Problem Client

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ron, Sep 9, 2001.

  1. ron

    ron LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    I have this client who is now a troubled client, he is getting sooooooooo pickey I do spend alot of time working on his yard,especially his islands, well my problem is this. today he came up to me and said I am sorry to hear about your broken back and hope you are doing fine.but after your accident I have been finding some grass clippings in and around my mulched areas on my islands,are you doing something different since your accident.I then explained to mr.X that I have been cutting your yard now for two seasons and we never had any problems. I have always cut your yard and trimmed your islands the same and always took the extra time blowing the grass clippings off your islands.Mr X said well they are still there.I then once again removed my BP blower and blew off all the fine little grass clippings off his islands while he watched me... You know what I have been doing his yard for a very long time for a small price of $55.00 per month and in the winter I would charge him per cut which is $20.00 .because he is on a tight budget .If he keeps being sooo pickey I will do two things first raise my price of $30.00 per cut and $75.00 per month or let him go. what do you all think? he as been a loyal client to me infact my accident back in May he stayed with me not like my other clients they all split....
     
  2. KDJ

    KDJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 325

    20.00 per cut is very cheap. You should get some new acounts starting at 30.00 per cut than when you have to many to keep up drop the lowest one. Sooner than later he will pay more or be gone.
     
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    This is a kind of a hard one, but it sounds like you're in for a price increase anyway. It's time. EsPECially with OUR overhead doing what it's doing.It sounds almost as if you may want to do whatever it takes to assure NO clipping hit the beds to begin with. If it means triple borders in that area, or whatever. Or, just make sure you turn your mower around so the discharge chute NEVER faces the beds. I don't know, you may do this already. It's really kind of hard to avoid, altogether. What kind of bed cover does he have, chips? Shredded? Rocks? Sometimes, you can restir them, too, to get a clean look. I'm glad to see you're back into the swing of things, just take it easy, and know that next season is a WHOLE 'nother season. You will be able to build rightback up again - at feasible prices for the current cost as well. Good luck with it, and take care. ;)
     
  4. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I would think that if it is time for you to increase his pricing that you might want to wait until next spring to do so, this way he wont have someone take your place during the winter months when he has time not only to think about it, but also to find an easier replacement for you as well. I would also remember that he must value your work if he has stuck by you thru thick and thin and this should not be forgotten, but definitely taken into consideration when making your business decisions pertaining to this particular account.

    I think that it is important for clients to understand that some clippings will be dispersed into the beds from trimming operations. I also agree that a bp blower works well for getting rid of the minimal amount of debris found afterwards.

    I too agree with Runner that if you are getting clippings into the islands because of mowing procedures you might want to either bag the areas if they are to close together, or try cutting an extra third or fourth time around these islands to prevent the extra debris from entering the islands.

    Hope this helps.
    Kris
     
  5. khouse

    khouse LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,465

    it's like having a scale and on one side is the customers crap. the other side has his payment in it. you can take as much customer crap per how much he pays. you want to keep the scale heavy on the money side.
     
  6. casey

    casey Guest
    Posts: 0

    Ron,
    Only you know what this customer is worth to you.
    Smile & nod or tell him to GF.
     
  7. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    a little pickey goes a long way with me. i do my best job no matter. so just a polite ,it has been nice doing your lawn.
    90 % wont let you leave and will leave you alone an let you do your work . UNLESS YOU ARE DEALING WITH ALZHIEMER OR
    THE LIKE. thats totally dif situation and takes special handling.
    good luck
     
  8. AVRECON

    AVRECON LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 290

    At 20 bucks a cut. He should be glad you even show up to mow it. Far as I see it you probably low balled the price anyway and nowyou're reaping what you sowed. You need to explain that at this price he shouldn't be complaining.
     
  9. fivestarlawnken

    fivestarlawnken LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 438

    Glad to see your out mowing again.This is a tough one, he did stay with you but, is worth you're hassle for 50.00 a month.Maybe just finish this season and raise come next year.:rolleyes:
     
  10. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    You say you spend "a lot of time", how much time each week? How is it possible to charge someone $14.00 a week to mow edge, trim, blow, and maintain beds and pay taxes and still make a profit? It is time for a price hike.
     

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