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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.

so ANGRY!


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 11-15-2011, 06:20 PM
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Angry so ANGRY!

In the middle of October, a client wanted leaf removal before she went on vacation.

I said, "I will do my best" - honestly thinking that it would be completely stupid for me to actually follow up on her request, because I'd only have to come back once the leaves actually fell - and I was following my schedule/route which allows me to work efficiently, (instead of running back and forth to the same areas).

She went on vacation, and only came back a couple of days ago. I did the leaf removal today, and she called to complain. (Second week of November, is it really all that bad that you need to complain?).
**
Her words, minus other hateful comments;
"I already did it myself. If you advertise a service you can't do, maybe you shouldn't have so many customers".
**
AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
I told her that it is impossible to provide service to clients whenever they choose, as I have a schedule to follow and that if I ran my business like that, I'd be in 4 towns every day wasting my time going back and forth. Also, that my plan was to get her property done when all the leaves had fallen, instead of making several trips that would go unpaid for.

Her property would have the most leaves out of all my clients, and if I had the time, I would have made two trips. Unfortunately life doesn't work that way, and I have several other clients waiting on me. Each client gets one visit, if you have a problem with that, **** YOU!

She should have been grateful that I even considered to wait and get every leaf, but no. She would have rather me come to pick up the first wave, leaving her with the worst of it later on.

It's like she had this all planned out just to complain. She didn't even call me to say, "I did it myself" - no, she waits until I do whats left... More time wasted then.

************-


Worst part;

I stopped answering my phone months ago because of this crap. 90% of the calls are complete B.S. The day I answer my phone (today), I'm just shocked at how true my situation has become.


I think I really need to start being more aggressive. Being kind has only made it difficult to 'stick it' to my clients and their stuuuuupid requests.

Next year I will ONLY be accepting post dated checks, no more "you didn't show up vs you didn't pay me" debates. I'm sick of it, completely disgusted with my area, as I take way too much blame from these stingy cheap mo-fos.

"You should at least let your clients know ahead of time when you will or will not show up" - only in a perfect world can I spend my day on the phone It's common sense to know I wont show up if I'm not paid, I'm done chasing clients, DONE! I get so damn frustrated and feel so LOW when I have to actually chase a client to remind them over and over every day or week just to make a payment. It makes me sick! They never call if I don't show up and say, "Oh, I owe you money!" nooooo it's, "Why haven't you shown up"? GET A CLUE! I literally have to spell it out for them. I don't have the time, nor the budget to remind these people to pay for what service they want.


POST DATED CHECKS OR GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY!

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


I'll admit I have made mistakes that only made this situation worse, but my alternative options would have destroyed me.

I don't see the point in being a clients puppet, that's why I don't answer my phone to listen to them make dumb requests. If I did answer my phone, it's just me explaining exactly that, and them being offended. End of story, two negatives.

When I have what I need and things run smoothly, I don't need these phone calls, "Can you come when I want you to come? Can you do what I want done, before everyone else?" - nonsense!













OH YEAHHHH!!!!

She also said, "you even took the leaves out of my garden that I wanted to stay there" AHAHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (im going psycho)
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2011, 10:33 AM
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There is a great book I read called Attracting the Perfect Customers. Let me tell you:this is one customer you drop to the curb and move on. Especially the part about the leaves in the garden. I think she was just trying to take a jab at you. Everyday when I wake up and turn my phone on I always say to myself "The customer is always right no matter what". I think it helps as I perform customer service even on something I think is a complete mess up. I think that's why my business has been built on word of mouth. I sell "ME" and not just the job I do or the price of it.

People hate leaving a message on a phone; they will hang up and call the next guy. Who has a secretary to answer on the first ring to take a message and have someone call them back?

Even though I am a running machine, my phone plugs into my protective headphones streaming Pandora music so when it rings I hear it on my headset. With machine running I check caller ID- if it's friends or family I put it back in my pocket and move on. If it is any other number I shut off the machine, grab the phone, compose myself, and answer it in my best professional voice. If it is a new customer, or an existing customer I start walking to my truck where I always have a pen and a paper to jot down their information. Phone call done, jump back on the mower, start music. Yeah, it sucks! It took me 2-3 minutes longer on this lawn.

