At what point do you give up trying to make somebody happy

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by wes92395, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. wes92395

    wes92395 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    One of my mowing customers have one hell of a neighbor. The neighbor put up this giant probably at least 8ft tall fence along her property so it's not like me mowing the yard could bother her right? Wrong. Every week she comes over and whines to me about something. First time it was me parking my truck on the street, so now I back it into the driveway... Then she whines that I make too much noise too early (early being 9-10am on a Wednesday) so I alter my schedule and get there around 4-5pm.... This week she told me "by not bagging the yard your causing grass and weed seeds to become airborne and contaminate my yard. I think you should pay to have my lawn fertilized" meanwhile there's a big fence separating the two yards and you look at her yard and it's tore up due to her dogs. I just tried to keep from laughing and said "sorry that's not going to happen mam" started the mower again and kept on mowing before she could say anymore.... So my question is, how far will you go to make somebody happy before you reach that point that you don't give a crap any more?
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  2. ilike2mow

    ilike2mow LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,032

    I would say just ignore what she wants because from what you describe you aren't doing anything. I don't have anyone near my clients making requests like that but I would say just ignore and go on with your business.
     
  3. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,052

    Go back to what you were doing and next time don't shut the mower off.
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  4. wes92395

    wes92395 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    I'm to that point now where I just don't have patience for her... Truck is going back on the street at 9am next week... Being a new guy I try to please everybody to make a name for myself but this woman is just over the top. I really have never seen anyone with that much time on her hands
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  5. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,722

  6. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,266

    Keep the headphones on and don't pay her no mind.
     
  7. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,480

    I'm all about the customer service, but I wouldn't have done a single one of those things. I would nod, smile, hand her a business card so that she can call for an estimate, and fire the mower back up...at 9am.
     
  8. Locqus

    Locqus LawnSite Senior Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 708

    ^^Agree with everyone here. We make minor changes to actual customers if they have minor requests (cutting a certain way, or coming at a general time). But these are minor, if we can't do it we won't. A neighbor we would not even deal with lol. Especially when you are within complete reason of work hours and practices. We had a neighbor that complained we got her dogs to bark because of our machines, which woke her up. I apologized and suggested maybe training her dogs not to bark, and kept on mowin.
     
  9. FireLTMower

    FireLTMower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Why are you trying to please someone who doesn't cut you a check? Customer service is important, but taking crap from someone who owes you nothing is ridiculous. Now, on the other hand, there WILL come a time when you have a client who is impossible to please, regardless of what you do. There WILL come a time when you have to tell them to find another provider, and only you will know when. Customer service is important, and satisfaction is as well. However, when the satisfaction of one customer starts to cut into profits from the rest of your customers, it's time to move on. Just make sure to dot your "I's" and cross your "T's", and be more particular with your record keeping and conversation documentation than you are with your work. I will NEVER mow another yard, or landscape another property for which I don't have a written agreement for. When you get stiffed for a month's work, a verbal agreement or phone call is just hearsay, and won't do anything for you.
     
  10. wes92395

    wes92395 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    I try to keep neighbors of customers and employees of my commercial contracts happy in hopes of gaining their business, but at this point I wouldn't want to work for her anyhow cause she's too much of a pain... I've givin up a few jobs because it's not worth me being aggravated. When I first started out I mowed all public areas of a trailer park and it's snow removal. Totaled up to being around 7acres worth of mowing was a nice job. With all of the weedwacking it could keep three guys busy for a 10hr long day. I didn't sign it the next year though, couldn't stand all the people coming out and whining for every little thing and I kept getting stuff stolen from my truck which drove me crazy.
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