Sometimes a customer just needs to talk....ALOT

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by ReddensLawnCare, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,652

    So, I have an existing customer who has decided to go full service this year. We had set a time to meet a couple of weeks ago but it got rained out (we were going to walk the property). With that in mind, we had to reschedule. It is a LONG read with the next to last paragraph being all that I really needed. Here is the email I sent followed by the response:

    ME:Mr. ,
    I was wondering if there was I time that you would like to meet in the near future. I have had a little trouble getting up with you so I figured I will give email a try. I hope you are doing well as the season begins to pick up and I look forward to discussing yours and your yards needs for this upcoming season. You can email me or call me back anytime you would like.
    Thank you,

    Customer:Hello Andrew,

    Sorry for the trouble….

    Use my cell phone number. I have it with me almost all the time and usually will respond immediately (assuming I do not have it on mute) or just as soon as I am aware of the voice message. Unfortunately folks here do not answer the house phone unless the caller is recognized on the caller id and or whether or not the call is for them (my children). Cathy is sleeping in the daytime and the phone ringer is turned off. I do not turn it back on in the evening because I usually fail to turn it back off, then I catch heck the next day from Cathy because the phone calls are waking her up. Unless I happen to be doing something down stairs, I do not answer the phone. Most of the day I am in my office/Radio room on third floor. The caller ID system does not work on my phone upstairs…………..Usually the voice messages are saved but Cathy is usually the one who checks them. All said…..the system broke down the last time you called. It was the next afternoon when I actually got your message which I believe was the day you were asking about. If my memory serves me correctly, it was raining the next day (Friday). That weekend was a major…major radio contest weekend (starting 7PM Friday and running continuously 48 hours). I think while you were here Saturday morning I had my headphones on …on my radio. I believe you came fairly early….the girls do not get up early…..Angela is about the only one who would answer the door…but will not unless she is dressed.

    On top of all of that, my desktop computer has been down…on and off again for ….two weeks or so….mostly down. I made the fatal mistake of thinking I needed to upgrade my cpu…which required an overhaul of the Bios on the motherboard. That was done and I installed a new processor. Boy was that a mistake….I had ordered the wrong model …one that was not supported by the bios. I found a way to work around that and then loaded Windows 7. That was the second worse mistake. The new version of Windows is not entirely compatible with Outlook (MS). My data files were corrupted by the new OS. Before I realized what was going on I had screwed up two separate backups, which, in essence left me without a loadable backup. After much anxiety and time spent, I found an online vendor that had a program…supposedly would recover Outlook data files. That was my third mistake. Yes it recovered my files but due to ….an unknown issue, would not let me transfer them to Outlook. I ended up going to Staples and forking out $$$ for a new….2010 version of MS Office. Once installed, and using a utility buried in the old version of Outlook, I was able to recover my files….but I lost the last 6 months…which I believe included the time of this last email between us. I had 8 years of email in my Outlook archives. Each time in the past when I upgraded, etc. I went to great pains to keep this from happening and by golly this time ….I failed.

    The last thing that I did…which was not necessarily a mistake….but has caused me great stress was that I bit the bullet and replaced my motherboard….obtained an advanced version of the cpu…and 16 gb of ram. Over the past week I have spent night and day working on this thing. For whatever reason the new build was not stable and I ended up installing and reinstalling everything….about 3 times. Yesterday afternoon I finally broke down and went to Best Buy and bought a new and much larger hard drive. I should have done this in the beginning. Over the last 24 hours I rebuilt my computer, literally checking every connection and cable to make certain everything fitted…and worked. This morning the system powered up correctly and stable. I was able to start the process of installing Windows 7, the new Outlook 2010, and an untold number of other programs that I use. About an hour ago I was able to successfully configure Outlook for my email and…..finally and hopefully I have my email system…etc. up and running. This email from you downloaded at that time from the ISP server.

    Again….SORRY but I had to explain my failure to get back with you. No excuse I know….but………….

    As far as now……………I should be home mid-day tomorrow and as far as I know….the rest of the afternoon. On Thursday, I have an appointment at 1:30 locally and I should be back home….maybe by 3:00. As far as I know, I will be home the rest of the day. I will be home Friday morning and up to about 2 PM. Someone is coming to clear my gutters around 9:00. In the afternoon we are going to pick up our granddaughter and usually the balance of the afternoon is taken on that. As far as Saturday and Sunday….nothing is immediately planned, but is subject to change based upon what Cathy manages to talk me into.

    Let me know……………CALL me on my cell phone. If I do not immediately respond, I will return the call as soon as I get the message.

  2. kilgoja

    kilgoja LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 944
  3. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,068

    I got through the first 2 lines. I know your pain, I have a good customer that is like that.
  4. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,064

    You know what. I highly encourage all of my prospective clients to say and ask whatever they want to in the beginning. Then when I am in the process of servicing them, I hardly ever hear from them. I compare and contrast this to a colleague in the industry that busts my coconuts about spending the hour or so in the initial meeting. Everything is fast fast fast hurry hurry hurry. Well, while working for a client, my friend cannot even fart or go p without having to call and tell the client what time and day. Spends most of the time on the phone long after the job is already set up. The only time my phone rings is usually a new client, not one I have already set up an agreement with.
  5. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

  6. kilgoja

    kilgoja LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 944

    sounds like they need someone to vent to more so than a lawn care person lol
  7. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    I expect I would love to spend time discussing his computer problems. I think I could learn much from his experiences. Out of the difficulties of others, much can be learned. There are many different topics in his description from which much useful information could be gleaned.

    Learning how to diagnose computer problems and knowing what to do in getting them fixed is much more interesting than cutting grass any day. It can also be much more profitable if one chooses to market the know-how and skills.
  8. Scagmower48

    Scagmower48 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 430

    Charge him by the hour to listen to his problems. Could be a new profitable addition to your business.
  9. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,652

    He's a great customer, but every time he sees me he wants to talk about something
  10. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,045

    LOL who needs 16GB of Memory!

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