Great Customers!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lawn Dog2001, Nov 16, 2001.

  1. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    It seems like there are always alot of people complaining about bad customers, and they're experiences with them. But I just thought it would be nice to recognize some of the good customers for a change.

    Today I serviced one of my best customers for the last time this season. She is an older lady in her 70s, that just lost her husband last year. This season I have taken care of eveything for her. We put in all new landscaping beds, we fertilized, mowed, trimmed bushes, aerated, overseeded. You name it, we probably did it for her. Never once, out of all the services we provided for her, did she complain about a price. As a matter of fact, she made it a point to tip me, and my workers, every time we were there for anything.

    She was so happy with my service that when I told her this would be the last cutting for the season, she cried and hugged me. I know this is pretty corny, but it is nice to be appreciated by someone every once in a while. She thanked me up and down for all that we did for her. Keep in mind, we did over $4000 worth of work for this woman this year. If anyone should be thanked, it would be her.

    Just a note to all you guys disgusted with this customer or that one.(Just like I usally am) For every really horrible customer you have, you probably have 10 great ones!

    Has anyone else had a customer really go out of their way to do something nice for you? I would be interested in hearing some of the good customer stories.
     
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    I just did a clean up for $175. this morning, and the customer inSISTed I keep the $200. they paid me. Not bad for 2 1/4 hours, I guess.:)
     
  3. BerksLawn

    BerksLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    We have alot of great customers one we charge 85$ a cut for 4.5 acres and use there tractor. From her she gives my dad 100$ christmas bonus, a nice schwin bike, a tractor cart,plunty of firewood, and is always askin if my dad he wants to charge more and she usually adds 20 to the bill. We also cut wealthy triplets in there 80s that live together they give use 90$ to shovel their sidewalk which isnt even 15 ft long but it gets plowed on alot. They paid us for other things like we put in there storm door for 35$ and it took less then 5 min. We do have some strange customers but all in all these ones make you happy for the job you have done.
     
  4. Mark

    Mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 723

    I to am blessed with some very wonderful clients, i have never lost a client for my work,only illness and death. Most all of them give me extra money for just taking the time to pick up paper and trash, and all are very happy with me. We are on a first name bacis and they are great people and i charge alittle higher than most on Lawnsite, I now have a starting of 45-dollars per yd, but they are all big. Also after 11yrs ive only had one who is slow at paying. It makes you feel good doing business with folks like that, I just thank the Lord for the blessings Marks Mowing Service
     
  5. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 363

    Great Topic Dog, If someone just poped in to read some posts, we are always complaning about something or someone. People must think we hate everyone. We dont really, its that most of us have so many good customers it makes the bad ones stick out so much and we need to vent... Plus most of us are profectionists.


    I've had a few customers that tip, one that makes me cookies, another that offers me lunch during cleanups. A bunch that always say how nice it looks, one that got his neighbor w/ me and 2 more for next year. I cut a church that I get the most compliments from both directly and members telling the curch how nice it looks. the grass is crazy there spring groth all year it seems. Thay dont pay much, but are willing to pay twice as much next year when I give them an estimate, thay dont want anyone else doing it, as thay trust me. Next year thay are doing a major expansion, and the lawn will be almost totaly riped up, thay still still pay normal amount to cut. New septc, 1/2 the lawn will not be there when its finished. as it will be parking or buildings. thay want my imput or work for all the major landscaping, grass/grading/lights/beds etc... Some i can do most i cant.... large place... Thay are giving me a all acess key to the curch....
    Heck I dont even attend their services. and thay tell everyone its me who does such great work.... cant beat referals from a trusted church.....
     
  6. dlandscaping

    dlandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from mass
    Posts: 835

    nice old lady i have, she just lost her husband after 50 something yrs of marriage. he got amnesia and it was a bad way for him to go out since he was a great man. i handled all her landscaping this year and she pays as i mow and never complains about price. she tips me now and then. i needed a place for my trailer and some mowing equipment and she has a 2 car garage. i asked her if she was using it this winter and she said no. i said that i would give her free cleanup and fertilizer, but she objected and said no have it for free, u can put anything you want in there it is yours. it also is four houses down so it is nice and convient and i will make it a new shop for me. what a good customer you cant beat that.

    o yea the other day we were running behind and she knew and she was like you can stop and come back tomorow and finish the other larger customers tomorow.
     
