Dealing with nuisance customers. Swallow your pride or fire them?

Gus McGee

LawnSite Member
Maybe I am turning into an old crank, but my tolerance for dealing with nuisance customers has gotten really low. I used to put up with a lot of grief so long as it meant dollar bills kept flowing out of their pockets, but the older I get the less I want to deal with implacable or rude customers. It's one thing to deal with legitimate complaints, but some customers are endless headaches incapable of ever being pleased or acting like a decent human beings.

Anyhow, how do you folks treat headache customers? Do you drop them or keep taking abuse from them just to keep the money rolling in? Do you allow their revenue amount to dictate how much abuse you will suffer?
 

knox gsl

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
knoxville, tn
Depends on what the negatives are about. If it's unwarranted complaints then I'll usually part ways. If it's you didn't do this or you didn't do that I add that to their desired services then add it to the bill. If they are correct I swallow my pride and do better.
 

Marshall Reid

LawnSite Member
Location
Birmingham, AL
I suppose part of the answer is that it depends on how badly you need the revenue. If you're doing OK and can take a temporary hit by dropping them, do it (assuming, as knox said above, that these are unwarranted complaints). Otherwise, actively search to replace the customer and then drop. To me, no amount of money is worth putting up with rude people. Will I do it temporarily? Yes, but only until I can replace them.
 

Carolina Cuttin' Company

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Swansea, SC
Maybe I am turning into an old crank, but my tolerance for dealing with nuisance customers has gotten really low. I used to put up with a lot of grief so long as it meant dollar bills kept flowing out of their pockets, but the older I get the less I want to deal with implacable or rude customers. It's one thing to deal with legitimate complaints, but some customers are endless headaches incapable of ever being pleased or acting like a decent human beings.

Anyhow, how do you folks treat headache customers? Do you drop them or keep taking abuse from them just to keep the money rolling in? Do you allow their revenue amount to dictate how much abuse you will suffer?
I can't afford to lose customers I'm making money on, but I've got a list of customers on thin ice!
 

Mark Stark

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, NY
If they get how you describe, we let them go. Generally we do it like this....

After getting a couple of complaints that I consider to be BS....

1. We inform client that we may not be the best fit for them any longer.
2. We tell them that we're happy to finish out the (insert month, next couple services, etc) following services in order to give them time to find a suitable replacement.
3. Often, they don't find them, we still discontinue service.
4. If they complain again after tell them the info above, I typically tell them no charge for that service and immediately cease service.
5. If they find another service, I typically say "Thanks so much for the opportunity of working with you, please keep us in mind if you need something in the future". I do this for 2 main reasons....First, I try to keep it polite in order to avoid a negative reviews. Second, I LOVE when they reach out 1-2 months later and ask to get back on schedule. That's when we get to say "I'm so sorry but unfortunately we're completely full on all mowing routes. Please keep us in mind for next Spring".....Then you know what I tell them next Spring :nod:
 
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