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View Full Version : customers are not your friends...


fga
06-26-2004, 07:16 PM
I had, and am still having a bad week. you name it, it went wrong. i didn't get to all my accounts this week, due to some circumstances. Today i recieved, and still am, recieving phone calls from houses who I thought were pretty good people. I cut them last week, just didn't get to them at the end of this week. figured i'd catch up on Monday, tuesday.
but the point is, they'll turn on you in a second. like you're a piece of garbage. No more buddy, buddy crap.

Add this to my previous bad week thread.......
I'll probably add another bad week thread when I call these people back, and found out they dropped me.

bobbygedd
06-26-2004, 07:37 PM
see that adam, i told you. that's why i don't even bother calling them back. they are not your friends, trust me.

1MajorTom
06-26-2004, 07:49 PM
when you say receiving calls, what are they exactly saying? If you show up every week like clockwork all the time, then don't show up this week, well then they probably are wonderinng what's up and if you are ok. And some will call.

We've been servicing this one guys account for 6 years. His name is Gary. We are there on time every Thursday at 9:15am. 2 years ago, we were having a problem with the truck and couldn't do our Thursday run nor our Friday run. Saturday Gary calls and wanted to know if something happened to one of us, he thought maybe we were in the hospital. When I told him about the truck, and apologized for not getting there, he says, "hell, I don't care about the grass. I just had to make sure you were ok."

Are they chewing you out for not being there, or are they just calling to find out what happened.

Tonyr
06-26-2004, 08:07 PM
Know how you feel Adam, covered this in that thread yesterday, they aren't your friend but want total loyalty but will shaft you first chance you get, and tear you up when you are late...

One way street dealing with people.

I do call most and most are understanding as sh.it happens, but the few really make you wander.

barnard
06-26-2004, 09:17 PM
"just didn't get to them".... Doesn't cut it.

fga
06-26-2004, 09:37 PM
Originally posted by barnard
"just didn't get to them".... Doesn't cut it. was there a pun intended^^^:)

jodi, they're chewing!

it's not their fault I'm behind, obviously, but Barnard, its possible to fall behind alittle in this business on a bad week. not once have i ever questioned a late payment, or been unpolite in any way. Imagine how they'd take it if I called everyday after a bill was given.....

it's my responsibilty to keep a weekly schedule, i know, but they should remember the shlt i do for them as extras. the guy i'm talking about speciffically is the guy who a couple of weeks ago had his house door kicked in while he wasn't home, and I called him, told him what happened and stayed around to ID the guys. I waited hours for the cops to show up while amigo fell asleep in my truck getting paid by the hour!! they seem to forget things like this when they want something.

barnard
06-27-2004, 11:25 PM
I agree you can fall behind. But if I never let it go over the weekend without a call to the customer.It's just good business and the polite thing to do.And If at all possible it won't go over the weekend at all.

Randy Scott
06-27-2004, 11:34 PM
It's always something new when dealing with people. Part of the business.

Billz
06-28-2004, 12:25 AM
I gained a 5 unit commercial account yesterday, when their guy didn't show up, they nullified their contract and signed one with me on saturday...that is about the 5th account I have gained this year in that way...I suggest trying to hire a teenager to help you in cases of emergency for a day or two.

Richard Martin
06-28-2004, 06:34 AM
Very few of your customers will ever be true friends. When it comes down to the nitty grtty if they hit hard times you will be let go before the cable TV gets turned off and we all know everybody hates the cable TV companies.

A little story...

In April of this year one of my customers came to me and asked for a price break since there was construction work done on her waterfront slope. The work disturbed about 1/4 of her yard. Her yard was always a pain in the rear to cut. It was a 2 weeker and needed double cut every time. So I told her that I wasn't going to give her a break and explained that I wasn't charging her enough to begin with. She said that she understood that but still wanted a price break anyway. She said that friends take care of friends. I said that was true. I then asked her if she knew my wife. She replied that she did know my wife and that she was very pleasant and added that they were good friends. I said well if we're such good friends why haven't you ever returned any of the Christmas cards we personally have been sending to you for the last 5 years. The cards weren't from my company, they were from my wife and I. She got this real embarrassed look on her face, thanked me and went back in her house.

