better business phone

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by SharperImage, Jan 4, 2012.


Better business phone?

  1. iPhone

    69 vote(s)
  2. Droid

    33 vote(s)
  1. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,898

    i think it's stupid that people call and don't leave a message yet they expect a return call? if there's no message and a number not in my contacts i never return the call. how do i know the call is even about lawncare? it could be a wrong number or a sales call or anything. it's their fault for not leaving a message. if they want lawn service then they can take a few seconds to leave a message saying they were needing an estimate or whatever. that's what voicemail is for. you use it to leave a message. i'm not gonna stop in the middle of a job to return a call from someone i don't even know that wouldn't even take the time to leave me a message. if they leave a message i'll gladly call them between jobs or at lunch or at the end of the day at which time i could swing by their house to give the estimate. never go out of your way to please someone that might not even become your customer. you have to set your priorities. your steady customers come first no matter what. you do everything you can to keep them happy because they provide you with income. you don't drop everything hoping to please someone you've never even met that may not even accept an estimate you give them. if they can't wait a few hrs or leave a message so i can return their call then they can find someone else. that will be fine with me.
  2. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,711

    How much is a new customer worth on avg to you all? It's a chunk of change for sure.

    This is all a moot point if an LCO is not advertising or wanting new customers.

    With noise reducing earbuds, my iPhone allows me to hear it ring when I'm working...even if I'm listening to music, it will interrupt the music. Taking a call provides an opportunity to score a new customer...perhaps one that wouldn't leave a message - for whatever reason.

    The point of this thread IMO, is how to use your smartphone to get ahead.

    One more time: If you need a particular part for your equipment and begin calling your local mower shops in search of that part...and you get their answering machine...would you leave a message? Or, would you just call the next shop on your list? I want a LIVE person to talk to...not some friggin' machine. Jeez. :laugh:
  3. Ticolawnllc

    Ticolawnllc LawnSite Senior Member
    from Wall NJ
    Posts: 411

    Just a funny story. I has this lady call once. I was in the middle of a clean up blower raceing deep in the woods. I answered and ask her to wait. She was old and got all flustered and hung up. I get to the car close the door and Call her. She was still over taken by the back ground noise lol. What can you do. I don't always work out in the field but peple shoud expect the boss to be on site.
  4. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,898

    forgot to mention my cell phone is also my personal phone. i don't have a land line of any kind. my cell phone is my house phone, personal cellphone, and business phone all in one so just because i receive a call doesn't mean it's about my business.
  5. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    for one i love technology and am not afraid of change. i'm always upgrading my computers and phones. but i'm still not gonna return emails/calls until i get home unless i want to.

    as for the what the client wants in regards to emails and phone calls, well it's on my terms. when someone calls or emails i respond when i feel like it. never had a problem with doing it my way before.

    yep that is EXACTLY how i feel........

    for me personally if i don't receive a voicemail (even if you are in my contacts) you don't get a call back. this goes for business, family and friends.

    for me they aren't worth a dime until i'm hired.

    even if i did return calls and emails while out in the field i certainly wouldn't stop working to answer the phone. shutting down the mower or setting down the shovel every time the phone makes a noise is nuts.

    why do people think they need to be available 24/7. we aren't doctors. we don't provide life saving have to be done now work.

    yes another very good point.
  6. Ticolawnllc

    Ticolawnllc LawnSite Senior Member
    from Wall NJ
    Posts: 411

  7. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    i'd rather listen to an voicemail first because i'd like to be prepared for the call.

    if someone calls and leaves me a voicemail wanting landscaping i would know to have my buddys number ready who does landscaping when i call back since i don't do landscaping. that way i'm not having to put there person on hold while i get the number.

    sometimes people will actually leave me there address in a voicemail wanting an estimate. this will either allow me to know there location so i could tell them if i even work in that area when i call them back or i've been known to just do the estimate then call them back.

    emails get answered in the evening after i've done my maintenance on my equipment and had dinner and showered. this is when i also return most of my phone calls.

    returning phone calls and emails during the working day can add significant time to your working day. i'd rather work 8-4 and take phone calls and emails after that than work 8-5 because i spent time during the day with phone calls and emails.

    in my opinion if you can't wait up to a day for a response then i'm not interested in working for you in the first place. like i said, this isn't life saving emergency work we do. most of the time our services are luxury services. and if you insist on an immediate response well then there are plenty of other LCO's to choose from.