  7. CLC

    CLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    I have a elder man that comes out when im done mowing and brings me a soda and we sit and talk I hope Im a cool old dude :)
     
  8. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I have one retired client who goes out of her way she loves the services so much. This past season in particular she seemed to be homw more often than not. Most years shes traveling during the summer months to visit her family and this year they were at her house alot.

    When we were there to do the spring clean-ups she bought a sheet and a couple of 2 litres for the guys. Over the summer we did several projects at her home and she made lunches for us. If we brought a lunch she insisted that it would not be polite to refuse her kindness. This fall when her leaves were getting done she offered hot cider and donuts or cold drinks and sandwiches depending on the weather.

    She never gripes about her bill (its been pretty much consistent for over 5 years). During major snow events if blowers are run in her driveway at 230 in the am she never complains but offers coffee as gratitude and warmth. We have even finished up when she was offering to make us a pot and gone up the road and she called the cell to let me know that there was hot coffee in two thermos' in the garage and we should pick it up on our way out of the subdivision.

    I have to agree with all the gripes, p'n&maoning that when I send out gift certificates and baskets to clients - everything seems to be forgotten and its nice to see them smile and say thanks for what we've accomplished that season. Then come mid January Im prayin for an azz chewing from a Lawn Client -LOL!!!

    Kris
     
  9. My residential accounts are a lot like Mark's. Some of these accounts I mowed for the succeeding generation. One account I mowed for three years after the man died, for the estate. Every one of his children came to me personally and thanked me for keeping "the old home place" so nice. I was mowing there when they all showed up for a meeting on settling the estate. The place was crowded with big black Lincoln Continentals! If I'd known he was that well off I'd have charged more...LOL

    My current favorite's a residential that I'd been mowing for three years a man by the name of John. One day last summer I get a phone call from a man who says he's John's plant manager, and would I be interested in mowing at the plant, in the next city. I said I'd be interested if it was large enough to be worth my travel time. It's 17 miles from my house. He said there's five locations. I'm thinking maybe five traffic islands or something. So I went to look. WOW! Here's the list. Two locations in the industrial park 3 to 4 acres of grass each, and three separate apartment complexes. Two of the apartment complexes are just a couple of acres each, but the big one's 24 acres of lawn! He asked "can you handle that much?" They'd been mowing it "in house" using a JD belly mount mower, various garden tractors and push mowers. Not a piece of commercial equipment in sight. It took a 4 man crew full time to keep it mowed. I said "just give me a chance." Using the Toro 580-D and the Toro 325-D my son and I mow and trim it all in a day. Once I did it all myself in a day, but it was a very long day. Whenever John sees me on the job he pulls up in his Landcruiser and asks me how I'm doing, can I handle all this OK? He's 56 and I'm 55 and he just don't see how I can do it all. My biggest trouble is not making it look too easy! LOL

    They've never questioned my prices, allowed me to bring in a contractor to do finish grading, one for the chemical apps and they already had a nursery doing the bed installation and maintenance. They're already pleased with the improvement in the lawns, and I just keep assuring them that it's just going to get better each year. This is the account I've always wanted. They seem pleased with me because they just bought a warehouse in Cincinnati and insisted that I take care of it too. I tried to tell them there were LCO's closer than 50 miles. They just said add the travel time and do that one too. It a big one too. 21 truck docks in the front, and two train car doors in the back.

    The best thing about this job is that they want everything "nice". The chem applicator guy told me that he submitted what he thought was a reasonable proposal for a commercial site. The plant manager asked him "Is that as good as it can be? We're thinking golf course here." He said he literally snatched the proposal out of the man's hands. He said I'll be gla-a-a-d to fix that up the way you want it. The place looks about 100% better every month, and we just started in July.

    My son's coming back full time next season, so that'll be nice working with him again. Had to promise him $500 a week plus a (small) percentage. I'll still make money on him. He's very good.

    It is kind of scary, having about a third of your business on one account. So you can be sure I'll never let this man down. "No" is a word no longer in my vocabulary. I'm not eating them up on price either. I'd be very hard to underbid. These people are professional business people and I treat them as such. I'll be there for life.

    Dave
     
  10. Craig Turf Management

    Craig Turf Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    Lawn Dog-
    Hooray for you. Sounds like you provided good service to a good client. Just a thought though, sometimes this winter if you're slow, drop by and say hello. Spend a little front porch time with her. Sounds like she might be a little on the lonely side, and a visit from you might just cheer her up.
    Take care, Bill Craig!
     

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