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CHEESE2009
09-08-2011, 10:58 PM
When I client doesn't pay, I don't continue service. Instead of calling them I tend to just get my paying clients done.

After a long time of ignoring these non paying clients calls, I feel it's too awkward for me to call them back or answer their calls.


As I've said before, I got rid of the crazy lady.

Recently I got rid of a guy who has promised to make his payments every month, I cut him off after the third promise and avoided him. He's been calling me every day now. Got 7 voice messages saying, "Scott, the money isn't a problem" when it's obvious that it is... P.I.T.A!

Another client has only paid for May, I cut him off in the middle of August. I never called to remind him, because I don't like to do that. He has started to call recently for the past few days. He's a nice guy, but for me to tell him he owes me his wallet and getting myself into an awkward position is holding me back.

I'm not entirely sure if I should feel bad, or give in to these clients - or maybe I should continue to ignore them.



ALSO, this one client I do on Fridays was done on an earlier date last week. He had called me this week (left a message) saying he's wondering where I am... This annoys the heck out of me.

I came on a different date because of the rain, just because I didn't show up on Friday does not mean I'm in the hospital or out of business. Seriously, people need to start thinking before they call. I guess he assumed that I didn't come, because I didn't show up on a Friday, instead I showed up a day or two before... Typical...


"Just want to know where you are, if you are ok. Call me back when you get this"

Seriously? I have to call you back? I have to take time out of my day and call you back to tell you, "I cut your grass the day before, see you soon"... Wow.

I've got no privacy running this business, I get the most ridiculous calls and it never ends. I got rid of a client, now I wanna get rid of them all... LOL!!!:D

CHEESE2009
09-09-2011, 01:02 AM
BINGO

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_phobia

Ducke
09-09-2011, 08:29 PM
Cheese
Ya got to think of the phone as your friend not your enemy.
if a bill is due on the 31st I give it till the 7th and if I ave not heard from the customer I give them a call you know hi how are ya etc etc, just a friendly reminder of the money owing. then I wait 7 more days and give them the old Hey just wanted to check to see how things are going and remind you of the money you owe me for work done.
then I wait 7 more days and call and tell them they are cut off and at the end of next a 2% per day late payment charge applied.
then if nothing I threaten small claims court.
I been very lucky and have never had to go past the third call.
I like the phone I can deal with people on the phone its face to face that bugs me. especially if its a pretty women I become putty in their hands.
Or you could start calling them back at 11 pm just to talk or right in the middle of supper just to let them know your OK. I think they will soon stop calling you.

shadrach
09-10-2011, 07:59 AM
At the beginning of the year I started steering people towards email - especially now that I have a smartphone . It makes things easier for people who contact me from work & the added "paper trail" is nice to have. Used email about 10% of the time last year. With the exception of new calls, it is probably closer to 70% now. Much better than playing phone tag.

Steve
09-10-2011, 11:48 AM
What's your thoughts on why they are calling you if they know they owe you money?

Do you think they want to pay you or simply try and get you to cut their lawn for free as long as they can drag it out?

SECTLANDSCAPING
09-11-2011, 11:14 PM
I understand where your coming from. I had a biweekly mowing account that wanted various other jobs done. I agreed to do them when I came by to mow, to do it all in one trip. He was about 2 months late when I stopped servicing the property. I heard everything from I didnt get the invoice, phone call, or emails. He finally paid maybe 10 weeks late acting like he just got the bill. He stalled on paying for mowing and was wondering why I didnt start the material jobs? I just told him I was no longer interested in providing services and kept getting phone calls about he needed his driveway done, house pressure washed, hedges trimmed. I told him once it would be fine if he paid up front but he wasnt interested. He wanted it all done on credit which he didnt have with me no more.

I had another guy who was a biweekly customer too. He wanted his yard tilled,weeded, seeded, fertilized. I set up a schedule and every time I would cut I would bill him for one of the services. Then after maybe two visits he wanted to know why I was charging this amount for this and why it was needed. He requested every single service not asking me once what would be best for his lawn. Then wanted to nickle and dime the cost. I just said screw it and stop coming by. I got calls from him, his wife, neighbor all trying to figure out why I wouldnt keep cutting his property.

Steve
09-12-2011, 01:57 PM
Some customers are just not worth it.

Do you ever find yourself out with friends at a local restaurant. These friends you are with are just average regular normal people. But once they order food, they feel like the $10 they are spending is not just for the food, it also buys them a ticket to be able to be obnoxious and pushy to another person. Where they know that such behavior normally might get them beat up, as a customer, they are hell bent to vent their unhappiness with life to the waiter or waitress and and complain about every last detail.

