How high do you jump for customer...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Bassman, Aug 5, 2000.

  1. Bassman

    Bassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    I'm weeding out, (excuse the pun), over demanding, obnoxious customers from the get go. I got into this business in order to make an honost living by top quality work, fair pricing and calling my own shots. I have found that I feel much better about myself after cutting loose what I perceive as ongoing future problem customers as soon as possible. I worked for an assh*le previous to starting my own business and refuse to be sh*t on by anyone now. I thank the LORD for the appreciative customers that I have and do a superior job maintaining their property. How much crap do you other posters take before pulling the plug on these difficult type customers? I am finding there is plenty of work for someone that gives superior service at fair market rates without having to put up with unappreciative customers. Just like in any business, there are those that will complain regardless of the quality of your work or price. Ditch em fast and don't look back. Comments appreciated.
  2. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    Ask yourself "Would more $$$ make this worth the BS?" If so, charge more $$$. If not, can 'em. I agree with you: I didn't start doing this to put up with a bunch of mess. BUT, it will cost you some $$$. If you'd rather have the peace of mind than the bucks... I know I would. I've fired several people for this. Be polite, be firm and thank them for choosing you.
  3. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    Talk is cheap. I let em whine. I know I do top-grade work, all my customers think so too, if a customer needs to gripe I nod and say something like, no problem Ill try and address it next week. Then next week just keep right on doing what Im supposed to do. Whats the worse that could happen, they can you? You were going to do that to them anyway, might as well get a few cuts out of them. As for extras "add-ons" I always quote the price when asked so theres no misunderstanding Im not in this for the charity aspect of it.

    As for "over demanding, obnoxious customers" I can usually sniff them out from the start and I wouldnt even bid a job for these types. If the customer turns into one of these, have a nice day. If I wanted crap Id squeeze their heads.
  4. Bassman

    Bassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    At this particular time in my life, peace of mind is more important than the $$ if it means putting up with unnecessary bullsh*t. I've made a lot of money, (enough to have retired on comfortably), and unfortunately LOST it in bad investments over the last 10 years. I think I would like to enjoy, (at least), the simple pleasure of peace of mind as I make a humble but enjoyable living in the lawn service business. I wish I was 18 again because that was the last time I remember KNOWING EVERYTHING. Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.
  5. Getmow

    Getmow LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 445

    You know the customer. If it is a bad day (for them) and they are just spouting off...I'll give them that. If they are a thorn, no amount of money will make it worth your time.
  6. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    It all depends on how many dollars they are spending with
    you. If a customer spends 1-2 grand per month with you,I
    would assume you would be prepared to take a fair amount
    of ****.

  7. sunrise

    sunrise Banned
    Messages: 246

    we had a couple of customers that would watch us mow the lawn and then make us walk around with them after we were done to show us something we did or dident do. problem was they were the cheapest mows. so we let them go
  8. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 10,957

    The problem is that people get into this business think they are getting rid of their bosses. Well think again. Instead of one boss you will have many And most of them in one way or another are a pain in the ass at one time. Some of them are a pain in the ass almost everytime you see them. Demanding this or that. Or critising anything and everything. Just to make themselves feel superior. If you get afford the weed out the worse offenders, great! If not, your're no better off than when you had to punch a clock. Alot of my customers make me wish I just had a regular clock punnching job. lol. I am not above letting a customer know how I feel when they cross that pain in the ass line. I let them know in a round about way to "shut the hell up." And they usually do.
  9. AGG Lawn Maintenance

    AGG Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    from Elberon
    Messages: 422

    I try and have the upper hand in a nice way. For example I list time frames for all work clean ups, mowing etc. Any work done out of the time frame goes up in price. My customers appreciate that I am up front and honest. My prices are competitive with others in my area. Our pruning prices are a little higher to cover anything we might come acrossed. We tell the customers the best time to get the extra's done and do it on the date. As far as B.S. we would rather do a say $25-$30 cut and have less headaches then a $100 cut. Not to say that a $100 cut is bad but if it comes with B.S. I skip it. Travis AG&G Lawn Maintenance
  10. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    Usually these kind of people show their true colors right away . I weed them out by the end of the first season . Seems I had a lot of weeding this year . I can't have twenty different ways to do things . I can't have sixty different bosses .
    I have had customers my whole 15 years in biz . I have had customers for 2-3 mows . Is it me or them ? I think I know the answer to that question. It's me ( my way or the highway).

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