Firing customers

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by ecoguy, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,121

    So, after you fired her did she give you a raise?
  2. twcw5804

    twcw5804 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    That account maybe worth the over hour drive it would take for me to get there. If not maybe RCslawncare would want it!! j/k
  3. dallen

    dallen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Actually, she threw on a pair of shorts and blouse and met me as I was getting into the truck. She was apologizing profusely and going on and on about how her husband is leaving her and how her life is falling apart. She said she just needed someone to talk to and begged me to sit down with her in the kitchen. Against my better judgment, I agreed. She just needed to unload a bunch of crap. I just sat there and listened. She finally calmed down, looked at me with a deadly seriousness and said she has been naughty and needed a man to turn her over his knee and spank her bare bottom. So I did.
  4. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    LOL!!!! Did Mr. Rork come out then afterwards and ask you if you wanted to stay on the island forever? Just kidding man that was a great story.
  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    We've found after the first couple of years in business it's simpler & A LOT less expensive for us to attempt to detect potential problem customers at the initial sales visit, rather than have a mutual suffering & agonizing relationship that ends in disaster 2 or 3 years down the road.
    Now we're careful to prequalify them to make sure they're on board with us before we accept them as customers.
    In other words, in our initial approach to the customer we present ourselves as looking for a certain levels of cooperation with the clients, in terms of proper mowing, irrigation, etc. Many of them of course are less than experts in these areas. So we'll try to get a commitment that they'll be willing to learn from us certain cultural practices that'll be mutually beneficial toward the end-goal.

    Non bill-paying dead beats? Those are a lot harder to detect.
    But so far, most of those losers, at least in this part of the country, apparently aren't so much interested in organics.
  6. ecoguy

    ecoguy LawnSite Member
    from Duncan
    Messages: 234

    Hi Marcos. Thanks for the advice. I think your strategy makes good sense. I am only in my 8th month of business so the pressure I face is not to accept any and all customers just to pay the bills. Without fail, every chemical loving customer ended up being frustrated, impatient - the kind you want to strangle- customers. I think it's better to just choose my customers and if I have to work a second job somewhere else while I'm building my business, so be it. At least in the end I'll have people who "get it."
  7. Baytownlawncare

    Baytownlawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    I let a customer go today that I learned a lesson from. If you quote a price and they try to ask you to go lower just state that is my price and I will not cut for lower. I underbid myself on a PITA yard. I mowed it for 3 months. It is a vacant home that the customer is trying to sell. She wanted to mow it just biweekely and was not interested in paying for weekly mowing. She wants it presentable to potental buyers but it is a jungle after 2 weeks. Well last time I am out, I cannot even mulch it due to the height. So I blow it out the side. She calls and complains about all the grass blowing everywhere, street , pool ect. She then states she wants it bagged next time. So I quote her a price for bagging in addition to the regular mow price. She thinks it should be included in the original price. I tell her I will have to charge extra or she can find a new lawn company. So she let me go or I let her go however you want to look at it. I was spending 2-3 hours on her property and only taking in $45. It was not fitting my business plan so it feels great now to be done with her.
  8. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    This sounds like a voice of reason to me. Make it worth your time and all the headaches that go with the property.
  9. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,100

    Raising price till they give up is the best way as far as I can tell. Its like having a bad worker, you give them more and more crap till they leave and then you didn't technically fire them.
  10. fastr1

    fastr1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    life sure is full of choices...i sure would like to have to make those. ;<)

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