I only want you to cut my grass!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Trinity Lawn Care LLC, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 946

    Had a customer today ask for me to be the only one to cut there grass. Apparently, my foreman was on the 52" and the velkie hit a bird bath. He stated that the wheels of the velkie it the thing, but it did not tip over. Then as he put the control locks and went to move the wheels the mower moved and tipped over the bird bath breaking it. The customer insisted that I personally cut there lawn every time, and that we use nothing larger then a 36". I offered to replace the bird bath and she said "no", but I never had anything get broke when you cut my lawn. I did not know how to respond at first. Then I simply said o.k., and of course sorry.
    How would you folks have responded? The thing is I may not personally be able to be there every single time they get cut. In addition, I know that accidents happen. Mike has about 12 years experience, cares about his work, and cares about the success of this business. On the other hand, they have referred people, they offer to hand out fliers for us at no charge (just referral discount), and we have the house right next door as a customer. Sorry so long.
     
  2. OMG

    OMG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 275

    Sounds like you are letting your customer run your business to me.
     
  3. Thirdpete

    Thirdpete LawnSite Member
    from Chicago
    Posts: 236

    try to meet with your customer personally, at their house, and explain to them what you told us.
     
  4. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 946

    Thanks Thirdpete, I may do that. I will let them cool down a couple of days, and then sit down with them.
     
  5. jpmako

    jpmako LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 593

    And then tell them that you have employees for a reason, and that everyone including yourself at some point or another makes mistakes. We are only human. I would go find them a new birdbath while they are cooling down.


    Jason
     
  6. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383

    It seems that you have a good employee there. In my opinion, a good employee is worth much more than a customer.
     
  7. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,823

    beannachd leat Sir.
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I agree, accidents happen and sooner or later even the owner destroys something, it is only a matter of time and to some degree, dumb luck. As a solo operator, some yards I have never hurt a thing, but with others I can not say this - And I am the owner.

    Rule 1: My company and I are not responsible for damage to or from objects in yard.
    Rule 2: For employees, see rule 1.
    But I've hit something before and knew it was my fault, and like yourself offered to replace the bird bath, but she refused.

    Oh well...

    I would simply tell her that accidents happen and maybe go over the machine to make sure everything is ok and if so you can tell her those results but you have a business to run and your presence is needed in the office and you will of course always send your best employees over, and thank you.

    That, or you can say nothing and just do it, then if anything comes of it, the story is that your presence was needed in the office and all that blablabla. Push come to shove, it's take it or leave it.

    p.s.: Right there's my problem with the whole referral / word of mouth affair, every SINGLE *&%^'n time I get someone starts referring, I cringe in anticipation of what is sure to come... And sure enough, one day you have this problem but that is why I learned a long time ago that word of mouth is over-rated.
     
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Yep... I'm a firm believer in being a straight shooter with people.

    Reasonable folks will understand and 'come around' when you have an honest sit-down with them.
     
  10. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,930

    I'd probably let them go...If I was big and had crews doing lots of lawns, then I couldnt mess with a customer who told me who to cut the lawn and what to cut it with.
     

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