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View Full Version : Things you SHOULDN'T say to the customer


zechstoker
10-12-2012, 11:11 PM
My opening statement: I service a ranch home on Fridays, and the home owner has some chickens, roosters, and cattle on the property. More cattle than anything, but anyhow I was warned on the first day about these roosters being aggressive. He told me to keep an eye on a couple of them because they've been known to "sneak up and attack people". Last week while I was there, I let my guard down while putting a gas can in the back of the truck, and what do ya know... One of the roosters sneaked up from behind, and attacked the back of my leg. About 20 minutes later, the home owner came out, and I told him what his rooster did. At first he seemed shocked, but then told me about how those roosters try that with everyone who comes around. Also said he was thinking about taking a hatchet to it, and making some chicken soup later (jokingly I assumed).

Anyways... I go out there today, and that rooster's hanging out in the front yard again, but this time the home owner (and his grand daughter) was outside. I told him "I'm keeping my better eye on that rooster today, but if he tries anything, he's gonna catch the business end of this line trimmer." He seemed to think it was funny, but his grand daughter certainly didn't think so. Was I being "out of line" or offensive? Feels like I shouldn't have said what I did, but honestly, I've dealt with one too many animals attacking me in the past, and I'm just tired of dealing with people who don't control their animals.

cgaengineer
10-12-2012, 11:21 PM
Hopefully you weren't "out of line" on your trimmer...I'd buzz that ****** head in a heartbeat if he came after me.
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Darryl G
10-12-2012, 11:26 PM
OMG, I'm calling PETA!!!! I wouldn't worry about it.

My last account of the day yesterday. My customer, a retired senior citizen but not ancient or anything, comes out as she always does to move her car. I'm talking to her about her lawn and meant to say Crab Grass but said Crab Ass instead, at which point I jokingly apologized for insulting her. We chatted a bit more and then as she was walking to her back door to go back inside I said "see you in a few weeks Crab Ass." I just couldn't resist, LOL. Mind you this is my 11th season servicing her lawn and we know each other pretty well.

OakNut
10-12-2012, 11:38 PM
Not exactly something I would verbalize.

White Gardens
10-12-2012, 11:39 PM
Just need to remember to put the verbal filter in place around young kids and well-to-do people.


...

zechstoker
10-12-2012, 11:49 PM
Just need to remember to put the verbal filter in place around young kids and well-to-do people.


...

I normally do, but kinda slipped up today. I've said worse things to other customers, but like Darryl, I knew them longer, and that level of comfort was already in place. As for this one, I've been on the job there less than 2 months, so we really haven't gotten a chance to get that well acquainted just yet.

93Chevy
10-12-2012, 11:57 PM
Sometimes you're the rooster, sometimes you're the hen.

Just my $0.02

juspayme
10-13-2012, 01:46 AM
one lawn guy I know had a customer come out and start complaining about how high the grass got, he told her its been raining alot, she didnt want to hear it and told him he should hire more people then, he told her just to go back in the house.

GreenI.A.
10-13-2012, 02:29 AM
i thought your post was going somewhere completely different. I thought you were going to say something about his **** hanging out in the front yard.

iand
10-13-2012, 05:57 AM
you should definitely not have said what you did now when he comes home and finds a headless rooster you're the 1st person he'll blame

easy-lift guy
10-13-2012, 07:54 AM
Since you have now had this experience with this customer and the rooster, I am curious how you will handle another encounter from a liability standpoint?. Lets suppose said Rooster sneaks up on you again while your working. Something gets damaged or someone gets hurt, excluding the Rooster. Would you be responsible or would you pin the blame on the customer or both? ESP. In lieu of the conversation you have already had with the customer.
easy-lift guy

White Gardens
10-13-2012, 10:07 AM
you should definitely not have said what you did now when he comes home and finds a headless rooster you're the 1st person he'll blame

That's why you always dispose of the evidence.

" Your rooster is missing? I'm sorry to hear that, the coyotes must have got it."


......

larryinalabama
10-13-2012, 10:21 AM
I think fried chicken for supper would be nice.

For the most part I dont say much to customers, I let my work do the talking for me.

