Lesson learned

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    Two weeks ago, a client called and wanted mowing service. She indicated at the time of the call that she would really prefer Thursday or Friday service. I told her I would just have to look at the map and schedules and see what I could do.

    We sent her the welcome letter and her regular mow day was Monday.

    She called immediately and the ultimatum was that if we can't cut her on Thursday or Friday she would cancel. I asked her to let me see what I could do.

    We have one other client in this area that we service on Mondays. It made sense that we could move both clients to Wednesday. So I called the new lady and asked her if she thought this would be acceptable. She said Wedensday would be fine. So we called the other client and moved her to Wednesday as well.

    So guess what happens today? She calls to say her husband would mow the lawn on Thursday or Friday and she is cancelling. (Husband...yeah right!)

    After this experience, if they are screaming about Th/Fr service in the future, f*** them. They're unreasonable. They can either have what we offer or they can cancel. If they're unreasonable, they're unreasonable. You can't win with these people.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,716

    good for you. i cant stand the i want my yard to look good for the weekend pitas.
  3. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    I suppose the customer does have a point. Mowed on Monday, a lawn may start to look a little unkept by Saturday, 5 days later.

    If you can loosen up your tight efficient routes just a little, you may be able to schedule the crummy looking lawns on Mondays. I do that here. Yes, some doubling back is involved, but with one person it's less important than with crews. Perhaps modifying routes a little can help accomodate the picky ones. A wednesday cut is certainly reasonable.

    But others are correct. You cannot let someone dictate when you mow unless they are willing to pay extra for it. I have only one customer who has mentioned the day of the week this year, and I told him Wed-Fri. But he's centrally located and I drive by it daily so I could do it almost any day. He's also getting a $5/cut price increase next year.

    Remember to factor in the cost of replacing customers with the increased efficiency of tighter routes. If you wind up with 5 empty slots on the schedule for a month, that might be $600. Then you spend another $50 in advertising per new customer, etc. You're down $650. Make sure the efficiency gains are worth it. What's the saying? "perfect is the enemy of good". Past a point you may see a diminishing bottom line if your effiicency efforts drive customers away.

    As far as thurs/fri mow requests, I point out to some that a Bermudagrass lawn may actually look a little softer and more natural 2-4 days after mowing than right after, when signs of a recent cut may show.
  4. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    Boy it's really kinda hard to get this Thur-Friday mowing thing out of your head ... I've been doing this fore "just a few years" ...n I don't run into these request ..... they must all in in Texas ....

    I don't stall when they ask fore an estimate .... I ask em where they are ....n tell them when my guys are there .... pretty much the end of it
  5. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,140

    I have not been asked for mowing on Friday in six years of lawn mowing.
    I do my favorite neighborhood on Friday
  6. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    DFW...I feel you did the right thing. It's not enough money to get worked up about. If they want to go with someone else who wil do Thurs/Fri, ok, fine.
  7. dlm17

    dlm17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    Dfw, If You Try To Run Your Buisness The Way Your Clients Want You To Its Like Having That Many Different Jobs What Do You Do If It Rains And They Are Scheduled For Friday, Drop Everyone Else To Accomodate One Then The Rest Are Po'd Look At Your Over All And Try To Keep Most Of Them Happy The Rest Will Figure It Out (train Them From The Start)
  8. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 805

    Just put her on Thursday and charge her extra. What's the big deal?
  9. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    you cant mow 125 lawns on thursday and friday..:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    your best rid or them....:)
  10. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 805

    No one else seems to have this problem...

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