    i've had people call, leave a message and then call back an hour or so later. i've had people call me 8 times in one day never leaving a message. with me all of this is a huge pet peeve. after 2 or 3 calls in the same day with no message left, you are never gonna get a hold of me because i will make it a point not to answer the phone from that number ever.

    call, leave a message and i will return that call.

    call with no message, no call back.

    call leave a message, then call back before i call you back. i'm more than likely gonna take my sweet time getting back with you.

    call me multipul times in a day with no message. i will be ignoring your future calls each and every time.

    i have been questioned a few times by people. one guy called me 8 times in one day. turned out to be a neighbor of an existing client, when i was over at my clients he came over and said he was trying to get a hold of me and called me multipul times. i simply told him if you don't leave a message i can't return your call. walked back inside and never heard from him again.

    some people get upset and with others its like a light bulb goes off. "oh i never thought you'd be out working, i thought when i saw your add you were sitting by the phone waiting for people to call"
  8. PK Mows

    PK Mows LawnSite Member
    Posts: 88

    "one guy called me 8 times in one day. turned out to be a neighbor of an existing client, when i was over at my clients he came over and said he was trying to get a hold of me"

    Sooooo, you had a potential Customer who is the neighbor of an existing Customer who made a good bit of effort to contact you and because he didn't want to leave a message he wasn't worthy of being a Customer? I'd like to hear the conversation that guy had with his neighbor after all that. And all the other neighbors.....

    Personally, I hate talking to machines. I seldom leave voicemails and rarely will fight my way through automated phone systems. When I call someone who I plan to spend money with, I expect some personalized service. If I'm spending maybe a couple to a few thousand dollars with them, I'm not going to let that Vendor decide when I can spend my money, I'm ready to do business now. I'm the Customer, if someone doesn't want my business, ok, I'll go elsewhere, and, I'll tell everyone else why I went elsewhere. I mean, that's like walking into a dealership to buy a new mower and having the salesman tell me go stand in a corner and he'll get around to me when he feels like it.

    This is a Service industry. People pay for Service and if you want to rise to the top, emulate what the top guys do. Yardguy, I wish you the best in however you want to run your business and if you're happy with it, then that's all that matters for your situation. But in the short time I've been on this site I've seen a lot of people new to business ownership and I offer this to those people. I've owned one or more business at any given time since 1986 and if you want to grow, and profit well, and stay in business, put your Customer's needs first. Because there is another guy half a step behind you ready to take over. Remember, your new Customer is hardly ever a virgin Customer. They were using someone else before they called you, it would pay you well to learn why they left the other guy.

    And while lawn care may not be a life and death emergency, people are busy these days. Find you someone who does marketing for a living and ask them what is the number one complaint Customers have. I'll tell you, it's wait time. People do not want to wait. Doesn't matter how dire the circumstance may seem to you, it's your potential Customer's opinion of how quickly they need service that determines if you get paid or not. People do not want to stand in line at the bank, they do not want to stand in line at the grocery store, they do not want to stand inline at the Walgreens. You're not the DMV, people have to stand inline at the DMV, they do not have to stand in line waiting on you to call them back when it suits your schedule.

    Every good salesman knows this rule, Every contact is a potential sale, Every potential sale is a game maker. You don't qualify a potential Customer until you have them interested in what you're selling.

    But, to each their own.
  9. Ticolawnllc

    Ticolawnllc LawnSite Senior Member
    from Wall NJ
    Posts: 411

    I think that a lot of the guys that don't like customers that don't leave VM's are thinking in the maintenance biz. And I understand where they are coming form. Lots of customers out there are real jerks and not leaving a message gives them insight into what kind of customer they are.

    We all know our area and how much work we can take on.

    Good luck to every one. This will be my last post on this thread.
  10. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    ticolawnllc hit the nail on the head.......

    if a person i don't even work for calls me 8 times in one day without ever leaving a voicemail looking for an estimate, to me that gives me an idea of how that person will be if i work for them.

    they clearly expect to get a hold of me immediately and i don't even work for them so they will certainly expect to get a hold of me immediately if i work for them.

    my voicemail message clearly says if you wish for a call back please leave a message. so it is very clear, no message left, no call back.

    i can't imagine the conversation he had with anyone went badly as i still work for the clients he is neighboring and i've picked up other neighbors on the other side and down the street. didn't seem to affect my business negatively at all. the others all left voicemails and waited for me to return there call.

    i'm not looking to be top dog in my town. all i want is enough business to keep myself busy and enough money to cover my budget. i could care less what the other guys are doing. and so far i'm doing pretty good and i've said already. i'm getting pretty full for what i can handle solo. last season i had to turn away business.

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