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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a kid that works with me on Fridays. He is a good kid that is going to college on a scholarship, brought up in the church, and haven't heard one cuss word out of his mouth, while I cuss like a sailor. His only free day is Friday, and that is when I have 28 houses in the same subdivision to do. So it works out well.

Last week was crazy with the hurricane that crossed our state twice and it set me behind schedule. I finished last week's route on Monday morning with my 9-house cluster. One of the customers in the middle came out and I told her that I should be back on schedule by the end of the week. She and her husband are the only house in this subdivision that is per-cut ($18....I know). Everyone else pays a monthly rate throughout the year. She says "We'll just see if it needs it". Okay.

Well, me and my helper end the day off with the same 9-house cluster. As I'm cutting my first one he comes around the corner to tell me that a customer was kind of freaking out on him while he was edging. I told him to just skip it and I would go talk to them. Went over and the wife came to the door. I let her know that I would not be back until next Friday.

We are heading home and I ask him "How did that customer freak out on you?". He proceeds to tell me the conversation in detail and it really pissed me off when I found out how this customer was talking to my employee. They we basically asking HIM why we were there and giving him crap about it!! Talking to him like he was some dumb kid when he didn't answer quick enough. Although when I went to talk to them after he came to get me, I get none of that?

I refuse to work for people who think they are better than me or my guys for any reason. I expect my employees to treat my customers with respect, and my cutomers should return the same. So, I'm probably going to drop them. My only problem is that they are in the middle of this cluster, so I have to handle this right and not the way that I feel. I will still be seeing these people everytime I cut their neighbors.

What would you do?
 

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Tell them you are the boss and if they have a problem they should come to you about it instead of your employee(s). I wouldn't dump them. You would be dumping lots if you dumped every crazy out there
 

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I would just let it pass. Customer may have had a bad day, didn't think before they spoke. Before I dropped them, I would definately just go about my business and next time you are there or at a convenient time, talk to the customer and just re-assure them that they are your highest priority. Let them know that your employees do not make the routes, or change the routes, all inquiries should be directed to you. Supply the customer with another business card so they have your contact info. on file, etc.
I have heard many times about how a customer 'freaked out' about this or that. I've never lost, nor dropped, a customer over a single incident like that. I usually make a special trip, or phone call to the customer to clear things up, and find that there really never was a big worry.
Remember- dont sweat the petty stuff, pet the sweaty... Oh, never mind.
 

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I would just let it pass. Customer may have had a bad day, didn't think before they spoke. Before I dropped them, I would definately just go about my business and next time you are there or at a convenient time, talk to the customer and just re-assure them that they are your highest priority. Let them know that your employees do not make the routes, or change the routes, all inquiries should be directed to you. Supply the customer with another business card so they have your contact info. on file, etc.
I have heard many times about how a customer 'freaked out' about this or that. I've never lost, nor dropped, a customer over a single incident like that. I usually make a special trip, or phone call to the customer to clear things up, and find that there really never was a big worry.
Remember- dont sweat the petty stuff, pet the sweaty... Oh, never mind.
I have to agree, don't just drop them because of this one incident. Talk to them first. But if this continues to happen after talking to them, then you should look at dropping them.
 

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It says in our contract that disrecting our employees can/will be cause for dismissal.

Plain and simple you have a problem you call us and don't say **** to the guy on your lawn. You are no better then them because they cuts lawns for a living and definetly not better then them becuase you have to make yourself feel better by ****ting on the lawn guy.
 

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I got the best solution for you. Call the people on Tuesday morning, it will be a new month and their lawn will be getting close to needing another cut by then too.... and tell her that you no longer can offer a per cut service arrangement. Price her at a simular price to her 8 other neighbors and tell her you will have a contract for her to sign on Friday when you show up to cut. If she refuses to do the contract then terminate your services to her. Her neighbors are on contract and they should not be mad at you if she complains to them that you dumped her for her not also going on contract.

I used to live in Florida and did lawn service. Prices were way too low, but were at least a year round price. I am not so proud as to say I wouldn't drop my gate for less then 40$, but I certainly wouldn't drop it for less than 25$ these days.
 

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I wouldn't put up with it for an $18 cut, but I would also let them know that the employee is simply doing as he is told, and is not authorized to handle any customer complaints. Inform them that any issues should be brought to you directly.

Do your clients know who you are? This may sound bad, but I have people that I do work for that I have never met face to face. Some have called me on the phone and will say something like "Your guy was here today, and I asked him (insert question) and he told me (insert answer), what do you think?" I like to just play along and say "ya, he's a smart kid, and I agree totally" BTW I run solo, so the "guy" they are talking about is obviously me. Maybe your customer didn't know which one of you was in charge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all of the replies. I had to go over to that same cluster today for hedge trimming and the lady came out. She's like"You're going to kill me....is there any way that you can cut it today? I wasn't thinking yesterday." I took the opportunity to explain why her and her husband should not approach my employees. And that if they have any questions or concerns while we are there, just ask my guy to go get me. She understood that as well as the fact that I would not be cutting it until next Friday with a 50% increase on that cut due to length. If this happens again....no brainer. One of the reasons I started this business is to have the freedom to work for who I want to work for. Had enough eating sh** in my day, and the man can't tell me to make nice anymore! If this customer was somewhere else being the only stop, I would have probably dropped them. But you guys were right. It's just hard to separate emotions sometimes. Thanks again, guys.
 

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Let it slide off your back man. You drop them and they bad mouth you to others and soon you have none of those lawns. Maybe that person had a really bad day and took it out on your helper. Who knows but what ever you do dont drop them if you never had any problem out of them before.
 
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