How to Choose a Lawn Care Company
The lawn service industry is like any other industry. There are many to choose from and it’s sometimes difficult to really know how to choose the best. In most large markets, there are a few great ones, the majority are good to OK, and some cannot be trusted or will be out of business within a year or so of this writing.
Do you want a company that specializes in the fertilization and weed-control, with you doing your own mowing? Do you want a full-service company that does it all?
In most cases, companies that specialize in mainly the chemical aspect of lawn care with fertilizer and herbicide applications will be better equipped and trained for these specialized services.
Many landscape companies who do mowing and maintenance may do fine with that, but the weed-control and fertilization needs take a back seat to other tasks. And many of these companies don’t have the trained technicians or even the proper certification to provide chemical treatments. A good analogy is, if you had to have shoulder surgery, would you go to your family doctor or an orthopedic surgeon? Both may be doctors, and quite good, but a specialist has more training and experience with the shoulder, so I’m going with them! Same with dealing with issues such as controlling weeds, turf disease, fertility, and other turf problems. A specialist will do a better job, as that’s mainly what their focus is.
Lawn care is a service, and it’s really difficult to make a decision on service without touching and feeling it, as one would with a product. There are some key things to look for however which will usually clue you in as to who the best lawn care company is to service your lawn.
- Are they licensed and legal? Check with the state licensing agency, the Department of Agriculture, to insure they are.
- Are they insured properly? If they are licensed by the state?
- How does their equipment look? Is it old, dirty, and worn looking, or clean and new?
- What is the appearance of their employees? Are they in uniform?
- Are they members of professional trade organizations, such as the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), the local Chamber of Commerce, etc?
- What are their online reviews like, such as Angie’s List, and BBB?
- How long have they been in business? How many customers do they serve?
- Do they have local ownership, and do they give back to the communities they serve?
- What type of guarantee do they have?
- Does there website look professional, with good lawn and landscape information on it?
- Ask them about the products they use, and their programs. How often do they come out to service the lawn?
From my 32 years of experience in caring for lawns, I really think it all boils down to the people applying the materials, the quality and timing of those materials, and the experience and responsiveness of the company. The chart below has a checklist to use in comparing LawnAmerica to other companies.
|Do they provide free service calls when needed in between regular treatments to control difficult weeds? Do they have a guarantee to continue coming out until the problem is fixed?||YES!||?|
|Do they offer choices of programs, from 4 up to 7 treatments per season, so you can choose the right service level for you?||YES!||?|
|Do they use quality slow-release nitrogen fertilizer to help even out and lengthen nutrient release and provide healthier turf?||YES!||?|
|Do they blow fertilizer off concrete areas like sidewalks and patios?||YES!||?|
|Do they let you know on each invoice when they'll be out for the next treatment, call or e-mail before coming, and stay on a consistent schedule during the season?||YES!||?|
|Do they use cutting-edge weed-control products, such as Echelon in mid-spring and Specticle in fall, leading to superior weed control?||YES!||?|
|Do they educate homeowners on lawns, landscapes, and their service, with newsletters and other lawn and landscape information with each service? Do they have a great website for customer communication and information? Are all Managers Certified Landscape Professionals?||YES!||?|
|Do they have local ownership, do they know how to care for lawns, with over 31 years of lawn care experience in the Tulsa area?||YES!||?|
|Will you usually have the same lawn service person on your lawn each time? Is that person educated, friendly, honest, and motivated to treat you and your lawn right? Do they average over 5 years of lawn care experience? Will they call you back if you have a question?||YES!||?|
|Do they contribute to the community, and are they members of professional organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, Homebuilders Association, and the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP)?||YES!||?|
|Are they 6-time winners of the Angie's List Super Service Award, and 6-time winners of the Oklahoma Magazine Best of the best? BBB A+ rating?||YES!||?|
|Can they quantify their customer satisfaction? Do they serve more homeowners in Oklahoma than any other local company? Do they have industry-leading customer retention of 85%? Are 94% of their customers so pleased that they refer their friends and neighbors?||YES!||?|
|Will people who have never even seen your lawn constantly call you trying to sell you stuff you may not even need, or apply products that are not needed in Oklahoma such as lime during the winter?||NO!!!||?|
LawnAmerica is your BEST choice for truly professional lawn care! NOBODY has the experience, track record, quality people, care, and guaranteed results that LawnAmerica has.
- Brad Johnson, LawnAmerica