if u dont show up????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, May 22, 2002.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    have more work this year than ever before, and certainly more "desirable" work. weeded out the cheapos, and pitas. question is, if a customer is scheduled for wednesdays, and u dont show on wed, do they call? i still have a few folks that call if im not there on the scheduled day. i tell them come on, i will cut once a week, sometimes the day before your scheduled day, sometimes the day after. i remind them that when they hired me, they hired a human being, not a machine. anyone promise days? if u dont make it on that day, do they freak?
  2. Pro-Cut Lawns

    Pro-Cut Lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    Hey bobbygedd
    I have all my customers set up on particular days of the week and they know what day I am supposed to be there. I always tell them right up front that schedule may vary due to rain. I only have one who really gets upset if Im not there on his day, which is Fridays. I have had him to call me during a thunderstorm and want to know why I wasnt there mowing his lawn. I actually got this account from another LCO because the guy decided he wanted it done on Fridays and the other LCO couldnt do it. He was only in that neighborhood on Tuesdays. I agreed to it and took over the account. (I've since picked up another account two doors down in that same neighborhood that I do on Fridays also). Other than that all of my customers understand and Ive never had a complaint as long as Im a day or two within their scheduled day. I recently approached two of my customers about moving them to another day of the week in order to pick up another account or two and they had no problems with it whatsoever since I contacted them and didnt just make the change.
  3. ADMowing

    ADMowing LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 175

    Our customers are on a weekly schedule, but also we have make up days (times) for rain. We DID have a customer track us down one day when we were mowing in his mobile home park. I was so tired and hot that I was not very nice to him. I told him, shortly, "It is Thursday and it is not raining. So we will be there!" He shut the window of his air conditioned car and drove home. When we got there, I apologized for being short and told them that unless it is raining or for some Godforsaken reason, we would be there.

    When we first started, we started calling customers one day when it was raining. On the first phone call, the lady asked me to please not insult her inteligence. So, we didn't call anyone else. We don't have too many complaints. We keep our schedule pretty good every week. They know by now that if we're not there, there is a really good reason.

    We also found that when we start getting too busy, we do what you said you are doing and weed out the "not so fun" customers. If we are too busy to adequately take care of our customers, then we know that something has to change. We either have to get faster and better equipment -- and if you have the business you can do it. Hire people on or not take any more customers.

    Last year, we had a waiting list of potential customers. When we lost a customer due to them moving away (which happens a lot in Florida), we would call the next person on the list. You'd be surprised how many were still looking for a good LCO.

    We let people know that we don't take on so much that the quality of our work suffers. That includes being there on their slotted day. But, I'm aware that it may work differently in different parts of the world as far as grass growth and customer service. Just saying that this is how we do things.

    I agree with you 100% about us not being machines and that we are only human! Customers need to be a little understanding of that too! I think that is why I was so short with our mobile home customer that day.

    People may also be calling because in the past they have not gotten the same quality of service that they are getting from you now. They may have paid their LCO in the past only to have them not show up for a month or two. We gets lots of business from frustrated people who have been customers of these types of LCOs. Your patience with them and explaining things and just being reliable like you are doing will eventually alleviate their anxiety.
  4. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    I turned down 7 McDonald's because the owner in the end, after we had discussed price and services, mentioned ; "Oh, you'll have to do them all on Thursday because I want them to look good for the week-end, and I want you there when they're cut".
    They were all over the place, and couldn't fit into that schedule, and I sure as hell wasn't going to promise I would be there when they were cut, then, end the end, I apologized that I had wasted his time and left.
  5. Dennis E.

    Dennis E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    To follow a normal schedule during the growing season but who can predict the future? Flats,breakdowns,etc.
    My customers know I'll be there. Depending on what time of year it is I'll get some older folk that will call if I'm a day off.
    Never a big deal though.
    I've had some customers before that panic if I'm not there by a certain time. They are long gone!:D ;)
  6. marley

    marley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    If you've had a history of being reliable and have a good relationship with your customers you should not have a problem. I don't call unless I have a special project the customer wants done and I told them a certian day.

    Then again, I do have some really good customers.
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Man, I must be spoiled, because I can sometimes run ten days behind, and still not get calls. Great customers, nice places, but they just know I'll come through, I guess. Once in a great while I'll get a call, but it's always dilluted with a request for additional work, or a question or something. I've never really had a customer actually say anything about being a day late or about the particular day I was supposed to be there. I can certainly relate to what SM said about the McDonald's, though. It seems most all franchise or chain owners want you to be their dedicated gardener.
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    If I'm not there on the appointed day my customers start calling the emergency rooms looking for me. All kidding aside I've never had a customer call and ask where I am. If it's pouring down raining they know I will be there on the next day. This is my 8th year cutting grass and in all of those years I've only had to bump a customer to the next day one time for a mechanical failure and that was Tuesday when I broke a spindle. The guy didn't even call. I have picked up quite a few customers from other LCOs who seemed to have problems cutting regularly though.
  10. maple city

    maple city LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    This is our side business, my husband is a firefighter full time. It is impossible for us to mow on a scheduled day every week. I explain this to people in the beginning, so they understand that I may be there two weeks in a row on Wednesday and the third week it will be on Thursday. I have never had a problem with this. I always give my oldest customers priority over the new ones, and I think people appreciate my loyalty.

    There are always the equipment or rain problems that set you back as well.

    I think if you explain your system to people from the beginning, they should be OK with it.

    If someone is so picky that they want you there every week Thursday at 8:00 a.m., then they will be a pain in the butt anyway, and you might want to refer them to someone else (your worst enemy).:D

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