Tracking Customers/Service

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Chris J, May 21, 2007.

  1. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    I need some help figuring out a better way to keep up with my customers. Specifically, when their next 6-month service visit is due. When I install a job, I have a form that I fill out that indicates the name, address, date installed, when the 1st service visit is due (exactly 6 months from the install date), and when the 2nd service is due (exactly one year fm install date).
    I then put this form into one of the expandable files that is seperated by the months. When next month arrives I pull out all of the forms for that month, sort them by neighborhood and send my service tech on his way.
    With todays technology, this seems like a very prehistoric method of doing things. One of the problems is that I never know when a particular customer is coming up for service so if he happens to call me with a light out, and we stop by to fix it, we may realize two days later that he is due for a complete service visit that we could have done while we were there! This happens all the time, and it really aggravates me. Does anybody have a system in place for keeping up with their customers and their service schedule? I also have a problem sending out the yearly renewals. I had to do 40 of them today, and it took me forever. I need an office manager, but my wife won't take the pay cut:laugh: Somebody please help!
  2. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    We used to do it the same way up until a couple of years ago. We ended up spending the money and getting a good database program. It makes things a whole lot easier. There are many of them out there, but you really have to take a close look and see what each program entails.

    We use all the programs from Quickbooks Pro, along with another database that I forgot the name of. I think total it ended up being around $2,500 for the programs. One of the best features is the reminders. Once you log a customer, you can set a reminder from that date to which ever date you choose. For example if you want to set a reminder for exactly a year from install date, you can type in whatever that reminder will be...i.e. Maintenance, and it will pop up on your screen at that date.

    Not only that, but you can keep your customers billing straight, process credit cards straight through the system, and do all your business finances as well. It's a pretty good set up.
  3. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    I have Quickbooks Pro, but I only use it to keep up with my checking account. Will this feature allow me to pull up all of the clients at the same time? For instance, If I wanted to look ahead at next month to see who all was due for service, could I pull them all up and look at them all together?
  4. High Performance Lighting

    High Performance Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    from So Cal
    Messages: 326

    Chris I'm not one for using much new technology so your current system that is in place sounds pretty good to me. I prefer a hand written note over a pda anyday. I'm sure we will get some who will disagree. To solve your problem how about this. In the middle of the month open the envelope for the next month and fill out your reminder post cards and send. Then route and pencil in the names and scheduled times on a calendar so at anytime you can visually see when you are going to be where. If there are any cancellations or rescheduling you can adjust by using your eraser and pencil lead. I carry a little month to month calendar with me and write everything in there. New installs for monday-saturday 7AM-3PM 3:30PM-? for service calls. Just be careful not to lose it. You may want to keep a dupe at the office .
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    when I ran the big lawn care thing, we had a program called Lawn monkey, and another one called service magic or something like that. both were basically a route generator software based on a client list.

    you could put in any number of intervals- we had our 6 step program every 8 weeks or so, lawns every week, leaves every 3 months in the summer, etc.

    It would print out a route sheet based on a map location you put in- g3 would be routed next to h3 or g2, etc. you could put in the time in and time out at each job, and plug into the computer the times later as the job completed.

    at the end of the month it would print all invoices from that time sheet, tell you your average drive time, average $$$ per hour, etc. great way to create a paper trail too. " well mrs. kravitz, it looks like john and bobby were there at your property between 8am and 8:47 on the 10th, and I have a note here that the roses were pruned" that impresses the heck out of customers.

    you could set that up with lighting , and call up whatever route you have plugged in at any time. you can add special notes that will come up every year like- dog in back yard, transformer in garage, key in lockbox rock by fence, etc. just be sure to back up in a removable storage every few weeks or you lose too mauch data.

    the software cost around 1000 bucks 6 years ago. Lawn monkey is still around. I'm not sure about service magic.

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