Your the LCO they're the customer, it should be your way or no way...maybe?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kc2006, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    I was thinking today while mowing. Theres alot of talk on here about how we're a LCO paying the big taxes, keeping legit with all the big expensive equipment so therefore its our way or no way when it comes to "working for" the customer.

    Now then my thoughts on this is, I've never seen a company owner be as..bossy i guess you could say, towards a customer. I see all these people with 20 page contracts, or the customer says one thing and they have a hissy fit and instantly the customer is a PITA and not good enough to be a customer of yours.

    But really, they are the PAYING customer, we technically are working for them for the 30 mins or however long we're there. They are paying for a service and they want that service to be up to par 100% for what they paid, and really our service is not cheap due to all the crap we have to pay our for being in business and just the general costs of labor.

    So I want to know, how many of you are really as bad a$$ as you say you are on here? And how is it that the customers keep you around?

    If I go to a restaurant and I pay top dollar for a big ol steak, it better be top notch and the waitress best be bringing me drinks as I want them or she's not getting a tip and I'm gunna complain to the manager about the food if its not top notch.

    So how many of us have ever complained about a service we've gotten?

    Not trying to be a d!ck (not much atleast) but I see alot of talk about being big and bad and I've never really seen it or heard of locals being this bad a$$ renagade lawncare owner. :waving:
     
  2. Scotts' Yard Care

    Scotts' Yard Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 343

    :D Unless a customer is a real pain in the ass we can usually get along fine with them and to a point we'll work with them. Having said that we have dropped customers over the years simply because we couldn't make any money doing the constant nitpicking demands they wanted. We have refused to mow improperly(too short generally) and some customers have acquiesced to our way and been pleased with the results. We just lost an account where we had turned the lawn from a weed infested mess into a lush and green turf well on it's way to good hardiness. The man mowed it himself the other day down to the sod and left clumps as big as my fist all across the turf. No reasoning with someone like that.
     
  3. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,552

    You make a good point. I know with my customers, if they complained and I told em I ain't doin it, customer would tell me bye. after a few of those, I couldn't afford to stay in business. Our business is about customer service...Nothing more, nothing less. If the customer isn't happy, then they will eventually find someone who makes them happy. Now, I won't bend over to the point my back will break. There are limits, but I will do what I can to make things work with my clients.
     
  4. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,073

    When working with the public anything can happen, you will experience all walks of life and only you will be able to decide when the customer has begun to complain too much and is no longer profitable. Now I don't know of too many companies that are first starting out that can have the luxury of kicking every pain in the butt to the curb immmediately. It's just not gonna go down like that, cause the customer is way too valuable to a new start up to just dismiss them in heart beat.
    However, the longer you stay in business, you realize that being pushed around completely is not good for your business either. You'll find out that customers CAN be replaced, it's just about making smart choices on who to replace and how fast to replace them.
    Not everyone on here is bad, strong and tough, just their fingers are tough when they punch the keys.
     
  5. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    I agree with everything said already, thats what I was getting at. Its just the guys that are tough behind the computers make me wonder how many are really this tough with their business.

    Even when I managed a company that was around for 25 years we still had a good give and take with the customers. But as said above yes it was within reason only, if the requests were too out of wack then we'd try to explain and fix the situation and if that didnt work then it was good bye.

    I also agree with 1majortom, being this is my first year on my own I'm pretty easy with the customers, but I've found that being nice to them and going that little extra (be it just trim a weed growing in a crack of the drive or something lke that) it still keeps them happy to the point that I've never had a customer tell me to do something different. Monday was the first day a customer ever requested I cut lower, I dropped it down a 1/4" and they were happy, I was fine with this because I was cutting up at 3.5".

    Where's bobby, is he really a renagade lawn care owner?
     
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,320

    It is easy to be tough when you are not full time and you entire income depends on your lawn business. One medium size business that competes with us has this statement on the side of their trailers: THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. I don't agree with that totally but we tolerate a lot from our customers and it was the only way to build a large business. We don't dump customer for paying late, telling us the height to cut, what size mower to use, how often to cut the grass, and more. Our goal is to grow 20% each year and to do that we can't be dropping customers.
     
  7. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    KDC, wait till you get a customer that only wants the lawn done, no extras. Then they want this, then that. My first few years I put up with stuff too, but not now. When you dont have to reley on the customer, you do it your way.

    The next time your at a fast food restraunt ask for extra cheese on something, see what they say.
     
  8. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    What do you dump a customer for?
     
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,927

    Many threads on LS speak about LCO/dealer conflicts, the dealer doesn't do this for me, the dealer didn't do that for me, the dealer isn't .... And, the list goes on and on.

    How many of you, as customers, have dealers dumped?
     
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    here is the thing...when i only needed my client base to be 30-35, i kicked anyone to the curb that looked at me wrong. as i needed to grow, i thought about changing my policies on this, and learning to "turn the other cheek". i did not find it neccesary to do this. i'm up around 80 weeklys now, will i have to tone down the rules, to get to my ultimate goal of 150? i'm not sure, but i hope not. rule of thumb at this point: my policies are based on my costs. my policies can bend, only when my costs bend. that, never happens. in the last week, i have turned down a big seeding/renovation job, because the client started telling me how HE WANTS it done. i also dismissed 2 long time clients over late payments. my kids will eat tommorow, with or without them. when building your business plan, you must also account for disposable customers
     

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