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Another Customer from Hell

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by willjones4, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. deere615

    deere615 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,676

    I had a pita customer this year. Its a shame you try to be nice and thats how they treat you.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Not long ago I would've given you all that same lecture but don't worry about it, today I know where you're coming from, which means I have been there, at least as bad if not worse, more than once lol.

    Anger, although certainly not productive, does help in building a thick skin.
    So this was, bad as it may sound, good for experience.

    Sadly, it seems we have to do x number of these before we learn for good.
    The good news is, one day soon you will.

    Have a nice day.

    Other notes: My favorite sayings to this kind of customer are: "No, thank you!" And, "sorry I'm not interested"
    Sometimes I sound frustrated, other days just plain bored.
    That part sounds sick too, but I got the grey hairs to prove it lol.
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Where does it say anywhere on my truck or card that we will "meet or beat anyone else's prices?" I set my prices to maintain MY standard of quality and reliability...not the guy that doesn't show up.
  4. SLR

    SLR LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,210

    So I went ahead and made my first mistake of giving her a deal even though I know she's full of it.. tell me I missed a few leaves.. I run over them again..wants to know if I will sweep down all the cobwebs, a gesture of good will no charge. BIG MISTAKE. Now she's calling and asking
    Come on..1st sentence says it all "even though i know she's full of it"..and now here's the keys to this 70yr old door knob..it goes a little something like this:

  5. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    By reading the posts that followed yours, you should have a pretty good sense of what to expect in this line of work when you are just starting out !!
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I think it boils down to having a thick skin, as in, they're going to do this to you a little bit for some time, until one day you will probably have had enough.

    See that's what I'm talking about, this guy you want to flap your jaw about the price he'll get up in your face and no ifs ands or buts it is over right here and now.

    But this takes time, you're either born with a thick skin, or you grow it.
    Most all of us been through this, one way or another, at least I have.
    It just takes time man, you'll be all right.
  7. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    hey will you wash my truck?
  8. jiggz

    jiggz LawnSite Senior Member
    from jerz
    Messages: 646

    AUGH, I feel your pain man.. I have had a ton of em in the past.. the easiest way I found to weed out the weirdos.. Is i always try to gently pry.. lfor instance...."soo did you guys do it yourself or did you have a company coming out??..If they said they had a company.. Im really not feeling doing any work for them.. cause chances are they didn't have a fly buy night dude.. and there was reasons hr "stopped showing up" lol... i always ask what happened to him.. cause there has been times where the company folded or it was a 1 man opperation and the man got sick.. but if there like " i dont know one day he just vanished" LOL stay verry far away
  9. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 829

    I had to grow my thick skin. I think a lot of it comes with age and experience combined (for those of us that are not born with it). I used to be real shy and wanted to please everyone. I am still a nice guy to deal with, but I now know where to draw the line. And I can usually do it with out making people too mad.
  10. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 829

    I agree...I always ask if they had another LCO before calling me also. I think that is a great question to ask. If they say they did, my next question is "Oh, well who was it?" Because I am familiar with more than half of the LCO's in my area. If they name someone that I know has a good reputation, I will not service the property, in most instances. There are a few LCO's I know that do not have a good name. I am willing to take the customer if they name one of these.
    Another question I will ask is "What sort of things did the other LCO do or not do correctly, or what did you not like about them." They are usually quick to point out the problem areas. Take notes (mental or written if necessary), because they are pointing out the things that bother them the most. If you avoid or correct the mistakes of the previous LCO, they will love you.

    As for the original post...Some customers just enjoy seeing how far they can push you, or see just how much they can get out of you for free. Some people are able to be pushed, others are not. When a customer starts this, the best thing to do is RUN fast. Thick skin or not.... just Run!

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