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bobbygedd
10-04-2004, 03:11 PM
say you're usually there on fridays. hey,SH!T HAPPENS, YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT. so, you show up monday and start mowing, the customer comes out, "what happened? why didn't you come on friday?" do you feel obligated to provide an explanation? do you tell the truth? just say, "something came up", or what. do you feel it necesary to provide an explanation?

WeatherMan
10-04-2004, 03:17 PM
Why give them a reason it's non of there biz. Just put your peltors on and wave :waving:

Norm Al
10-04-2004, 03:17 PM
well if i was doing it for free then maybe no explanation BUT if they are strokin the check you absolutely owe them and explanation! the bad part is that there is no acceptable excuse,,,,,only excuses!

does your employee owe you an explanation when he doesnt show up on friday and walks in monday like nothing happened?

WeatherMan
10-04-2004, 03:20 PM
does your employee owe you an explanation when he doesnt show up on friday and walks in monday likes nothing happened?

Now thats not the same your employee works for you.
You are just providing a service for your customer

We are self employeed right, :cool:

bobbygedd
10-04-2004, 03:20 PM
ok, well, is " SH!T HAPPENS MRS. JONES, IT AINT THE FIRST TIME, AND I PROMISE IT WONT BE THE LAST TIME" a reasonable explanation?

Norm Al
10-04-2004, 03:22 PM
sounds good to me but i aint payin you to do my yard!:)

Norm Al
10-04-2004, 03:23 PM
what was that old saying?....."if you think you dont need your customers, try doing without them for a month?

olderthandirt
10-04-2004, 03:26 PM
ok, well, is " SH!T HAPPENS MRS. JONES, IT AINT THE FIRST TIME, AND I PROMISE IT WONT BE THE LAST TIME" a reasonable explanation?
Sounds reasonable
Or get out of my way if you like your feet attached to your ankles and then you will incur a cleaning charge.

Mac

Norm Al
10-04-2004, 03:32 PM
http://www.realmx.com/bilder/News/P2072.jpg

Branchland
10-04-2004, 03:33 PM
I give a explanation, but it only happens due to rain, so far.

LawnMan38
10-04-2004, 03:34 PM
:waving: :waving: :waving: :waving: :waving: :waving: :waving: :waving: :waving: :waving: :waving:

odin
10-04-2004, 03:43 PM
I dont owe nobody an explanation for nuthin all i owe is a good job on their lawn ........end of story

LawnMan38
10-04-2004, 04:41 PM
I dont owe nobody an explanation for nuthin all i owe is a good job on their lawn ........end of story


Thats the best explanation I have heard :cool2:

tonygreek
10-04-2004, 04:55 PM
If the customer is under the assumption (by either contract stating mowing on Fridays or your track record/pattern of mowing on Fridays), then if asked you should provide an explanation or at least an apology. Even if they don't ask, you should apologize. If you subscribe to the "treat us like professionals on this board who oddly say none of your business and screw you" philosophy, simply say you had a personal matter come up. Customers typically know enough not to ask for more detail. Who wants to pry and be "rewarded" with a cancer story?

Flip it and what would you do if you showed up on Monday and they had already done their own lawn or had some other LCO do it? Still charge them??? If they were having a family gathering on Saturday, and expected the service they pay you for would be done, they effectively got screwed.

Tony

JustMowIt
10-04-2004, 04:58 PM
If you do not plan on getting very large in the maintenace business, I would say showing up whenever is fine, there are some customers that are very flexible. When you set up a new account you might warn them that sometimes you do not show up on the given day.

In our business, we guarantee only 2 things

1. We will answer our phones Monday-Friday 7-7
2. We will be there on the day promised (unless there is a ton of rain, in that case it will be delayed only 1 day.)

These 2 items seem to be more important than anything else in our market!

Turf Medic
10-04-2004, 05:05 PM
If you do not plan on getting very large in the maintenace business, I would say showing up whenever is fine, there are some customers that are very flexible. When you set up a new account you might warn them that sometimes you do not show up on the given day.

In our business, we guarantee only 2 things

1. We will answer our phones Monday-Friday 7-7
2. We will be there on the day promised (unless there is a ton of rain, in that case it will be delayed only 1 day.)

These 2 items seem to be more important than anything else in our market!


You have grown very fast and seem to be still growing. What is the most important aspect of your business?

Customers, employees, equipment, yourself.

I am willing to wager you answer will not fit what appears to be the general consensus on this board.