protouchlawn
06-28-2004, 07:47 AM
Very well said Richard. I had this EXACT situation earlier this year. I have an account I have been servicing for 3 years. He really is picky and I have been within an inch of dropping him several times. Over the winter he had a very nice, expensive, shop built behind his house. The power company ran an underground line from the road back to the shop. The spot is probably two feet wide and 150 yards long. Instead of grading, seeding, and strawing in January when they ran the line , they did it in early April. When I went for the fist mow, there was nothing but straw and the seed was'nt up enough to mow yet. He told me since I did not have to mow that part yet, I should drop the price 10.00 until I started mowing it!!! I told him I was'nt charging him enough as it was and I had no intention of charging less, but he could feel free to call someone else to see if they would. He started laughing and said, no, no, but I just had to try!!!

RIDICULOUS

JohnK
06-28-2004, 02:54 PM
Very few of your customers will ever be true friends. When it comes down to the nitty grtty if they hit hard times you will be let go before the cable TV gets turned off and we all know everybody hates the cable TV companies.

Of course that's how they'll do it. They can cut their own lawn when it comes down to it, they can't provide their own cable.

Norm Al
06-28-2004, 03:10 PM
"IF" you were THEIR "friend",,,,,you would have called them first to inform them what you were doing so they didnt have to worry or wonder IF you went out of bidness or were just blowing them off!

quit being a SCRUB and be PROactive NOT REactive!

fga
06-28-2004, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by Norm Al


quit being a SCRUB and be PROactive NOT REactive!

how LONG were YOU waiting to use that GEM?

EastProLawn
06-28-2004, 05:42 PM
Originally posted by barnard
I agree you can fall behind. But if I never let it go over the weekend without a call to the customer.It's just good business and the polite thing to do.And If at all possible it won't go over the weekend at all. Alot easier said then done, I'm with FGA on this one, how many times we bend over backwards for these people and sometimes they won't even cut us a little slack.

Lawn Dog2001
06-28-2004, 07:36 PM
Originally posted by Richard Martin
I said well if we're such good friends why haven't you ever returned any of the Christmas cards we personally have been sending to you for the last 5 years. The cards weren't from my company, they were from my wife and I. She got this real embarrassed look on her face, thanked me and went back in her house.


Man thats harsh! Harsh but true. I dont know if i would ever have the balls to say that to someone.

Fga, try not to beat yourself up. This is a problem I have had to, and am still trying to teach myself. I used to take every complaint so personally. There were times it actually affected my health.

You are right customers are not your friend. So if they are not your friend, then dont take their complaints personally. Call them back and give them the typical form letter reply.

Sir, I apoligize we were a few days late servicing your property. Unfortunatly we were experiencing some technical difficulties that have us a little behind. I would like to assure you that those difficulties have been rectified, and we should be right back on schedule in no time.

Then if they keep cranking. Just repeat yourself. when the conversation ends, try your best to put it is far out of your head as possible.

Every second you spend thinking about a customer, in your off time, is just like working for free. And nobody wants to do that. So try your best to let it go in one ear and out the other.

Norm Al
06-28-2004, 08:06 PM
3 more guys smoking crack?

quit blaming the customer for a companys down falls of NOT communicating BEFORE there was an issue!

NO communication from the contractor to the home owner is what brought this about NOT somebody proving they werent somebodys friend!

how hard can it be to call 6 or 8 people?

Lux Lawn
06-28-2004, 08:11 PM
FGA

Hey it happens but don't let it get to you.When we fall that far behind sometimes I will let a couple of the good customers know whats going on if it is a couple of days late but if you are backed up 2 days and have 50 customers to do you can't call them all pick and chose who you want to let know whats going on.

fga
06-28-2004, 08:30 PM
Originally posted by Norm Al

how hard can it be to call 6 or 8 people?

I was about 2 days behind. I cut about 80 accounts a week, about 20 accounts a day. roughly 30 -35 off my head didn't get done at the end of the week (keeping in mind they were done 6 days ago, and was looking to make them on Monday, Tuesday,). now if i had the time to call 35 people, i would have taken the time instead to go out and cut lawns, rather then sit around and talk to them.!!

