Are you setting up barriers between you and potential lawn care customers?

Different business policies will bring you different types of experiences with your lawn care customers. Different areas will also have an impact on the way your lawn care business is run as well. Some areas will have wealthier homeowners that are able to pay bills on time, while other areas may present more of a challenge. Your business policies and how you handle your customers can greatly effect the outcome you achieve. Let’s take a look at this in action from a discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and see how handling these issues effect the results these lawn care business owners get.

One lawn care business owner wrote “so the typical potential lawn care customer in my area is usually ignorant. The other day I talked to a guy that was interested in my lawn care services. Here is a bit of how our conversation went.

I told him ‘as soon as you pay, I’ll get started on the work. I will be available on x date and will wait for your call to collect payment and get started.’

He never called…. UNTIL the phone rang a week later and this is how it went!!!!

Customer: You never showed up to cut my grass & the week is over!

Me: You didn’t call me so I would be able collect your payment.

Customer: So? You still could have done it, it’s not like I’m going anywhere!

Me: Sorry, you have to pay before we do any work.

Customer: Thanks for your service, I’m going to hire someone else!

Me: Ok, perfect! *hang up*

These people really piss me off. I literally want to just *********** … you know…

I just don’t have the time anymore to explain to them, ‘Listen, if I have to work first and then chase each and every customer down and then argue with them while I wait for their payment, after the work is completed, I’ll be out of business! Surprisingly & believe me, most people would rather ignore me when payments are due. You have NO idea how difficult this is to deal with, you really don’t! I have had no choice but to change my policy and collect payments before any work is done.

Sure you might be an honest person, but why should I risk my business? I have dealt with all sorts of people who have burned me in the past by allowing them to pay after the work was completed and then never getting the check. I’m not going to let it happen anymore! If you don’t want to hire my lawn care services and be a satisfied customer like all the rest, that’s fine with me - it makes my life easier!”

A second lawn care business owner shared “in my area, we never ask for payment up front, if it’s simply for lawn care. Most of my customers probably wouldn’t go for it either. To date, I have never been burned on getting paid. What I have found that improves my interaction with the customer and adds to the total customer experience is meeting the customer in person to present them a bid for lawn care. If a customer meets with me face to face and I have a verbal agreement with them, I think it greatly lowers the risk of not getting paid at the end of the month.

Maybe the area you are providing lawn care service to is just not capable of matching your desired results. Have you considered looking to provide lawn care services to a richer part of town? Also, have you considered meeting with your customers in person? Or possibly even using a lawn care agreement/contract? There is no point in getting mad at your potential customers because they don’t agree with your business policies. By setting up barriers, you also run the risk of scaring them all off to local competitors.

Experiment with different business policies and with mowing different areas. Find the policies and customer base that work best for you and constantly fine tune it all to work smoother and smoother. Don’t throw up road blocks, instead, find solutions.”

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