Lux Lawn
10-04-2004, 05:35 PM
If they are concerned about it it I will let them know to keep a good relationship with the customer at all times.

wojo23323
10-04-2004, 06:27 PM
We have had so much rain this year, we have not had a schedule. Everyone gets mowed every 6-8 days (OK maybe 9 or 10, depending on weather). With normal weather you could set your watch to our schedule. Same day and time (mostly) every week.

JustMowIt
10-04-2004, 06:34 PM
You have grown very fast and seem to be still growing. What is the most important aspect of your business?

Customers, employees, equipment, yourself.

I am willing to wager you answer will not fit what appears to be the general consensus on this board.

All 4 are equally important, but Answering the phone & showing up on the designated mow day is the most imnportant for growth in out market.

Mowses
10-04-2004, 07:21 PM
I was delayed by first having my mower stolen, then having my backup blowup, then having a 2nd backup blowup. After that was fixed i was delayed by rain LOL. Most of them were just happy to see me and i explained the rain had set me back, plus they were happy that i'd come out to them on a public holiday so that showed them i did care. I had only 1 complain a little. A nice old lady, she was fine once i cut it. I cut her neighbours place and that looked a mess. The problem is this guy doesn't have a lawn, he has weeds !!!! I just don't understand it sometimes, people seem happy to have a front yard of just weeds which looks bloody aweful. If they don't want a real lawn then why not just cement it so at least the weeds won't grow ???

fcl01
10-04-2004, 11:04 PM
"sorry, had a rough week,its been kinda hectic latley". thats all i ever tell them. and nobody has ever given us any sh*t. at least not about being late! :p

HOOLIE
10-04-2004, 11:28 PM
I only have one customer that whines when it doesn't get cut on "her" day. The rest of them I've worked very hard to train them to expect the unexpected. When you're solo, and you mow 6 days a week, and it rains for 3 out of 6 days, well, you can do the math. But most customers, they work in offices, they don't really pay attention to the weather. Earlier this year, when it got pretty dry, all my lawns were burning up, except this one ladies lawn. I commented on how green it still was (she doesn't water it) and she said "Oh, its because of all the rain lately" Huh?

QualityLawnCare4u
10-05-2004, 07:44 PM
Anytime Im not going to make it I always call and let them know. I think its good business practice. I know I hate it when someone does me that way. Recently was going to have a well put down, guy does not show up and I set here all day waiting. He did not call me back untill 5 days later and had no excuse and was very rude about it. He needless to say did nto get the job. All he had to do was pick up the phone and call me and I could have done something else instead of waiting. So yes, if I dont call a customer they should be angry at me.

Danny

proenterprises
10-05-2004, 09:46 PM
thats what my guy would tell anyone who actually had enough free time to care about when his grass got cut :rolleyes:

Most of the people i have dont mind, they assume if I am not their (rare) their is a good reason for it. If somone did ask me, I would just be honest and tell them what happened, I cant think of a reason when I wouldnt.

green with envy
10-05-2004, 10:29 PM
You're kidding me right! They are the customer. Unless there was incredible rain or something obvious they are owed an explanation if they ask.

Mike

chefdrp
10-05-2004, 11:28 PM
damn right they need an exlanation. THEY pay YOU for a job. You dont just do it when YOU feel YOU want to. What if they just didnt pay ontime? I dont believe some LCOs think they are god and the homeowner is just some shmuk. Cracks me up. I do what it tkes for my clients. I need THEM.

Soupy
10-05-2004, 11:37 PM
I feel obligated to show up on time. So yes, I will let them know why If for some reason I have to delay them for a day.

Bobby, Why did it take you 3 days to get to them? We answered your question, so I think you are obligated to tell us why you were late :)

bobbygedd
10-06-2004, 07:19 AM
dear soupy, please excuse bobby from not cutting your grass on time last week, you see, there was this blonde in high heels , and it was happy hour ($1 frosted mugs) , and drinking shots off her stomach, well, it got out of hand. your understanding is appreciated. signed...... bobby's bartender. ok, it's like this. this is what I EXPECT FROM A CLIENT , so that we can co-exsist. flexibility. i get these calls, with these voices on my machine, if i'm only a day late, they sound so pathetic and almost like the speaker is in despair, "i just need to know what's going on" (in a moaning, desperate tone) . it's quite sickening to me. it's only the damn grass. you see, i'm still in the growing stages here, and from a business point of view, i see it to my benefit if i piss off one or two customers of mediocre desire, if it means picking up 2 others that would better benefit my company in the long run. truth to you boys, about what happened last week......i picked up 4 aeration and seeding jobs, @ close to $325 each. it rained 4" in one day, and also the dew was so heavy, it was like cutting in the rain if you went out before 1 pm. so, i chose to skip a few lawns @$30 each, so i had time to do my aeration, and make some real money. i don't owe anybody an explanation. you guys kill me with your attitudes, you really think like employees, and not business owners. what am i supposed to say, "i'm sorry i wasn't here on time mrs. peterson, i had a tummy ache?" WHAT'S THE DAMN DIFFERENCE why i wasn't here? are they gonna evaluate my excuse and decide wether or not i deserve to cut thier lawn anymore? i'm here now, and i'm cutting it. if you need to come outside, stop me from my work, and demand an explanation (like i'm a little boy) you're gonna get, "hey man, **** happens", and you'll be looking at my ass as i move on down behind the bobcat.

