Customers Wasting Time

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by The Mowman, Jun 30, 2000.

  1. The Mowman

    The Mowman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    It seems a few of our mowing jobs, customers like to come out and stop the head man on the crew and chat about their lawn and other things that are not important. Here is my question. You do not want to be rude, yet when the customer is talking to you about unimportant things you are losing time, which equals losing money. Do you somehow keep the customer from bothering you every week or do you bill for the extra chat time. Now before everyone starts saying chatting leads to more work, we have a few customers who just like to talk and they waste alot of time.<p>----------<br>Stephen<br>
     
  2. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,950

    We had a good thread on this awhile back. ust keep equipment running and keep moving and wave at them and pretend that you can't hear them well. Sooner or later they get the message
     
  3. Kevin

    Kevin LawnSite Member
    from S.E. PA
    Posts: 169

    If you carry a pager or a phone you can always use that as an excuse. Just say &quot;The phone/pager is beeping/ringing/vibrating gotta go talk to you later&quot;
     
  4. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Kreep on mowing, and tell them your in a rush, thats not rude at all, I'm sure they won't be mad if you explain your busy and have no time to BS. BUT, BUT, BUT!!!!!! WHEN YOU DO HAVE THE TIME MAKE SURE THE COMMUNICATION IS THERE BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMERS, WEATHER IN PERSON, BY PHONE, E-MAIL, OR SNAIL MAIL, ITS IMPORTANT TO GET FEEDBACK SO YOU CAN KEEP DOING THE RIGHT THINGS AND BE ABLE TO CORRECT THE WRONG THINGS BEFORE THEY BECOME A PROBLEM!! But as far as how bout them Yankees and other BS, just don't let them catch you. The old ladys used to flag me down to come inside or have some cookies or whatever and if I made eye contact I'd wave really quick and look away and play dumb like I didn't know she was calling me. <p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://communities.msn.com/guidosequipmentpics/&quot;&gt;&quot;Guido&quot;&lt;/a&gt;<br>David M. Famiglietti
     
  5. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    Guido,<br>I do the same thing! I have developed a sixth sense to notice if anyone is approaching, then I head to the back yard, when I sense them there I head to the front, try to load up and get out of there.<p>I do chat with the majority, the ones I find interesting, or my major customers whom have influence and do throw me referrals on occasion.<p>But it is like bad luck, they will want to chat ONLY when your behind schedule from maintenance or rain.
     
  6. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    I find this usually happens with older customers. You are probably the highlight of their day when you show up. I had one woman stop me 5 times to talk- her yard is a 30 minute job. Another woman decided she would drag the hose across the yard to water flowers 5 minutes after I started to cut. Still yet, another man would tell me his life problems for 10 -25 minutes after I would start to blow everything off. these are the primary reasons that I prefer commercial accounts over residential ones.
     
  7. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,950

    I hate it too when a regular costumer(always a female senior) calls you alot. Leave a message on your voice mail. That says &quot;call me and let me know if you can come by tommorrow and do my yard. Or &quot;call me when you get time&quot; and don't say why. Or&quot; call me and let me know what time you are going to be here&quot;. You know they just want to yap yap yap forever, but you have to call them back even though you are tired. They do this to me alot. Just burns me up lol.
     
  8. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 494

    We had a pair of sidebyside lawns we nicknamed Pop & Talker . Pop cause they always had a cold one for us . Talker would wait for us to finish and start in and would not let a word in edgewise . He would eat up half an hour routinely. I gave both accounts away and only miss my pepsi. He was the worst case I had seen in my 15 years in business.
     
  9. The Mowman

    The Mowman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    We mowed the one female seniors house today. After we were done and in the truck, our boss told us what we charge her. It is 75% for cutting and 25% for talking with her for so long each time. Only thing is she does not know that she would save alot if she just said hello and let us get on with our mowing.
     
  10. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 922

    This can be frustrating I know... but use it to your advantage. If the customer is talking about topics other than their yard, change the subject. Lawn looks like it might need aeration...&quot;we now offer shrub prunning&quot; etc. etc. Use the contact with the customer to your advantage. <br>If that does not work I usally put my ear plugs in ... they get the idea.<br>But do try to use the time to add on sales!
     

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