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When Good Customers Go PITA...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HOOLIE, Sep 6, 2004.


    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Anybody have any customers that fit that description? I've got one, had him for 3 years, never any problems. A little picky, but not in a bad way. All of a sudden, he's been calling me once a week with "perceived problems". Too short, tire marks, "what's this brown stuff on my lawn" (hasn't rained in 2 weeks). Turns out he's selling his house, and wants it to look perfect. At least now I know its not me. I guess he expects all this extra attention for free so he can go ahead and move on me. I don't mind giving him a little extra attention, but if he's gonna get an attitude about it, that'll get him nowhere...
  2. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    i try my best to keep all houses looking the best they can, i work with what is there and what they're paying for. But i do run across the a customer that becomes unusally picky, but its for a certain reason all the time. either a house sale like you said, or a special party in the yard coming up, and i have alot of weddings, got to have nice pics in front of the house :) . when i know what the deal is, i pay special extra attention to things to help make situation right. i can juice it up, and sell them on more service like trimming, mulching, etc. i usaully make extra money off the situation and get a "thank you for making our special day even nicer" on the bottom of the check! sell your services, tell him you can make his house stand out, tell him its called "curb appeal"... learn that term, it can be used alot in our field talking to potential and current customers.
  3. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    I've had some good ones go PITA shortly after the start of a new season in which I increased their price. Apparently some perceive the increased price means they should get increased service. I do try not to give them that impression.

    I've also had a couple start becoming PITA apparently because they received a competitor's offer of service for less money than I am charging. Rather than just drop me, it seemed they wanted to goad me into quitting them. I obliged. Hope they were happy with the lowballer. Had one call and try to get me back after 2 months, another called after 3 years! but the memory of PITA lingers, and alas, my schedule was just too full! SO sorry!

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981


    I had a customer last year that got a better offer, like you were saying. Started complaining about this and that... finally told me "some boys from down the street were gonna do it for cheaper". A week later he calls and leaves a message "I gave the boys money to do the yard and they never showed up, blah blah blah" I told him I had "filled his spot" with another, better customer. Good luck with the boys, I'm sure they'll show up one day :waving:

    About the customer I was referring to in the original post, I would have had not problem helping him out if he'd told me he was moving, BUT, he never mentioned it until after he'd whined and complained over imaginary problems for the past month. And frankly, his attitude stunk.
  5. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Hoolie, don't even try and understand what is going on inside one of your customer's head. They don't even know. Try and help the current customer out if you can but be paid for it in the hopes they will recomend you to the new owners. It is worth a try at least.

  6. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    for around 5 months one of my neghbors has been a great customer, he always has things for me to do on his property and has the money to pay for it. but lately I've been getting tired of working on his property and it is starting to feel like a PITA every time I go over there. I've actually been considering dropping him just because he gets on my nerves but then payday comes around and I remember why he's a good customer payup payup .
  7. jphag

    jphag LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    Have you asked him if he is going to continue services with you. Or is he moving out of the area. Keep him happy if he is going to stay in the area.
  8. Eric 1

    Eric 1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,220

    I have one like that, it gets old always doing stuff on the same prop. In the early spring and late fall, i spend 6hrs or so a week at this one place. Its a big farm. But they have the money to pay, and they have stuff for me to do in the winter to, so i deal with it. payup payup payup
  9. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 2,412

    I have one of the best customers and I hope he never goes to being a pita. Pays on the exact day hes supposed to at the right price everytime. Everytime I have cut his grass (for 5 years now) and he was home, he always gave me a wave or said, "thanks for coming out to cut my grass!". I actually look forward to cutting his grass on the day it gets cut.
  10. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    WHAT GRAVELYMAN Said : "Hoolie, don't even try and understand what is going on inside one of your customer's head. They don't even know."



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