Then you feel like an *** for being with them in public.

It seems the same holds true for lawn care or any other service. You just can't win everyone over.

CHEESE2009
09-12-2011, 04:40 PM
Speaking of treating staff at restaurants like crap...


The only time I lash out, is when I'm forced to walk around down town,

I HATE DOWN TOWN!!!!!!!

It's dirty, I feel like I catch an STD just using the underground train...


Anyway, I have this big peeve against places that don't accept credit card, and don't mention it before I place an order. I usually just storm out, because it's ridiculous to think I'm going to use their shady ATM that will charge me an additional fee of $3.00 just so I am forced to take out a $20 bill to pay for a $15 meal!

Anyway, so when I put down town + a place that doesn't accept credit = Scott at his angriest.


I walked around down town for a decent meal with no luck... Nothing but sandwiches, and I HATE paying for a sandwich (I MAKE THEM AT HOME!)

Anyway, so I finally found a decent place after 2 hours of walking in an overpopulated area full of homeless people making me feel like crap. Unfortunately, I walked in and the following;

Scott: Accept credit?
Guy: No, but we have an atm.
Scott: Bye.
Girlfriend: I'll use the atm!
Scott: NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:mad:

We settled for Burger King... :(

In Burger King;

Scott: Accept credit?
Lady: Yes.
Scott: For **** sakes, finally someone who does!!!!!!!!

I think I scared her, but I was able to eat...






^- This was when I was hungover from the mansion party I mentioned in my other post. I just wanted to eat something before I wasted a day travelling trying to get back home. And I didn't have a cigarette all day (smokers will understand).




Other than that, I abuse money without care. If I know I might get crappy food and service, it's no ones fault but mine for choosing to stay so I keep my mouth shut.

Yesterday I went to a salad/soup buffet, best $20 I had ever spent... :)

Steve
09-15-2011, 10:19 AM
Well it seems there is a good lesson to be learned in all that. It shows you how important it is to take multiple types of payment.

lxarth
09-16-2011, 01:44 PM
So I'm going to go back to the OP's original complaints.

I can understand removing someone from the schedule and just dropping them, being tired of excuses for not paying, but to just not say anything?

If you just call them and remind them that they have a bill do, you might get paid.

Sure, it makes sense to just stop playing games with someone who promises to pay a number of times. But if you want to settle things, you can call him back, even if it goes to voice-mail, and just say you can no longer service their property. If they ask why, you can be polite, and explain that you can't continue to chase payment.

Also, if you service a property 1-2 days ahead of time, IMO, that's unprofessional. I've picked up many clients because the last company just came whenever, and there was no real set day. If you said you will be there on Friday, and you show up on Wednesday, without talking to them first, that's on you. And then you got mad because he called to not only ask about the arrangement you made with him, but to make sure you were ok?

Now, it's one thing to change the day if, say, a holiday comes around. You have Labor Day on Monday, ok, so you service it on Tuesday, no problem. You are going on Vacation on Friday, so you visit on Thursday, again, no big deal. But tell your customers!

You complain about taking the time out of your day to call a customer back?! You do realize that they had to take the time to call you in the first place, right?

And then you complain about privacy? You are running a damn business! Of coarse your customers are going to want to talk to you!

CHEESE2009
09-16-2011, 05:34 PM
I can understand removing someone from the schedule and just dropping them, being tired of excuses for not paying, but to just not say anything?

Phone bill = Negative Dollars I am paying for

If you just call them and remind them that they have a bill do, you might get paid.

I have, more than enough. I've even sent notices.

If they ask why, you can be polite, and explain that you can't continue to chase payment.

That doesn't accomplish anything on my part.

Also, if you service a property 1-2 days ahead of time, IMO, that's unprofessional. I've picked up many clients because the last company just came whenever, and there was no real set day. If you said you will be there on Friday, and you show up on Wednesday, without talking to them first, that's on you.

Rain.


And then you got mad because he called to not only ask about the arrangement you made with him, but to make sure you were ok?

Let's say every time someone calls you, and you don't answer. The first thing they assume is that you are dead. Without noticing that it has rained, or any other event - that's what all they assume. It's "Stupid B.S". Yup, I get mad at that, common sense and me get along.

Now, it's one thing to change the day if, say, a holiday comes around. You have Labor Day on Monday, ok, so you service it on Tuesday, no problem. You are going on Vacation on Friday, so you visit on Thursday, again, no big deal. But tell your customers!

