Charge more for picky lawn care customers?

What do lawn care customers want? Their requirements can vary widely. Some may simply want the township off their back and not care how their lawn looks. Others will be very meticulous and want high quality lawn care service. What should you do when you service a customer with a smaller mower and then scale up and get a bigger mower but the customer decides he wants you to mow his lawn with the old smaller mower because he feels it looks better? Should you charge him more? Should you offer different levels of lawn care service? How should a lawn care business owner handle all these requests and varying levels of lawn care?

One business owner wrote about such a topic on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and asked “I have a lawn care customer who was my first customer ever. He is a nice older man but he is very particular about his lawn. When I first started I mowed his lawn with a 21inch walk behind mower. This year I picked up 14 more customers and got a ZTR mower to perform the mowing faster. After 2 cuts he told me he doesn’t like the way the new mower cuts and for me to cut the lawn with my 21 inch. He thinks the weight of the machine is leaving ruts in the lawn. I said alright then he has asked me to edge between the street and the side walk. I never heard of doing that but I said fine. Now this week he wants me to edge all his beds! He said if I wanted I could charge him extra for doing that. Ok this account is taking longer and longer to do. Should I charge him extra for all the additions like $23 base plus edging fee of $5 or do I just raise my price to say $27 per week? What do you guys think?”

One lawn care business owner responded and said “I’d just raise the price and say ‘this is the new per cut price.’ People seem to be more annoyed/skeptical when you present stuff as extra ‘fees’ in my experience.”

Another shared his way of handling such customers. “I offer three different lawn care packages, which starts at my basic service and goes all the way up to the deluxe. The lowest priced service is simply a mow and go for people that just need to avoid a fine or something from the city or maybe can’t afford lawn care. They also might not be physically able to mow their own lawn. With the second level service I add trimming. The third level includes edging. I blow off driveways and walks with all.

I have been getting $45 for average lawns on the deluxe then $55 on larger lots. I offer 20% discount to members of the military because I live near a military base.

My girlfriend’s mom works at the township water department and she allows me to display my business cards on the counter where people come in to pay their water bill. So far, they have been taking quite a few of them as I am getting a good response from those business cards!”

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