How do you handle a pushy customer?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jusmowin, Sep 10, 2000.

  1. Jusmowin

    Jusmowin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 726

    I have a customer that is very instistant that she instructs me on trimming her bushes. I dont feel i need instruction, so how should i tactfully handle this person?
  2. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    Big profit here? If so, be nice. Be nice any way. Just ask what she expects them to look like when you finish, then do what she wants. If she stands there while you work and this bothers you, ask her not to. If she's just hard to get along with, just tell her she'll need to find someone else. I just did this a year ago with my second client ever. What a relief! I can put up with some guff, but...
  3. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,555

    Have her instruct you only 1 time,pay careful attention to her since they are her property,thank her for giving such detailed instructions,and tell her that you will do the same everytime from now on,and that it wont be necessary for her to tell you everytime.If she doesnt get the hint,be prepared to either drop her or charge her an additional charge for time lost due to her slowing you while working.
  4. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,262

    I agree with the other posts. If you are miserable every time that you work there, get rid of the customer. I got rid of a couple of lawns that I hated, and boy I'm glad! Send he a nice letter that says you will not be able to provide lawn service to her any more. P.S.-How often do you trim her hedges?
  5. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    LOL, I did bushes Friday for a longtime customer, her elderly ex-husband was visiting for the week from SC, hovered over my shoulder for the first ten minutes, then I shut down the trimmer, without saying a word, and headed for the truck. When he asked what was wrong, I told him in a calm but stern voice, "Im going for a coffee, when I return in five minutes if you're still out here Im driving right by and coming back in two weeks to finish up." When I returned his car was gone and I finished the job with no interruptions.

    BUSHMASTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 519

    i would early on that: insurance requires me to clear area when work is being done.'s a little hard to trim safley and with by standers, safty hazard. insurance,my insurance my insurance
    I don't think they would argue after all when you get car work done in a shop(that your not freinds with)they don't allow you in the bay unless it's to show you something.
  7. diggerman

    diggerman LawnSite Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 702

    Tell her your trimmer has a tendance to go hay wire and you can't control it and you wouldn't want her to get injured maybe even lose fingers or have her eye put out,you still haven't got over the last customer this happened to. She won't watch for long.
  8. landscaper3

    landscaper3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,354

    Hey mow buck naked she will either be terrified or shell see you in an all new manner
  9. Cutter1

    Cutter1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    All good ideas. I like lawn guys idea the best!!! Although trimming in your birthday suit sounds like it may work too.
  10. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Not only are those shrubs the lady's property, she may have had a bad experience with the last guy who tried to trim them. Listen to her. If she is asking for reasonable type of trimming, assure her that you understand and just do it. Since some types shrubs are usually hand-pruned while others accept shearing, be sure you pay attention to what you are trimming. And if you're not sure which is correct, go learn. If you can show this lady that you do an excellent job, she will probably leave you alone and brag about you to her friends. If you have specific questions about which shrubs to hand prune, please ask on the landscape forum.

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