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CHEESE2009
03-02-2012, 05:29 AM
With snow removal, comes many clients who are full of crap.

This client complained that we never EVER showed up to maintain his walkway. Even though I have pictures to prove the times I had visited. :p

Arriving to his property, I expected to have a confrontation. I was right.

Anyway, here's what happened;

As we're shoveling, the client comes outside his door.

Client: HEY! HEY YOU! KID!

Myself & Assistant just ignore him, we're seriously not going to stop what we're doing to chit chat, he will have to wait until we are done. :D , we already know he's full of crap and going to cause us problems.

Client: HEY! Why did you come so late, I had to shovel it myself at 2pm! This service is AWFUL!

Myself: HEY LISTEN SIR, WE'RE NOT EVER GOING TO COME OUT TO DUST OFF YOUR WALKWAY FOR 1CM OF SNOW!

Client: This is the first time you ever showed up! I AM VERY unhappy!

Myself: ACTUALLY SIR, we've been here EVERY SINGLE TIME. If we hadn't, you should have called several snow falls ago to let somebody know, so that we would know! ALSO, if we never came, why the hell do you still have a contract with us, why don't you go ahead and cancel it if you are so unhappy?!

So my assistant and myself finish our job, like always, and walk away as he shouts at us, "What's your name, what's your name, KID KID, what's your name?!"

I turn around and say, "WE'RE THE ONLY CREW AVAILABLE WHO DOES WALKWAYS, SCOTT!"




Felt good.

B-2 Lawncare
03-02-2012, 09:43 AM
you should just give up sell out and find a another line of work, LOL.

B-2 Lawncare
03-02-2012, 10:13 AM
Why would you continue to keep this client? Is it because you like drama in your life?

CS-LawnService
03-02-2012, 10:27 AM
Why would you continue to keep this client? Is it because you like drama in your life?

He must love DRAMA

Sea Lancer
03-02-2012, 11:14 AM
I would of done what a lot of us would have done and that is answer the customer with a yes sir how can i help you ? while still working.Maybe if you did answer him he wouldnt have been so upset.One unhappy customer can cause significant damage to your companys reputation..Just my humble opinion....

CHEESE2009
03-02-2012, 12:25 PM
@SeaLancer, yes and no. When a client is lying to you about a service you perform, that has been up to standard with what the contract states, you have to be very careful. These clients aren't the type you want to keep around.

He has been harassing the receptionist and the company she works for daily for the past season.

We're all very tired, and the last time he complained I went out of my way to his property for nothing. He is just an unhappy person in general with impossible expectations. He had also requested for one of the tractors to be sent to his property for his driveway claiming his driveway is never done. I believe he is just looking at us as a way to vent his personal frustrations.

You win some, you sometimes gladly lose some. I'm not going to kiss arse for someone trying to take us for a ride, claiming we never showed up when we had. In fact, his properties walkway/driveway is always one of the most well maintained out of the bunch.

1 unhappy client out of thousands of happy clients is just not worth putting up with.

To go out right away for 1cm of snow when we were actually getting 2 feet of snow is just silly. I would have had to of stayed out for another 14 or so hours, redoing the entire route.

Steve
03-02-2012, 04:26 PM
Scott,

I can understand your view on this. Have you found, not letting certain customers get under your skin has had a change in the way you feel about your business?

Do you feel like you are turning a corner with this and you are now getting to the point where you don't have to take every customer that calls and instead you can be a little more choosy?

CHEESE2009
03-03-2012, 05:23 AM
Scott,

I can understand your view on this. Have you found, not letting certain customers get under your skin has had a change in the way you feel about your business?

Do you feel like you are turning a corner with this and you are now getting to the point where you don't have to take every customer that calls and instead you can be a little more choosy?

It's an awesome change. The best part of it is the reassurance from other companies in my area who would do the exact same thing. So maintaining a positive company image isn't that big of an issue with this case.

-

Also,

Eliminating my problem clients has been in effect from the start of this winter. Another owner in my area once told me a couple summers ago;

"A promise is hope for a fool"

No client is able to receive service without having paid first.

