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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Infinite, May 2, 2006.

  1. Infinite

    Infinite LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    I was just wondering if more headaches come with a bigger business? It seems so, going from 15 accounts last year to 40 accounts this year. Everybody wants their yard done a certain way and there is usually at least one minor complaint at the end of the day. Here are some complaints or problems we have had this year thus far. A lady came out while cutting her grass and said it hasn't even been a week since u cut it the last time I have a contract for 10 days, well I had no hesitation to grab my papers and show her it has been 11 days. I have had a lady tell me our 60 inch is too big for her 3 acre yard. I have had a lady say to cut her yard at 2.5 inches and not worry about the clippings then her son called me later and said he had to go rake it yelling at me. A old lady who is known as a pita and can't keep a lawn care company gets her grass cut every friday at 3 inches and there are some clippings that lay on the lawn cuz its springtime guys, well according to her her yard looks like hell week in and week out. I have had another old lady try to tell me there is grass on the side of her house and swear to it, I told her to show me, and it was fly crap but she still swore up and down. Also a few complaints the grass is uneven, I tell them yeh cuz the ground is uneven. Oh man do I get a kick out of people. Give me some stories and how u deal with the headaches at the end of the day.
  2. jameson

    jameson LawnSite Fanatic
    from PNW
    Messages: 7,429

    No doubt at times the complaints from the clientele seem INFINTE :waving: , dont they? Another day, another dollar.

    Keep your chin up, relax and have a beer.
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Yep, the more customers you have, the more likelihood that someone has a problem or a gripe. However, at least with us, the longer we have been in business, the easier it is to deal with these hassles. I know the first few years, we would work ourselves up when someone complained. Now with more experience, it gets easier to handle all of our customers.
  4. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    There is always the potential for friction when you take on new clients, the longer you are in business the better you will learn to anticipate client expectations, I have also noticed that the longer I've had a client the less likely they are to complain. Basically those that stick with you like your work.
  5. bladeheart

    bladeheart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Its almost like you have to "train" the new customers!
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    So very true, one thing helped me greatly (and still does) and this works especially good with women and elderly folk is to shake your head up and down and go uh-hmmm, and hmmmm and uhmmm-hmmmm and also saying 'ok' a few times works really good too. Just kinda be agreeable and listen and kinda shake your head up and down oh yeah and smile a little, a lot of times that does the trick.

    I know it sounds dumb, but it works and it has saved me so many times too.

    p.s.: just wait until they have your e-mail address, LOL!
  7. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I completely disagree with this point. I just flat out tell people, if you're not happy, get someone else. I'm here to make money. I'm not here to ruin your lawn / house / property.

    If I do some serious damage, I will fix it. Other than that, each week I will maintain your property to the specs that we agreed upon at the beginning of the year.

    If this is not feasible, there is no "out" clause in my service agreements, people can "fire" me anytime I want, and I can "fire" a client anytime I want.

    Over the years, you realize who's okay to deal with and who's a PITA. Work each year to either charge the PITA's more by raising rates, or just flat out getting other clients to replace the people that complain.

    There's NOTHING that I dislike more, than people that complain about stuff that they don't have any idea what they're talking about.
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    After 11 years I have it figured out but occasionally I get the oddball complaint and its usually in the spring when I am working one time jobs and encounter lots of people. But you are right in saying the more customers you have the more chance you have to get a complaint. It sounds like your mix of complainers have some mutts in there. You know, the ones that other lawn care companies told to take a hike. The ones that are always pizzin and moanin because of any little thing.
    They were the kid on the playground that no one liked when they were little but now they have managed to continue their misery by growing up and taking their misery out on everyone.
    Sometimes the nod and agree works well but I am human too. I remember one old lady who told me that my mower ripped her yard up. I went back to her house to show her that it was rotted out over the winter because the neighbor had their sump pump line discharging there all year. When I was there there was 6 inches of water standing in a pool about 15 feet wide. I would be an idiot to try and run a mower in there. I told her that I thought that she should look for someone else to mow her yard. She finally figured out that I was dumping her. It was all I could do. I find that I can try one time to explain to a customer. If I actually did cause a problem, I will fix it. If it is just a person who is a habitual complainer, I let the next lawn care guy take them.
  9. garth1967

    garth1967 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640


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