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Everyone talks about all these PITAs.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Brianslawn, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    why is it that the lawn biz is full of all these pita customers, yet the same people dont give the phone or cable company hardly any grief at all. sure, some customers are ******* to every store or biz they deal with, by why to those people treat the lawnboys worse than everyone else?

    is it cause the lawnboys dont know how to run a biz? or what?
  2. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

    I think a lot of people think of lawnies as simi-skilled labourers, that what it was like here years ago, but we have manage to turn that perception around the last few years by wearing uniforms, well presented equiptment in good order etc, etc, we ae now seen on the same level as plumbers, electricians here, but use to be far behind.

    I think a lot of people think any body can do it, because they have prob mowed a lawn and it was not rocket science.

    In the end you are treated the way you wish to be treated, look your customers in the eye, give them the impression you are the turf manager, they hire you, but you tell them when it needs to be cut and spell out any thing else(ie how you are going to be payed etc) once you are hired you are fully in charge of that lawn, you are the pro.

    Do not leave it up to the cust when they want it mowed, or if and how they want to pay you., you are the boss in this area.

    But by and large you are treated the way you let people treat you.
  3. Scotts' Yard Care

    Scotts' Yard Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 343

    'Cause everyone has mowed lawns at one time or another and they're all "experts":laugh:
  4. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,694

    There are only so many cable companies. You can't piss off more than 3 and still expect to get service. LCOs are everywhere.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    You speak a hard truth, here where I live there are 200 of them listed in the Yellow Book alone... So, you could literally take a dump on one after the other and, at the rate new ones come and old ones go, you'd never run out.

    The big city has an effect as well. I had an uncle years ago who ran a heating oil co... He got dumped on, too (yup lol, happens to other businesses as well), but he lived in a small town and there were only TWO heating Oil Co's... So if someone did him really bad and in a few cases would threaten to call someone else, my uncle would do them a favor by calling his competitor himself and send him a warning lol. But I can't do that here, not with 200 Lco's, it just doesn't work and what about all the ones who don't advertise in the big ways, surely there's at least 100 more...?

    I also suspect that 9 out of 10 people out there are all about getting over on a business. That's just how it is, sad, but it also helps those of us in it for the long haul get rid of competition, it has to be this way or we would really be over run... If it was as easy as it looks, everybody would be doing it, so as much as I hate to say it, it kinda sorta has to be the way it is.
  6. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    In my opinion, once a PITA, always a PITA. They are a PITA to the LCO, and they are also a pain in the ass to the cable company, you just don't see it.
  7. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,267

    I agree with you.They act like they are doing you a big favor by letting you work for them.Don't get me wrong most of us want as many customers as we can get but you can only take so much complaining from some customers.
  8. Frosty_03

    Frosty_03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 333

    Take charge after they hire you, who cares what they tihink of you as long as you don't think their way. I think some people in this business could bring the thoughts on themselves. I really don't care what people think as long as they pay me for a honest days work. I sometimes enjoy a good cold beer with most of my customers. I invite them to go fishing or motorcycling with me. Alot of my customers are very good friends of mine. :cool2:
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I don't drink alcohol and most certainly not with a customer, it clouds my judgement and puts me in place of an employee, which now means I work for them instead of myself. I suspect a lot of customers know this, which is why I take offense when one of them offers.

    Either way, business is business and friends are friends, a distinction which I find most people are incapable of truthfully discerning or enforcing... That we bring some thoughts on ourselves I will not argue, but if the customer and I do not see eye to eye, then we have a failure to reach an agreement, and there can not exist a relationship.
  10. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    ++++They act like they are doing you a big favor by letting you work for them++++

    Interesting thread. I have found that since I stopped giving free, in-person estimates, almost 100% of the bull schip has stopped. When you show up on a client's doorstep for a free, in-person estimate, the client realizes that you need them worse than they need you. Once they smell weakness, they will eat you alive.

    Last year, when a client would complain about our quality of service, I would drive out to the client's property to see what was going on. Often times, I couldn't even figure out what they were so unhappy about. But you can bet your sweet azz, if they were home when I did that, and they saw me out there on their property showing concern for their business, they'd certainly be coming forward with other complaints and expecting "lawn-boy" pricing for dallisgrass treatments, etc. The cancellation was almost always right around the corner.

    It boiled down to the fact that they were realizing I was just a guy with some lawn mowing crews and we weren't really some large lawn mowing company. Once they figure out they are dealing with "just a normal guy" they will expect you to show extreme concern for their continued business.

    I finally figured out the best way to handle complaints is to just send the crew back out for a free re-mow or make promises to go over their particular needs with the crew leaders. Driving out for free to address their concerns almost always resulted in a cancellation, sooner or later. If they are complaining, in my opinion, the worst thing you can do is set up a free appointment, on their property, to meet with them and address their concerns.

    DFW Area Landscaper

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