Originally Posted by mowpro
Does not take a lot, but here are few things we have done that others have not:
Show up every week on the same day about the same time.
Call if you are not going to be there for some reason.
Trim weeds out of sidewalk cracks
Trim and cut alleyways
Pickup and remove downed branches after storms.
Spray wasp and hornet nests
Pet the dogs
Play with and engage the customers kids
Pretty simple stuff that helps you become friends with the customer, and once that happens your not gonna get kicked to the curb by some low baller.
That is fantastic advice and I will back you on that 100%,
Unfortunately, "Call if you are not going to be there for some reason.
" is one step I cannot do.
I find it very aggravating to call a client to tell them bad news, it just sounds stupid to make yourself vulnerable. Many clients will usually try to swindle me if I give them a call, example
Your grass is too dry, yellow, and if I cut it you will have nothing left.
Yes, but I think it can use a mow.
The customer tends to think he/she knows what their lawn needs, and this becomes a debate between YOU and the CLIENT = confrontation.
1. I can destroy/mow the lawn and the customer can feel "right" for a day, then feel embarrassed when they wake up to a yard filled with dirt. Why did I bother calling them?
2. I can just avoid talking to them all together, they can take a hint by having a look at their yard for once, or they can listen to my voice-mail greeting
which says, "Water your grass or there will be no grass left to cut"
- pretty straightforward, still not perfected!
Instead of calling all of my clients, when they are insecure, they can listen to my voice-mail greeting, because that's the only answer I can give without getting into a debate with them. I do not like confrontation, because it's a loss when you have to do something STUPID
just to keep your clients happy.
You will be forced to mow that already suffering lawn only to keep the customer temporarily happy and to not lose the client. If you are right by wanting to give the lawn a break - the clients pride will be hurt and they will take it out on you.
The problem is, a lot of customers have too much pride. They want things done for the sake of arguing and being right - unfortunately they are never right, but you gotta do what they want in order to keep them. Sometimes you'd find it easier to just fire these kinds of clients, but I can't even do that!
In the past two weeks I haven't mowed a lawn, all of the grass is close to dead. Every single one of my clients has yet to call me, because it's obvious what's going on (heatwave + water restrictions)!
I do have ONE (1) client who can't get a clue. She's a little old lady who will call me 24/7 for my status, and I hate nothing more than a constant caller.
She will say things like (within an hour):
It's me again, just wondering where you are!
It's me again, just wondering if you are coming today?
It's me again, I watered my grass are you going to come?
It's me again, my grass could use a cut?
The problem is, she wont accept my answer. "Your grass does not need a cut - it will die if I pass the mower today
It sounds like she's innocent and would just like an answer to a simple yes/no
question, but she will put me in a position I don't like to be in by telling me what SHE thinks is right and that I should cut the lawn regardless.
She keeps a cool temper with me, which is why I cannot fire her. I understand that she might be frustrated, but in order for me to answer every single one of her calls and putting up with her ignorance, I'd need to be drunk each and every time. It's depressing.
She makes me feel like a bad guy, I never answer my phone (TRUE) but I think my reason is valid. If I avoid her, I don't end up wasting my time. The problem is then seeing her in person and dealing with the awkwardness. I'm running out of excuses, because the truth may be too brutal for her.
I keep record of how fast I am per lawn. The majority of my lawns take less than 8 minutes with a two man crew.... Her lawn being the smallest, takes 30 minutes or more.
She wants to watch, talk, pause me every second to pick up a leaf... etc... She's the reason I have gone insane and pretty much don't like what I do anymore.
Somebody help meeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!