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Keeping customers happy

Here's the deal. Been doing the lawn care biz for a few years now and I have had steady healthy growth. When i could afford it I would upgrade to what I needed for the job, nothing more nothing less. I have some really good customers (yeah we all like to think that) that not only like the work I do but some just like me in general. Well as of recently a couple of accounts that are neighbors and are friends with each other commented to someone I happen to know that if i keep getting new equipment and more business they are afraid i will raise prices and or start being like the other guys they had doing their work before. I even used some of my resi's as references for more and bigger commercial work which may strike some as very odd but I sell on the fact that I also do commercial but service all my accounts more on a one on one level. Anyway from what I gather from a couple of resi accounts they are afraid that because I am growing the service will suffer. Or what about the fact that I may not be there? I had to hire someone cut for me this summer just because I got to busy and couldn't't be in two places at one time and heard it the next time I showed up. Nothing bad just like "Oh will that other guy be doing my lawn this year" I could hear the disappointment in her voice. What would you do?
 

SNAPPER MAN

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Spring, Texas
You can't stay small forever. Your prices shouldn't change just because you grow. This year I will be running two crews and my customers have gotten to understand that I will not be there at all, but they know if they need anything they can talk to my foreman or call me personally. If you keep doing a good job and treating them right then you will not be giving them any reason to switch.
 

TurnerLawnCare

LawnSite Member
I'm not sure if you're working solo or if you've got a crew working for/with you but if you want to expand i highly suggest running a two man crew. You mow everything he weed eats and blows everything. You done. Since you own the equipment and business and crap you get 60% of the income help gets 40%. Can highly increase # of yards in a day and the company is nice to.(most of the time.) Or if you've already got a crew working for you and need to open up a second crew, then reasure the customer that all employees have gone through careful training and will not be performing any work untill they have passed a rigorus test(set at your standards.) And let them know that Quality will never be sacrificed for any reason(besides mother nature). And let them know that prices wont be going up at all unless the U.S. Dollar looses alot of it's value. Or gas is 5 bucks again. Just my opinion. Hope it helps.

Turner Lawn Care
 

cooltype

LawnSite Member
Location
Chattanooga TN
I'm not sure if you're working solo or if you've got a crew working for/with you but if you want to expand i highly suggest running a two man crew. You mow everything he weed eats and blows everything. You done. Since you own the equipment and business and crap you get 60% of the income help gets 40%. Can highly increase # of yards in a day and the company is nice to.(most of the time.) Or if you've already got a crew working for you and need to open up a second crew, then reasure the customer that all employees have gone through careful training and will not be performing any work untill they have passed a rigorus test(set at your standards.) And let them know that Quality will never be sacrificed for any reason(besides mother nature). And let them know that prices wont be going up at all unless the U.S. Dollar looses alot of it's value. Or gas is 5 bucks again. Just my opinion. Hope it helps.

Turner Lawn Care
LMFAO

haha funny, here weedeater guy take 40% of my money
 

mowerbrad

LawnSite Fanatic
I think that you definately talk to your customers personally. I think if you just sent out a letter or email to everyone they would think that you are "too big" to make the effort to communicate directly with them. So make a few phone calls and stop by some accounts and talk to your customers. Inform them about the situation and explain to them everything you are telling us.

I would also try and make sure that you are still out in the field and do maintain these accounts every so often. Or atleast make some phone calls throughout the season just to make sure that all your customers are still happy with the services you are offering them. This way you can be the bigger company you want to be and yet still have a small company "appearance".
 

topsites

LawnSite Fanatic
These folks are letting you know they're not keen on being treated like a number, they chose you because they
like dealing with you one on one, they know what they are getting and to sum it up whether they will continue to
have your company provide services for them might very well depend on this.

I'm guessing you gathered as much...
What you can do, that you have to decide.
 
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hackitdown

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Groton, MA
I spent a lot of time introducing my helper to my customers. I talk about him, I let them know his story, etc. He's a young guy, but he is friendly and polite. Most customers now love the guy. So anyway, last summer, my helper and another guy did most of the mowing all season. There were a few complaints, but I made sure that I addressed them personally, and made sure the guys knew that I had to go fix the mistakes. It is all about clear direct communication fo me.
 

grassman177

LawnSite Fanatic
communication is the key to success. we have always prided ourselves on that, but did experience a similar issue and a few, and lost them. so we revamped our relations with clients to make sure as we grow, the personal touch does not fade. it is easy to let go if you are not careful, the fact that you are aware of it says more than enough. keep good contact, more than good actually and you will be good 99% of the time
 
OP
T

Total Grounds Maintenance

LawnSite Member
Thanks for the input. I am going to be creating a task list in my cell phone with my customers to call once a week (rotated once every month) I will also be giving out my cell and tell them to call anytime. I think I will make it sound like I don't ever give it out but will make an exception to them so if there is a problem. I will do holiday cards to everyone and little gifts to my higher paying customers ie: HOA's and managment companies.
 
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