Should you move lawn care customers to make your route more efficient?

Have you taken the time to sit down and think about your lawn care route? Is it an efficient route that allows you to mow customers that live in the same neighborhoods on the same day? Or is your route a mess that causes you to have to drive all around town every day of the week? If you find your lawn mowing route could be made more efficient, what is the best way to move customers around to achieve this? That is what one entrepreneur wanted to know on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One lawn care business owner wrote “one of the issues I am currently having a problem with is my lawn mowing route. The way I have it ordered and who I mow on which day seems very inefficient. So I am wondering from those that have a pretty full residential lawn mowing customer base, have you ever changed the day you mow their account so it’s more efficient for you?

This busy season, I have been signing up 15 new lawn care customers a month and have been adding them where the customer requests to be mowed during the week. But this is driving me crazy. I would like to know how others handle this. As you get more clients, do you move the days around that you mow their lawns so it’s more efficient or do you just mow the best you can with what the customer requests of you?

Efficient lawn mowing route.

Efficient lawn mowing route.

Say at the beginning of the season customer Johnson’s lawn was being cut on Friday but now that I have signed more customers up in his neighborhood, I’d really like to cut it on Tuesday as that would allow me to only have to visit that neighborhood once a week and not twice. Can I move the mowing date without getting the customer angry and risk losing them? Is it worth attempting this?”

A second lawn care business owner said “I have tried to move lawn care customers around in my lawn care route and have had quite a few problems with it. It seems the big problems I run into have to do with my clients wanting their lawn looking absolutely perfect for the weekend and would rather have their lawn mowed at the end of the week. For me this causes all kinds of problems with not having enough crews to send out to different parts of town near the end of the week. Sometimes I have just had to tell them that they are getting mowed on a Tuesday because that’s all I can currently offer.

Another thing I was thinking of doing next season was offering my Thursday and Friday spots available for a premium price because those are the most requested days to have lawns mowed on.”

A third added “I switch my lawn care customers around when needed and have yet to have any customer difficulties with it. Depending on the days your switching, you may lose out on a week’s payment for a couple houses. That’s really the only issue I have ran into but I was fully prepared to deal with that as it made my lawn care routes more efficient for the season.”

A fourth shared “the easiest way to handle this is to move the new customer into a spot to fit your mowing schedule. It’s just not worth driving all around town to mow different customers lawns on different days. You can drastically effect the total number of properties you can mow in a day if you have to spend too much time on the road.

If you tell a new customer you have a free spot on Tuesday and they say something like ‘well I want my lawn mowed on Friday,’ simply tell them you don’t have a spot open for them on that day. It’s that simple.

It’s simply not worth messing around trying to raise the price for certain days just to mow a lawn in another neighborhood on a day you’re not there. You could charge them twice as much and still not recoup your costs depending on how far they are out of the way that day.”

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