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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there a such thing as employees being too chatty w customers?. I’m not a big small talker. If I see someone come out of their house I’ll smile and wave and that’s it. Unless I see them approach me and want to talk. Even then it’s usually business only as time is $$.
My employee however talks to anyone and everyone no matter where he goes. That’s just his personality. As soon as I turn my back he’s having a full conversation and chatting up any customer that happens to come outside. Knows their name and life story more than I do. It’s definitely a good thing for customers to like your employees. It just kinda bothers me when he feels the need to talk and joke w every person that walks by. I’m wondering is this / or could this be a problem ? Or am I just an unfriendly bastard ?? I know him well He’s not trying to steal business or anything he just likes to joke and BS w ppl .
 

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at some point you have to let people be people. Does he work hard otherwise? Does he do a good job? I'd just let him. I think half the reason people fail with employees, they expect them to be just like them. They don't have same personalities, drives or worries like an owner does. Maybe this guy cuts some grass or does some jobs sometimes and he becomes the guy that goes out and gets new business for you?


You know who customers like to hire? people they think care. If someone can get to "know" everyone that quickly and easily, why waste it? just a suggestion.

now if all they want to do is sit around and talk all day and don't do squat, that's a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
at some point you have to let people be people. Does he work hard otherwise? Does he do a good job? I'd just let him. I think half the reason people fail with employees, they expect them to be just like them. They don't have same personalities, drives or worries like an owner does. Maybe this guy cuts some grass or does some jobs sometimes and he becomes the guy that goes out and gets new business for you?


You know who customers like to hire? people they think care. If someone can get to "know" everyone that quickly and easily, why waste it? just a suggestion.

now if all they want to do is sit around and talk all day and don't do squat, that's a problem.
I mostly agree. If anything Ill ask him to keep it short and sweet while we are out mowing - since minutes actually matter on a mowing route.
 

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I mostly agree. If anything Ill ask him to keep it short and sweet while we are out mowing - since minutes actually matter on a mowing route.
As someone who loves talking to old people- I would regularly get hung up when on the clock, a friendly reminder that your on someone else’s time doesn’t hurt. I think people who engage in those conversations, like myself, are well
aware we do it- don’t feel uncomfortable having a conversation about it with him
 

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Had an elderly client that I had to put on the end of the day. She was lonely and I was her entertainment. She paid cash, so it wasn't too bad.
 

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I mostly agree. If anything Ill ask him to keep it short and sweet while we are out mowing - since minutes actually matter on a mowing route.
He will probably talk your ear off. 🤣

I'm a talker, so I feel you're pain sometimes when I do it to myself. Wife says I talk too much and know everybody.
 

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Had an elderly client that I had to put on the end of the day. She was lonely and I was her entertainment. She paid cash, so it wasn't to bad.
I always tell myself one day I'll be old. My mom is by herself now and I hope and pray any service person she deals with will treat her how I treat older folks.
 

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Sounds like you guys work together from your first post. Next time Mr. Homeowner comes out and Joe Employee goes over to chat, walk over and join in too. Greet the homeowner and join in on the conversation for about 2-3 minutes with no sense of rushing. Then, look at your watch and say, "Oh, Gee, Mr. Homeowner, I know you're busy, but thanks for giving us a few minutes of your time. Joe and I better get back to slaying the dragons and move along. See you next week!".

That way, you don't come across to the customer as a domineering boss, put the burden on you for holding the customer up, and display a sense of urgency to move on, but not ignore Joe or the customer. After a few of these, Joe Employee may pick up on the idea that a couple of minutes is OK, but no need to get the Monopoly Board out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sounds like you guys work together from your first post. Next time Mr. Homeowner comes out and Joe Employee goes over to chat, walk over and join in too. Greet the homeowner and join in on the conversation for about 2-3 minutes with no sense of rushing. Then, look at your watch and say, "Oh, Gee, Mr. Homeowner, I know you're busy, but thanks for giving us a few minutes of your time. Joe and I better get back to slaying the dragons and move along. See you next week!".

That way, you don't come across to the customer as a domineering boss, put the burden on you for holding the customer up, and display a sense of urgency to move on, but not ignore Joe or the customer. After a few of these, Joe Employee may pick up on the idea that a couple of minutes is OK, but no need to get the Monopoly Board out.
O we definitely both talk to them and some are really cool. It probably works well cuz I can look (and actually be) “un approachable” especially when I’m overtired. So he makes up for my crappy mood. I’ve only had to cut it short a few times. Only real issue I see is when I’m trying to talk business and go over work and the small talk is getting in the way.
 

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O we definitely both talk to them and some are really cool. It probably works well cuz I can look (and actually be) “un approachable” especially when I’m overtired. So he makes up for my crappy mood. I’ve only had to cut it short a few times. Only real issue I see is when I’m trying to talk business and go over work and the small talk is getting in the way.
That's an easy discussion and problem to fix. Just tell your employee that while you are talking biz with the clients, give you the space, and quiet, to do it and then he can do small talk later. Let him know the biz talk comes first, that's what keeps money coming in his pocket.
 

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While doing a large shrub trimming job at a recently divorced ladies home the lady began hitting on my guys doing the job. She was looking for some action. She was actually very good looking and my guys didn't mind talking to her but all my guys were married or engaged and had no intention of "helping this lady out" I kinda felt sorry for her because I actually knew her X husband because he was a customer also. I was however proud of my guys for keeping it professional and getting the job done. She kept adding to work so we would stay longer but in the end we drove away and left her wanting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I’m definitely a little unfriendly but still a “nice” person. all my customers like me & It’s important they like the employees too. Just wondering where is the line between being friendly and being invasive. If I had contractors on my property I wouldn’t exactly appreciate a full conversation every time me - my daughters - or my wife walk past them. Probably just me being anti social but idk
 

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I have a tendency to get to taking with old people too. Prroblems have arisen though when it starts going from a friendly hello to customers thinking your visits are social hour. Years ago I worked for a very wealthy old lady who was happy to pay my hourly rate for however long she wanted to talk. It was ok when my business first started out but as I got busier that one job started wreaking havoc on my schedule and had to drop her
 

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I go out of my way to say good morning, hello, how are you, etc. to virtually everyone I come across during my day. It's good to be friendly and engaging with customers or passersby. While in the middle of a job however I tend to keep it short, I'm working. I see no reason not to let an employee know that he should do the same, he's working too.
 

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To the OP - your concerns are 100% valid. Generally speaking, workers are there to work, not socialize. I encourage all my employees to be polite and friendly to customers but they shouldn't linger. They are there to accomplish a task, extensive talking is a waste of time and money.

In business, things should go through the proper channels. Customers should communicate with the team lead or management. Likewise, employees should communicate with the team leaders or management. There is no reason for every crew member to be yakking with the customers. Its unprofessional and wastes an exorbitant amount of time. It also can lead to confusion and disruption of the workflow.

For example- the customer approaches and asks a question or makes a request. The team leader or manager should answer the question, and/or decide the course of action regarding the request. Never should a team member answer. It is not their place. There is a chance that the team member will answer something, other than what the manager would have answered. This creates an unnecessary problem for the company. Now either the manager must go along with the team members answer or he must over ride it.

There are many other reasons that could be cited however, the best course of action is this-

Customers interact with management
Employees interact with management


This enables management to do what they are there to do- manage.
 
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