holiday weekend, my customer keeps emailing and calling me non stop!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by lawn, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. lawn

    lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 344

    This is a fairly new customer, her left side of the front yard is totally brown, she keeps calling and emailing me even today Sunday!!!!.
    How would you handle/respond to her in a polite way but "letting her know" that I have a life too, specially on a holiday weekend???????????
     
  2. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,542

    If its a new customer, I would call back and use it as an opportunity to look like a hero. Start off by saying "I dont normally work on sundays and that means returning calls until normal business hours but what can I do to help you" You look good and she gets the message that you dont work on sundays.
     
  3. domain311

    domain311 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 177

    My clients know I respond very fast usually...but starting last year if they email me on a sunday or late Saturday afternoon/early evening even, I don't respond back until Monday.

    As sad as it may sound...it sometimes also depends on the client for me.

    Also...was it something you guys messed up? If it was, then I would respond for sure. If is not something you did, its not an emergency and its not something that you can even do anything about today or tomorrow, then I would probably wait. I've just gotten tired of people thinking I am available 24/7...when in reality, I am not-who is? They don't have a water main leaking or their house is not on fire... I have a family and a life...its tough enough as it is sometimes running a business 6 days a week usually...
     
  4. NIXRAY

    NIXRAY LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 511

    inform her that you have a after-hours, weekend, holiday rate...which is double if not triple the cost of your normal services...and that you will be charging her on her next bill.
     
  5. mikeslawnlandscapeohio

    mikeslawnlandscapeohio LawnSite Member
    Posts: 105

    dont call her until tuesday. And when you do, be polite and say, Iam sorry I missed your call, we are not open on the weekends and where closed monday due to holiday.

    Dont return call even if it is something you or your guys messed up. Once they figure out then can get you to call them back if something is wrong they will find something wrong, so you will call.

    If you look at all the top lawn care and landscape companies in the US. None of them return calls until next business day of closed. This keeps everyone on the same page.
     
  6. domain311

    domain311 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 177

    Yeah, you are right actually...good point. Might sound silly but I think my rapid responses have almost backfired on me in that sense...because people are now always expecting me to respond right away. I'm slowly getting out of that and setting more specified times of business hours...
     
  7. mikeslawnlandscapeohio

    mikeslawnlandscapeohio LawnSite Member
    Posts: 105

    I used to do the same when I started, I thought I should drop everything after hours and on weekends for my customers. I quickly learned I needed to change things. Sometimes it is better to wait, due to customer might cool off about problem.
     
  8. MR-G

    MR-G LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    OUR OFFICE HOURS ARE CLEARLY STATED ON OUR VOICEMAIL !!! And in most cases we always let them leave a message...that helps us determine who to channel the return call to....a specific crew leader, sales, management, ect...it also keeps a good recording of the initial request/compaint or whatever......i know its a bit strange but works for us...additionally, no one EVER get a call back on a sunday or holiday unless it is a irrigation/electrical problem such as flooding or fire....all other problems will wait.
     
  9. CLARK LAWN

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,526

    same here after 3pm on saturday for the most part we are done and dont start up again until monday morning, or tuesday in this case. once you start calling people back after hours,weekends , holidays then they will expect that.

    i learned from expierience, on memorial day i was at the shop and the phone rang, thought it was the wife so i grabbed it real quick. we were headed out somewere and i had to run to the shop for a minute. well it was a new customer that i had signed about 3 weeks ago that kept me on the phone for about half an hour with a bunch of bs questions. over the forth of july weekend we finished up at about noon on sat. and took sun and mon off. well this one customer must have called 100 times, totally filled up the answer machine. we had mowed her lawn on wed. and they decided to have a party for the forth and wanted us to come mow on sunday (the fourth) morning so it would look good for the party. i ended up telling them to find a new service because when i called them on tues morning to tell them that sorry we were closed and i was out of town they started yelling and swearing at me about it.
     
  10. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    My voice mail states that we are all working in the field, and that all messages will be returned that day OR the following business day. Also that we are closed on the weekends. On the Friday morning of any three day weekend, I change it saying that we are closed for the full holiday weekend, and that messages will be returned Tuesday morning.
     

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