Ya have to know the customer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOW ED, Sep 7, 2003.

  1. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I have to relate a short (medium) story that happened to me. I have a small group of customers, 25 in all that my wife and I mow every week. I deal with many other customers when they want spring/fall cleans and I also have a group of fert only customers.

    My weekly mow customers are my focus and should be yours also. Most of these customers have been with me from year one or two. They have received the price raises and have continued on with me. I have an old widow who always writes a small thank you with her payment. Aside from mowing, her addons are the spring and fall clean as well as gutter cleaning twice a year. She is an old farm girl of 83 years old so she likes to work in her yard. She liked to edge her lawn with the hula hoe and has done so every year up til this one. It took her a long time being the house is a corner lot with long walks and driveway.

    Last week I broke 2 days of mowing into 3 so I had extra time. When I stopped there I had my edger on the trailer. I thought, what the heck I'll start edging and if she comes out I'll just tell her its free. She never came out and I finished the job in 20 minutes. It looked great. When we invoiced I added a short letter explaining how the edging was done and it was free as a token of customer appreciation.

    When her check for the monthly mowing came there was a little note folded up inside also. Within that note she explained how greatful she was that I edged because she had eye surgery and she could not get out to do any work while she recovered. She saw the edging as a BIG job and she was very thankful it was done. She also added a check for $20.00 for my wife and I.

    I certainly did not want to get paid for it but it made me feel good. I have some customers that I know would not appreciate a freebie like that and they don't get it but since I don't have lots of customers I can get a feel for their personalities. This lady NEVER complains and never asks for little extras or freebies like some do. It is not that I always mind doing a little extra for the customers but I do have a few that want to abuse that.

    Get to know your customers. Surprise them sometimes. I know that she is a great customer and I feel good knowing that she is happy. That usually spreads. Take care.
  2. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    Thanks for sharing Mow Ed

    Nice story, and I agree, understand and have experienced everything you have posted.

    There are alot of people out there that reafirm my belief and appreciation of humanity.
  3. Navig8r

    Navig8r LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 477

    Never forget the old sale mantra "Under promise & over-deliver"

    You treat her good and she treats you good...... She'll always be your customer! Its nice to know there are some people like this around, it helps to make you feel better after you deal with another one who says "the other guy did it for xxx.xx"

    If you're not comfortable with accepting the payment she sent, send her a small flower arrangement or something of the like around the holidays to make up for it. I know many will say screw that, you did the work, take the $$$, but I understand why you did it, and I would not feel right with her paying me for a service that she never asked for, that cost me next to $0.00 to perform. Just my thoughts...

    Good for you for taking extra care of a senior citizen. :angel:
  4. TotalCareSolutions

    TotalCareSolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 518

    #1 I wasnt there, but my associate had a weedeater break down, the only one there. Anyhow, he deducted $5 from the price w/ a very brief explanation. I got a full page Thank You letter from the customer.

    #2 After forgetting for a month, I remembered to mow a small area that had collected leaves, turning such into more of a mulch bed than a leaf pile. Never bothered billing the customer, it took 10 Mins and I had let it go to long. She reminded me the next month that I had forgotten to bill for the extra, I told her I spent the money to buy some patience from her. She sent $15 and a note that we work too hard not to bill folks for services!

    It happens like that occasionally.

  5. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 976

    MOW ED, thanks for the nice story. I am also quite fortunate to have some truely wonderful customers that make my week. It's those customers that make this business a pleasure instead of a job. Thank you for being so considerate. Sometimes it's people like you that make the world a more pleasant place. Have a great week and God bless you.
  6. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    Thanks Mow Ed for the positive story.
    There are some truly nice folks out there that do make it really worth while.
  7. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    I have tears in my eyes. Thank's mow-ed:cry:
  8. griffin16

    griffin16 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    Great story Mow Ed.

    The world is a far better place with you in it.

    I had a customer cut his own lawn one week. So I didn't bill him that week. He paid me for not doing his lawn and gave me a big fat tip at the end of the season.
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    great story

Share This Page