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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This guy has been one of my long term customers(10yrs). Lately he has become one royal pain in my butt(high touch). Couple weeks ago he flipped on one of my workers for showing up with the wrong color mulch. He wanted the BLACK stuff instead of real pine bark mulch. After my guys had already spread 1 yrd of it, the foreman calls me and informs me the customer is ticked off, and to expect a call. Few minutes later the call comes in....says he wants the black stuff instead of the brown stuff....I told him the BLACK stuff is recycled wood waste for one thing....second it will grey out in a few weeks! He didnt want to hear it....says to me.....JUST DO IT!( If I couldve reached into the phone I wouldve rung is neck!) SOOOO...we do it.....I give the customer what he wants....blah blah...blah...give him the benefit of the doubt and on with life. Next time I see this guy he plays it all off like no big deal.....calls it a misfortunite thing...im thinking your turning into a PITA!
Well all boils down to last night.....920pm he calls(I have a wife and 2 babies sleeping) im thinking who in the heck would call at 920 on a Sunday night?!?!?!.....guess who? I picked the phone up and hung it up right away, hoping the phone didnt wake the kids up. I sat there thinking this guy is gonna get a phone call Monday. Soon as im thinking what to say on Monday...the phone now rings again...same jackazz...only now its 940pm......long story short....I let him have it! Asked if he knew what time it was, that this was Sunday...the whole speel. He says...I thought the answering machine would get it! YEAH after 4 rings!!! Freaking guys has all weekend to call me for work he wants, and decides Sunday night after 9pm is a good time to call.......told him time to find a new scaper! :angry:
 

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i have had a few pitas here. tried to work things out with the customer. usually does not work out. now when ever i get a pita i just drop them. too much trouble. hold on to the good customers and let the pitas go. LCME
 

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Why is he calling you on a home number? I work from a home office/ (shop is seperate barn on property,) but have a dedicated line run into office, worth it's weight in gold. My customers can feel free to call whenever, doesn't mean I will answer 95% of time machine gets it. Commercial can also call cel, but there again after hours I alway look at call ID & may or may not ans. depending on my mood, time of year (snow or landscape work), time of day/week. I wouldn't get rid of a good customer for that, one of his cuttings should of paid for a bus line for a month.
 

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"RESPECT" is the word. This guy lacks or does not even know what respect meant that he called you at that time of night. He treated you just like another neighbor lawn boy who works for soda money. He deserved to be getting rid of. Yes, we are in lawn service and these people think of us as lowest bottom rank of society, I get all the time, but who cares, I never keep them long.
Plenty of work lies ahead, keep it tight and good luck.
 

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You guys slay me. You can't fire clients. You can fire employees but clients don't work for you ...you work for them. Yes sometimes there a pain but the only reason I ever would get rid of a client is on payment issues. Oh well to each his own.
 

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So lets get this straight...

You guys start installing mulch that apparently he didn't pick (not agreed to beforehand) and he gets upset, since HE is PAYING for the mulch and the labor to install it. He calls you and expects you to put down the mulch that HE (the customer) wants. :rolleyes:

He then tries to call you at 9:00 on a weekend night on a number that he was obviously given. You hang up on him without saying anything, so he tries again later and you ream him out.

Since when is 9:00 late anyway - especially from a paying customer?

Boy, what a PITA.. :rolleyes:

I think if I was your customer you wouldn't have to fire me, because I would fire you...

What is up with some of you guys? You chose landscaping/yard maintenance. You are providing a service to your customers for a fee. THEY are PAYING you. You are NOT doing them a favor by gracing their lawn with your expertise.
 

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You guys start installing mulch that apparently he didn't pick (not agreed to beforehand) and he gets upset, since HE is PAYING for the mulch and the labor to install it. He calls you and expects you to put down the mulch that HE (the customer) wants.
I do not understand them my self , Heck 9:00 at night i may still be greasing equipment or still out on a job on these hot humid days.

I dont know i hear alot of em get in this buisness and ***** about what a customer wants . The customer is the boss , The customer keeps the bill collectors away , Piss em all off and your done . Some get in this buisness just so they can ride their ass all day
 

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if you accept the term "fired by a customer", then you are a mere peasant lawnboy, not a businessman. i am an independent contractor, i can not be FIRED, they may cancel service, but they cannot FIRE ME.
 

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I fired a customer last night via email- he said he EXPECTED me to have a back-up lawn guy for him for my vacation week in August. He is the only one out of 75 customers. So I fired him. Who needs him? See ya. Today I got an email- 'please continue to work for me as I am going on vacation'. I said I would until they find a new guy when they get back (they are right next to 2 other customers so I tried/am trying not to piss him off). We'll see how good a job I do while they're gone. If I do! If I can't take a week off then how can they ask me to continue to mow for them while they are on vacation for 3 weeks. (I'm not at all worried about getting stiffed-I was nice about "firing" them- told them there would be no replacement for my vacation so they might as welll find anothert scaper).

You can and should fire customers :angry:
 

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lawnguyland said:
I fired a customer last night via email- he said he EXPECTED me to have a back-up lawn guy for him for my vacation week in August. He is the only one out of 75 customers. So I fired him. Who needs him? See ya. Today I got an email- 'please continue to work for me as I am going on vacation'. I said I would until they find a new guy when they get back (they are right next to 2 other customers so I tried/am trying not to piss him off). We'll see how good a job I do while they're gone. If I do! If I can't take a week off then how can they ask me to continue to mow for them while they are on vacation for 3 weeks. (I'm not at all worried about getting stiffed-I was nice about "firing" them- told them there would be no replacement for my vacation so they might as welll find anothert scaper).

