Caring for the lawn care technician

Providing Positive Feedback Before a Job, Well Done or Not

Paying it forward with an online review

Unconditional love can come in many forms. For technologist and startup advisor Bill May, it came in the form of a good turn he did for a stranger who showed up to take care of his lawn.

“I’ve used the same lawn service for a few years,” May says. “They get better results than I do, and all the environmental stuff to the side, it keeps the household a much happier place.”

When the service showed up to start the spring season, a “great big burly guy” May had never seen before arrived. “He was very congenial, really nice. He introduced himself and said, ‘I’m going to be your lawn service technician this year’ and started talking to me about the job he was going to do. It struck me as odd,” May recalls, “because it’s usually just whoever they throw into the schedule. But here was this guy putting himself out there, making this personal commitment.”

The episode might have ended there, but for May’s feeling about what might be driving the lawn guy’s solicitous approach. “You get a sense sometimes of people, and I could be wrong, maybe he just had other stuff on his mind, but it struck me that this guy really needs this job to pan out. He’s really working at it, he’s personally committed to it.”

“Right off the mark I wanted to give him credit for coming across really well and putting himself out there”

So May took what steps he could to help. “It was an easy thing to figure out I needed to give the company some feedback, and let them know what a real deal this guy was,” May says. “I went directly to the company’s Web site. There’s a feedback review process, which was actually a little bit convoluted. But I found it and I did it. And I let them know, this is the face of the company you want out there in the world. When your competition comes knocking on the door wanting my business, this is the guy I’m going to think about.”

The most interesting thing about May’s feedback? The fact that he provided it almost before the technician had even started the job. “I wanted to give this guy credit for just the way he came off,” May says. “He might screw up later on in the day, but right off the mark I wanted to give him credit for coming across really well and putting himself out there as the face of the product, and being sincere about it.”

As good turns go it was perhaps a small thing. But acts of unconditional approval, not to mention love, aren’t judged on a scale from one to ten. And besides, May’s lawn looks great.

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