What's your callback policy?

Rockbridge Lawn Care LLC

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Central Maryland
If it was me I'd talk them up-sell to 4-5 apps...and clearly explain that 3 apps is the bare minimum company standard. Even offer that the app today is free if they sign up for 5 apps now!... again explain the benefits and guarantees that they would get for the up-sell...(cuz I'd be/you'de be there doing the re-spray either way)

The boss says to go re-spray to cover customer service in a sense in the hopes of securing the HOA sale for next year. Two backyards is a small cost compared to the HOA in his rational (assuming the financials approve of this). EVEN MORE so if your company currently does the apps and mowing for the HOA...If your boss is a subcontractor to the mowing company then boss-man might be softening up potential clients as he's looking to expand/ sell more houses next year and it would make those new sales easier if the neighbors didn't complain by coming back and "fixing" Sall Sue's property.
 

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
We offer free service calls for customers who get at least 4 out of 5 of our program. MIGHT do one if it is a 3 apper who got rain right after app.

We tell ANYONE up front who wants 3 apps that they can EXPECT weeds and we offer zero service calls. It even says in our proposals to them. We'll still get calls but rarely will we do anything about them
I'd assume you have a time limit for service calls? I would not go back 4-5 weeks after an app for a retreat, that's handing out a freebie. Up to two weeks after I could see.
 

ted putnam

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Arkansas
This thread is going to have me ranting some but I'm curious how others handle it as I won't be doing this as an employee forever.

I treat the front yards for a large subdivision, 320 houses. They only pay for 3 apps a year, and we'll treat backyards while we are there if a resident wants to pay for it.

Last treatment was the first week of July, and now I'm apparently being sent for 2 callbacks there to respray 2 months later!

This is absurd to me. If they were willing to pay for a proper amount of applications I'd have been there this or next week already. Instead they are getting a free treatment because my boss has no spine!

And of course I'm the one who has to show up and pretend like I didn't do a good job the last time because he's encouraged that stupidity. By giving in and retreating this long after aren't we just telling them it's okay to call us back whenever there is a weed in the lawn?

We apply prodiamine with the first round but I've honestly never been impressed with it's performance. We'll apply Dimension as well for extra but exactly one resident has been willing to pay for it.

How would you all handle it if someone called 8 weeks after an app to complain about weeds?

I'd bet my left nutsedge they are all around the perimeter of the lawn where hacks have constantly scalped the grass down with a trimmer as well.
We try to keep our lawns on a 7-8 week rotation so that's a "no go Houston". You want a respray at 8 weeks, you'll get one...for a regular application price.
We offer a 30 day guarantee on our work for anything other than a full (6 apps)program customer...period. FREE service calls are for full program customers only. I'm pretty strict on this. I don't put up with 3 app customers that expect a 6 app lawn for too long
 

Hineline

LawnSite Bronze Member
Important accounts like big HOA's might get a mid summer ride through where we will spot spray any obvious problems along the street and front yards. This is a non scheduled app. My HOA's are all five apps so we want to keep them happy. Any three app'rs will have to wait for the next app or step up their game. I also explain to customers that they may see some weeds in between apps and we won't come out until the next scheduled app. We are thorough during the app but weeds happen. That's why we spray 5 times per year.
 
OP
T

That Guy Gary

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
SW Idaho
I'd love to go heavy on the dye and smurf the place up.

They're scheduled at the end of my route today so now the moochers are delaying my weekend as well. :realmad:

One of them is a large corner lot with poorly designed landscaping. Lots of huge, unmaintained lilacs and fruit trees with limbs drooping down to within a foot of the ground smack dab in the middle of the lawn. Lots of spot spraying!
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
Let me just throw one caveat out there tho.

The 320 unit housing development is one customer , the pickups for the non common areas ARE another customer.
What happens when those three complainers move and now they live in their own house with an acre and a half?
You’ve trained them that they only need three apps and that any complaint is free... because three apps should be a guaranteed weed free yard.

The customer isn’t going to realize or factor the leverage of the large contract they are related to, they think only about themselves.

Documentation in this situation is extremely important
You must CHARGE the customer for the call back and then add a credit line stating “multi unit housing contract courtesy”
So their ammednded balance is zero.

This way they SEE the $45 up charge and the cNt complain because they don’t owe the fee.

This does two things
Trains the customer to know those things are NOT free and it’s NOT part of their three app program

And
Leaves an opening to charge to upsell in the future

“Ma’am last year the three app program didn’t get the results you expected, I suggest getting four apps this year, as you called us back for the fourth last year, it’s normslly a $45 application but I can put it in your program for $37.50”

If she declines and says why should she have to pay , you did it for free last year
Now you can point out that you gave her a courtesy credit because of the big HOA contract, but that it does indeed cost something.
If she still declines, but calls up again for the fourth free application, you have all the documentation, you already gave her a freebie, she declined and you can again tell her, the fourth application is necessary to get the results you want and the additinL charge is $50.00 would you like to schedule it right now?

“What? You said it was $37.50 in the spring?”
Ma’am that was the in contract price.
This is the call out price
But if you like I can schedule the service and make a note to amend the contract so that you get the $37.50 price, would you like me to do that now?

If she still refuses , oh well, she’s been given all she has paid for.

If she signs up for 37.50, next year you can say.. I see you had the four app program last year, for only $25.75 more I can upgrade you to the full 5 app program that does this , that and the other wonderful thing....

That’s how you build difficult customers into a solid customer base
 

dfcam

LawnSite Member
Location
Western idaho
I have all the time in the world, but it's not exactly a few minutes as it's a ways from the shop and it's not in the area I'm servicing right now.

I'm not a big fan of politics, couldn't care less if he's going to be a board member.

The board member that really pushed for us to get the contract doesn't even let us treat his property. :laugh:

I have no problem standing by my products and services but I don't believe in giving them away for free, especially if it sets a precedent that encourages them to just call us whenever there is a weed in the lawn.

I kill weeds that are actively growing in the lawn.

If you don't want more weeds to germinate after that pay for pre emergents.

I'm going to do it. It doesn't directly affect my income or finances. I admit I could be overreacting and making a big issue out of nothing, but I've dealt with enough folks that will milk you for everything they can that I'm wary of handing out freebies.
I think if you tell them next time you are in the area you will take care of it is the right thing to do....are you right in saying it was 2 months ago or whenever s**t yeah, unfortunately being right doesn't pay the bills, service does...
 

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