What to do about re-dos

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Integrity, Jul 13, 2002.

  1. Integrity

    Integrity LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    My question is what to do about re-dos. Been in the biz for three years and this is the first year of running a second full time crew. All of the crew members have been properly trained and are paid an hourly wage that is above the going rate for people doing this type of work in my area. 95% of the time they do outstanding work, and if I didn't know better, I would think that I had personally done the yard myself instead of them.

    I am not able to personally inspect each and every yard before we load up and leave the property any longer, like I was able to do when my employees rode with me. I have received some phone calls from customers recently about things that were missed or not done properly (missed trimming areas, minor scalped areas, edging not done properly).

    Customer satisfaction and reliablility are top priority for me. If the customer is not happy, I take it seriously. Sometimes I think that I do too much to keep the customer satisfied. What do you do about re-dos? When do you go back to correct the problem and when do you just make a phone call to the customer?

    I was thinking of a bonus system as mentioned in a search result that I found for no complaints, but I was also thinking of having the crew go back at the end of the day, off the clock, and correcting the problem, if possible.

    I am sure that a lot of this is just growing pains, but I would sure appreciate the advice from some of you "more seasoned" lawn
    maintenance pros.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Who's responsible for the crew? That is the person you deal with. He is responsible for the quality, that is one of the main things he is being paid for. Its time for a powwow with your crew leader. Quality assurance and double checking the job before he leaves needs to be re-discussed and re-addressed.

    P.S. This is a management problem, he is not managing the crew and jobs as he should. Deal with him and let him deal with the other crew members. He needs to see he has been given the authority by you to deal with the situation. The other crew members will see he has the authority to deal with them. Its all about the management game.

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,129

    First complaint, I would return to the site in question with your crew leader (on the clock) and fix the problem. Second complaint, go back with the crew leader (on his time). Third complaint, go back to site yourself and fire the crew leader. Make him aware of this policy. I once worked as a cook and my manager told me the first day I worked, " First screwup is my (managers) fault, second screwup is your fault, third screwup, you're fired".

  4. P&J Lawncare

    P&J Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    65 hoss gave the right advice.
  5. Toatlandscape

    Toatlandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    If this is the first time the yard is not being done with you the the customer may just be used to you. It may not be wrong just different and not you. I don't disagree with addressing the issue but there may not be a complaint there. The customer is just used to you being there. Talk to the customer as well.
  6. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    i dont know if i would implement this in our line of work. i've had customers (still with us) that over the years have complained DOZENS of times. often for no valid reason. often complained about work i did myself. some people just like to complain. i would never fire one of my guys that does good work because of a customer that has nothing better to do than call. unless the problem was LEGIT.

    a policy like that would just scare a worker and end up being counter productive.

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,129

    You have a point. Some people will complain about anything. When the bossman goes back with the crew leader, he´ll be able able to tell if it´s just a PITA customer or if the crew leader was just getting careless and\or lazy.

  8. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    Manage the crew leader or foreman on the job. It's his responsiblity to manage the guys on his crew. Ultimately the quality control is up to the foreman as 65 Hoss said so well.

    I would add two things... one, you'll find the more training and information you give your foreman on quality expectations and training for his crew, the better the results. Equip him with the management tools he needs. He may not know how to handle some uncomfortable situations or determine if one of his crew memebers just isn't pulling his weight. Secondly, you'll need to proactively drive his route looking at quality control. Look for the positives to praise - let him know where he is doing thing right so that he can replicate that quality on other properties. Also let him know those areas that need to be addressed and brought up to speed ASAP. I find that in two to three weeks, a property can go from looking great to rough - so monthly checks on most of your properties and more frequent drive by's on your A customers will help to reduce some of the phone calls and call backs.

    If you have to do warranty work or call back work - track the time for the crew. At the end of the period (quarter, half, year), show the foreman how much time/money was spent fixing things. It really adds up. Our guys have unfortunetly broken glass top patio tables (small side table), a hammock and other various things. I keep track of these costs plus other costs to show the foreman what he's cost the company through poor management decision making or supervision of his guys. You should see an improvement if he sees how his actions directly effect the company either positively or negatively.

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