Adopt the Gedd method of dealing with customers????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by seven-up, Nov 10, 2004.

  1. seven-up

    seven-up LawnSite Member
    from la
    Posts: 108

    I'm seriously thinking about using Mr. Gedd's method of customer appreciation. It will take a short time to get used to it, but I think it could be worth it.

    The reason behind this is a recent/former customer.

    Mistake #1: Worked for family... a distant cousin.
    Mistake #2: Gave a low price to begin with.
    Mistake #3: Tried to be nice.
    Mistake #4: Nothing in writing because of #1.

    Where does it get you? You tell me.

    After grass seaon was over, I had talked with this lady about stopping by to mulch the leaves once a month. She asked how much. I said 75 dollars. Normal cutting is 50. She threw a fit. Said she can get it raked for 40. OK OK OK, whatever, I'm in college and I can still use the money during the winter. So, I'll be nice and do it for 50. She agreed. This was September.

    October rolls around. I do the yard 1 time for 50 dollars. Send her the bill. She sends the check back with a message that said.... John, I have never been married, there fore i have never been a MRS. (I had put MS. on the envelope not MRS.) She also said this is final payment, etc.

    So I call her back up. Try tp be nice. You know the song and dance. "Ma'am I appreciate you letting me work for you over the last several months. I have this letter where you say that you have switched to someone else. I see that this is about the leaf price."

    Ya, John, After you stood in my front yard and told me that it was 75 dollars, I had to go find someone else.

    Ma'am, At first I had said 75, then we agreed on 50 once a month over the winter.

    NOOOO, you said 75.

    OK, ma'am. We agreed on 50. But that's beside the piont since you already have someone else. I hope you have a great year. And if you need me again next season, please let me know. Have a good evening.

    Lessons Learned:

    1. People hear what they want to hear. There is nothing you can do to change this fact.
    2. Always get something in writing, especially with family.
    3. Should these typed of customers get higher rates to begin with? Just because of no reason in particular?

    So, Mr. Gedd. Please respond with your method of how you would have dealt with this customer beyond knocking on the door at 3 AM in the morning with your shovel in hand. Any others please respond as well.

    Thanks,

    John
     
  2. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,434

    had an old bat about the same as you... just tell her that when her NEW guy decides not to show that you will come back and up the price on her.... teach her a lesson. you may get something cheaper but it doesn't mean its better..... then do like bobby and hit her with a shovel :p
     
  3. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    Yea, old women suck to work for. I had this one that called one day wanting an estemate for cutting. I go over and tell her $30, she sais OK. I unload my 36" and she comes out wanting me to do it with a push mower only. Well I could see rite now it was time to load up and get the hell out of there. :waving: You can make much bette $$ with normal customers
     
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    say what you want about me, my customer retention is excellent, my complaint box is empty, my prices are higher, i get paid on time, i take no crap, and i get referrels! there is this young man, nice as pie, just started in the business, good kid, 22 yrs old. when he sees me, he pulls over to chat. well, there is this lady, mrs. numbnuts we'll call her, been thru more lawnboys than anyone else i know. i did her 2 yrs ago, 3 cuts and i dropped her like a fat chic when the buzz wears off. annoying, agrivating, tells you how to do everything. a real pain. ok, this spring she comes rolling up, i'm standing there with beer in hand, no shirt on. i say, "hey baby, what's up?" (she's 75 yrs old)she says, "please do my lawn." i say , "ok, this is the way we r gonna do this, you want a beer btw? , no? ok. " and i proceed to lay down the law. she says fine. right off the bat she calls twice a week with bullcrap complaints, i completely ignore her, don't return her calls. when i go to mow, i keep the headphones on, and something running at all times. she gives me the high sign to stop in whem i'm done, i give her the "okey dokey" sign. when i'm done blowing, i hop in my truck and drive away real fast. do you know, after 7 months of treating her like this, she is one of my best customers? anyhow, so i run into the young guy, he says, "o my god, you do mrs. numbnuts? she's a pain, i had her for 2 weeks and she fired me, and didn't pay me." i said, "look son, you got alot to learn. now you and that stupid yellow lawn mower get in the truck and beat it before i slap you for being stupid." my point: they will only do to you what you allow them to do. YOUR FIRST MISTAKE, backing down on your price. don't ever let them back you up. once they do, they know you're not for real.
     
  5. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,487

    True words of wisdom BG. People will treat you the way you let them. I have an old lady customer much like mrs. numbnuts. Always asking me to do more than we originally discussed. Like I'm family or something. I already give her a discount because she is a senior citizen. I try to under promise and over deliver, but sometimes with customers like these, it backfires. I spent 4.5 hours doing leaves and trimming some hedges. I charged her $200.00 for it. Well, you would have thought that I charged her $5000.00 by the way she responded. Some folkes still think you should be able to buy a loaf of bread for a nickle.
     
  6. shepoutside

    shepoutside LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,205

    Say What? 5 in court, posts about dropping customer. Nice try, but you forget what you post we see :dizzy:
     
  7. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    He said his complaint box is empty. Non payers dont complain a whole heck of a lot. But sometimes they do, hard to beleive. Just keep bending over and smiling as the customers walk all over you.
     
  8. turf9

    turf9 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 233

    now you and that stupid yellow lawn mower get in the truck and beat it before i slap you for being stupid."

    You cut me deep Bobby real Deep Lmao
     
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    ok, let me re word that. i retain the customers that i want retained. nobody ever cancels me, with the rare exception once in a blue moon when a little boy like you underbids me by 40%. other than that, they go when i say they go. i have ZERO cancelations.
     
  10. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,380

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