Customers that like to talk too much.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jackman, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. Jackman

    Jackman LawnSite Member
    from Zone
    Posts: 231

    Do you have any? How do you handle the talkers? I have this one in particular ( top notch customer I make out good at his place) that I just dread going to his house. He just enjoys talking and its hard to get away from him. I hate to give the cold shoulder or be rude but dang I work for a livin and 15 or 20 minutes of talk wreaks the whole day.
     
  2. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,939

    Can you change your schedule and go to his house when he's not there?
    Crawdad
     
  3. swim

    swim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 357

    I have alot of customers who like to gab when I come over. It is always hard the 1st year, but after that I figure a little extra into the job just for gab. Besides I don't want to be rude, and say got to go. It is good to have that personal touch and helps build customer loyalty. Like you said I work for a living and if it wasn't every time it would be ok. But 30 min can throw off a whole day.
     
  4. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,013

    This is what works for me. If I do not want to talk to them I do not shut off the eqiuptment and lift one side of my headset so they have to yell at me to yak....... they get the point real fast.
    If they catch me when I am between tasks I look at my watch and give them maybe two minutes then I tell them I have to finish up because I have to pick up my kids later.
     
  5. PLI1

    PLI1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 254

    I have a couple, great people but a little gabby. I save these for the end of the day and allow a little time to talk, but if they get to long winded I tell them I gotta go because my wifes makin dinner and I gotta be home in 15 minutes or I want to get home before rush hour ect. Works well for me.
     
  6. sgreanbean

    sgreanbean LawnSite Member
    from cal
    Posts: 138

    i let them talk, if you can make those your last accounts of the day.this way your not messin up your schedule, maybe not home on time but this could also be the time when the neihbors come home from work, join the conversation and maybe pick up more work, of course it could mean just more talk!
     
  7. DUSTYCEDAR

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    i bill them for it
    if it is a i time thing or they want extra work no problem
    but if they just want to bs no problem i am on the clock and they pay for my time
    they learn to talk quick when they find out
     
  8. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 980

    It's part of the reason i do this job. I love it. Besides, those people are the ones putting food on my table. And i am NOT the cheapest in town. I am sure that even little Johnny down the road would be happy making half of what i charge. Plus i have reaped well those seeds of 'friendship' that i have sown. It is also harder to fire a friend. There are many benifits ethically and business wise.

    IF you KNOW a customers is going to gab, pull out the 52" wb and mow thier 2000K lawn with it. Save time to chat. j/k

    I have even preached to my crew(s) that this delay in thier routes is OK. I encourage it actually. A customer will more likely tell you of an issue they are having with your service if you make time to chat, vs you being to busy. They might be too busy to try and get you to fix it and find another service. I have read that keeping a customers is cheaper than generating a new one. Do you believe that? Then TAke the time guys. We are not bullet proof in our business's.
     
  9. Jroctx

    Jroctx LawnSite Member
    from Austin
    Posts: 73

    Never stop working or loading up the vehicle, turn it on. Bill customers, inform the ones that are not under contract to have the check under the mat prior to work (this is to prevent from having to ring the door bell.) If they are not talking about future work, after they get the first point across politely tell them you have other clients waiting, or that you schedule is tight and you must push on, but feel free to email or call you later.

    But this is that competitive advantage once a company grows and is afforded the ability to have a crew(s) operate independently of you (the owner) from actually having to service the yard. You could then set appointments or do surprise visits on your crews, both will allow you to "chat" with clients. AKA, Customer Service/Relationship building. I am looking forward to implementing this value add service this year!
     
  10. cush

    cush LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    Acute Cut has the right idea. Build relationships and you probably wont hear the whole so and so said they would do it for $10 less
     

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