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View Full Version : Another customer who seems to know "our" business


General Grounds
02-11-2005, 07:01 PM
:realmad: i have a customer who seems to think that we need to remove the old mulch from the beds before installing the new mulch. i tried to explain a) we've never had that request before, and B) that is not nec. he wanted no part of that " im not sure who taught you how to mulch, but". I can see the craps gonna start already, and its still feb. have fun, Tony

MImowerkid
02-11-2005, 07:05 PM
hey , do whatever he wants, and charge accordingly! rather than a simple rather inexpensive job it will cost 5x as much and it is going in your pocket! have fun!

kturf
02-11-2005, 07:08 PM
i LOVE THOSE KINDA CUSTOMERS HIS IGNORANCE MEANS LOT MORE MONEY IN MY POCKET GO GET HIM MAKE HIM PAY DEARLY

General Grounds
02-11-2005, 07:09 PM
:angry: just got off the phone with the guy now claims that they dont need mulch this year, im probably better off not doing this job. a simple 5 yard mulch job and should take about a hour and a half with the bed edging will turn into one of those nightmare jobs, i think ill count my blessing. tony

DennisF
02-11-2005, 07:20 PM
I just finished throwing 15 yards of Cypress mulch today. My butt is dragging right now, but I turned some nice revenue on the job. I know what you mean about know it all customers. When it looks like the customer is going to try and tell me how to do the job...I double the bid price. If they say they want to help with the job...I triple the bid price.

LB1234
02-11-2005, 09:57 PM
Sorry guys...shoot me...but I have a customer that every other year we've been taking the old mulch out of the front beds and moving it to another place in the back yard. In fact, this spring we are due to move it again. I just don't see the big deal.?.?.?.

I charge him extra for it. He doesn't complain about the charge. I get more money. He gets what he wants. We're both happy. What's the problem...why not just do it?

YardPro
02-17-2005, 07:30 AM
the only problem is that you're cancelling out one of the main reasons to use mulch in the first place. the mulch decomposes and adds organic material to the area. by removing it, you are removing 1/2 the reason for the mulch in the first place.

if that's whay THEY want, then no problem. BUT if YOU are the one recommending it, then it's not good management practice.

i had a residental customer (15o bales 2X/year) that had me remove the old straw every 2-3 years. her reason was that she hated any kind of raised bed, and wanted to keep her beds "flat". I explained the benefits of the decomposed material, and she agreed, but wanted it removed, so we did.

WhohasHelios?
02-17-2005, 10:13 AM
I'm no expert on the microbiology side of things, but when mulch gets placed around certain plant, or soil for that matter, microbial life and things like nematodes specific to the plants that are in that particular area begin to develop and provide those plants with the nutrients and defence mechanisms required for optimal health.

By moving the mulch that has been down for one year or more already, you are also moving all the beneficial microbial activity to an area it is perhaps not required.

I do realize that it is great for our revenues to just do what we are asked, however I like to think of the industry as a whole...

=) Reuben

LB1234
02-17-2005, 10:18 AM
I agree with removing it is not the best thing. However, if you explain it to the customer and they still say no...I just say okay. Kind of like the customer is always right. You can only try and convince so much.

Sorry, I'm not risking loosing an account over me not wanting to move old mulch to the back hedgerow.

gogetter
02-17-2005, 01:30 PM
Kind of like the customer is always right. You can only try and convince so much.
Sorry, I'm not risking loosing an account over me not wanting to move old mulch to the back hedgerow.


Since I don't believe in that saying (the customers always right), I wouldn't do the job. Why? Because I don't have much patience for stupid people.

If they're making that goofy of a request now, they're going to be trouble down the road.
I'd rather pick up another customer that has some common sense.

This is along the same lines as to why I don't bag grass, why I don't cut grass super short, why I'm not going to pile mulch a foot high around the base of a tree, etc.
I know what's best for their lawn. If they can't understand that, then I don't want them as a customer.

LB1234
02-17-2005, 03:04 PM
Since I don't believe in that saying (the customers always right), I wouldn't do the job. Why? Because I don't have much patience for stupid people.

If they're making that goofy of a request now, they're going to be trouble down the road.
I'd rather pick up another customer that has some common sense.

