Complaints are Opportunities

Customer Complaint, I say landscaper business opportunityIn the last few weeks several landscape contractors have told me of calls from their customers who are complaining about high water bills. Look at complaints as opportunities to solve problems. Be grateful your customer called, they still see you as a resource to help solve problems; if they didn’t, they would not be calling.

When you get calls like this it becomes an opportunity to explain the value of smart irrigation control. Your best judgment is used to program conventional sprinkler controllers, but you can’t afford to be there every time the weather changes. To avoid stressing the landscape, controller programming is often based on the worst case scenario. Smart controllers can be your best friend and helper.

When you pitch a smart controller, anticipate the question; “How much money will it save me?” To be honest, we don’t know. We can’t forecast the weather and we are not sure how much overwatering has been going on. Smart control is all about eliminating wasteful over watering.

The savings our customers see varies over the season. Most over watering occurs in the spring and fall; when the weather changes are often more extreme. But, that being said we are generally seeing a 30% to 40% reduction in water use over the year.

Let me show you a simple approach I have found helps customers get their head around the potential for savings. Here is a recent example. The contractor got a call from their customer. The customer was complaining about the water bill; it was about $1,000.00. It helps to break this down. If the sprinkler timer was set to water every other day, the system watered 15 times in a month (every other day for 30 days is 15 days). The cost to water each night was $66 (1000 / 15 = 66).

I just checked the Controller Link logs on a couple sites in August that only watered 12 days. This means Controller Link watered 3 days less than the traditional “every-other-day”. With a Controller Link this customer could have saved $198 in August (3 x $66 = $198) or about 20%.

It gets better. I am now looking at September; today is the 19th. These same Controller Links have allowed watering only 4 times in 19 days. If they were still watering every-other-day, as many are, Controller Link eliminated 6 unnecessary watering days, saving so far this month $396.00 (6 x $66 = $396) or 60%.

Do you see the approach? Look at the cost to water each night by comparing the monthly cost over how many days the clock is programmed to water. Controller Link, smart irrigation control, knows when to water and only allows watering when the landscape needs it; the result, wasteful over watering is eliminated. You can save your customer money and save your self the time of reprogramming controllers when the weather changes.