My customers always comment on how good my customer service is. And I think the biggest thing is COMMUNICATION...they can't read your mind and you can't read theirs.

So that's my $.02-hope that helps.

Bobby
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:16 PM
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Scott,

I got confused with what was going on here. Did she ask you to come over there and then call you and said forget it she did it herself after you removed the leaves a few days earlier?
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Scott,

I got confused with what was going on here. Did she ask you to come over there and then call you and said forget it she did it herself after you removed the leaves a few days earlier?

She wanted me to do the leaf removal before she went on vacation, which is not my problem, I wasn't able to. Her cars were parked in the driveway the entire time she was on vacation, which blocked my way into her backyard.

So when I noticed she was back, as the cars were out of the way, I did the job.
(She could have parked the cars one infront of the other, instead of side-by-side blocking my way)

She called later in the evening on the day I did the job, I thought she was going to thank me, but instead she complained.

**

I could understand a client wanting something done when they want it, but this isn't something that can necessarily be scheduled. I follow a route and that's the best I can do - if I let my clients pick and choose when I arrive, nothing would be organized and I wouldn't get a lot of work done. I would be wasting time running back and forth the same towns instead of arriving once and getting everyone in the area done. That's why we use routes, and clients can be extremely ignorant about it.

**

She was so upset that I didn't come earlier, she said things like, "If you let all the leaves come down and arrive to do the job it one shot, you wouldn't be able to".

It makes absolutely no difference, as I couldn't provide that many visits. Maybe if I had only 5 customers, but that's not the case! She really doesn't understand.

Last edited by CHEESE2009; 11-16-2011 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 View Post
She was so upset that I didn't come earlier, she said things like, "If you let all the leaves come down and arrive to do the job it one shot, you wouldn't be able to".

It makes absolutely no difference, as I couldn't provide that many visits. Maybe if I had only 5 customers, but that's not the case! She really doesn't understand.
I don't like dealing with customers who think they know the best way to deal with a project just because it's their lawn. For the most part, I let them tell me whatever they want to tell me so they can get it out of their system, and then I correct them. For example: if people want their leaf clean-ups too early, I tell them that if I were to do it, there would be a lot of leaves coming down afterward and they would have to pay for another clean-up. I find that managing people's expectations by telling them (to the best of my ability) exactly how things are going to happen, it makes for a much happier customer.

The best thing about being an entrepreneur is that you can weigh the pros vs cons for each customer and if it's something you don't want to deal with, you can walk away.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 View Post
She wanted me to do the leaf removal before she went on vacation, which is not my problem, I wasn't able to. Her cars were parked in the driveway the entire time she was on vacation, which blocked my way into her backyard.

So when I noticed she was back, as the cars were out of the way, I did the job.
(She could have parked the cars one infront of the other, instead of side-by-side blocking my way)

She called later in the evening on the day I did the job, I thought she was going to thank me, but instead she complained.

**

I could understand a client wanting something done when they want it, but this isn't something that can necessarily be scheduled. I follow a route and that's the best I can do - if I let my clients pick and choose when I arrive, nothing would be organized and I wouldn't get a lot of work done. I would be wasting time running back and forth the same towns instead of arriving once and getting everyone in the area done. That's why we use routes, and clients can be extremely ignorant about it.

**

She was so upset that I didn't come earlier, she said things like, "If you let all the leaves come down and arrive to do the job it one shot, you wouldn't be able to".

It makes absolutely no difference, as I couldn't provide that many visits. Maybe if I had only 5 customers, but that's not the case! She really doesn't understand.
Must be a French Quebecker thing.. because I don't have this problem here..
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:54 AM
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For example: if people want their leaf clean-ups too early, I tell them that if I were to do it, there would be a lot of leaves coming down afterward and they would have to pay for another clean-up.
That is a good point and I was wondering.

Scott, would saying this to her have helped?

Are there some customers that would be willing to pay twice if they wanted the service done when they wanted it done? If so, would it make it worthwhile to do?
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