Proper time for phone calls

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by procut, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,853

    I'm sure we have all had this problem. Some customers are hard to get a hold of because they are gone at work from about seven in the morning to who knows how late at night. Now, I try to have "business hours" and don't like calling late at night. Although I have had customers call me as early as 5 am and as late as probably about 11pm. Now I know I can leave messages, which works ok most times, but then they have to get around to retuning the call, which we all know doesn't always happen promptly or even at all. So, I guess my question is what is the generall rule for calling people at home, as in how late is too late, ect? Or any suggestions or things that work for you. Thanks!!
     
  2. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    Well, since I wear so many hats sometimes I have to call people later than I would like. But, 9 pm is my cut off time. I have had problems with people calling me back really early and really late also. That is why I use my cell as my business phone now. I don't do much advertising, so it really does not ring that much, and I can turn it off when I want and check my messages the next day. If I give someone my home home or leave them a message to call me at home I will just tell them as I am leaving the message to please return my call no later than 9 pm because it is my home phone, and my daughter will be in bed after that. Then I leave them my cell number so they can call me during my business hours.
     
  3. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    I will leave a message, try email, or try getting a cell/work number to get with them. Sometimes the only way is via an answering machine.
     
  4. Mow Mony

    Mow Mony LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Posts: 229

    About 9pm is our cut off, unless we know the customer, and their schedule really well, and its something important enough to warrant a late phone call, but that might happen once or twice a season.

    ...but thats why I love email, I can write them whenever and not disturb them, and they get it whenever it is easy for them, and write me back.

    I never give out my home phone. I don't answer the business or my personal cell after about 8pm (depending on my mood sometimes a bit later) if it is a number I don't recognize. I will listen to the voicemail usually right away though, or sometime soon thereafter, then decide if its something I want to, or need to, deal with ASAP, or can it wait until the morning when I make the rest of my phone calls. After 10pm my phone is on vibrate and the business cell stays in the office on silent. I need my sleep.
     
  5. bill8379

    bill8379 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 778

    I always phone previous customers, I phone between 6pm and 9:30pm. During the day is a waste of time. As for them phoning you, a lot of people that phone at 5 am or 11 pm are not expecting you to answer, they are phoning to leave a message.
     
  6. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,096

    I have both an office line and cell phone. I leave my cell on 24/7. Yes, I have gotten cals at 3 am in the spring. Actually one morning when I was still awake helping a buddy fix a car, I answered the phone. The customer was quite surprised. Normally, I stop calling at 9pm.
     
  7. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    Yes, e-mail is the way to go. I always get e-mail addresses from new customers, and I have been asking my existing customers for e-mail too. By the time I sit down and have time to think about communicating with my customers it is well after 9 pm. E-mail is a great way to communicate. Most people check their e-mail often. I also send some invoices by e-mail with Gopher. Customers love it.
     

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