I remember my first season, with only a few customers, very easy when you just have to call 6 - 8 if you get a day or two behind.

you must be a walking example of perfection. I'm sure your pants are neatly pressed as you leave in the morning at 7:35 on the dot. Your "cinnabun" thermos coffee mug in hand, you proceed to address you crew what you would like accomplished by 9:38, reminding them not to lift the trailer door with thier back, "use thier legs." fudge packer!

bobbygedd
06-28-2004, 08:32 PM
that's the spirit fga, i like it

EastProLawn
06-28-2004, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by Norm Al
3 more guys smoking crack?

quit blaming the customer for a companys down falls of NOT communicating BEFORE there was an issue!

NO communication from the contractor to the home owner is what brought this about NOT somebody proving they werent somebodys friend!

how hard can it be to call 6 or 8 people? Show me where in anybody's contract or agreement it states that the LCO has to call when he gets behind. By the the way, I don't smoke crack, I only sell it.

GeeVee
06-28-2004, 10:24 PM
Your friends would be sympathetic if you acknowlege you should have called.

Norm Al
06-28-2004, 10:52 PM
man you guys are digging a deeper hole for yourselves!


geevee gets it because he aint no motorcycle ridn floridian dealin crack for nuttin!:)

all 35 customers didnt call you to complain,,,,,,only the ones that you thought were your friends,,,,,and i dont care if it was 300 you shoulda called them,,,,,and you shouldnt act like its their fault that you didnt perform because you dont hire and employ enough equipment to plan for weather problems.......pffffft you scrubs are killin me!

bobbygedd
06-28-2004, 11:05 PM
what would be the actual point of the phonecall? to tell them you didn't cut the lawn? they can already see that. to tell them you're sorry you didn't cut it? screw that, sh!t happens, are you really genuinly sorry? i would be more mad about the problems i was having, i wouldn't be remorseful that i missed a few cuts. would you be calling them to offer an explanation? " hi mrs. jones, this is bob, i'm sorry i didn't cut your lawn this week. my weedwacker broke down, then i had to take my dog to the vet, then my allergies were acting up......" , now that sounds unproffessional, and a bit like a pee on move. i say don't call, they have to be trained to understand that things happen, and will happen.

Norm Al
06-28-2004, 11:12 PM
ummm bobby step away from the bong!:)

it should be more like this:

hello mrs. yougotallthecashineed i called to let you know that i will be there to cut your lawn monday instead of friday. As you know it has been raining 40 days and 40 nights and we spent so much time just loading the sheep 2 by 2 and the whores 7 at a time into the ark we and ALL other lawn services are behind!

I hope this causes you NO inconvience as i value your bidness more than anyone elses!


the customer says "no problem man ill see you monday!"

bobbygedd
06-28-2004, 11:17 PM
so, i'm assuming the customer is aware that it rained alot, and that i wasn't there. also.......again....it's in the contract, no need for a phonecall:" if it rains on your regularly scheduled day, the service will be made up on the next available day. if rain persists, and we are unable to make up service within 3 days of your regular day, service will then resume on your next regularly scheduled day. if you don't like it, go screw yourself."

Norm Al
06-28-2004, 11:21 PM
hey bobby did you actually read your mobile phone contract?


i doubt your customer reads or cares what your contract says!



if you don't like it, go screw yourself." ummm yeah thats pretty professional and probably the type of attitude that will bring you a windfall of work!

bobbygedd
06-28-2004, 11:26 PM
norm, if they didn't read it, it's thier fault. i'm not god, i can't walk on water, stop the rain, or prevent unforseen breakdowns etc. sh!t happens, always has, always will. i don't call customers to offer an explanation for my absense, if i wanted to have to do that, i'd of stayed working for someone else. no phonecalls, my final answer. goodnight, i need my beauty rest

Lawn Dog2001
06-28-2004, 11:31 PM
Originally posted by Norm Al
all 35 customers didnt call you to complain


pffffft you scrubs are killin me!

I definitaly think the customers who call you deserve a return call. Its just courtesy.

But he is no way obbligated to call back all 30+ lawns he missed. At least I wouldnt. But I always call back the customers that call me when Im behind.

Normal Al lets not start the scrub talk. Wether you make 10K or 1Mil we all get backed up from time to time. that dosent make him a scrub.

