Losing your cool with customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by South Florida Lawns, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,784

    I never got in a fight or argument with a customer. But a week ago my neighbor pissed me off at my house. I should have beat his face in but my mom and sister were there. Instead I took it out on my tailgate, the guy was next to me and freaked out as he musta realized my truck could have easily been him. All I have to say is don't start something with a person that has a bad temp.

    I don't really break things anymore, kinda keep things under control. But every once in a while I totally lose it on stuff and people freak out.

    What do you do in these situations, for people that can't keep cool like me?
  2. KGR landscapeing

    KGR landscapeing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    my dad and i had a not so picture perfect realthionship as i grew up so my grandfather put me threw MMA training growing up. then when i hit 10 i started watering plants for an LC owner who went to my church. so at 10 i went from fighter to pack mule. I lost it at school one day when a teacher calld me a liar. put my whole foot threw a locker. i have gone threw a couple drywall walls on account of crappy gfs. i just have to walk away as soon as i can i stopd answering my phone if you cant leave a voicemail i cant talk to you sorry
  3. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    Wednesday I had to walk away from an annoying old lady. She had called earlier this spring, and we played phone tag- I never talked to her, figured she had found someone else- Then on Wednesday she followed me to a customers' home, got out of her car and started reading me the riot act about how I am a bad person for not calling her back, I shouldn't advertise in her church paper b/c the lord would tell me I'm a bad person (in a very small neighborhood, most all of the neighbors were outside doing yardwork, and witnessed the event).... yada, yada. I had to take a reallllyyyyy deep breath and turn slowly and walk away. If she hadn't shut up and gotten back in her car, I'm really not sure what I might have done. I was really tired, behind schedule and she pushed that button, you know the one that makes you black out and forget what just happened!?! (*** story behind the whole incident- last year she hired me to "weed-whack" her lawn once a month, I sent her a bill for $25.00 after the first service- she sends me a check for $800 and leaves me a nasty message on my machine about 'I cant believe you would charge someone on a fixed budget such a high price for just weed whacking!!!- after about 50 phone calls I finally got in touch with her to correct HER mistake, and let her know I am not interested in continuing service for her. I thought that was the end, until Wednesdays little episode)
    I guess the moral would be: dont forget to breathe, just walk away man, just walk away.
  4. SimonCX

    SimonCX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 731

    I'm kind of the same way, I try to walk away from arguements at all costs because I have a bad temp runs in the family. But sometimes someone pushes my buttons too far and finds out that I don't back down and I'm not the nicest person to deal with when pissed. I try to bust my a$$ during the day and go exercise and go to the gym to get rid of a bad day and clear my head otherwise I'd go crazy.
  5. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    you guys must be young with no self control.
  6. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    I have found with time that the best position to take with a paying customer is to be silent during a ranting session. They are not directly attacking yourself. They may be attacking your service or pricing, but rarely are they going to attack YOU.

    What is more important than winning an argument is understanding the basis of the complaint at hand and recognizing the importance of how you CUSTOMERS feel about your service and...of course...winning that cash in their pocket. To do that you should be a good ear before, during, and after the install. Even if it means some really poorly constructed criticism.
  7. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,305

    That's tough. I know I've FELT like cussing out a customer or two, but I also know it'd really damage my biz's reputation. So I have just learned to be sticky sweet on the outside, regardless of the situation. Then, when the situation has passed, assess what happened, who's at fault, if I'm accountable... and proceed from there.

    I don't suppose that helps much, but for me it's this: my business and reputation FAAAAAAR outweigh any one ass. Just look at the big picture...
  8. Happy Frog

    Happy Frog LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,224

    The first thing to do is move on the side. Do not stand in front of the person ranting at you, turn yourself 90 degrees and do not look him in the eyes. It is easier to keep your cool that way.
    Second thing is to repeat to yourself that it is his position and you do not have to give credit to it, it does not define who you are or what you do.
    Listen to what is said and take the time to hold up the mirror to see if it applies or not.
    Remember that you can always drop this customer the next day if you want to.
  9. freshprince94

    freshprince94 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,449

    I've never got mad at a customer to my face. I have gotten very angry over items stolen from my trailer but that was my fault.
  10. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,305

    Soooo.... did you chew yourself out? :laugh:

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