What do YOU tell your clients when they complain

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by FairwayLandscape, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. FairwayLandscape

    FairwayLandscape LawnSite Member
    from LI
    Messages: 46

    about the weeds in their lawn. We have used every pre-emergent and post emergent known to work and as labeled and the client still has weeds (dallisgrass and crabgrass) ???? why dont these people get it?!
  2. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    Depending how big this account is ,maybe you could very nicely suggest to try someone else. Just tell them you did everything you could and you want them to be happy.
  3. JoeinJasper

    JoeinJasper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    Explain that you use a more environmentally approach to pest management, rather than 'nuking' the entire yard. While IPM (integrated pest management) practices do allow some weeds in, This approach is more friendly, safer, and economical than traditional methods. Joe
  4. Sammy

    Sammy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    What don't they get ?
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    btw if I say chemlawn it really doesn't matter if it's truegreen or scott's or any of those companies, I call any of that a chemlawn, you can see those kinds of lawns from a distance, they stand out like a green thumb so to speak, that's a chemlawn.

    We don't, and can't entirely get rid of weeds, there will always be some weeds, even the perfect Chemlawn has weeds in it, but you don't see it until you get up in it. So I don't know, is this lawn still covered and smothered in weeds, or is it a case where from the street it looks like a class-A lawn but once you get up in it you can see some?

    Or was it weed free and it's now infested? Because a hot summer without much rain will do that, invariably once a lawn goes dormant the weeds take over, there's but so much we can do, it is called weed control, not weed eradication or whatever.

    I treat mine twice in spring, once early then again 2-4 weeks later and about May-June it looks pretty good, but right now most of them don't, that's just how it is in my business. Next year same thing, in fall a core-aeration / overseeding / lime + gypsum + fert treatment would help further, the more they spend the more I can do, but consistent maintenance is the key!

    You just have to stay on top of it, for crabgrass I keep a sprayer in the truck and for those kind of full-service customers I spot-treat their lawn every visit, I mean it takes a few minutes once it's under control but you have to keep up on it or they take over. If one gets away from me I load up the backpack sprayer and really go to town, crabgrass is a pita but once under control it's not too bad. No, I don't charge for spot treatments, once under control 2 gallons of mix lasts a long ways and it only takes a few minutes, a whole lawn treatment is a different story but for myself crabgrass is an independent weed from everything else, I treat it separately but that's just me.

    The rest of the weeds there's not much can be done about this time of year, wait until early fall (careful if overseeding don't do it but 30 days apart), or next spring to start the program, weed control is seasonal and annual, and yes, there will be some weeds in between, some years is worse than others.

    In my case my lawns don't look like Chemlawns, but then my cost is far below theirs, this is my business, Chemlawn is theirs.
    That's how I look at things, some folks understand, others hire someone else, I have to accept whatever comes.
  6. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    if you tell a customer that you will get rid of the weeds and they still have weeds, then they have a right to complain.

    a lot of folks complain about weeds, but then they don't fertilize or water to keep the grass full and lush to help crowd out the weeds.

    some weeds you might need to just round-em-up and re sod/seed small sections...once youget a good lawn established you really don't need much in the way of herbicide as the grass will out compete the weeds..in most cases....
  7. Working4aLiving

    Working4aLiving LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Dazzle them with BS and half truths. Use words like thresholds, IPM, environmentally safe, scouting, spot treating, early growth stages. Sell the sizzle not the steak. In August they should be happy there's anything green on their lawn. If they have pets and kids tell 'em you're a steward of the environment and are thinking of their safety. People will believe what you tell them if it's worded properly and has a modicum of truthiness.
  8. FairwayLandscape

    FairwayLandscape LawnSite Member
    from LI
    Messages: 46

    Listen guys and gals, We didn't promise a weed free lawn THAT is unattainable in most currently infested lawns.What I am talking about is a turnaround in one year when this was the way the lawn looked last year and worse. My question was what to tell these people as they continuously cry over weeds, I have already told them before we started that this will take awhile to turn around. I guess really what we have here is an HOA that is filled with people who have nothing to do but look at the grass. It does look better than last year and others have said the same.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Actually I used to use an anology, comparing an overweight person to a weed-infested lawn. Obviously the worse the lawn, the longer it takes to get to a nice lawn. Same with an overweight person, they lose weight and make progress but they're still months, years away from where they want to be. But progress is being made.

    Although some of the worst clients are those with the best lawns...you know the type they have one or two weeds and it sets them off. The nice thing is they usually will spend a lot of money with you :)
  10. FairwayLandscape

    FairwayLandscape LawnSite Member
    from LI
    Messages: 46

    I just get worn out with these malcontents,with an HOA all they do is ***** about something because they are all in a group. I dont know if I want to rebid for this contract again.

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