Late Phone Calls

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tiedeman, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    So what is the latest that you guys/girls have received a phone call from a potential or current customer???

    I finally received a late call last night, about 10:41 pm. Guy wanted a dethatching done. I was so mad I told him I would have to call him back the next day.
     
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Even though my office is in the home, I stop answering calls after 5:30 or 6:00 pm. If I feel like making a few business calls after that, I still do it no later than 7:00. At some point you need to separate home from business. Let it go to voice mail.
     
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,073

    We've been fortunate to not get late night calls. Nothing ever past 9:00pm. But we've gotten the 5:00AM calls more frequently than I would like. I grab the phone, check the caller id to make sure it isn't an emergency... then I let the answering machine pick it up. Problem is, the answering machine beeps so I'm forced to get up to shut it off. Then the dog wakes up, and she wants let out.. Matt starts complaining about the noise... It's just a bad situation.
     
  4. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,110

    I have never had a phone call extremely late, but I had this on PITA customer that called me on a Saturday morning @ 5:45 am
    just to ask me if I was coming to cut his grass this week and that he would'nt be home to pay me. I acted as if he had the wrong number and hung up on him, thank god he did'nt call back, he must have gotten the hint.:eek:
     
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    well, I wouldn't have answered it if I knew it was a customer, but my brother usually calls late at night on my business line to talk, so I thought it was him
     
  6. grshppr

    grshppr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    I do the same as DanaMac. My office is in the house too, and if my business line rings after 6:30 I let the machine take the message. Most of my customers are respectful and don't call late at night or 5 am, but I have had it a few times. Its annoying, but the machine takes the message. I figure a lot of people don't realize my office is in the house and maybe work odd ball shifts so that is why they call late and expect to leave a message.
     
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Some of the customers think that because they know your biz is in the house they can get you at anytime. On the other hand there are those that may not realize you run it out of the home and want to call after hours to just leave a message, and then get surprised if you answer.
     
  8. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    We changed our business line to our fax line, and the primary business line is now a cell line. When I don't want to hear the phone ring, I turn it off and voice mail does the rest.On the weekends, the voice mail directs everyone to use email for contact, or leave a message on the VM for Monday. No more 5 AM Saturday/ Sunday(yes, Sunday) calls, and no more late night calls.
     
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    This is a tough situation. You have to put yourself in the client's shoes a little and understand where some of them are coming from.

    Not all of our clients understand that many of us run our businesses - even quite large businesses - out of our homes. They just naturally assume that as a professional business we have an actual office somewhere. An office with regular office hours. Somewhere other than our home. And so they figure that they can call after hours and leave a message. Usually when people call real early or real late - I think that's why. They didn't really think they were calling us at home.

    I get this kind of stuff a lot. Once in a while I'll answer my business line at night or on a Sunday and people are just startled. Usually, I get something like, "Oh! I am sorry. I didn't realize I was calling your home. I didn't mean to bother you at this hour. I just thought I'd ge an answering machine." I just explain to them, "Hey. No problem. If I didn't want to answer it, I wouldn't have. But I happened to be in my office working so I figured I'd go ahead and answer it this time. What can I do for you?"

    I think if it bothers you, then it's really your fault. You can -- and some people would argue that you SHOULD -- create an additional line for your business. And after hours, you can choose to turn that line off or silence it somehow so it doesn't bother you. If you're not willing to do this, then don't complain about it. Just realize you are in control. It's YOUR business. If you don't like how it's set up, it's totally without your grasp to change that.
     

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