Customers must realize that it will or has rained. I can either skip them completely, or do the work before or after the day I set. Regardless, they have been told of this.

You complain about taking the time out of your day to call a customer back?! You do realize that they had to take the time to call you in the first place, right?

I do, and? I have other paying properties to do throughout my day(s).

And then you complain about privacy? You are running a damn business! Of coarse your customers are going to want to talk to you!

I'm not in this business to make friends, to stop having dinner, or avoid my family just to spend time on the phone with clients who have nothing better to do than chit chat.

Depending on how large your business is, the bigger, the more problematic this situation becomes. If I were to now implement chit chat into my business, which for sure could always help with the retention, I would have to hire someone specifically for that. Unfortunately, that is not an option.


My clients receive a very competitive rate as is, and our clients receive a full service every time we visit. We don't have time to spare on nonsense.

****************


Explanation:


In my area, we have more competition than you could imagine. It's no longer about quality, it's all about price. Our market is inexpensive, and profit is only made depending how fast you can accomplish your work per lawn.

The business is profiting, but we are working very hard every day to keep it that way without cutting corners.

If a client wants to interrupt my time of rest, or delay my workload, dropping them does not affect my morale - it helps it. If you want all of my clients who like to call me at odd hours, you can have them! It's funny, because I've offered to have other companies take them with warning, they said, "NO!".


In short: If you don't pay, we don't know you.

^ That's how I do business.

element009
09-16-2011, 06:42 PM
I'd say if you call the people back you should tell them the only way you'll resume service is if they pay what they owe plus the rest of the season up front.

damn lxarth why are you so mad?

CHEESE2009
09-16-2011, 07:08 PM
damn lxarth why are you so smug?

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.urlesque.com/media/2010/07/smugsouthpark.gif

Ducke
09-16-2011, 07:51 PM
Hey Hey Cheese
I know from experience Cheese and I have gone head to head about the way he ah ah well runs his company.
I my opinion and market he wouldn't be in business but what he dose seems to work for him where he is located.
If I didn't return a call within an hour it would be one less customer for me to mow. I know because it has happened. But for him well he seems to attract a sadistic kind of customer.
So what works for you may not work for Cheese and what Cheese dose may not work for me, but we all mow grass and wee all try our darnedest to make a living at it.

lxarth
09-16-2011, 08:18 PM
I'm not mad or smug at all.

You brought up a phone bill? Are you saying that you are using up your minutes calling customers and talking to customers? I do understand not wanting to talk to customer all the time, and that you have work to do. I have avoided answering my phone on days I'm just not feeling the PR vibe.

And with just wanting to be done with customers who won't pay, I get that too. I have customers I have just dropped, or accounts I had to write off before I can't get them to pay.

Now, I don't even rank in one of the rainiest states, but it rains here a lot. And when it does, I go to work. If I don't I just get backed up or have to skip lawns. Also, how can someone mow a lawn 2 days ahead of schedule because some forecaster said there might be rain. Wouldn't it have been better to reschedule once the rain actually hit?

As far as customer wondering what happened to you...maybe it's because they didn't think you would just not show up. I've had customers call when I didn't show up, and I explained that it was a holiday, so I was out of town (the most recent was Labor Day, and I went camping), they felt foolish, and the matter was dropped.

Do you already have it established with your customers that there is the potential for your days to be rained out? If so, maybe you need to remind some of your customers. Or begin telling telling them that you will show up, barring extreme weather (heavy rain, snow, etc).

element009
09-17-2011, 06:30 PM
If I show up at my client's house when it's raining, they usually get pissed. A little bit beyond a drizzle and it becomes a problem. I mean if you have 1 house left for the day, obviously you do what you can to get it done. But other than that, it's no good for the machines either.

Steve
04-02-2015, 12:38 PM
Has anyone else found themselves so frustrated with a customer(s) that they began to avoid them?

brian'slawncare
04-02-2015, 02:39 PM
what ever happened to scott? I miss his posts about his night of partying or his lack of a girlfriend! :( he has some cool videos too!

SGL1
04-02-2015, 05:55 PM
There are too many people out there that will pay for reliable service. Hell, you ain't even gotta be all that good. Just show up. I'm done with telling people "Oh yeah I'll get ya next time around" then they never call me back. NO! PAY ME NOW OR I CUT YOU!

