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Mike Blevins
04-24-2011, 08:37 AM
Do any of you take it personal when you have a customer stop your services? I had a customer call me last night who I have been with for 5 years and tell me they were going to get someone else. I had no clue that they were going to do this, but it has aggravated the hell out of me since we hung up the phone. This yard is just a mow and go but yet i have always taken my time and made the yard look great. (at least I thought so) She just said she wasn't satisfied and that it looked like I needed to sharpen my blades! I have my blades sharpened by local shop (who does a great job) and change them every morning. This is the first time I have lost a customer due to something besides death,moving out of town,selleing their home,etc,etc,. I have never had someone cancel because they didnt like the way their lawn looked. Maybe Im blowing it out of perportion but its still pissing me off.

doyles
04-24-2011, 08:48 AM
if you really are mowing with sharp blades and doing a great job then don't worry about it she probably got a cheaper price and was just using that as an excuse

Pennington Lawncare
04-24-2011, 08:54 AM
I kinda know how you feel. I have this little old lady who told me that I wasn't cutting her grass, I was just laying it over. Yes, I was cutting a diagonal pattern and it striped up well enough for me to take a picture back before she complained.
http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/45727_427744569155_184546069155_5210913_380706_n.jpg
She had her son inlaw start mowing it last summer after she complained and I guess he got tired of doing it so I got the call again this Spring. I am no longer striping her yard though since she doesn't appreciate how it looks. Just a bunch of left hand turns from now on and no striping. Now all the grass gets laid over the same direction so she can't tell.

C4chris70
04-24-2011, 08:55 AM
I try not to take it personally, but sometimes it's not easy. I just lost an account of about 1 year because the client did not read the service agreement they signed and were upset that things such as tree trimming were not being done even though the agreement specifically stated each service we were to provide. They also complained that we missed visits during the winter. I had to show them their SIGNED contract stating every other week visits during November, December, January, and February. In the long run I am better off without this PITA, but it still bothers me to lose an account, especially when they also failed to read the 30 termination clause and fired me with no notice. They are being billed for an additional 30 days, we'll see how it plays out.:hammerhead:

NJT
04-24-2011, 08:56 AM
You get your blades sharpened every morning by a local shop?

topsites
04-24-2011, 09:04 AM
Don't worry about it, she probably found someone cheaper but what really happened is she wouldn't have the heart to say that to you
because she knows deep inside that you did a good job and that it ain't right but she probably did what she had to do because times are tight.
Just let it go, it'll be all right.

You get your blades sharpened every morning by a local shop?

I sharpen them myself with the very same piece of equipment that the pro shop uses, and I mean every time the mower needs fuel, I put sharp blades on.

gardiner
04-24-2011, 09:16 AM
Do any of you take it personal when you have a customer stop your services? I had a customer call me last night who I have been with for 5 years and tell me they were going to get someone else. I had no clue that they were going to do this, but it has aggravated the hell out of me since we hung up the phone. This yard is just a mow and go but yet i have always taken my time and made the yard look great. (at least I thought so) She just said she wasn't satisfied and that it looked like I needed to sharpen my blades! I have my blades sharpened by local shop (who does a great job) and change them every morning. This is the first time I have lost a customer due to something besides death,moving out of town,selleing their home,etc,etc,. I have never had someone cancel because they didnt like the way their lawn looked. Maybe Im blowing it out of perportion but its still pissing me off.

yard is just a mow and go .. dont take it personal . how much did she really care about the property if she only wanted a mow and go to begine with ?
most likly someone cheaper came in. or she did not know how to tell u she cant afford your service anymore . my guess is u will see the property owners cuttin the lawn themself or a new lawn guy to the business .

williams lcm
04-24-2011, 09:34 AM
You may think you are doing a great job in your mind. Witch you probably are. But in the customers mind they may think something else. Dont worry about it. Some customer thinks a good job is cutting the grass real short while other think it should be cut tall. Some like it edged some dont think it looks good edged ect. Cant make everyone happy. But I always leave on good terms. You never know they may call you back. Good luck I am sure you will find another lawn to take that spot.

Darryl G
04-24-2011, 09:51 AM
There is probably something behind it other than your work quality.

One thing I have noticed is that some customers don't realize that if they never do anything to their lawn other than cut it, it will decline over time. So if you're the one doing hte cutting and the lawn keeps declining, it must be your fault in their eyes.

Mike Blevins
04-24-2011, 10:43 AM
You get your blades sharpened every morning by a local shop?

No I take my blades to a local shop to get sharpened and then pick them up. I will get 5 or 6 sets sharpened and then I will change after each day. If I am going to start the week with the townhouses I mow then I will put on my "special" blades and use them. These are the blades I sharpen myself and use only at these townhouses because of the things I have ran over.

ALC-GregH
04-24-2011, 10:46 AM
There is probably something behind it other than your work quality.

One thing I have noticed is that some customers don't realize that if they never do anything to their lawn other than cut it, it will decline over time. So if you're the one doing hte cutting and the lawn keeps declining, it must be your fault in their eyes.

Not taking sides, but Mike may have already offered to do weed control and fert apps and the customer declined to have it done. Them finding someone else to cut it isn't going to make it better.

