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What would you do?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AVRECON, Apr 3, 2001.


    AVRECON LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    I had a customer of around 6-7 years now, to call yesterday. He wanted to know if I could come by this week and mow his yard and cut the monkey grass down and edge. I said you mean the weeds? He said yeah you planted it last year. I said well I told you I needed to spray for those over a month ago. So then he asked, What did I have out there last year and I proceeded to tell him nothing. I sowed Bermuda and fescue in his yard last spring after he canceled Chem Lawn and his yard died. But anyway getting to my point. I talked to him over a month ago about trimming all of the bushes and spraying for weeds and bascically getting the yard in shape, all for about $200.00 bucks. It would have been a 4-6 hr job. Well he gave me the goahead then called back a couple of days later and cancelled, because he said $ was tight at the moment. Yesterday he's talking about having sod installed or getting some one that specializes in treating lawns. Now I ask you folks, Didn't I tell him it needed to be sprayed over a month ago? He's one of these people that want to hold on to the cash because he thinks I may be trying to charge him to much. But then he wants to act like I did a poor job for him on the grass after I told him the deal on it.He didn't have $200.00 bucks a month ago but now he has $1,500.00- $2,000.00 to have sod installed. It just irks the you know what outta me!
  2. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    i see this as who cares that he didn't have that $200 a month ago, now he wants you to do a bigger job for 10 times the amount of spraying, you should be happy. i hope you learn to roll wqith the punches, because there are alot in this kind of work. good luck to you.

    AVRECON LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    No, what he's trying to do is say with out saying that I did a poor job for him and wants to get someone else to sod or reseed his lawn because he knows that He should have let me take care of it long ago. Now the weeds have almost taken over the yard, and of course its my fault. So since I don't know what I am doing he needs to get some one who does. Now do you see the point I'm trying to make, this is where being a friend of the client isn't a good idea. If it was a business relationship only I think I would be better off with him and other customers. It makes me feel taken forgranted so to speak.
  4. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,821

    Avercon, that public can be idiots as you have found out. And their idiocy can make us look incompetent in their eyes and in anyone they tell their version too. Honest professional base their work on facts and needs of the lawn. Homeowners alot of times base lawnmaintenence on finances and moods. "Hey I am in the mood to have this or that done" or" Now I have the money or am willing to spend the money to get this or that done" It can be irritating to no end. Call a customer and tell them in the spring when the ground is soft that they need to areate and they say not now. But then 2 weeks later they will call you and say "hey we need to areate" like it was their idea...
  5. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467


    If this is a client you want to continue to deal with it might be a good idea to explain the requirements of a lawn care program. That services need to be scheduled thoughout the year to get a lawn into shape and maintain a level of acceptable appearance and health. Perhaps writing down the needed services and time table for those services in order to acheive the desired results, and explain that results would be much better if you are pro-active than re-active.

    Whether or not you provide all needed services to maintain a lawn care program is not important, as long as the client is aware of what is needed and you are on top of the services that you are providing. I would make it clear that, say, the client has you overseed but not fertilize, I would make the point that the expected results are not going to be there. All of the services go hand in hand, you know what I mean? If after that if the client comes back onto you about a problem that has materialized, you can easily re-direct the finger pointing.
  6. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    Some customers seem to think they have to tell you what to do, like they know more than you. I have none of that type of a customer now. I have done more lawn work in a week than they will ever do in a life time, so I have to be the one in control or they can find someone else. Friends are not good customers usually. A customer that you become friends with can be a different story though. :)
  7. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    We need to not forget that as Professional Turf Care Specialists that people are paying us for our expertise.

    I understand that so many customers in this world think that they can dictate what it is that needs to be done to their lawns, and they are correct - in their own minds.

    It is up to us as an Industry to educate these folks and let them know that in our professional opinions this is what the property needs and this is the cost for the specified services we have knowledgably recommended. They can take it or leave it.

    I used to feel uncomfortable when clients would dictate to me how I would run my business in regards to their accounts. Today, I tell them what they need and if they do not sign up for a full service contract then we refer them to a Mow-N-Go LCO.

    You are the professional, make sure that they pay you for your knowledge. I dont know of anyone who tells a doctor what he needs to do, and the same goes for our clients.

  8. crs

    crs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 121

    I have what I call a horticultural timetable that I hand out to my customers as well as a list of services that I offer including approximate cost per hour or lb applied etc. I let customers check off what they want done and then I tell tnem I will do it at the appropriate time.

    This has been great for me as it helps with scheduling as well as complaints. If a customer complains of weeds I can refer them to their copy and then politely tell them I told you so.(provided they decided not to apply weed control)

    This seems to be a good way of offering a professional level of service to those folks that are hesitant to sign a yearly contract.

    AVRECON LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    Well, I copied some literature about his type of lawn that I had gotten from the Ag office with a litte note telling him that if he wants his yard to look beatiful, then these are the things I will need to do to get it there. Also I wrote the note as if to say I know whats going on with his lawn but that I need him to LISTEN to the advice I've been giving him. We'll see.
  10. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    I think that you should have included the spraying with the renovation of the lawn and still charge him for the spraying. I would not do it otherwise because our customer's lawns reflects on us. We feel that if they want something done that is incorrect or we know they will not accept other services that are needed until the lawn is established then we simply tell them we can't do for the reasons that the job reflects on us.

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