Clean sites, happy customers

The last thing a customer wants to see when arriving home is a big mess left by their lawn care company. But with the right tools, training and care, you can prevent complaints, and even get some compliments.

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Green Lawn Fertilizing in West Chester, Pa., takes cleanup seriously, especially when technicians can’t talk to customers face to face during routine stops. “In this business, a lot of times, the customer isn’t there to talk to our technician, so the first thing they’re going to do when they get home is they’re going to see stuff all over their driveway or something that wasn’t cleaned up properly,” says Chris DeJohn, operations manager. “That’s what’s going to jump out at them so the last thing we want to do for somebody we weren’t able to instill our customer service is have them pull up and see a bunch of fertilizer or product spill that wasn’t cleaned up properly.”

Green Lawn applies granular fertilizer, limestone and liquid products like pesticides and herbicides to more than 500 stops a day with only one or two complaints a month. The company receives the same amount of compliments for their thorough cleanup.

While crews’ track records are good, mistakes do happen. The biggest challenge for the company is granular limestone, which is dark brown in color. On a dark driveway, it can be extremely difficult to see stray particles. That is, until it rains. When the granules get wet, they’ll leave a white residue that looks almost like chalk.

The company constantly reminds crews about the importance of blowing off driveways and if DeJohn sees that a technician has a lot of lime loaded up for the day, he’ll even give an extra reminder. “Even if it’s a veteran guy that’s been here for eight years, it’s ‘Oh man, make sure you’re blowing everything off tomorrow,’” he says.

If there is a complaint about a stained driveway, DeJohn will go with the service technician and they’ll power wash the area to the customer’s satisfaction.

At Green Lawn, cleanup is just part of the application process, so if crews don’t do it, “they technically wouldn’t be doing their job,” DeJohn says. Every technician has a leaf blower and an extendable broom and dustpan to clean up spills and blow application debris off of areas like porches, sidewalks and decks. Since cleanup tools are used 15 to 25 times per day, Green Lawn invests in good quality tools.

“That’s something that we’re turning to every day,” DeJohn says. “We go with the top of the line when it comes to that. That takes a beating so it’s extremely important to us and it’s not something where we’re looking to cut corners or cheapen out where we’re trying to clean up.”

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