When Mark Hughes opened Turfmaster back in 1991, he enlisted Craig – a longtime business partner – to help lead the technical aspects of their work. "Mark built this business on a reputation of being fair and being honest," Craig said. "It’s about showing up when you’re supposed to, being prompt and courteous, and getting to know your customers, their dogs and their kids. It’s easy to fire a company. It’s hard to fire someone who cares."
For Zach, understanding lawn care professionals is second nature. A former turf manager of 13 years, Zach is closely attuned to the challenges of the trade. "I’ve been there. I know the stress. I know the time commitment. And I know how important it is," Zach said. "I’ve got a son, and he needs a place to run around, play baseball and just be a kid."
According to Zach, Turfmaster is a company that understands the value of their work – and understands that when you take care of your customers, they take care of you. Turfmaster Lawns has a similar perspective when it comes to serving its customers. "In this business, the bottom line is if a customer’s lawn isn’t green or isn’t healthy, it’s all on you," Craig said. That mentality is reinforced by the tremendous growth the company has seen through referral after referral. A happy customer is the best route to another one.
The reality is that maintaining high customer satisfaction is difficult when companies are under constant pressure to perform and homeowners are quick to call a competitor. Fortunately, Craig likes a challenge. "I like to get to a property, take a look and find out what went wrong to come up with a fast resolution," Craig said. "Bayer is one of my go-to’s if I’ve had a problem or an issue with something – and often, they’ve come up with an answer within the same hour."
Craig is a consistent user of Armada® fungicide, Topchoice® insecticide and Celsius® herbicide. His trust in Armada began years ago. "We saw dramatic changes in the quality of turfgrass after using Armada," Craig said. "It was taking care of large patch right off the bat and gave us flexibility. We go out with Armada on the assumption that we can spray for large patch, and we’re not going to have to come back for 28 days to check on it."
In his experience, Celsius offers a similar benefit for their summer weed control program. According to Craig, Turfmaster used to only apply herbicides in the winter, because there was no chemical they could put down in the summer that was "halfway decent."
"We were telling people, ‘sorry ma’am, we can’t spray your lawn. It’s too hot,’" Deveraux said. "It’s been great having Celsius available to us, and it just seems to do the best job out there of the herbicides we use."
He is particularly impressed with Topchoice – which is guaranteed* to control fire ants for up to one year in a single application. "Topchoice has been very good to us. When I get a complaint, my first thought isn’t about the product, it’s that the technician didn’t do the application right," Craig said. "We’re putting down approximately 2.5 tons of Topchoice a year. That’s a lot of acreage, when you do it correctly, the callbacks on it are very, very minimal."
From Zach’s perspective, these kind s of results – and partnerships – are exactly what Bayer is dedicated to delivering. "My job is to work hand-in-hand with customers to provide them with the solutions they need for their businesses to be successful," Zach said. "It’s not just the products. It’s the service, too."
Craig would agree. "Bayer has been very, very good to us. They stand behind their products, and they’re there for us," Craig said. "And when it comes to our customers, communication is big – saying, ‘hey, this is what we did, this is what to expect, make sure to water this in and watch out for the coming dry spell.’"
These types of communication and mutual trust are critical components to any partnership. In Craig’s words, "That’s the history of Turfmaster Lawn Services."