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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

Upset Customer :(


Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #1  
Old 03-18-2010, 08:17 PM
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Default Upset Customer :(

So I have one customer who told me to give his friend a flyer.

I put a flyer in his mailbox & no answer.

I called him not too long ago, & he tells me he saw it but his mind wasn't in the right spot, he threw it out.

He goes on telling me about how is father is in the hospital, and this guy sounded extremely hurt. His voice was so HURT, & you could hear him crying.

I felt friggen awful.

I'm here trying to get hired, & this guy is going through hell.

He treated me with great respect, & asked if I could drop off another flyer.

It's situations like this, which make me stop dead in my tracks. I just don't feel right. This poor guy, I can't imagine what he's going through.

So I told him I will be on my way to deliver another flyer, & before we hung-up I told him to, "Stay strong".

I feel like Satan. I just wish there was something I could do, but anything I can do, will cost me money.

These situations suck & make being a business owner pretty tough. You can't help but appear selfish, regardless if you aren't.

Oiy.... I don't want this guys father to die, I don't even think I could handle it, just by speaking to him over the phone my heart sank. Truly heartbreaking.

I'm a complete stranger & he opened up to me over the phone. I'll be up all night now. Frig.
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2010, 10:29 PM
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Awh, Im sorry to hear about that man.

I dont know what i would do in a situation like that..maybe when i go to give him a flyer you could sit down and have a small chat with him about it..

his opening up could be a big deal and he could tell so many people about it..and im sure it wouldnt feel bad to be there for a guy when hes down..even if he is a stranger

that would be a mixed feeling for me..id feel horrible for trying to get him to buy my services but greatful i helped him out..

maybe even leave him a business card with your personal cell on the back so he feels more inclined to call you.

hell thing hey..he was a very nice person..he helped me out alot when i was going through that..he could be one of your biggest advantages for all you know..just dont push on the services quite yet..thats what i would do anyhow

let us know how it all goes
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:38 PM
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I can totally understand that feeling, had something similar with a customer a few months back. Without sounding cold, reality is crap happens all the time. The way I would look at it is, while you are looking to get hired, you are offering him a service that he probably doesn't have time to do at the moment and it is one less thing this guy has to worry about. It frees up more time for him to spend with his father without the worry of what needs doing in the yard. Not every customer hires out becuse they want to, many hire because they don't have the time or energy to deal with their yard. Your offering a service that helps get them through their week or month or year, whatever the case maybe. You might be just what they need at the moment.


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Old 03-19-2010, 03:00 PM
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I don't know what would be best to do. Maybe give him his space, we all know what it's like to be upset about something. When we are, we don't give a crap about anything else.

Or maybe give him a free mowing and tell him you hope his father feels better soon and leave a business card if he wants to hire you in the future.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:51 AM
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I had something similar happen to me last month.

One of my customers was diagnosed with lung cancer that has metasticized to the brain.

He's a retired, combat wounded vet.
Tough guy that does not open up much.

So he calls me last month and ask if I am "in the area" and can drop by to pick up the monthly check rather than him mailing it. I could tell he just wanted someone to talk to - I imagine he does not want to upset his family/wife any more upset than they already are.

I took two hours out of my schedule for the day and just went and spent some time with him.

He started chemo and radiation, all of his hair is gone, and he is going stir crazy sitting in the house. I think he just needed to talk to someone not in his inner circle.

So I go to cut his lawn the next time and he had some reaction to meds and is unconscious on the floor. Ambulance pulls up while my rig is parked out front. I felt really bad, but glad I was there to help.

It's hard watching him battle this, and sometimes I don't know what to say.

I usually just let him do the talking. I think he really needs that right now.
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:42 PM
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That is a very interesting story.

It does make you wonder where does the line of business end and you have to simply just be human.

It is very kind of you to do all that.

Why do you feel has helped you handle this so well so far? What advice do you have for others trying to figure out the best way to handle this?
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:32 PM
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I guess I have the distinct advantage of having been a paramedic for many years, so I am used to dealing with those type of situations.

So, did you bring him another flyer as promised?
How did it go?

I would drop the flyer as promised and ask how he is doing.

"How did things go with your father?". If it was bad, he will probably open up to you again. Let him. If his father is dying, say "I am so sorry to hear that".

If it is good news, then he might be ready to talk about business. You'll know just by how the conversation goes.

Odds are, it still is bad news since it's only been a week and a half.

It will be a little awkward, but you just let him talk.
Just open up with "How are you?"
Don't say " I understand".

Just let him do the talking.........small talk is ok and there is nothing to be scared of....just feel his pain..... and be thankful for the good things and healthy family you have.
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
I guess I have the distinct advantage of having been a paramedic for many years, so I am used to dealing with those type of situations.
Why do you think that sometimes when people get sick, there are those around them that can still interact normally with them, while others feel uncomfortable about that?

Have you ever noticed that? Sometimes it seems like people who are ill or even depressed are shunned because others simply don't know how to handle this.

How can we improve our way of seeing such situations and dealing with such situations? What do we have to do with our mind to change our thinking to deal with this better?
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:54 PM
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I have to say this is one thing that I have had a lot of my clients are all in there early 60's all the way to 92 and counting. Every one has had there ups and downs the small problems like some body broke a hip and needed the extra help. The hardest for me is when I've worked for a couple for so many years then one of them passes away but you still have them to take care of. It really the toughest thing to have to deal with but what you have to remember the job your doing for them is helping them retain the normalcy of how thing should look and have always looked. Nothing better than fresh flowers in the beds to make the day that much brighter.

You don't have to lock him into a contract but can tell him your here if he needs a hand and if you end up with a client they'll probably be the one that always offers you a beer even if it's 10 in the morning.
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexdale Grass View Post
they'll probably be the one that always offers you a beer even if it's 10 in the morning.
I have that customer already, I'm not allowed to leave until I have a beer with him. Hahahaha!

Scott: It's too early for that, & I've got more lawns to do!
Customer: You know you want it...
Scott: yeahhhh

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