Mike Blevins
04-24-2011, 10:47 AM
I kinda know how you feel. I have this little old lady who told me that I wasn't cutting her grass, I was just laying it over. Yes, I was cutting a diagonal pattern and it striped up well enough for me to take a picture back before she complained.
http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/45727_427744569155_184546069155_5210913_380706_n.jpg
She had her son inlaw start mowing it last summer after she complained and I guess he got tired of doing it so I got the call again this Spring. I am no longer striping her yard though since she doesn't appreciate how it looks. Just a bunch of left hand turns from now on and no striping. Now all the grass gets laid over the same direction so she can't tell.

I have heard other guys tell me this same thing. "laying it over" is this what some customers think when you stripe their yards?

Mike Blevins
04-24-2011, 10:52 AM
Not taking sides, but Mike may have already offered to do weed control and fert apps and the customer declined to have it done. Them finding someone else to cut it isn't going to make it better.

I asked if she was going with someone else because i know quite a few people in the lawncare industry in my area and I could recommend someone for her. I told her one way or the other I would make her happy with her lawn. If not me then I could get someone that could. She said she had already found someone. So after pondering on it awhile I'm starting to think lowballer or family member has got he job. As far as fert or weed control she didnt want anything done. :usflag:

Darryl G
04-24-2011, 10:52 AM
Not taking sides, but Mike may have already offered to do weed control and fert apps and the customer declined to have it done. Them finding someone else to cut it isn't going to make it better.

I guess I made some assumptions based on him saying it was just a mow and go account. Just saying that they need someone to blame other then themselves...know what i mean?

LCCaptain
04-24-2011, 11:57 AM
I take it personally if they threaten to drop me. I have only lost one customer over unstatisfied work. The other was BS excuses (they found someone cheaper). I took it personal because I gave them a deal to begin with and it wasn't good enough after a couple cuts (because the old neighborhood kid did it cheaper and raked it. I always give the best price and the best work so I take it personal but I remind them that if they decide they are not happy with their new lawn care service and call me back the deal is off and they will be charged full price from that day on. There are too many yard man/craftman mowing companies around to compete with on prices so I compete with appearance. When they stop getting compliments on their yards they'll come back.

topsites
04-24-2011, 12:03 PM
I take it personally if they threaten to drop me.

Ah no, much as I like to talk smack about not back talking to the customer but don't threaten to drop me
because it's about over right then and there, lets do it and get it over with so folks don't even try holding
that over my head because I will not work harder or cheaper on account of it.

I guess that's taking it personal lol

But I have learned, you can't give in to certain demands because once you do, it starts things off in a bad way.

rain man
04-24-2011, 01:02 PM
Friend or foe...its not personal either way. Its time and money. If what they have to say is constructive then one should listen. If they are just in the loco weed then look upon it as having more room in the schedule for a better quality customer. Different markets may be different but if we kept every customer we started with here it would be us who are crazy.

Dr.NewEarth
04-24-2011, 02:09 PM
Being a hands on company owner, I know how hard we work. I know how much care and passion we put into each job.

When some-one complains with no rational explanation, it can make me feel down.

If you're into astrology, Mercury was retrograde for the past few weeks and just went direct today. I believe that the B.S. will quiet down for a few weeks now.
John Lennon used to hide at home when Mercury was retrograde.
Believe what you will.

I have just gone through some really weird business dealings concerning non payment for late fees and breaches of contract with long term clients. There is alot of money involved here and the big management companies can play hardball to make themselves look good.

No-one seems to care what your solid contract states. Legal fees are expensive and either way it can cost your company its reputation in one form or another. People talk.

It's weird how people don't read their contracts. They tend to make up things at times and fight with us.....I try to compromise and suck hole as much as possible,
but some-times dealing with all of the problems does stress me out and make me angry.

I find that on average an HOA client stays two to three years. Once the council changes so does their perspective. The new council is always out to change the world.
The longest I held a single contract is nine years

Residential is a different game. I now get them to pay in advance for the month with a credit card for security and they have always signed a contract.

My secret business credo is "Don't trust any-body"

I do find it funny that she phoned and cancelled. Now adays every-body communicates and breaks-up using an e-mail or text messaging.

nightshutter
04-24-2011, 03:09 PM
what sucks is i lost a account to some neighborhood kid!

tradeyouraccounts
04-24-2011, 03:10 PM
Don't take it personally you as long as you feel that you have done a good job and confident in your work i would just put it down to you will some and loose some, as long as you win more that you loose.

ProStreetCamaro
04-24-2011, 04:10 PM
I asked if she was going with someone else because i know quite a few people in the lawncare industry in my area and I could recommend someone for her. I told her one way or the other I would make her happy with her lawn. If not me then I could get someone that could. She said she had already found someone. So after pondering on it awhile I'm starting to think lowballer or family member has got he job. As far as fert or weed control she didnt want anything done. :usflag:


She probably got a $20 flier and went with it. I see tons of them every spring. I have seen $25 hand written on a flier for a lawn that looked to be about an acre give or take a little. These illegals are going out in crews of 3 or 4 with 2 to 4 54 to 60" mowers. 2 guys on 60" mowers and 1 guy trimming can do an acre in 15 minutes assuming the lawn is not growing out of control.