they could go another week in my opinion. If they still wanted service I could come back by and take care of it. All three thanked me and said to push it out another week.
     
    Michael Ray likes this.
  4. ltdlawn

    ltdlawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,834

    Inform them what you are doing and your plans but lose all the loopholes they can back out of. Like this
    Lose this
    If you would like to push out your normal cut one more week please let me know. Otherwise we will be by later this week to service your property.
    Many will push you off if you allow.
    And this
    Don’t pitch one time clean ups only the 3 visit version. If they requested one time take the business but push the repeat service. Same drought here. Good luck
     
    hort101 and sjessen like this.
  5. Mattmowsgrass

    Mattmowsgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    I think that the email idea is good. Personally i'd rather them opt in to your mulching their leaves, then opt out.
    I dont agree with the thought of driving to check if they need it. If they cant text "skip this week" they get cut.
     
    hort101 and AlohaMowing like this.
  6. AlohaMowing

    AlohaMowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 285

    While the email is good, ideally it would be a reminder of what had been agreed when the customers signed on with you. Establish up front how the transition from regular mowings to other services will occur. To presume that customers will pay you for services other than mowing may seem presumptuous if the contract for services did not contemplate that. If your customers tell you when they sign on that they only want mowings during mowing season, then offer the other services.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  7. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Midlothian, VA
    Messages: 736

    I would push the 3 trips for clean-ups. Much easier on equipment and the people; plus you'll net more sales
     
    hort101 and Mattmowsgrass like this.
  8. Mattmowsgrass

    Mattmowsgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    I agree. Except the sales part. Well, sales here. My customers. Would rather pay one larger bill then 3 or 4 small ones that include mowing. Even if they could save more money in the long run. I dont get it
     
  9. Mike NY

    Mike NY LawnSite Member
    from NY.
    Messages: 158

    This was a line in my contract for lawn service. I did any leaf removal on a weekly basis, No one time or choice of three. keep it on a schedule, keep it clean. "Fall clean-ups will be performed during routine mowing at the conclusion of the season. Spring/fall clean-ups are billed at $" I'm in the lawn service business, Not the mowing business.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  10. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Midlothian, VA
    Messages: 736

    Yes. Sometimes the client does what the client does . You can try and educate them, and maybe make the pricing attractive enough to them so they will opt for the three trips. I know for me, I just hate doing those one time cleanups where the leaves are a foot and a half deep. Almost all of my ridiculous trips and falling head over heels and then jumping up to look around to see if anybody saw me, have been on leaf jobs– you can never see what your feet are getting ready to step into
     
    Mattmowsgrass and hort101 like this.

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