Glenn Lawn Care
10-13-2012, 10:41 AM
I'm sure he knew you were joking. I wouldn't read to much into it.

zechstoker
10-13-2012, 02:57 PM
Since you have now had this experience with this customer and the rooster, I am curious how you will handle another encounter from a liability standpoint?. Lets suppose said Rooster sneaks up on you again while your working. Something gets damaged or someone gets hurt, excluding the Rooster. Would you be responsible or would you pin the blame on the customer or both? ESP. In lieu of the conversation you have already had with the customer.
easy-lift guy

In all seriousness, I believe liability would fall on me since the customer issued the warning in the beginning. If he wasn't warning people of possible dangers on his property, then it'd be different I'd imagine.

easy-lift guy
10-13-2012, 03:25 PM
Understood. Usually it is the bad dog of the customer or the neighbors dog. Of course I believe Rooster should now be added to that list.
easy-lift guy

yardguy28
10-13-2012, 04:02 PM
personally I wouldn't have said something like that even though the home owner made a joke previously.

it's the same with swear words I think. if I spoke with a client who used the f word every other word I would let my swear words fly when speaking with them.

zechstoker
10-13-2012, 04:24 PM
Yeah, I know what ya mean. As professionals in the business, we gotta keep everything politically correct as often as possible. Then we have slip-ups that I'd say are no more than human error. To acknowledge this and put forth effort to minimalize these risks, I believe, is a step in the right direction. "Biting the tongue" is the phrase that comes to mind.
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cpllawncare
10-13-2012, 04:27 PM
personally I wouldn't have said something like that even though the home owner made a joke previously.

it's the same with swear words I think. if I spoke with a client who used the f word every other word I would let my swear words fly when speaking with them.

I NEVER swear around customers, it's the ultimate unproffesionalism IMOP. I get after my guys also for it.

yardguy28
10-14-2012, 08:08 AM
I NEVER swear around customers, it's the ultimate unproffesionalism IMOP. I get after my guys also for it.

neither do I. but I know of some people in business who will assume if the client swears in front of them, they can swear in front of them.

just like this thread. the client made a joke about the rooster so the worker assumed he could do the same.

Darryl G
10-14-2012, 12:35 PM
In all seriousness, I believe liability would fall on me since the customer issued the warning in the beginning. If he wasn't warning people of possible dangers on his property, then it'd be different I'd imagine.

Actually, it's probably the contrary. The customer has acknowledged that he has a "dangerous animal" on his property and failed to take reasonable measures to protect people from it, i.e. keeping it caged. This is similar to cases where people put up "beware of dog signs" and their dog bites someone. The sign can be used as evidence that they were aware they had a dangerous dog.

OakNut
10-14-2012, 01:20 PM
Actually, it's probably the contrary. The customer has acknowledged that he has a "dangerous animal" on his property and failed to take reasonable measures to protect people from it, i.e. keeping it caged. This is similar to cases where people put up "beware of dog signs" and their dog bites someone. The sign can be used as evidence that they were aware they had a dangerous dog.

Yeah, I've noticed that the wording has changed. I just saw a sign that reads "Dog on Premises". Probably just vague enough to avoid such legal stupidity.

yardguy28
10-14-2012, 03:05 PM
I'm no law expert but I was and still am under the impression the beware of dog sign protects the owner should someone get bitten on the property.

the argument of you saw and red the sign and still chose to enter the property applies nicely.

Darryl G
10-14-2012, 03:18 PM
I'm no law expert but I was and still am under the impression the beware of dog sign protects the owner should someone get bitten on the property.

the argument of you saw and red the sign and still chose to enter the property applies nicely.

In many places you are held strictly liable for any injury or damage your animals cause anyway, so it would make little difference. Having a "Beware of" sign would not change that.

Jason Rose
10-14-2012, 04:20 PM
I was mortified one day when I overheard my helper telling a customer that their dog was one of those "football dogs" that he could just punt across the yard if it came out and tried to nip at his heels. I don't know what my customer thought about that but I informed him it was NOT cool to tell anyone you would kick their pet! This guy usually has a bad time knowing how to control his verbal diarrea and is most likely why he's never held any job in his life for very long. Only reason he's still with me is because he shows up on time every day and hasn't missed a day all year!

OakNut
10-14-2012, 09:18 PM
Things you SHOULDN'T say to the customer


"Are those REAL?!!!"

Darryl G
10-14-2012, 10:32 PM
"Are those REAL?!!!"

