How to handle this customer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jbutch83, Jun 9, 2003.

  1. jbutch83

    jbutch83 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    Picked up a new customer two weeks ago, she is next door to one of our current customers. She was not happy with her current company, and after a week, she called us to cut for her. When she called, she said that she either wanted it cut on Friday, or Monday or Tuesday, she did not want anything done on the weekends. I went and cut on Friday, everything turned out fine. She was scheduled again for this past Friday, she only wants in done once a week. I started working on the neighbor's property Friday afternoon, and finished his yard in a downpour, so I could not do the new customers yard. I then rescheduled for Tuesday, and she calls this morning wanting to know why it was not done on Friday. She also explains that she now does not want it done on Monday or Tuesday, but only on Thursday or Friday. I don't have a problem with doing it on either of those days, we can work it into our schedule. The question is, do I charge more, because I know that I will have to at least double cut the property, due to having to wait till the end of the week to cut. I have not spoken with her yet, she left a message, I called back and left a message as to why it was not done on Friday. How do you guys handle this.


  2. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    this should have been addressed BEFORE you started working for her. i make it very clear: we are not responsible for acts of god(excessive heat, rain, etc). at times we will mow in the rain, or when the turf is wet, but this is a safety issue and will be done solely at our discretion. if it is neccessary to miss cutting on your scheduled day due to rain or wet turf, every effort will be made to service your property within 2 days of your originally scheduled day, then return to your regularly scheduled day the following week. if we are unable to service your property within 2 days of your regularly scheduled day, we will then resume service on your regularly scheduled day. if at this time there is excessive growth, causing us to double or tripple cut the lawn, there may be an additional fee for this visit.
  3. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    refer to "Lawn Nazis" thread.
  4. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,253

    Make it very clear from the onset what and when, so there is no confusion. I wouldn't let this lady run my biz. I tell her the specifics from day one, then there is no confusion. I wouldn't charge for double cutting, but would make it clear this time that you would charge more for extra work done and why.
  5. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,051

    that's one more reason I only take customers on a yearly contract, but bobbyged has some pretty good advice for you also.
  6. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Life is too short to waste time on clowns like her. Juggling routes and panicking when you can't get to it on her scheduled days will cost you more than the business is worth. Asking for the latter half of the week is one thing, asking for specific days and not understanding that rain causes problem indicates that she is a clown. Drop her. You can charge extra, you can sign agreements, but one day, you will regret having had her as a customer. These types almost never work out. Plenty of lawns out there that are owned by much more easygoing people.
  7. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I would tell her that this is what your schedule is like and you can not always mow it on the days when she wants it done. Make it clear to her that you do not control the weather and that stuff happens. If she still complains I would just tell her to find someone else.
  8. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    I do not charge extra for double cutting for several reasons:
    1) no one would pay the extra money (would rather it look bad)
    2) Usually it doesn't take alot of extra time to double cut MOST of my properties, and the ones that do take significantly more time I do anyway because they're good customers and the lawn needed it. A couple of my tiny yards I run over everything twice without meaning to, just because of the size of the lawn and mower!
    3) This is why I'm a die-hard beleiver in double blades for spring growth! Less likely to double cut and if you do have to, it looks better than quadruple cutting with single blades! I have never not once used the catcher this year. Sometimes only a couple passes need ran over again for a stray clump or something.

    However the above items I listed are for weekly growth. I have only once had to skip a week for one lawn and it doesn't grow that much so a single cut was fine. If I had to skip a lawn a week and double cut the next week I'd try to get some compensation and i think they'd understand :)
  9. GraZZmaZter

    GraZZmaZter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 740

    FSM - You may not think its alot of time to run over the lawn twice, and really it isnt. However, when you run over it twice next week there is twice as much extra time, and add it up at the end of the month .... dont forget all the others you run over twice. You loosing alot of money doing that.

    If you cant get people to pay you for work, fuel, labor, insurance that your paying out on, than you need to rethink your selling strategies. Your bending over and sticking it to yourself on that one.

    As for the original post ... talk to this client and make sure she understands your policie's. Dont leave her in the dark, clarify things for her. Its not hard to please 99% of the people out there. Just keep the lines of communication open to all your clients, expecially the picky ones.
  10. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Grazz, I don't have to double cut often, usually just a few weeks out of the year. The double blades as I said eliminate a ton of double cutting :D

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