LakeMurrayLawns
10-06-2004, 07:58 AM
I've worked in service providing jobs for almost 30 years and a little courtesy and a polite "I'm sorry about that but our schedule got rearranged" will keep the checks coming in.

We are only "self employed" if we have customers paying for our service!!!

chefdrp
10-06-2004, 08:24 AM
Bobby. What if a few 30 buck customers just decided to pay some other bills that month instead of paying you. To save a little money. Pay some real bills as you call the other real money. I take care of my NORMAL jobs first then make extra money if i have extra time. And yes they might evaluate you and FIRE you. you are self employed,but if they dont like the work you will be fired like an employee. Sorry but thats the facts

bobbygedd
10-06-2004, 10:43 AM
they can't FIRE ME, i'm not employed by them, if i am, somebody owes me back payment for my medical bennies, wc, insurence, etc. now they can CANCEL SERVICE, choice is thiers. you see, unlike many of you unfortunate souls, i live in an area where they are a dime a dozen. i tend to be choosy about who i put on my schedule, and quick to erase thier name when they become a pita. and yes, very simply put, if i can skip 7 $30 lawns, in order to clear $900 on aeration, guess who's lawns arent getting cut?

mastercare
10-06-2004, 02:36 PM
What ever happened to picking up the phone and giving a 10 second explanation?

"Mr. xxx....Just wanted you to know that I didn't forget you today. I just had a dozen equipment problems hit me at once, and I got behind. I'll be there Monday, and get right back on schedule. Sorry for the inconvenience."

I promise, if you left this message; wouldn't take long. NOBODY would complain, and they would appreciate your "concern" for them. You can actually build more good will this way, than if you had just done the job on schedule!

I have picked up 4-5 accounts this summer, because somebody didn't show up on time. A phone call would have kept the customer happy...instead they lost the account....to me.

I'll pick those up all day long, and make sure that I don't let them go becuase I "didn't owe them an explanation"

karen1122
10-06-2004, 05:13 PM
This thread is very interesting. It clearly shows the difference between companies that are driven by a long term approach to satisfying their customers and those who don't look beyond tomorrow.

Descriptions of customers posted on this board range from those who tip with every cut to those in the broad class of PITA. Remember that golden rule thing that generally seems to be accurate - if you show your customers a little courtesy and take the extra step, then they will generally treat you a little better.

A phone call ahead of time would have probably bought you enough good will to take the more profitable, TEMPORARY jobs without risking the contracts that pay the bills for most of the year.

rodfather
10-06-2004, 05:26 PM
Frankly, unless that person has some planned event going on the day after you're normally there, I wouldn't bother phoning them. What's one day???You're mowing their lawn, not doing some live-saving medical operation. Sometimes we are forced to mow after 8 days, 9 days, sometimes more and sometimes things work out we can be back again in 6.

I don't sweat the small sh*t at my age. If I am off my 7-day schedule by a day or two once in awhile and a customer has a problem with that, get Little Johnnie next door to take care of your prop. Period

odin
10-06-2004, 05:27 PM
First my regulers come first they are never missed for one time people or jobs ..if we have big one time jobs i get my neices and nephews asses out of lazy mode and do some work to pick up the slack .If we miss due to weather ..broken down truck etc etc ......i dont owe em a damn thing much less a explanation .

Most have the sence if we miss one in rare blue moon ..some heavy s hit happened ....some custormers do have a little common sence .

ilovethisgame
10-06-2004, 07:38 PM
Bobby, How long does it take to make seven phone calls? There's no need for explaination if they know you aren't comming Friday and will make up the cut on Monday. For a guy that starts seven to ten threads a week crying about a customer mistreating him, your coustomer service skills show you are no more reasonable then they are.

