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CHEESE2009
09-08-2011, 11:58 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, 02:02 AM
BINGO

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

Ducke
09-09-2011, 09:29 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, 08:59 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, 12:48 PM
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
09-12-2011, 12:14 AM
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, 02:57 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, 05:40 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, 11:19 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, 02:44 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, 06:34 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, 07:42 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, 08:08 PM
damn lxarth why are you so smug?

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

Ducke
09-16-2011, 08:51 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, 09:18 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, 07:30 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.