I give my customers far too good service to be bent over without being kissed first. I had to hound one awhile back because she kept making excuses. It ain't rocket science. I give you three payment options: cash, check or charge. No 90 days same as cash, no ez term financing. Ya either pay up front or ya pay NOW! Ain't like I'm charging outrageous prices. If ya too lazy to cut ya own grass then hire a bum and give him a mower.

Done with the breaking my back and then hope to get paid later.


Not lyin' either, I carry a blade. Had to stick this one gal once. She said, "Ow, it's bleeding. I'm gonna need a Band-Aid." Went to the truck and got her a Band-Aid. She was so impressed she tipped me $5.:D

avetslawncare
04-02-2015, 08:46 PM
Cheese is so right on so many points.....


I can understand removing someone from the schedule and just dropping them, being tired of excuses for not paying, but to just not say anything?

Phone bill = Negative Dollars I am paying for
Sometimes, it is just easier to cut your losses and not deal with the headache
If you just call them and remind them that they have a bill do, you might get paid.

I have, more than enough. I've even sent notices. If they didn't want to pay the first time, they are still not going to want to pay.

If they ask why, you can be polite, and explain that you can't continue to chase payment.

That doesn't accomplish anything on my part.

Right again, people will do anything to save a few bucks...you can be polite or be a dick...if they don't want to pay then they aren't going to.

Also, if you service a property 1-2 days ahead of time, IMO, that's unprofessional. I've picked up many clients because the last company just came whenever, and there was no real set day. If you said you will be there on Friday, and you show up on Wednesday, without talking to them first, that's on you.

Rain.

If it rains on the day you're supposed to come and you come..they will bitch that it doesn't look good... or you left marks...if you come a day early they think you are desperate for work..if you come a day late then you wake up to emails asking what happened....is everything ok...are you still servicing my property..blaw blaw....you can't win either way...sometimes people tend to forget you have over 100 other clients and **** happens!


And then you got mad because he called to not only ask about the arrangement you made with him, but to make sure you were ok?

Let's say every time someone calls you, and you don't answer. The first thing they assume is that you are dead. Without noticing that it has rained, or any other event - that's what all they assume. It's "Stupid B.S". Yup, I get mad at that, common sense and me get along.


I wish they would just chill out... the grass is going to be OK! by receiving 100 phone calls, it is just slowing up your schedule even more.

Now, it's one thing to change the day if, say, a holiday comes around. You have Labor Day on Monday, ok, so you service it on Tuesday, no problem. You are going on Vacation on Friday, so you visit on Thursday, again, no big deal. But tell your customers!

Customers must realize that it will or has rained. I can either skip them completely, or do the work before or after the day I set. Regardless, they have been told of this.

yup... i tell them I will keep them on a weekly or bi weekly schedule but holidays or rain gives me the right to come 1-2 days early or late...they always say, "o yea, I understand"....until that moment happens.

You complain about taking the time out of your day to call a customer back?! You do realize that they had to take the time to call you in the first place, right?

I do, and? I have other paying properties to do throughout my day(s).

They have ONE phone call to make... if I have 30 properties to do that day then that is 30 phone calls I have to make... not to mention they are going to keep you on the phone for 10 minutes....how the hell would you get anything done. The service to to cut the grass...not to be best friends and keep in constant check....if that were the case it would be like having 100+ girlfriends.

And then you complain about privacy? You are running a damn business! Of coarse your customers are going to want to talk to you!

I'm not in this business to make friends, to stop having dinner, or avoid my family just to spend time on the phone with clients who have nothing better to do than chit chat.

yes yes yes....I dont mind the late text messages or phone calls but dont get offended if I don't reply right away...it doesn't mean I am dead...maybe I am eating my first meal of the day, showering, not even home yet, doing paperwork, tweaking my schedule for the next day or doing family stuff. Tonight..my phone blew up after 730....texts, phone calls, facebook messages...all of a sudden I am accused of cheating (not joking...she left with the kid). I have attached the messages.... it doesn't piss me off or anything just making a point that this business can really affect personal life.

Depending on how large your business is, the bigger, the more problematic this situation becomes. If I were to now implement chit chat into my business, which for sure could always help with the retention, I would have to hire someone specifically for that. Unfortunately, that is not an option.


My clients receive a very competitive rate as is, and our clients receive a full service every time we visit. We don't have time to spare on nonsense.

****************


Explanation:


In my area, we have more competition than you could imagine. It's no longer about quality, it's all about price. Our market is inexpensive, and profit is only made depending how fast you can accomplish your work per lawn.

The business is profiting, but we are working very hard every day to keep it that way without cutting corners.