GeeVee
06-28-2004, 11:32 PM
Never mnd.

NO. Customers are not your friends.

Norm Al
06-28-2004, 11:35 PM
hahaha right on geevee!

fga
06-28-2004, 11:47 PM
Norm,

stop biting the pillow, and tell your boyfriend to step away, I want your full attention....... the KY also,....... thanks. there are afew ways a customer can go about a inquiry into why the service was not done this week.

1) wondering if everything is OK, didn't see ya this week.

2)adam, the grass is alittle long, didn't see you this week give me a call when you get the chance.

even:
3)this place isn't looking too good, can you give me a call to talk about it. you missed me tis week.

but, when I get the nasty calls I recieved from a few, which were totally out of line, nasty, uncalled for, I'm not going to accept as my bad business polices. Maybe you take it up the azz from people wanting to vent on the lawnboy, but i don't. That's a SCRUB policy!! HYPOCRITE.
I've never approached even the deadbeat payers I've had through out the years, with the tone I've heard. I don't expect it in return when I do great work, but happen to have an off week.

I'm done, you can call your boyfriend back in.........

Norm Al
06-29-2004, 12:11 AM
hahaha biting the pillow,,,,i like it!

you cant even talk to me and im nobody,,,,,i would never expect you to use your powers of reason and civility with a paying customer that you have wine and dined to bring into your portfolio,,,,,,,you know the job that one day not long ago that you were high fivin the fellow pillow biter that you under cut your competitor for!



the things that i have stated obviously arent for you in this thread, they were meant for a professional that would have stumbled into this forum and was seriously looking for some sound advice! you know the guy that it would be impossible to drag into a mob mentality that is so prevelant among SCRUBS!:)

fga
06-29-2004, 12:30 AM
Originally posted by Norm Al
hahaha biting the pillow,,,,i like it!


norm,
where you talking to me on the forum here,......... or the guy behind you?:confused: :D

Norm Al
06-29-2004, 12:35 AM
my name is SCOTT but if that is the extent of your ability to dazzle me with your brilliance,,,,ill leave you with a thought provocking statement that maybe even a yankee could understand:

"NEVER let the chics see your brains hangin out of your pants!"

fga
06-29-2004, 12:43 AM
Norm,
i'll try and remember that thought provoking statement.....

Tonyr
06-29-2004, 05:06 AM
Too funny guys! LOL!

You are right, well both are really LOL!

calling 30 people just cause I couldn't get their lawn done....not sure I would, but I would get on top of the situation as fast as I could obviously. I would call priority clients though....

The only thing here I want to contribute to is the fact these grubs were less than nice when calling you, no need for it!

We can all be nice, we don't ring them being nasty when they leave a toy etc on the lawn, so they shouldn't get bent out of shape to the extent of abusing you.

Same situation happened to me early this year, 2 callers went crazy, they crossed the line, I said I could be there in 10 mins to continue this, they shut up fast! Another tried when I pulled up cause I was late, same week, I raced around the trailer and met this clown, either he shut up and I get the job done or he doesn't and we go further, I mowed...:)

There is no reason to take **** from clients, none at all.

I always explain to new clients the only thing that can delay me is a family issue, accident, weather, or machinery, but weather is most likely to be the cause and I can't help that, and that I would resume asap, so far this has covered me except those few whackos I mentioned.

Some things are just out of our control, life goes on, and a lawn cut ain't no life emergency :)


Sorry for interrupting you guys, ha, ha, ha.

PMLAWN
06-29-2004, 05:25 AM
"the things that i have stated obviously arent for you in this thread, they were meant for a professional that would have stumbled into this forum and was seriously looking for some sound advice!" By Norm/Scott

Sound advice???--I thought all this was for entertainment.

GeeVee
06-29-2004, 08:35 AM
I got a full nights rest on this one.

It is a SERVICE business.

Take no ****- difuse the complaints.

I do know folks that would assume their job is not important to you, and be slighted. "Perhaps you have too much to do?"

Which ever way you go, live and learn.

It makes no dif to me or anyone else, if (how) you run your business.......

Norm Al
06-29-2004, 10:04 AM
"I thought all this was for entertainment"


hey pm my crap wasnt entertaining?:)