The entire customer experience has got to impress

The other day, I told you about my first experience with a neighborhood lawn care company.

There’s a little more to the story.

The national franchises that returned my calls the first day also gave me instant pricing. They told me exactly what it would cost for the number of treatments my lawn would get.

They were able to price it quickly because they both had access to a satellite photo of my property. I guess, from looking at the photo, they could estimate the size of my yard.

Measuring Wheel.  Too bad it can't measure the value of a customer experience.

Measuring Wheel.
Too bad it can’t measure the value of a customer experience.

It doesn’t really matter exactly how they did it. All I know is that they answered my questions satisfactorily: Can you kill the weeds? Can you make my lawn green? How many treatments? What’s the price?

On the other hand, when I finally reached the local guy by phone, I was told that someone would stop by “sometime next week” – which I initially accepted.

But after reaching the franchises, and getting immediate response, I called the local guy again. After I explained the situation (on Friday), I was told that they would try to get someone to stop by on Monday.

So, a guy did get to my house on Monday morning. He pulled out a measuring wheel from his truck and walked the yard. He then went back to his truck and calculated square footage and pricing. When he emerged, the price he quoted was a lot more than one of the franchises.

So, not only did I have to wait four extra days for a quote, when I finally got it, it was significantly higher.

To say the least, pricing is an important part of the overall customer experience.

After all that, the decision wasn’t difficult. Every vendor promised to rid my lawn of (most of) the weeds and all of the grubs. All three will make my grass beautifully green.

But to justify a considerably higher price, the neighborhood company really had to impress me in some other way. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

(By the way, the experiences with the national programs weren’t perfect. For example, neither would email their quotes).

Now, you know I love small business. I know how hard small business owners work. But there’s a better way. You can be more efficient and responsive. The technology is available to help you manage your time. (You can see satellite photos, too, can’t you?)

How many other jobs have you lost because you haven’t responded well? What’s the dollar value of the loss – not only this year, but for a lifetime?