This is along the same lines as to why I don't bag grass, why I don't cut grass super short, why I'm not going to pile mulch a foot high around the base of a tree, etc.
I know what's best for their lawn. If they can't understand that, then I don't want them as a customer.

Respectively...I''ll agree to disagree on this one.

I can see if it was something detrimental or hazardous...but...removing mulch isn't 'hurting' anything...yes you are taking some nutrients away...agreed...but if you saw the landscape you wouldn't know it.

Have been with this customer since '01. Gives me plenty of extra work over the years, installs, cleanups, and other miscellaneous work. Aided in getting me two yearly contracts for lawn maintenance. Both of those customers now use us for mulch, installs, leaf cleanup, etc. In addition, has referred customers to us for one time work. Asked if it was okay if he placed our name and phone number into the communities local newspaper. We of course said no problem.

As for other goofy requests...well it'll be our fifth year starting this spring. I dunno...no problems about other 'goofy' or 'stupid' requests. One of...if not the..best residential customer we have.

gogetter
02-17-2005, 03:12 PM
Respectively...I''ll agree to disagree on this one.

As for other goofy requests...well it'll be our fifth year starting this spring. I dunno...no problems about other 'goofy' or 'stupid' requests. One of...if not the..best residential customer we have.

There's always exceptions, and this appears to be one of those. So, keep doing what you're doing as long as you're both happy! :)

YardPro
02-18-2005, 09:39 PM
I'm no expert on the microbiology side of things, but when mulch gets placed around certain plant, or soil for that matter, microbial life and things like nematodes specific to the plants that are in that particular area begin to develop and provide those plants with the nutrients and defence mechanisms required for optimal health.

By moving the mulch that has been down for one year or more already, you are also moving all the beneficial microbial activity to an area it is perhaps not required.

I do realize that it is great for our revenues to just do what we are asked, however I like to think of the industry as a whole...

=) Reuben

not really
the only things the microbes do is to convert the organic material to a useable form of Nitrogen or other elements. You can apply the proper fertilizer to do the same thing.
plants will grow in anything as long as they have N,P,K and a few other micronutrients.

so, you are not doing any dammage, just creating more of a fertilizer demand.

Critical Care
02-21-2005, 12:53 PM
When Gogetter mentioned that he doesn't believe in the saying that the customer's always right, that made me wonder about the rest of us. I'm sure there is a limit how far each and every one of us will go as far as performing silly requests for clients. How many of you would pick up after a client's dog?

There's a saying in the United States that the customer is king. But in Japan the customer is God.

gogetter
02-21-2005, 01:28 PM
When Gogetter mentioned that he doesn't believe in the saying that the customer's always right, that made me wonder about the rest of us. I'm sure there is a limit how far each and every one of us will go as far as performing silly requests for clients. How many of you would pick up after a client's dog?


Just for the record, your example is different then what the original post was about. The original post was about something that doesn't NEED to be done. Dog poop needs to be picked up.

Critical Care
02-22-2005, 11:17 AM
Heh heh, Gogetter, I wish most people would take heed to your words about how dog poop needs to be picked up. It would make my job a lot easier, and nicer. But for whatever it's worth, I had a client ask to have us pick up after his dog. We did it, but I thought it was a bit silly since this fellow was able-bodied and could have done it himself. That's about on par as having your meter reader fold your laundry for you. I'm just wondering how far some of us would go outside of their job description to please a client?

Removing old bark is strange, but perhaps this guy is simply thinking that he doesn't want old dark or faded looking bark mixed in with the new. Perhaps for this person the visual aesthetics of all new bark out in his highly visible areas outweigh the mulching and nutrient benefits.

LB1234
02-22-2005, 04:14 PM
If they want it done by me no problem. Their are a few companies around here whose business is picking up the doo-doo. I'd simply contract it out and make a little off of the subcontract.

lpwhandyman
02-28-2005, 04:44 PM
:realmad: i have a customer who seems to think that we need to remove the old mulch from the beds before installing the new mulch. i tried to explain a) we've never had that request before, and B) that is not nec. he wanted no part of that " im not sure who taught you how to mulch, but". I can see the craps gonna start already, and its still feb. have fun, Tony

Maybe he was worried about artillery fungus??

stxkyboy
03-01-2005, 01:48 AM
The fact is that often mulch does not decompose fast enough and after several years of three inches you will see areas with excessive build up(8 inches). This is harmful to the plants and if it builds up above the foundation line is a good way to ensure termite problems.

lawncare4u
03-01-2005, 07:12 AM
Since I don't believe in that saying (the customers always right), I wouldn't do the job. Why? Because I don't have much patience for stupid people.

