Remember how you always got along with your parents?
If your upbringing was anything like mine, it felt like your parents made you do EVERYTHING:
“Do the dishes! Clean your room! Mow the lawn!”
Now, imagine you go back to when you were 13 years old.
What if your parents came home … after a long day … and they see that you already did all the chores?
They would be shocked.
Your clients are a lot like your parents. They expect you to be as bad as every other lawn company.
But if you can surprise your clients by being different … they will shower you in dollar bills.
Prove that you are better. Fix these top 15 complaints clients have about the typical lawn care company:
The Top 15 Things Customers Hate about the Typical Lawn Care Company
We scoured the negative reviews from hundreds of lawn companies around the United States and Canada.
These are the top 15 complaints we saw that “broke the client’s back,” and made them leave their lawn care provider:
#1 – “Help! They left the gate open and my dog ran away!”
It’s not hard, but this complaint comes up all the time. Set a reminder for after your job, if you need to. Make certain the gate gets shut.
#2 – They don’t answer the phone.
#3 – They break things, and don’t tell the client.
Accidents happen. The best way to deal with them is to notify them, apologize, and fix it ASAP.
#4 – They are always late.
If you give appointment times, keep them. If you’re going to be late, call. Clients appreciate your accountability.
#5 – “Weren’t they supposed to mow my lawn today…?”
Stick to your schedule and give notice when it must change. No stay-at-home parent wants to reschedule a play-date because you came a day late to treat their yard.
#6 – “Who the heck is that?”
Try to maintain continuity on your crews. People like to see familiar faces because they develop relationships with people they see all the time. If you shift around who does what every week, you miss an opportunity for clients to have that connection.
#7 – “You missed a spot.”
Spotty service comes from overworked, rushed, or poorly-trained employees. Make sure your employees know what they’re doing and have an adequate amount of time to get it done.
No one wants to see a filthy pickup truck parked at the end of their driveway. Make sure your vehicles are clean (within reason) and carry your company’s logo.
#9 – They leave behind a mess.
Don’t leave clippings on the sidewalk or on the street. Don’t blow debris onto window sills. That’s the first sign of a cheapskate.
Leave nothing behind, but a job well done.
#10 – “What am I paying for? This invoice is so confusing!”
Your invoices should be as simple as you can make them. Dates of service, rates, your name/logo, their name. Don’t make it hard for your clients to pay you.
#11 – Their invoices are unprofessional.
Double check the spelling and grammar of your invoice descriptions and the text that’s on every invoice. Have someone take a look for you. It’s a simple step and maintains your image as a high-quality professional.
#12 – They are not clear with their prices and service descriptions.
Your teams need to know what they sell and how to set proper expectations for new customers. Make it clear when something costs extra and explain why (additional labor, product, etc.)
#13 – They make clients repeat themselves.
Nobody wants to explain their problem to three different people, three different times.
Keep notes from calls, so you give consistent information and make the client feel that your company always listens.
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#14 – They are rude and condescending on the phone.
Be polite and courteous on the phone. Make sure your office staff is as well. You want clients to feel heard and valued. If your staff is rude or disrespectful, your clients will run away.
#15 – They don’t deal with complaints.
Take charge when a client complains. Commit to a solution and tell your client about your plan of action. No news is not good news; it’s bad news.
There are some critical questions you should always ask your new clients:
- What do you wish I would focus on?
- What did your last lawn care provider do that was great?
- What did your last lawn provider do that made you angry?
If you hurt a client, you have to carefully nurse the relationship back to health. If you avoid the pain in the first place, you will build a stronger relationship with the client.
The better your relationship, the longer they stick around and the more you can upsell to them.
When in doubt, remember your parents. How would you “wow” them?
Patrick Hoffman is Marketing Director at Service Autopilot. He specializes in managing marketing campaigns and giving marketing strategies to the Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Cleaning Industries. When he's not writing, he's reading books on marketing, self-improvement, or science fiction.