What are we gonna do with you? :laugh::laugh::laugh:

zechstoker
10-16-2012, 09:51 PM
Not that this is entirely relevant here, but today I got in a fight with a customer's neighbor's pitbull. Stupid dog hopped the fence, and charged at me while I was line trimming the front yard. Sure enough, it wanted to tango, so it got busted in the mouth with the line trimmer at WOT.
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zechstoker
10-16-2012, 11:31 PM
Not that this is entirely relevant here, but today I got in a fight with a customer's neighbor's pitbull. Stupid dog hopped the fence, and charged at me while I was line trimming the front yard. Sure enough, it wanted to tango, so it got busted in the mouth with the line trimmer at WOT.
Posted via Mobile Device

I should also note that I went back to the neighbor's house later when it was safe, and told her exactly what had happened. Told her that I cut the dog's face with the line trimmer, and to my surprise, she wasn't upset at all. She was very understanding, and said she would've done the same thing if she was in my position. After all was said and done, animal control has been contacted, and they're going to head out there to deal with the dog and its owner. Hopefully this gets resolved, and there's not another incident.

gmlm
10-17-2012, 06:43 PM
dont think your out of line for what you said....
'
although....really??? it was a rooster...suck it up sally! i would trade a rooster for a copperhead any day!

jsslawncare
10-17-2012, 07:07 PM
I "had" a customer that had a bunch of little dogs that nipped on everyone's heel's. I was warned. Then one day, WOT with the trimmer. The man thought it was funny, his wife no so. They had got me several time's but, when my wife went over to collect money from them and got her I thought well the next time I'll fix them. For the next two years the dogs never come off the porch. As for as the rooster goes- "No I haven't seen him".Maybe you could do the trimming there with a bush cutter head on your trimmer? OFF WITH THE HEAD!

Darryl G
10-17-2012, 07:33 PM
Maybe you could do the trimming there with a bush cutter head on your trimmer? OFF WITH THE HEAD!

Defending yourself is one thing, but I don't think the guy would appreciate having the head of his **** cut off by his landscaper.

zechstoker
10-17-2012, 10:34 PM
Defending yourself is one thing, but I don't think the guy would appreciate having the head of his **** cut off by his landscaper.

We'll leave the beheading duties to the rancher.
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soloscaperman
10-18-2012, 12:38 AM
one lawn guy i know had a customer come out and start complaining about how high the grass got, he told her its been raining alot, she didnt want to hear it and told him he should hire more people then, he told her just to go back in the house.

" like a boss!"

alldayrj
10-18-2012, 12:43 AM
i know a guy (not saying who) who told a lady it was $300 to clean out beds and weed etc, she said I was thinking it would be more like $40/$50. he pulled his wallet out and handed her a $50 and said "here you do it" customers face- PRICELESS

Darryl G
10-18-2012, 08:03 PM
That's a good one!!

One of my favorite lines when a customer asks for the impossible is to tell them that I'm a landscaper, not a magician. When they tell me they're on a fixed income, I get all excited and say "really, can you fix mine for me?"

BOSS LAWN 2343
10-19-2012, 09:15 PM
I usually try to keep anything personal out of the conversation, I put the filters on when kids or women are around.

yardguy28
10-20-2012, 08:21 PM
the filters???

BOSS LAWN 2343
10-20-2012, 08:54 PM
Profanity, cursing, rude remarks. anything that doesnt pertain to their property or needs.

yardguy28
10-21-2012, 05:50 AM
I usually try to keep anything personal out of the conversation, I put the filters on when kids or women are around.

and you only do this when kids or women are around?

32vld
10-21-2012, 05:56 PM
the filters???

Filters
What filters
I don't need no stinkin' filters

BOSS LAWN 2343
10-22-2012, 01:32 AM
and you only do this when kids or women are around?

No, I try to keep it to a minimum.

yardguy28
10-22-2012, 07:55 AM
Filters
What filters
I don't need no stinkin' filters

yeah i don't have filters myself.

well i guess just one filter for my business only. no swearing around clients. other than that, the rest of my time, i'm use whatever language i want around whoever i want.

32vld
10-22-2012, 08:33 AM
yeah i don't have filters myself.

well i guess just one filter for my business only. no swearing around clients. other than that, the rest of my time, i'm use whatever language i want around whoever i want.

Do not take everything I say ________(filtered) as the _________ (filtered) truth.

yardguy28
10-22-2012, 08:37 AM
take EVERYTHING I say as the TRUTH......

zechstoker
03-12-2013, 01:25 PM
In regard to my original post: It looks like that rooster won't be bothering anyone now. The rancher said a couple weeks ago that he killed and ate that bird. Apparently the other rooster he had is still in the freezer, waiting for its turn in the pot.
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weeze
03-12-2013, 09:27 PM
i would've killed the rooster and then deducted the price on one chicken off of what i charged him for the service that day.

another option would've been kill the rooster and then ask the owner if he felt like having you over for fried chicken that night.