Customer going goofy


LawnSite Fanatic
N.E. Wisconsin
I got a call from an older customer of mine with a complaint. He said my mower is tearing up his lawn in 3 places. Naturally concerned I called him back. We talked over the phone for a few minutes and as our schedules conflicted so he told me to look at the damage when I mow on Tuesday.<p>I have been mowing here for 5 years. The lawn is quite shaded and thin in spots from pine trees and shade. The customer only wants a spring and fall fertilization and the lawn is in fair shape. There are two tire track marks where there is natural drainage downhill. These have been here for 5 years. Today when I mowed he wasn't home but I could find nothing new that I recently did. <br>He stated that he wanted it resodded when I talked to him over the phone. I stated that I will look at it and use a push mower to do those spots. <br>I went from using a rider and mowing in 30 minutes to riding and using a 21&quot; walkbehind resulting in 1 hour total time.<p>This is for the same $30.00. What would you do?<br>Drop him?<br>Finish the season after fixing the tracks?<br>Raise the price of mowing immediately?<br>He has been alright as a customer except for a complaint here and there but I don't understand what this is about..<p>What would you do?


LawnSite Bronze Member
I have had customers want me to raise my mowing height and some want me to lower my mowing height. I have my height set at 3 1/2 inches and that is where I leave it. I have been told this is the best overall setting. I had to let a customer go that wanted a very low cut. I tried to explain that this is not good for the lawn, and that I can't lower my blades just for them and then raise them for the next customer. They then wanted me to use my 21&quot; mower on a LOW setting for the same price. I politely said no. I hate to lose any customer, but you have got to be realistic. I hopes this helps.


LawnSite Platinum Member
Central Florida
I would try to keep it, mowing with the large mower. If that is not an option with the customer, tell them you think you can no longer please him and maybe he should try to find someone who can take care of his needs. <p>It happens, some customers grow tired of you, (and you might grow tired of them) it may be that simple. No need jumping through hoops to please a customer that you may be unable to please.


LawnSite Silver Member
Central CT
I would forget the phone conversation and make a point to meet the customer in person and have him show you exactly where he thinks the problem is, and go from there. Maybe staggeer rows on the slope, whatever. If its a good customer, $5 worth of sod and 20 minutes of your time to keep him may be worthwhile, but I wouldnt do a thing til I met face to face with him.<p>Bill

Lee Homan

LawnSite Member
Decatur, Alabama
In response to Keiths reply, I think he is exactly right. I believe customers do grow tired of the same person mowing their yard after a few years. I've experienced the same thing, you mow their yard week in week out year in year out and than at some point they start getting testy, picky whatever. I think it's kinda of like shopping at wal-mart all the time, every once in awhile you like to go over to k-mart.


LawnSite Platinum Member
I have a customer whose yard has some bare spots. When my mower went over it,and left a tire track , she though that I tore up. I wound up re-seeding them anyway.

TURF Editor

LawnSite Member
I agree with Bill -- make him SHOW YOU where he thinks you tore up his turf.<p>There is a great lesson here -- and maybe an opportunity to sell. If you pay attention week to week (especially in the spring) and report to the customer on what is happening to his turf BEFORE he sees it, you will not get blamed for something you didn't cause, and you might be able to sell some seeding, sodding or other service. (&quot;Dear Mr. Smith, in my &quot;weekly pre-cut inspection&quot; I noticed that the slope behind the maple tree is rather thin and bare. A spot that thin is bound to show tire marks, and is in danger of other errosive problems. I'll call you in a day or so, and we can discuss how we can solve the problem and give you the lawn you want.<br>Sincerely, Smiling Jim's Lawn Service&quot;<p>Get the picture?<p>David<br>TURF Magazine<p>

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