another know it all customer!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by spin2098, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. spin2098

    spin2098 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 131

    I have a customer that is a big account but is a pain. He is one of these people who won’t let us do are job and thinks he knows everything. He demands that we cut the grass low. We cut his Business and it was super high last week because of all the chemicals he put on it. I start cutting and he comes out and says can you cut it lower I said yeah but it is going to look like a hay field when we get down. And sure enough it looked like a hay field. He insists that if we don’t cut it low that it will be to high by the middle of next week, well no crap grass grows. The funny thing is he did not get to my guy on the other mower so he cut it at the height I wanted it cut on. That area looked great no clumps nothing and guess what the grass was the same length. Then this week we show up to cut he comes out and tells my crew I don’t want you hear when it rains, the day after it rains, or the day after the day it rains. And continues to say “your trying to make me look like a fool nobody cuts grass in the rain and if you want to keep this job you better stop cutting my grass in the rain”. Look I understand not cutting in a down pour but my machines can cut grass in a drizzle and not do anything to the yard. I told his daughter look he don’t want it cut fine but when we come back next week he wont save any money we are cutting it and I am going to charge him a full cut and some cause we are going to have to cut his house and the business twice to make it look good. Then today I get the jerks check and he did not pay for his 40 yards of mulch that we laid last month. My friends and family wonder why I hate people so much I am so sick of these customers who think they know everything and don’t know jack and so sick of the customers who want there property to look like a country club but want to pay like I am cutting a trailer park. So after all this venting my question to all you besides kicking this guy to the curb what should I say to him to make him understand that 1. the grass needs to be cut at the height I recommend, 2 that we can get his grass in the rain and when it is damp, and 3. make him understand that we have 90 other customers that he is not the only one and he can’t expect us to jump when he says jump. I know that I work for the customer and need to provide satisfactory service but I will not let a customer dictate my business to me.
  2. TurfProSTL

    TurfProSTL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 693

    Tell him what you typed here:

    "The grass needs to be cut at the recommended height." Hand him a copy of your state extension's recommendations on mowing heights.

    "We can cut your grass in a light rain and when the lawn is damp." Then prove it to him.

    "We have 90 other customers that we satisfy doing things our way."

    If he doesn't listen, provide him with that curb service.....
  3. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,067

    I dont know about you but I have all the bad customers I want and when they become a headache, I fire them. Better customers always seem to come along.
  4. Mowing Freak

    Mowing Freak LawnSite Senior Member
    from S.E. Ks
    Messages: 459

    I would first explain to him again how you are going to cut his lawn. Then, if he still doesn't accept that, I would tell him that you are not able to make him happy and maybe he needs to find somebody else. If he back tracks and tells you he don't want to, then you have won. If not, he probably wants somebody else anyway and just wants you to drop him as he is to chicken to drop you himself. I have come very close to firing 2 customers this year and told one if she feels she needs to find somebody else that is fine with me. She backed off gripping for a little while and started being nice again.
    Too bad this is a big account, and I don't know where this account stands with your finances, but for me, I would wait until he pays for mulch then drop him. Life is too short to live miserable.
  5. Lohse's Lawn Service

    Lohse's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    from US
    Messages: 213

    TurfPro is right. Tell him his yard reflects your work and you don't want it to look scalped. Sounds to me like you are providing an honest opinion to the customer and HE would be the loser if he decides to have someone else cut his grass. It appears that this guy is not worth the time. You're better off collecting for the work you've done for him and moving on, in my opinion. Good luck.

    And I just remembered a thread posted a few months ago, sorry for not being able to give credit to the person who wrote these words:

    ""Dear customer:

    It has become clear that we are not capable of providing the level of service you require. We feel you would be better served with another company from this point forward.



    When they call you and beg you to come back, which they probably will insist that you are sure your service is not adequate and they will be better served elsewhere.""
  6. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    I know where you're coming from.... I have a customer like that.
    He's spending $450/month with me though and I can't afford to let that much $$$ go right now.
    The only reason this account is working is because he is set up on a per hour charge.... whatever he wants, I do. Even if it's not the best or most efficent way to do it...... He's payin' I'm doin'
  7. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,177

    It is very simple, do you need the money worse than you need the stress?

    You can never satisfy this type person which means you are better off getting rid of him unless you and your family will starve without the income he provides.

    These people are everywhere, not just in your profession.
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,586

    Yes I would agree you are not going to turn this guy around.....we have a 3 strike rule that after 3 complaints that we think unreasonable we cancel the one case that turned the guy around to our thinking. Always hate to lose any customer but it helps to keep blood pressure down.
  9. coonman

    coonman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    DUMP HIM !!!!

    You will be able to replace him. There are too many other GOOD customers out there.
  10. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Messages: 1,074

    If you have 90 other 'good' customers, it may be a good time to cull this one and make room for another 'good' customer. The best thing I ever did for my business was to cull the bad customers and concentrate on satisfying the 'good' customers. We have to satisfy the customer but some can't be satisfied. Leave them to the "beer money" mow guys.
    I remember the first few I culled, I did it with my stomach in my throat because I felt I was cutting my nose off to spite my face. How wrong I was. I have fewer customers but my bottom line is much better and I don't go to yards with a feeling of tension about, "What is this customer going to ***** about this time?".

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