Customer doesn't want employee on property

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dkeisala, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    A client calls and leaves a lengthy message. To abbreviate, my lead guy was taking a short break. Their ancient dog came over for some attention. Client comes out to tell the dog to leave my lead (Jim) alone. Jim, in a friendly yet stupid comment says "it's alright but if I break into your house, I'll remember to bring someone along to pet the dog!" This, of course, unnerved the client and now they don't want him on their property.

    I understand that these people don't know Jim the way I do. He's been with me for a year now and I untrust him with the substantial sum I've invested in my business and he has keys to everything. It's a home based business and he knows my schedule better than anyone and I've never had cause for concern. Nothing has ever come up missing, he's collected cash from clients and immediately hands it over and never performs any additional work in the field (people that may approach wanting their lawn mowed while we are servicing a client) without first making contact with me.

    These clients haven't been with us for long, have tons of money and with two other homes, travel frequently. I can understand them being upset but I don't have the equipment or manpower to put anyone other than him on the account. So how would you handle the situation?
     
  2. PJDiesel

    PJDiesel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    I would explain your level of trust and history with said employee. If they insist, I guess he doesn't cut that account. Sounds like a misunderstanding, I can see the humor in his statement, it's like "some watch dog", right? No biggie.
    Sounds like the customer is uptight and needs to loosen up a bit.
     
  3. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,952

    First off tell Jim not to talk to anymore customers except to say Hi and bye and Yes ma'am and no ma'am and yes sir and no sir.
    If you want to keep the customers then you go and do it without Jim
     
  4. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    Excellent point and this has already been done. He fully understands the idiocy behind his comment.
     
  5. PJDiesel

    PJDiesel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    I just re-read you post, you say "tons of money". This even more validates my point.

    "The sweaty lawnmower man is going to loot my house when I'm away."

    F'em. I'd tell them that he is the best man you've got and they have NOTHING to worry about. You have all of his information (SS#, address, DOB, etc.) if he were to end up taking from them, it wouldn't take long figure out it was him........

    They could show up to the Police station and say "Yeah, he even told me how he would distract my pet!"

    :hammerhead: ;)
     
  6. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,952

    I wouldn't brag on him. If you say the best man you have, then the best man you have has breaking into houses on his brain:rolleyes: Why should that sentence even be in his thought process? Ya they got tons of money and 2 houses and here a guy is on their property joking about breaking into their home(s)
    Joke or no joke, people take words like that seriously in this day and age. Many stories in the news about crimes committed by contractors working around your home. Not just lawn--paint, construction etc. In SC, a satellite tv contractor came back and raped the woman he had just set up for service the day before
     
  7. PJDiesel

    PJDiesel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    Okay, Chuck has a point. :rolleyes:
     
  8. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    I've always put a high value on honesty and security. People invite us onto their property and it's expected, and written, that employees will have respectful and courteous exchanges with clients. Bottom line is, clients should feel comfortable with us on their property. We've got a huge problem on our hands if they don't.

    I have another client that's quite wealthy. They've been clients for years and we're very friendly. I've even had dinner with them on three occassions and as friendly as we are, I still watch what I say so as to avoid offending them.
     
  9. Mowpower

    Mowpower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    Is this a "Freudian slip" " I untrust him" ?
    Just tell them you were the first person to hire Jim when he got out of the "joint" and he has really turned his life around.:)
     
  10. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    Very observant and maybe you're right?!!

    I've got to admit that Jim does look more like a carnival worker than a business executive but what he lacks in appearance he makes up for in loyalty and hard work.

    I actually talked to the client and while she was shaken up (they'd had their home broken into before) she felt better after I talked to her. I told her I was very upset by this, as was Jim. I apologized and told her Jim owed her one as well. I told her that Jim has a tendency to speak before he thinks and that she'd done us both a huge favor by bringing this to our attention and the situation highlighted our need to work on Jim's personal dealings with clients. She felt better, I felt better and the client was saved.
     

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