1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Animosity toward customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Caddyshack Lawn Care, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. Blades Lawn Maintenance

    Blades Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Montague, NJ
    Messages: 1,235

    I like the people work for for the most part. Some can be a pain the butt like the ones that don't want to pay for every week. It for the most part all of them are easy to work with. But as long as the PITAs keep paying me I don't really care what they do
  2. lawnsaspire

    lawnsaspire LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,687

    I appreciate my customers as a whole and actually think I have gotten a little too close to some of them for what a customer relationship should be. That said, I find it hard not to show my irritation when a customer tries to dictate my schedule or cut off weekly mowing when we have the 1st dry week of the summer after you've bailed hay for them all spring. I live in an area where contracts are unheard of but I do try to lay down ground rules before I start working for someone. A lady came out a few weeks ago and said she didn't think her yard needed cut that week even though it had grown several inches since the previous week. i kindly told her that was up her, but I would be raising my price if she asked me to skip weeks of mowing when it was growing that much. She let me go. I was happy, as I know that would have been a turbulant business relationship. I've been able to weed out most of these types the last couple of yrs but I still put up to it to some degree. I'm trying to learn the art of running the biz my way, without showing irritation with the customer at the same time. Older folks can be a challenge because you feel like you're trying to reason with a little child sometimes. But I try to imagine how they must feel dealing with aging and health problems.
  3. CurbAppealKS

    CurbAppealKS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    I have one customer that is a complainer. One time I forgot to put his little reflectors at the end of his driveway in the right way, they were put back just facing wrong direction. I apologized and it was fine.

    I just got last months bill from him and in it was a note reading, "would it be to much trouble to include a self addressed envelope with your invoices (no postage of course)? Seriously? You can't even write our address on a blank envelope when sending a payment? I know that it's no big deal to stuff an envelope with our address written already inside his invoice, but come on should we really be responsible for that?

    / rant lol
  4. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    curbappealks, all those little complaints add up for me. It has an effect that makes me lose interest. Those people are probably precise on everything, maybe OCD, and this biz is not precise (too many factors). If it becomes too much, drop that bozo. After all you do, he doesn't have to sarcastically ask "would it be too much ..., etc" No time for that at my current pace.
  5. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    I realized fast that you can't offer the same result as a customer with OCD. You'd have to live there to get it and keep it looking perfect. Most people don't want to spend the money to have it completely perfect. Just like leaves in the fall. You can't get every leaf out of the flowerbeds. I've seen homeowners take literally hours to hand pick all the leaves from plants and beds that a rake can't get. It just won't happen with me doing it. Well, unless they are willing to pay for the time it takes.
  6. XYZLawnPros

    XYZLawnPros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 395

    If everybody was the same.... good lord life on this planet would be boring as heck. Borg anyone?

    I really concur with Caddy Shack Lawn Care. Surrounding yourself with more folks that bling happiness and less that promote unhappiness is the way to go. But life isn't perfect and you have to have both in our profession. I enjoy giving unhappy people a reason to smile. When they see they can't beat you no matter what, It brings a fuzzy feeling to me and usually a thought or a crack of a smile to them. It's worth it.

    I'm a very sharing and thoughtful owner in my opinion. I also reap the rewards of it as well. When you get life info from a client you can end up having a lot in common with them. I frequently get asked to functions for clients. Bar-B-Q's to dinners. Snow skiing to water-skiing. Fishing to cruising the Mississippi. Ice skating to roller skating. Work out partners to biking and rollerblading. Golfing to bowling. Softball leagues to soccer leagues. Motorcycling to car clubs. Flying to skydiving. My ole' lady is included in every aspect of this community as well.

    Not only that, but I share and barter happiness and friendship or services for reciprocal things we may all need too. Need a chiropractor? Got one! Need a oral surgeon or dentist? Got one! Need a mechanic? Got one! Need a banker or lawyer or cpa(shivvers)? Got one! Need an ophthalmologist? Got one! Need an engineer or computer guru? Got one! See where I'm going with this?

    Due unto others as you wish to be done upon. Works like a charm if you bring a good vibe and a smile to the table no matter what the other person throws at you. Never let up. Build a community together and you will all stand strong.
  7. rootytalbot

    rootytalbot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Those perforated peel and stick labels are easy to print, and place in the invoice mailer.

    Or you could print a sheet of 8, or 16 peel and stick labels(whatever your billing cycle is) and give the customer that sheet - all they need to do is peel the label off and stick it on their own envelope.

    Act all excited when you give it to them - like you just invented a cure for palpeetus of the poochow - and tell him his suggestion was a great one. Now all your clients will be getting a sheet of pre- printed mailing labels.

    By the way - palpeetus of the poochow is caused by ingesting too many sweet patootie roots - and is currently un-curable.
  8. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    Umm... they want a free envelope AND free postage...
  9. wegomow

    wegomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Sometimes we need to vent here on the forum to others who also experience these difficult clients who don't appreciate our hard work. It's just venting.
  10. 94gt331

    94gt331 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,718

    Sad story on the topic that I just had this week. One of my best acounts worth about $15,000 a year. After working here for 7 years taking care of everything lawn and snow and landscape, they ended up getting a new property manager. She was a complete ***** from the start seriously. She would give my crew attitude everytime we would show up to mow etc. Well I finally thought I got her on the same page by getting the whole apt complex landscaping looking good and then she threw a fit about a few weeds poping up after 25 days and she told me it was rediciolus that I charged her that price and there was weeds coming up. She would tell my guys what I charged her for weeding and complain about weeds growing lator, she was just so unprofesional and petty about stuff. So she called me this week and was being a ***** again so I just let her have it and told her to find someone else. I can only be treated like dirt so much before I give it back. Just a shame for the owners of that place that live out of state. We did a great job for that place. The maintenance guy ended up leaving last week also. That lady just rubs me the wrong way. But this week I just got a ton of work with a big contractor in the area that will keep us busy for a month or so so that will help ease my pain.

Share This Page