Updated: Mar 26, 2020
Those that know our business and know us personally will understand that we are committed in taking a pro-active part in dealing with Coronavirus. We moved early to implement temporary changes with our service over the weekend of 14/15th March, implementing these changes ahead of Government advice on 16th March. Our customer communication can be viewed below, along with further updates.
As a business, we feel fortunate that we can continue to offer our services with less than negligible risk to our team, customers and wider contacts. Spring is a very busy time of year for our trade, and we continue to gain requests for lawn surveys. Our overriding aim is to minimise face to face contact. Where personal contact is required, this is kept to a minimum while at a safe distance. Upon contacting us for a survey at current, we will look to gain as much relevant information over the phone as possible to aid the above objectives. We may be able to measure your lawn online if possible at the time, or certainly give you a price estimate based on the size of your lawn. We can explain much of our service over the phone, rather than in person. This just leaves us with a visual inspection of your lawn, which we can carry out with 'social distancing' measures as described. If you would prefer, we can call you later in the day to describe our findings and recommendations. This is nothing new to us - we carry this our customers who are at work on a daily basis for both surveys and standard visits. We've many customers we see maybe only once a year due to work who love what we do. Some new enquires may wish to meet us briefly in person, which is completely acceptable also. We will not however be able to come into / through your home for the time being, or come into close contact.
It appears that the Coronavirus risk could be with us for a short number of months into the summer. We are all going to be spending more time at home and in the garden, regardless of age. Of all years, we really do want to help as many people as possible with our service this year. It's important that we look after our mental wellbeing collectively and remember to smile! Being out in the garden can help to achieve this.
The following information has already been communicated with our current customers. This shows what you can expect from us at the current time in terms of service, and how seriously we are taking the health of our valued customers. As above, we're looking to take conversations we may have had in person over the phone, or onto email. This process is only temporary, and exists to protect all of our stakeholders.
'The current Coronavirus situation looks to become an uncertain time for everyone in the coming weeks. We would like to assure you that the health of our team and customers is our absolute priority. As a small business dependent on two individuals to carry out service calls it is important that we take precautions to maintain our own health. This is all the more important with many of our customers within the ‘at risk’ category. Given we are working in the great outdoors independently with no interaction required, we feel fortunate that we can mitigate risks with a few small changes – unlike other less fortunate businesses. To lessen the likelihood of a break in our services, and in order to provide maximum protection for you, our customers, we will be making the following temporary changes to our service centred around minimising our face to face contact for the time being. These temporary process changes will be introduced with immediate effect (16/3/20). Confirming the treatment call We will continue to send our service emails prior to our call. We are keen to ensure that you maintain the ability to raise questions or concerns about your lawn. You can do this by either emailing or telephoning before the visit.
On arrival We will knock, then like other services e.g. window cleaner, get straight to work.
On completing the treatment If we notice anything abnormal with your lawn or have any concerns, we will email them through after our visit with our condition report, rather than discuss on the doorstep. Additionally, we ask: 1) That customers who normally pay via cash or cheque, do so via bank transfer or direct debit where at all possible. Maybe a relative could pay online on your behalf for now?* 2) Should we need to take payment in person, or be allowed access through a garage, we ask that we keep conversation brief and respect a 2 metre distance / social distancing measures at all times. 3) If you are self-isolating, please do not come to the door. If you are self-isolating and we need to accept payment / access a garage, please let us know so we can rebook your call for when you have completed your self-isolation period. We hope that our reasons for making these changes are understandable for not only our health but your own, and customers ‘at risk’. If we could work together to practice social distancing where in-person communication is required then we can do our bit to combat this virus while going about our services normally. There is no reason as to why there should be disruption to your service providing we can stay fit and well ourselves. If you have any concerns regarding this temporary process, please contact us to discuss this further.'
*Our bank details are as follows. If paying via bank transfer please use your customer number as per your emailed invoice. If you do not have an email address, please use your name as a reference so we can mark off your payment. Kingsbury Lawn Care Ltd – HSBC Account number 9207 2114 Sort code 40 43 28 Sincerely, Jack Chapman Kingsbury Lawn Care Ltd
18/3 - Is anyone showing symptoms at current? Everyone is fit at well at current - us as a team and customers which we have spoke to via email, phone and from a distance in recent days. This confirms our action has been timely. If either myself or Pete (our field team) have any virus symptoms whatsoever we will be following Government advice to the letter, without delay. This will mean likely disruption to service at some point in time. We ask customers to be patient with us as this is far more positive than the latter. The grass can cope for 7-14 days!
Will you be carrying out 'through the house' calls? We will not be entering any homes at current, regardless of if they are self-isolating or an at risk group. These calls have been postponed.
Can I still pay by cash?
After our earlier gentle nudge, we are unable to accept any cash payments. Payments are being made via online means due to the transfer risk and due to the fact we are applying our social distancing policy strictly, which now aligns with the latest Government address as referred below.
Update, 24th March (Extract from further customer communication)
Following the broadcast from Mr Johnson last night, we welcome these in order to protect our public health.
I watched the broadcast and have read the transcript several times. It is clear that the new measures are not shutting down businesses, with the exception of non-essential shops. It is clear that they the Government still want people to work, but to work from home wherever that is at all possible. The text below is quoted from the Government guidance…
You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:
Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
My primary concern is for the health and wellbeing of our clients, staff and loved-ones. Having given the matter very careful consideration we can continue to provide our services to existing clients. We work outside and are completing our work without coming into contact with any other person - provided our guidance continues to be followed.
We aim to work hard to provide you with an uninterrupted service until the Government notify us that we must stop. Until then we aim to continue to support all of our clients, keep our staff safe and employed and make a positive financial contribution to HMRC, so we can support the industries whose needs are far greater than our own.
There will be a statement from the UK Lawn Care Association today which will endorse these measures. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch. 26/3 - How strictly are these measures being followed? This policy was written by owner Jack Chapman, and he is the only member of our field team on the road at current - ensuring nothing shy of total compliance.
26/3 - Will you need to close temporarily?
This appears to be the next and final step. We are working extremely hard at current, and will immediately respect any forthcoming Government decision. Should this arrive, you can assume our businesses as closed for the time being. We will re-open as soon as Government and Public Health deem safe to do so, and back under our current CV19 policy in the early weeks.