I recently found out that other companies ignore most of their phone calls too, because of how irritating certain clients can be for no real reason. Now I know I'm crazy. It's nice to know.

willshome
03-03-2012, 09:54 AM
Cheese
What about making up door hangers "your walkways have been shoveled today" this way they are reminded what they are getting for ther money and how can they say you did not come if it's there

CHEESE2009
03-03-2012, 10:07 AM
Cheese
What about making up door hangers "your walkways have been shoveled today" this way they are reminded what they are getting for ther money and how can they say you did not come if it's there

That's something we should all do, when doing fall cleanups. As for snow, it's just time consuming and another expense.

They will still say we didn't come, regardless if we leave a note of some sort.

Sea Lancer
03-03-2012, 10:45 AM
Well, after hearing your reasons for being a little ticked off at the customer i have to say i probably would of done and said the the same as you(i dont deal well with miserable people)But the difference is that i am trying to build a customer base while you are maintaining a customer base and that was my mindset on my humble opinion post. I have to agree at this point you dont need his foolishness.Good luck this season and may the cheap miserable misers go to your competitors:D

ringahding1
03-03-2012, 10:56 AM
CHEESE.. We finally have been getting snow. The other day we were out plowing and we finished it all up. I get three extra calls, so I figured since I was still out & about, I could handle this 1 time plowing.

One particular customer, roughly 70 years old, was outside when I showed up shoveling the walkway. Mind you this was some heavy snow, so I get out of the truck and help her plus plow the driveway. She handed me some $$$, I did not even bother to look to see how much it was.

Minutes later hubby shows up from work and asks me how much she paid, so I pulled out the $$ and it was $40(it really was worth only $30) and he flipped out! He SNATCHED the $$$ out of my hand and went in the house only to come back out with $30...

So i ask him what this is all about, He says "This is not worth $40" and I concurred. But I let him know that his wife was shoveling when I showed up and obviously it was worth $40 to her. If you could have only seen his face after I said that. Suffice to say I told him not to bother calling me again.

CHEESE2009
03-03-2012, 03:42 PM
Maybe he yelled at his wife after, "I BET YOU WERE GOING TO RUN OFF WITH HIM TOO, HUH?"

lmao

You did a very kind thing, but appreciation is rare.

I used to be very generous, always willing to give a helping hand...



now I'm a cold bitter sadistic a-hole.

willshome
03-03-2012, 08:29 PM
That's something we should all do, when doing fall cleanups. As for snow, it's just time consuming and another expense.

They will still say we didn't come, regardless if we leave a note of some sort.

So we should do it for fall cleanup but not snow, why? Time consuming you go to the door any ways right? half a sheet of paper is cheap.

Just seams like the way things are going is driving you up a wall
My good friend Albert Einstein once said "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

CHEESE2009
03-04-2012, 10:12 AM
So we should do it for fall cleanup but not snow, why? Time consuming you go to the door any ways right? half a sheet of paper is cheap.

Just seams like the way things are going is driving you up a wall
My good friend Albert Einstein once said "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Snow removal is a rush service, whereas fall cleanups you tend to have more time to waste.

We usually have to shovel our way to the door, and shovel our way back to the truck, going as fast as we possibly can. We do our best to get 50% clients done before they get home from work, the other 50% will only get their walkways cleared by the time they are leaving for work. (though, it all depends on when it snows).

If a client doesn't have their walkway cleared when they get home and when they wake up, we get complaints. No time to lose!

-

The reason the idea works better for fall cleanups, is because we're only going out once/twice for the client. If the leaves fall even more after we have done our job(s), it's not our problem anymore. We always expect arguments about whether or not we showed up. I wouldn't say a door hangar would work wonders, but maybe it'll shut a few complainers up.

When it snows, and if it snows every day for the rest of our lives, then it's our problem. We are paid to maintain the clients walkways throughout winter, so when the client complains it's a different story.

Overall, the door hangars don't prove anything, it could very well mean, "We showed up and did a crappy job" from a clients perspective.

The best thing to do, which is just as time consuming and irritating, would be to take photographs with a time stamp.

I'm rambling, I just woke up.

As for grass, if a client complains it's really easy to prove that you had showed up. The stripes in the lawn are often still visible when you go around for the next visit. No need for a door hangar here.