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Customer problems HELP!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by schmidt78, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. schmidt78

    schmidt78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    My first customer of little over a year and a half is really getting onto my last nerves. Every Friday(the day the requested) when I mow their lawn they seemed to add onto their flower beds or plants making it more and more difficult to mow with my 48" deck I had no problems I've started with. They have 1/4 acre lot and each time it gets tighter and tighter with the beds. Since I started with them I charged them $35 per mow/weed eat/blow/edge. this year I moved the price up and they freaked out. So I kept my price at $35. This morning I got a phone call while I was at my other job with them complaining how I didn't do stuff that I know for a fact that I personally did myself. I'm tempting on dropping this customer. But before I over react I would like to see what kind of input I can get from here.
    Thank You if you can help out
  2. Stars & Stripes Landscaping

    Stars & Stripes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 246

    If they don't work out, and you can handle losing one customer... why not?
  3. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,392

    Ask her what her expectations are. Price accordingly. Thank them and move your happy a$$ along. Go a few more years, get overwhelmed. Regret doing this type of work, close up shop and liquidate. Get a job for the city and work happily 8-4. Retire at 65. Call it a life.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    Try to remember your in business for your self. This customer is playing you like a fiddle,will continue to do so until you make her understand enough is enough. Either rewrite your agreement you have with her and raise your price or give her your notice. She can find someone else to baby sit her. You really have better things to do.
    easy-lift guy
  5. schmidt78

    schmidt78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Well thanks Ill take all of your advice. I love doing the job. dont have any problems with it but the customers. I like working with my customers, Just not for someone who jumps all over me for something that can be communicated first by face to face. It doesn't help that I had a buddy help me out on the weed eating and the blowing while I mowed. I'm a fireman and owning my own business is the only way I can work with my hours. I'm not butthurt or anything. I'm just frustrated. I will not regret doing this work. I've been doing it for for more than just 2 years. Just under my own operation for 2 years.
    This is only my second job to keep me busy on my days off.
    Thanks easy-lift guy for your advice. Yours seem real solid.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    Wait, say that again? I wanna write that down.

  7. dllawson

    dllawson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 172

    Schmidt, every business owner can relate to how you are feeling. The longer you stay in business the more comfortable you will be dealing with difficult customers. I have been in the business about 15 years. I met a prospective customer a few weeks ago, and I could tell by the way he answered the door that I would never be able to make him happy. I was politely out of his yard in less than 5 minutes.

    Customers can be unhappy when you make a mistake or because of an honest misunderstanding. Unfortunately, there are also some people who are impossible to please. Not only are those customers a headache, but you can bet they are costing you money.

    The average net profit margin for landscape companies is around 10%. That means an average business would profit as little as $15 each month from a $150 monthly account. One return trip can easily ruin the profit on a job for the next 2 or 3 months.
  8. schmidt78

    schmidt78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41


    Thanks. That helped alot. The thing is they were great customers the one day out of the blue they just snapped. So I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. Smile and nod!
  9. Kawizx62003

    Kawizx62003 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,458

    I think the customer has a right to do what ever they want in their own yard. Time to break out the "push" mower. People can be frustrating but this is a service business. yes ma'am no ma'am, yes sir no sir. Bite ypur tongue, take their money. Now, you should have stood your ground on the price increase. They now know they "got you" and you will never be able to increase it.

    Now, increase the price. Just associate it with rising costs. If they say no, you're done with them. If they say yes, more money....
  10. dllawson

    dllawson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 172

    It sounds like there could be something going on in their personal lives that has nothing to do with you.

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