Should i give customer a pep talk?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pseudosun, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    I have this long time customer who i have to remind to pay me about 90% of the time. Sometimes, it's 3 times, maybe 4. For instance, I clearly tell her that i need to be paid by the 1st, and she'll always say something good like "no problem". Now i have a mail slot, and she can't say that she didn't want to leave cash out. One of my least favorite things to do is to remind someone to pay me. It seems there is no nice way to do it. Pay me my money! Other times, she'll say it will be under the mat, and i sure enough, it's not there. She acts scatter brained, and i'm not sure if it's on purpose. The fact is that every time i do her yard, i know it will be an ordeal to get paid. She always says "I'm sorry", but continues to do it. In my mind "I'm sorry" is meaningless. Since i always eventually get paid, i guess it's something i'll just have to tolerate. I'm not late doing her yard, so why is she making me jump through hoops to get my money? I think she may be shocked if i were to bring it up. I'd be interested to know how any of you have dealt with a regular customer who is a late payer? I just left her a message about the last job.
     
  2. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Posts: 4,128

    Make her have a credit card on file. When she's past due charge it. Or raise your rates for being a bank loaning her money. Or you could find a good paying customer to replace her with. Sounds like talking and asking for your money isn't working already, why would talking more help?
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  3. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    This is something i'll consider for new customers, defintely. I knew her on a personal level before hand. I guess that doesn't help. There are people that i know well, who would do face contortions if i brought up getting a credit card on file. I've been firm with my latest customers, and try not to get too close, because of this situation. I guess this is a messy situation. She's 4 doors down, and i've known her for 20 years. I went there two days ago, and she was in a gown. She stuck her head out, and said "i'll bring you cash, okay", and i just called her this morning. Maybe i'm looking for the right words to use. I don't know. I guess i'll just make it uncomfortable for her, and continue to pressure, so it will be easier to just pay me:)
     
  4. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Posts: 4,128

    That's thing, you shouldn't need to re work for your money. You worked for it once, now work again. I think people get off on it, or think they're making you work harder for your money. I've talked to several fert and spray guys along with a few mowing guys that are making credit cards a must on file, or pre pay all together.
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  5. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,811

    Guys that is part of bussiness if don't want to put up with it just dropper.:hammerhead:
    I just keep on doing till I see it's time for a court letter:waving:
     
  6. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    I think you may on to something here. > "" I think people get off on it""

    Dropping a customer is easy. This is a little stickier. I've known her and her mom for 20 years. Dropping her would be dropping the relationship. That's why this is a challenge. It's possible that she is so scatter brained, that she does forget, but maybe not. I'm just looking for the right approach.
     
  7. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Posts: 4,128

    You have to decide. Business or charity.
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  8. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,740

    Just ask for money up front. No pay no work.
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  9. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Posts: 4,128

    Too many build their businesses to have customers go way late in paying not to cover costs. We are not banks. Not many people give credit to people they don't know or do a credit check. I have to, to get dish tv or get culligan water. There is plenty of good customers in general, I've dropped or raised so many slow payers these last few years its crazy. What did they cost me? Nothing. Nice being able to have money to cover the unexpected break down or just a what the Hell buy. Prior to getting on here I worked and got paid 2-3 months or longer from most.
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  10. BeachysLawn

    BeachysLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 271

    Maybe it would help if you began to stop mowing her lawn when she is late making payment. When she calls to see why you didn't mow, kindly say that to stay profitable, you had to institute a new company policy dictating that you stop service for your clients the moment payment is overdue.
     

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