Here's another example of what I'm getting at

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087


    I totally understand what you are saying, and it's good for folks to read your post. You might typically have a point and that's a good comment.

    However, in this particular case, you have missed the mark on this one. Remember me saying that this one was a bit smothering, monopolizing, intensive, ect...?

    Well, your post hits the nail on the head rather well in pointing out a few things.
    1) Sometimes your best efforts don't matter
    2) Sometimes accounts and be so intensive they eat up your time for other things

    Continuing from above, the truth is, this account has been so communication extensive and high contact intensive, that it gets to the point there's already more non-billable 'stroking and petting' hours involved than I want. In fact, once in a while I even put off communications a little longer because it's too the point I feel it borders me being a pest. Understand what I mean? I mean for the last several months I've averaged like 2 'extra service visit' requests per week for additional maintenance. So there is a lot of good contact, communication and feedback going on.

    At this point in the game, more than anything I just feel used. Used for the difficult money jobs and a lot of nickel and dime level extras. And then the first time a money job comes along at a lower difficulty level... I get passed right over.

    When it comes right down to it, this is nothing more than somebody somewhere along the chain of command evaluated the work to be done and passed this less intensive renovation on to someone else. Most likely somebody doing some work of some sort for them at some other location, or somebody who knows somebody, or just flat out someone cheaper.

    I will attempt to get to the bottom of it at some point. But I strongly doubt I'll ever get an honest response. If they wanted to be honest about it, and there was some really logical reason this went down this way, I'm sure they would have notified me to 'expect' this and pre-explained. Especially considering I worked in that area last on Thursday, we spoke on Friday about the scope of this service request, which they wanted completed Friday or Saturday morning, and I agreed to do it Saturday morning.

    Not unless they weren't counting on frost Saturday morning, and my job running longer into the day, and us both being around at the same time. But I really doubt that, because they knew I knew this renovation was coming up, because they told me they would be ready to do it before long.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I wish you the best of luck, after reading your last post I think you are on the right track and hopefully everything works out.
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Yeah, I feel I have bent over backwards here, met and exceeded their expectations, accomodated their short time frames and delivered, played the positive and helpful business man... basically done everything but let them walk all over me and tell me what to charge.

    I hope it does work out for the best. But I have already been surprised a couple of times this season, which is out of the ordinary, so I don't know just how much unexpected luck I have left... LOL...

    Personally, I've thought about this quite a bit already, and my concern is that I'm not sure how I can open conversation about this, without opening a pandoras box. At this point it's looking like a very volitle situation on MY END of things.

    Just from a business perspective alone, looking at the history, if they want this level of service from me and this level of attention from me along with these types of reaction times.... well then I not only expect compensation, but I also expect a similar focus from them in return, meaning I certainly do NOT expect to get passed over on the best jobs.

    So once this subject is brought to the table, it's going to put me in a position where either we reach some sort of understanding, or I walk... and I have to first evaluate rather I'm for going that far over this.

    Basically, I foresee backing my own self in a corner here.
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Dog gone...I know I would be ticked, as well. I don't even know what to say at this time in the morning, and wish I had something to contribute. It has pretty much already been said, here.
  5. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 901

    I would stop this beck and call behavior, next time they ring you on a friday you will be available when it suits you, next service or what ever, you are spending to much time there talking and doing nickel and dime work.

    I think these people are P.I.T.A.S that you can see potenial in with plumb jobs, only they are not delivering your way, just think of these people as average accounts and do not expect to much from as you know the history of them.

    Keep working for them but do not over deliver or waste to much time on them, impress upon the fact that you are a busy man and are not there at there beck and call.....BTW no need to drop the account, you know what there like, as long as you are getting paid the proper rate its all money.
  6. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,045

    Envy, how would you respond if someone else had posted this situation?

    You might tell them to be professional and to not burn bridges. To not let individual personal feelings dictate business decisions.

    Just follow what Sandgropher wrote and keep reminding yourself of your company's mission statement.