-Dave

j&c
10-06-2004, 08:21 PM
When unexpected things occur and force me or my crews to not be able to reach a customer on their usual day (we Have scheduled routes) I do not mind calling to let them know or explaining when we do the job. I found the Best way to keep customers Happy is to let them know that you have a life too and things do not go perfect for you each and everyday,but do it nicely(this may sound funny but some of our older clients do welcome our presence's and look forward to seeing us on our scheduled day) take it for whats it is worth you are there to provide a service I think alot of people are not cut out for the service industry and it shows

jiw22
10-06-2004, 10:02 PM
a phone call gose a long way an you dont have to tell y your not comeing an most pll will go along with is what is have found i left one today called the guy an said i was haveing some troubs an would be back in the morin he said no probenl an it was only 1/2 done :waving:

Phishook
10-06-2004, 11:10 PM
Hey bobby, why not do the aeriation and the mowing? $1110!!!!


And what happened to Saturday and Sunday?

HOOLIE
10-06-2004, 11:24 PM
How do some of you guys keep such rigid schedules? Does it not rain where you are? I don't see many guys on here from San Diego or Las Vegas.

And why would a customer necessarily need such a schedule? Not like we need to go inside their houses.

You need to take care of your clients, but on the other hand, customers are a lot like kids. If they get everything they want all the time, they appreciate nothing and turn into brats (or PITAs). You need to build a reasonable amount of flexibility into your schedule. Most of my customers are smart enough to realize that I'm not mowing in a monsoon, and that it throws off my schedule.

bobbygedd
10-07-2004, 07:58 AM
hoolie= a man with a brain, and from virginia too, odd combination. once again, lawnboys ARE NOT businessmen, you all have showed me that time and time again. when is the last time ANY OF THE SERVICES you've used, notified you that they will not be available ? never, never, never. i drive down to the mechanic shop for an oil change, the sign on the door says, "on vacation, be back 9/15." boy o boy, you think he would have called. i need a plumber, i call dave, i get an answering machine, i call every day. finally 2 weeks later he calls back. i say, "what is going on? " he says, "i been on vacation." you think he would have called. my favorite resturant, i go there every other friday and get the double stuffed lobsters with crabmeat. i went last friday, they were out. you think they would have called. lawnboys are some very funny people, how they quietly, amoungst themselves, refer to eachother as "professionals", yet they allow the client to treat him, or her, like a little boy. i'm afraid this industry is too far gone, can't be repaired at this point, and you all did it to yourselves. you are screwing yourselves by allowing the client to dictate when and how the work gets done, what is acceptible and what is not, what day of the week it gets done, and what weather conditions are acceptible. what equipment you will use on thier property, how high you will set your blades, wether you will discharge or bag, etc etc etc. all the way down to, when they will pay thier bill. all this and you are sending them christmas gifts too. sickening, truly sickening. i love you all like brothers and sisters, great people here, but you still make my stomach hurt.

hoyboy
10-07-2004, 08:50 AM
We are NOT self employed. We are employed by customers, like it or not.

Dan

bobbygedd
10-07-2004, 09:26 AM
i rest my case, hoyboy said it. you all wanna be employees, then go right ahead. i am employed by NOBODY. you are all making your own beds.

karen1122
10-07-2004, 10:24 AM
Sorry Bobby - I can't resist

Online at 9:30 on such a beautiful day, your right, you may not be employed.

bobbygedd
10-07-2004, 02:56 PM
correct karen. online several times during the day, when i'm not fishing, or, last but not least, cutting grass. you see i try to run my business as a BUSINESS OWNER, not an employee. i know what needs to be done, and how long it will take us. i make my own hours, i don't do the traditional , idiotic "9-5" thing, in fact, i have no set schedule. i do what i want when i want. the work still gets done (usually) and i have a life without having to wait till january to live it. by the way karen....you new here? we havn't been formally introduced, my name is mr. gedd, but you can call me mr. gedd. what's your sign?

parkwest
10-07-2004, 04:26 PM
Don't fall for it Karen.

Bobby is a happily married man. His mother in law sees to that. In fact I wonder sometimes if he doesn't have something going on the side with his mother in law.

karen1122
10-07-2004, 04:58 PM
Bobby,

I can obviously see where your busy schedule would not allow time for a few phone calls to your customers. The constant, harsh and stressful demands of all that fishing, swilling of beer and just plain living must be tough. I feel for you man!

As for the BUSINESS OWNER vs. employee thing; I can see your point. Employees are always dependent on their employers for: a consistent source of income, business direction, and cash flow float. Now BUSINESS OWNERS don't have such a buffer and must rely solely on the direct cash stream from their customers. You must really provide a high level of customer service and treat each one with such great respect in order to guarantee such a flexible life style. Hats off to you!

The "idiotic 9-5 thing", you hit it dead on the money. Most successful BUSINESS OWNERS never work 9 to 5!

