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cleancutlawncare5382
04-22-2010, 04:43 AM
When your customers aren't home during your visit do any of you leave a card ? I was thinking a card with my logo on the front and something like this on the back.

Mowed while you were away on _______Date and time_______.

Next scheduled visit (weather permitting) on _____Date______.

Is this a good idea or over kill?? Thanks

stevef1201
04-22-2010, 10:22 AM
If you are doing such a bad job as to announce to your customer you were there then yes. Since i am sure this is not the case, I dont think you need to. He will see the yard has been mowed. Only leave a card if you see something that yu can do that needs to be done, and give him an estimate for the work. he may not have even noticed it or not thought of you for that work. remember the more you can do the more money you can make

justin_time
04-22-2010, 10:47 AM
If you are doing such a bad job as to announce to your customer you were there then yes. Since i am sure this is not the case, I dont think you need to. He will see the yard has been mowed. Only leave a card if you see something that yu can do that needs to be done, and give him an estimate for the work. he may not have even noticed it or not thought of you for that work. remember the more you can do the more money you can make

I actually think this is a bad idea. I've had customers call me before to ask if I performed their grass and it was already performed. Maybe it is a good idea to have something like that on the back of your business card or something

Steve
04-22-2010, 10:58 AM
You know this is a really interesting topic. If you do a search you will see that this has come up many many times in the past and it can cause big problems.

There are plenty of customers who love to play games like this.

As you put this together, what do you feel would work better for you, a card or preprinted post it notes?

cleancutlawncare5382
04-22-2010, 11:36 AM
As this is my first year in business and this week marks my first return visit, the biggest question I had was when to return. The customers and I talked about this while servicing the first time but the answers were unclear. I got 3 different response – “ no more then once a week – every couple weeks – when needed”. So I was thinking if I scheduled them before leaving this would in a sense create a contract between us. They would understand my intent. Be it 7 – 10 – 14 days between cuts.

To prove I was there isn't the intent. To agree on a return date would be the goal.

jasonw
04-22-2010, 01:03 PM
All I do is leave an invoice with someone there or on the door. Our schedules are set up during the agreement to do the service so they know and I know I will be there every 2-3 weeks. If anything is different I will call later that day and let them know.

Steve
04-23-2010, 09:48 AM
I got 3 different response – “ no more then once a week – every couple weeks – when needed”. So I was thinking if I scheduled them before leaving this would in a sense create a contract between us. They would understand my intent. Be it 7 – 10 – 14 days between cuts.

Do you try and get most of them to sign up with weekly cuts? I would think the 10 and 14 day customers would be a scheduling pain and not as profitable.

jasonw
04-24-2010, 12:37 AM
Do you try and get most of them to sign up with weekly cuts? I would think the 10 and 14 day customers would be a scheduling pain and not as profitable.

Steve. I personally schedule everyone for at least every 14 days. In fall we go to 21 days and back to 14 in Spring and have no scheduling or financial issues.

cleancutlawncare5382
04-25-2010, 07:08 PM
Of the only 3 customers I have right now, They are more inclined to go 14 days between cuts. This is very hard on my machine and not the best for the lawn. As I grow I will be trying to replace these accounts with weekly ones. Gettin started you have to start somewhere.

psparaco
04-26-2010, 10:38 AM
I dont worry if my customers are home or not. Every single one of them are explained that we come out once week and they are not required to be home as stated in the general service agreement (contract). If it needs it, we cut it. If it doesn't, we normally dont cut it until the following week. I explain that bi weekly cuts are charged at normal rate times 1.5. per the contract customers have 5 days from the date the lawn was serviced to pay if paying weekly. if paying monthly, they are issued an invoice the last week of the month for the upcoming month and have 7 days or until we cut it to pay for the month. i have never done the monthly prebilling before. this is something new this year. i have the gopher software and trying to figure that out now. since i should be issueing monthly bills this week. last year i didnt need the software since i only had 15-20 clients. this year i have 30-35 clients and increasing as the weather gets warmer.
we are considering putting post it notes on the door saying we were there since when i go to collect money i have already had clients say "it doesn't look like you cut it. what did you do?" no sh** sherlock. we cut it 5 days ago. it has grown since then. i mean does every one lack common sense. each client knows which day i am scheduled to service their yard. if it rains, its postponed until the next clear day. usually i drop an invoice in their mailbox after i cut it so they know i cut it and how much they owe and when the money is due. that usually stops the complaining phone calls. most of them. 90% of my clients won't call. i call them the day before the money is due and remind them and 99% of them have the money on time.

SuperiorPower
04-26-2010, 11:45 AM
Of the only 3 customers I have right now, They are more inclined to go 14 days between cuts. This is very hard on my machine and not the best for the lawn. As I grow I will be trying to replace these accounts with weekly ones. Gettin started you have to start somewhere.

I think this is where your expertise needs to step in and say, I know you don't want your yard mowed more than once every two weeks but your yard is healthy enough that it needs to be mowed more often than that so that it will remain healthy. Then you can explain that by mowing their lawn only every two weeks they are doing themselves, their lawn, and you a big disfavor. Their lawn doesn't look as good, their lawn isn't as healthy, and your mower sees more stress.