If they're making that goofy of a request now, they're going to be trouble down the road.
I'd rather pick up another customer that has some common sense.

This is along the same lines as to why I don't bag grass, why I don't cut grass super short, why I'm not going to pile mulch a foot high around the base of a tree, etc.
I know what's best for their lawn. If they can't understand that, then I don't want them as a customer.

With your atitude you're lucky to have any business,how many accounts do you have? 1 and its probably your own!

old dog
03-05-2005, 11:30 AM
Couldnt agree more LB1234 .If you explain it and they still want to do it the expensive
way ,go for it.I have a $30,000 per year residential customer who will listen ,but at times
wants it done his way and is willing to pay for it.A Year ago his wife sent my wife and I
to A Doobie Brothers concert free(it cost them $150) in appreciation.He owns 14 Burger King Franchises and sends me work from them time to time.They also on maybe 3 times
a year hand out $10 worth of BK coupons to EACH crew member while we work
at the house.That is what customer service does.
If they don't want to pay for it ,let the lowballer have it!

Precision
03-07-2005, 07:54 PM
if you are getting build up, then don't add 3 inches each time you throw mulch.

If you already have an inch then add 2. In Florida we don't have that problem.

Also Termites won't eat anything they can't burrow into. So if you mulch is not at least twice the width and height of a termite he won't eat it. landscape timbers, termite food, most mulch not any termites to be found. Roaches that is a different story.

stxkyboy
03-10-2005, 05:38 PM
My point was that if you bring the ground level up with mulch above the foundation/brick line it provides an easy access point. I see it alot arround here where year after year people just build up mulch.

bbritt
03-10-2005, 07:18 PM
:realmad: i have a customer who seems to think that we need to remove the old mulch from the beds before installing the new mulch. i tried to explain a) we've never had that request before, and B) that is not nec. he wanted no part of that " im not sure who taught you how to mulch, but". I can see the craps gonna start already, and its still feb. have fun, Tony
you have to eventually take it out or your gonna have a mound on the beds and eventually prob choke some plants out as well.if you take alot out of the beds you probably dont have to do it for another few years or so plus its mo money in your pocket :gunsfirin :gunsfirin

Precision
03-10-2005, 07:29 PM
Maybe you northern guys have to pull out mulch. But here in Florida that stuff rots so fast you are bringing in new twice a year. If you put down 2 inches in march and come back the next march there will be almost no mulch remaining.

old dog
03-11-2005, 07:14 PM
Maybe you northern guys have to pull out mulch. But here in Florida that stuff rots so fast you are bringing in new twice a year. If you put down 2 inches in march and come back the next march there will be almost no mulch remaining.
When the soil is frozen ,so are the microbes.Might I suggest a lighter application
if it is a problem?But when we get into finer mulch,it deteriorates more rapidly.
Woodmulch,or bark mulch,and in the north what kind of wood(s) make a difference.When the customer becomes abusive,then he ain't right.If he
wants to pay for it,he's right.If you ain't willing to do it,look himin the eye
and say"no,thanks" politely.Maybe suggest someone who could do it.
Point is,if it is a good customer,why is it a problem to do anything if it
is legal.We have changed light bulbs or any number of things for people.
It is a SERVICE business,not a union rate job.

LB1234
03-11-2005, 10:54 PM
When the soil is frozen ,so are the microbes.Might I suggest a lighter application
if it is a problem?But when we get into finer mulch,it deteriorates more rapidly.
Woodmulch,or bark mulch,and in the north what kind of wood(s) make a difference.When the customer becomes abusive,then he ain't right.If he
wants to pay for it,he's right.If you ain't willing to do it,look himin the eye
and say"no,thanks" politely.Maybe suggest someone who could do it.
Point is,if it is a good customer,why is it a problem to do anything if it
is legal.We have changed light bulbs or any number of things for people.
It is a SERVICE business,not a union rate job.

Well said Old Dog.