Additionally, I do appreciate your offer to allow me to address you as "mr. gedd", however, I would not feel right about demeaning you by emphasizing the true meaning of the lower case lettering. I'll just call you Bobby.

And finally, my sign is "$ Retire wealth at 50 $"

Hope to hear from you soon if you ever have the opportunity to get back on line.

bobbygedd
10-07-2004, 05:09 PM
park is lying. in fact, he lies alot, that's what got him the 5 year prison sentence (oops, did i say that...) . truth is, i was orphaned at 2, starved for love, i've been on my own ever since. hope you make it back soon. btw, karen....what a lovely name

karen1122
10-07-2004, 05:31 PM
and home by 5. What a provider!

bobbygedd
10-07-2004, 05:54 PM
5?? nah, cracked my first coors lite at 3:30

karen1122
10-07-2004, 06:01 PM
OOOOH That makes me all dewy.

I feel a surcharge coming!

bobbygedd
10-07-2004, 06:06 PM
"dewey?'" hmmm, yup, that'll cost ya

parkwest
10-07-2004, 06:43 PM
I guess my good looks and money just don't stand a chance against bobby's charm and charisma.

Let us know when you two set a date for the nupitials.

I've never seen two people hit it off so well as bobby and karen seem to have. It brings a tear of joy to my eyes watching love blossom like this. LOL

bobbygedd
10-07-2004, 06:49 PM
don't let him get to you karen. he's trying to be a weasle. oh, i forgot to mention the charges of his arrest.....was it spousal abuse?

chefdrp
10-07-2004, 09:52 PM
i think i am going to likr this Karen. Welcome to LS

ilovethisgame
10-08-2004, 01:36 AM
[QUOTE=bobbygedd] i drive down to the mechanic shop for an oil change, the sign on the door says, "on vacation, be back 9/15." boy o boy, you think he would have called. i need a plumber, i call dave, i get an answering machine, i call every day. finally 2 weeks later he calls back. i say, "what is going on? " he says, "i been on vacation."

Seems to me in both cases there were explainations and these are your own examples. As far as being a professional you're damn right I am! That's the reason I have great customers that respect me. Maybe if you acted like a professional you could find clients that weren't deranged or deadbeats.

-Dave

bobbygedd
10-08-2004, 04:49 AM
san franscisco? hmmm. no wonder your clients "love" you. i bet you really "bend over" for them

bobbygedd
10-08-2004, 05:59 AM
i doubt that your customers respect you. more likely they know who will submit to being abused. they know who they can push around. thing about people is, everyone likes to be in charge. and certainly if they are paying money to a pee on who is one step above the paperboy on the food chain, they must be in control. funny thing is, i never lose customers UNLESS I DUMP THEM. i mean, years ago while juggling 2 jobs and being very unreliable, i had cancelations. but last year very few, and this year only one i think. on the other hand, i've dumped at least 10 this year. i tend to be a bit more choosy about who goes on my schedule, and i'm very quick to erase thier name.

JustMowIt
10-08-2004, 04:11 PM
i doubt that your customers respect you. more likely they know who will submit to being abused. they know who they can push around. thing about people is, everyone likes to be in charge. and certainly if they are paying money to a pee on who is one step above the paperboy on the food chain, they must be in control. funny thing is, i never lose customers UNLESS I DUMP THEM. i mean, years ago while juggling 2 jobs and being very unreliable, i had cancelations. but last year very few, and this year only one i think. on the other hand, i've dumped at least 10 this year. i tend to be a bit more choosy about who goes on my schedule, and i'm very quick to erase thier name.

Bobby many times comes off as very harsh, but really "dumping" customers is not a terrible idea. The more difficult customers an LCO takes on & keeps, the more painful the business is to operate & the less good customers they have time to service. We dumped around 50 customers this season (credit card always declined, skipping, complaining, "instructing our employees", rude messages, etc....). There are too many customers who pay well & play by the rules to FXXX around with losers! :cool: We service over 2K customers & our phone rings a lot, but not as much as most people think! We think keeping the trash out helps to keep our sanity!!! :dizzy:

ilovethisgame
10-08-2004, 07:09 PM
Oh... the originailty of the frisco gay joke. From a guy that writes about getting the shaft everyday no less. Seriously, I have middle class customers who have worked a job most of there lives and understand just like them I need to make a living. I know more about what is going on in their garden then they do and I have made myself an asset to them. If you act like you are too cool to care they act like they can treat you as a whipping boy. I'm enjoying this debate Bobby you have renewed my interest in Lawnsite thanks.

-Dave