You can and should fire customers :angry:
I guess if you don't need the business - must be nice. You don't arrange for someone to cut your clients when you go on vacation? Good thing your not plowing snow... :dizzy:
 

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betterlawn said:
I guess if you don't need the business - must be nice. You don't arrange for someone to cut your clients when you go on vacation? Good thing your not plowing snow... :dizzy:
It IS nice!!! Cull the herd baby!
I DO snow removal as well and go nowhere, or have a back-up guy (brother or friends).

One guy out of 75 is bothered. It won't even be 2 weeks between cuts as I'm hiring help before and after I go away. I will move the entire route up a day or two before I go and back a few days when I return.
99% of my customers wished me a happy vacation-said I DESERVE it, said I SHOULD take a vacation, etc. etc.
I have a sweet opportunity to travel w/my family. Haven't gone on vacation during the season since 4 years ago for honeymoon. I'm going. Screw his stupid lawn and his crap attitude. (But I was nice about it and he still wants me to work for him-I don't burn bridges, but I'll put up a roadblock.)

Non-beggars CAN be choosers.

I choose not to work for people like that. And actually live like a human being once in a while and go explore the world.
 

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JonHolland said:
Wow, a lot of poor businessmen on this site.

Theres a lot more to people skills than there is to cutting grass apparently.

Ever wonder why LCO's usually have the "bottom of the barrel" reputation?
Why do you say that? (even if it is true?)

My reputation is awesome. The guy I "fired" still wants me back. Most of them do. You have to fire people tactfully and even lie about the reason for it.
Most customers are great people, but there will always be some lunatics out there and no one should have to put up with their BS. Not a thing wrong with dropping a customer. Just don't be a dic....about it
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ive been in this biz 20 yrs now.....we currently maintain 115 properties.....most of these clients have been with us for 10+ yrs. To keep that many people happy for that length of time.....ya gotta be doing something right! Any business that has to deal with 100 different types of personalities is gonna bump heads once in awhile. My guess is 90% of the folks in here have phones in there homes with business lines. How many of you except calls 930 in the evening on a Sunday?! Yes all my customers have my number......seems the other 114 can call at a reasonable hour! Maybe when some you have a family with young kids youll understand.....hey whatever!
 

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MLI said:
Ive been in this biz 20 yrs now.....we currently maintain 115 properties.....most of these clients have been with us for 10+ yrs. To keep that many people happy for that length of time.....ya gotta be doing something right! Any business that has to deal with 100 different types of personalities is gonna bump heads once in awhile. My guess is 90% of the folks in here have phones in there homes with business lines. How many of you except calls 930 in the evening on a Sunday?! Yes all my customers have my number......seems the other 114 can call at a reasonable hour! Maybe when some you have a family with young kids youll understand.....hey whatever!
Yeah, Most of my clients are very well aged accounts and nice people too, but...

Get a business phone line and answering machine. Turn off the ringer if you want to. My business line/phone is at my folk's house. I never answer the phone. Ever. My robot does and I call it once or twice a day and return calls. Gives me time to prep for what I need to talk about anyway. (I move too much to keep paying to take # with me and install another line, etc.) It's only like 30$ a month here-I only use it to receive calls, plus you get a listing in the yellow pages. Do it now. :)
 

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By the way, I called one slightly annoying customer from my cell phone once. Once. I wanted to punch myself. Now he calls my cell phone and it pisses me off! I like to keep that for family and friends only. My mistake though. Never again.
 

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lawnguyland said:
It IS nice!!! Cull the herd baby!
I DO snow removal as well and go nowhere, or have a back-up guy (brother or friends).

One guy out of 75 is bothered. It won't even be 2 weeks between cuts as I'm hiring help before and after I go away. I will move the entire route up a day or two before I go and back a few days when I return.
99% of my customers wished me a happy vacation-said I DESERVE it, said I SHOULD take a vacation, etc. etc.
I have a sweet opportunity to travel w/my family. Haven't gone on vacation during the season since 4 years ago for honeymoon. I'm going. Screw his stupid lawn and his crap attitude. (But I was nice about it and he still wants me to work for him-I don't burn bridges, but I'll put up a roadblock.)

Non-beggars CAN be choosers.

I choose not to work for people like that. And actually live like a human being once in a while and go explore the world.
If I were you (which I'm not), I'd really think about the vacation idea. I mean, you're still in the cutting season, and you're depending on your help to run things while you're away?

Ask TheKingNJ what happened when he tried to take a vacation to the Outer Banks.....http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=113145&page=2&pp=40

That story put the fear of God in me with regard to taking off and leaving things in 'capable' hands...........
 

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We answer our phone 24/7.. Work for alot of clients with weird work/sleep hours..

This business is about SERVICE.. Don't give it, and your're on your way out the door, just like everyone else..
 

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MLI, I read your whole post, and I don't see where the customer did anything wrong.

He wanted a certain kind of mulch, not a sales pitch from you about why you should be able to put down any kind of mulch you want!

And the guy explained why he was calling so late, he thought he was going to get a voice mail on a BUSINESS line! Not some guys home phone number!:rolleyes:

Surprised he kept you for 10 years!
 

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JonHolland said:
Wow, a lot of poor businessmen on this site.

Theres a lot more to people skills than there is to cutting grass apparently.

Ever wonder why LCO's usually have the "bottom of the barrel" reputation?
there are alot of POOR MEN on this site. WERE THEY BAD AT BUSINESS FIRST? OR WERE THEY ONCE GOOD AT BUSINESS, BUT BECAME BAD, AFTER THEY STARTED CUTTING GRASS?
 
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