    By keeping your companys best interest at hand, you will be keeping your pride and your cpa happy.
  7. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    After bending over backwards for them over and over like you say you have, I think you have every right in the world to not only approach them about this, but they owe you a explanation, and if it is a sorry explanation I would tell them that since the other company is good enough for the good and profitable work then they can take the trash also. Then walk.
  8. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    It don't really see what the big deal is. Why should one rennovation bother you? Don't you bid on 5 a week? Get over it and forget the powwow. It is not worth losing a good paying customer, because your feelings are hurt. And as far nit picking small things... either make sure they fit into your schedule or charge them what its worth to put up w/ there crap.... supply and demand.

    What the hell are you talking about a loss leader for? It sounds like it is a profitable account... not following any of you points.
  9. Sharpcut 1

    Sharpcut 1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    Take pictures of their inferior work, tell the customer you watched them do it and what they did wrong, and how it won't look like the work you did next year when it settles ect.. Also obviously, take pictures of your renovation work that you did on site to them, and compare. If they really care about the property, they'll think about what they have done. You should then be able to get the reaason why they called the other guys when you gave such good service in the past. If the results of the other guys' work are that bad, I'm sure you saw them skimp on materials or poor plantings, something that caught your eye. Did they guarantee plant material like you do??? Ect. Ect. Lot of people don't stop and think about that, only price. Are they going to come right back out like I did, or take care of the little jobs for you within 24 hours, like I did??? Pictures are worth a thousand words. Could of been some higher up made the decision instead of the person you usually work witjh. I've been there brother. Some customers you keep, some you end up getting rid of and replacing with FULL SERVICE clients, that way your time is more valuable. You will get to the point of relaTIONSHIP WITH A FULL SERVICE CLIENT WHEN THEY DON'T EVEN ASK PRICE, JUST DO IT, GET IT DONE, AND BILL ME. jUST BILL THEM FAIRLY, AND YOU'LL KEEP THE JOB. OOps, sorry for all the capitals, I must have hit the caps lock button. I'm not yelling at you!!! Only the part about FULL SERVICE CLIENT!
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    If it's so profitable, there should be little to no anger concerning some supposed backhanded deal on an expected job. It happens to me too, they hire someone else to do something I had expected, but I have learned that so long I have been charging enough to do everything else, it bothers me a lot less. It still burns, don't get me wrong, but it's tolerable, the flames are much smaller and cooler.

    It is when I have unwillingly (or stupidly lol) been giving discounted rates in expectation of getting the big job that the anger comes around, or also when I bend over backwards a little too much / too often... In a nutshell, when I'm throwing in freebies to get the biggie and then the biggie slips away, that's when I really feel it (usually).

    That's all I meant by it, it doesn't define the account as a loss, but I believe the actions that led up to this particular event may very well have fallen under that.

    I also think this thread could be a vital part of most anyone's focus, what has happened here is nothing new, I've experienced this pita more than once myself and sooner or later it will happen to most everybody, at least somewhere between the start of business and the time one realizes something has to change. Once this happened to me a few times, I realized I had to make a change or it would happen again, and again, and again... The first time or two I talked myself out of it, but after the third or fourth time this happened to me, it got to where I could not tolerate this anger thing anymore.... So, I started out by making sure I always charged enough in the first place, it is also the reason I don't like it when potential customers who called for an estimate on a smallish job are throwing around all these BIG future projects in my face, has something to do with flaunting the money but it also has to do with how they later almost always end up calling someone else for the big money job, especially if they got their way and we gave them a discount on the initial bid in hopes of getting the big one (and if discount isn't the word, think back, did we go out of our way, did we bend over backwards more than we usually do in expectation, and if so, there's the answer).
    So, when we start throwing in free stuff (either by discounting or being a little too helpful) we will find ourselves in this situation where a big job is concerned, they will call someone else in the end and you will get very angry, and I find it important that we realize this will happen and that something within either ourselves or our own methods must change to prevent it, if not entirely, then at least somewhat.

Share This Page