This does 2 things for you. a) it is not as hard on your mower, and b) you will get to mow it more often and make more profit as a result.


Consider this. If you only mow lawns every two weeks but they really need to be mowed every week, you will not only work your mower harder but also, you will need about twice as many customers to stay busy. Let me explain what I mean. Let's say you can mow 25 yards per week (it may be more or less, I am just using this as an easy number). Now lets say you only mow their yards once every two weeks, you will need 50 customers to stay busy. Now, on the other hand, if you mow the yards every week, you need only 25 customers to stay busy all week, every week. That makes sense?

TeamDynamic
04-26-2010, 09:07 PM
Of the only 3 customers I have right now, They are more inclined to go 14 days between cuts. This is very hard on my machine and not the best for the lawn. As I grow I will be trying to replace these accounts with weekly ones. Gettin started you have to start somewhere.

We have a few bi-weekly cuts. They are a pain in the neck. You just have to charge those customers a little bit more. We usually take the price of a normal weekly cut and multiply by 1.5

clifderoche
04-30-2010, 08:23 AM
When your customers aren't home during your visit do any of you leave a card ? I was thinking a card with my logo on the front and something like this on the back.

Mowed while you were away on _______Date and time_______.

Next scheduled visit (weather permitting) on _____Date______.

Is this a good idea or over kill?? Thanks

I would establish a monthly billing amount, and explain to each customer beforehand that your lawn will be serviced twice a month, each week, etc. weather permitting. You will be billed at the last week of each month. Explain to them it is not required they be present to have their lawn serviced. Try to avoid the guaranteed service day of the week, this can get you in a bind. I try to inform people that if they want their lawn cut every 14 days (for example) that their lawn may get serviced a little before that or a little after that, but they WILL get two cuts per month nonetheless. All of my customers are fine with this. I've never had anyone tell me that it doesn't look like it was cut. But I pay attention close to every detail, like the edging, cleanup, and some I spray roundup around trees to make a neat circle. You can tell them that if it doesn't look like it was cut, then it must be because you do a quality job every time, the same way each time. (Although I do try to vary my mow patterns to avoid compacting grass.) Hope this helps. I think in my opinion as you get a lot of customers, you will find this sticky note thing to become a real pain, and if you ever forget to put a note, now you have given the customer a right to argue with you. To me you are better off without a PITA customer that will argue with you over whether or not you cut their grass, if you know you did cut it. Leave those customers for the low-ballers!

cleancutlawncare5382
04-30-2010, 09:00 AM
Great advice, thanks gang.
As I go forward I'm sure most of this will become 2nd nature. I like the monthly billing idea. I find myself already taking ownership of the properties I service. As I’m walking around the property I see things I would really like to improve. Some of the improvements will take time, “ months maybe the season”.

townneckmowing
04-30-2010, 06:54 PM
All my customers know up front when I'm going to be there. I set that up with them when I price the job.

Most of the time I never see the customer, I send them a invoice at the end of the month. I've never had a issue.

I do weekly,biweekly...I don't like to go longer then that with out a mow.
I have around 20 customers and 2 are "as needed"...this is my 3rd year doing this.

ACME LANDSCAPE CO
05-01-2010, 09:25 AM
i was just wondering about the companies that offer weekly service .. here in fl some companies offer this. i myself have always offered 4 cuts in the summer 2 in the winter this way i can easily figure out what the customer pays per cut on a yearly basis .. now for those that offer weekly cutting do you take in account that some months can get you into cutting 5 times per month? How do you guys account for this ?

gonecountry
05-01-2010, 09:54 AM
I offer weekly and biweekly service only. I used to play that ''call me when it needs mowing stuff'' and it got really old and I was doing it every 14-20 days for the same price as a weekly mow and the grass was 6'' tall. I will never do that again. I put a clause in the estimate form that explains that payment is due after completion of services, or if no one is there, I will simply leave the bill in an envelope with my mailing address on it in a designated area, mailbox whereever they want it.

jdc493
05-01-2010, 03:33 PM
Unless the customer has pre-paid for service, we leave an invoice on their front door. If they're home we generally always get paid right then. I think it's always a good idea to leave something when they're not there...think it's just good customer service.

Mosierdoug
05-03-2010, 04:57 PM
When your customers aren't home during your visit do any of you leave a card ? I was thinking a card with my logo on the front and something like this on the back.

Mowed while you were away on _______Date and time_______.

Next scheduled visit (weather permitting) on _____Date______.

Is this a good idea or over kill?? Thanks

Be careful telling them when you'll be there next. Try to establish that up front and don't talk about it much after that. I'm not suggesting you be dishonest, but the more information you offer, the more opportunity they may change the schedule. Not always but some. I have found when you call to ask about the cut schedule, it sometimes leaves the door open to mind changing which all too often is bad for the lawn care guy. FYI