If a client wants to interrupt my time of rest, or delay my workload, dropping them does not affect my morale - it helps it. If you want all of my clients who like to call me at odd hours, you can have them! It's funny, because I've offered to have other companies take them with warning, they said, "NO!".


In short: If you don't pay, we don't know you.

^ That's how I do business.



I could not agree with Cheese more... if we were a 24/7 service that wanted to chit chat and hear about how your son went to Princeton or how your doctor was your 6th grade student (just two stories I heard today) then we would have to charge twice the amount of money...why? bc time is damn money. Lawyers charge $300+ an hour...yes they have an education...they charge for every damn phone call though....people don't question their rates though....people always question our rates....they don't think about:

time you take to do invoices
time you take to ask them where the payment is 1,2 and 3 times
fuel to get to their house and you use on equipment
new blades!
cost of equipment... some customers have even said, that's a nice mower... must have set you back a grand or two... I laugh
wear and tear of equipment
the fact that you actually pay your employees, crazy!
Insurance
Licenses
etc etc etc.

The only difference is that their are so many guys who cut grass but the truth is they all come and go...if you keep your foot down, do great work and run your business the right way then you will stick around and continue t build your clients. The customers who let you go will always crawl back to you (has happened so many times this year.

avetslawncare
04-02-2015, 08:49 PM
I called you and left a voicemail then called 3 times today and your mailbox is full. You were supposed to be here this last week but never showed up. Last time you serviced you did not weed around the garden beds and there is a huge patch of grass that was never touched. Do I need to get another lawn care guy? If I do not hear back from you by Monday morning at 0700 then consider yourself fired.

V/R

James Key

Robert Dunleavy <avetslawncare@gmail.com>
8/26/12

to Brian
Brian,

I could not come last week because of the weather. It either rained or was soaked from all the rain. All of my customers are very understandable that I have no control of the weather.

I did not answer your phone calls because I was busy working, taking advantage of the nice weather.

Regular mowings include: mowing, edging and weed eating. Weed eating is for areas that the mower can not reach, this does not include clean ups of areas that have been neglected over periods of time. I also do not know why this would not have been brought to my attention a couple of weeks ago if it was a concern.

I service over 120 homes/businesses in the area and have not once received an e-mail such as this and had someone not be understandable of the weather. I was nice from the start and gave you a break in price, even though the edging was out of shape and the grass was so tall and than you send a rude e-mail. Consider finding someone else to service your yard.

SC93
04-02-2015, 09:28 PM
Another reason it's great to have a phone girl. I'd have to say that with any business I've ever had my phone girls have made me way more money than they cost me. Even if they don't do it exactly as you want them to do it, having a phone girl is worth every penny. It's one of those things where some people say they can't afford one but in reality they can't afford to NOT have one.

If the phone girl solves just 1 money problem a week, answers the phone for 1 new customer a week and handles 1 complaint a week she is worth it.

avetslawncare
04-03-2015, 03:02 AM
How much did you pay phone girl?

SC93
04-03-2015, 09:01 AM
It depends... I've been through so many through the years. It doesn't help to pay a high wage. You get the same for a $7.25 girl as you get for a $15 girl.

The main thing is that I can see who calls and if she picks up the phone or not... my sister's phone rings if she doesn't pick up. I can also see all texts and voice mails. Pay as low as you can and micromanage. Personally I like my calls handled a certain way so in order to keep customers happy, I have to keep close watch. Atleast that's what I make it sound like to them.... in reality I just glance at 1 or 2 a day and then mention something about the call/text so it makes them think I know exactly what's going on. :D

GLAN
04-07-2015, 06:05 PM
Dude......what's wrong with you?

Communication is key to everything. Any and all relationships require communication.

So you don't like calling. You don't like being called.....then why are you in business for yourself?

I don't know anyone who hates......yes, hates the phone as much as I do.

To get paid. If that means calling everyday, 2 or 3 times a day. I'm going to call........If getting paid means banging on their door a couple times....I'm going to bang on their door.

And I will try to keep the customer and get paid.......what ever I have to do

It's not easy with the global recession going on today. No matter who says the recession is over.....IT'S NOT OVER.....it's lingering on and on. People are doing what ever they have to do to protect themselves and their interests...Today, more and more are looking for less expensive service providers.....Less and Less today, does the public care if they use a legal company or some gypsie illegal.

People don't give a crap about you........they don't care if you are nice guy, the most educated in horticulture or what ever.....

You....my friend are setting yourself for a slow death................because of pride ?