Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Business > Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

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.

Insatiable 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.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 03-25-2009, 06:57 PM
TouchtonsCLC TouchtonsCLC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NE Florida
Posts: 53
Rep Power: 6
TouchtonsCLC is on a distinguished road
Default Insatiable Customer

I have just started a lawn care business and am excited to say I have 6 clients within 2 weeks (only 44+ to go!). Well, one of those customers is giving me a hard time.

Seemingly everything I do is wrong and overpriced (and I'm WELL under the $60/minute rate). I believe they are trying to dupe me into more work for free by complaining about how much I charge (which we both agreed upon prior to work commencing). Today marks the 2nd time in the same week that they've called to try and have me come back and do more work for no charge. So I'm now going to take down banana trees for free because my hedge trim job was not to their standard.

They lost their last lawn care guy (he wouldn't return their calls). Now I know why. Nothing is ever good enough for them, and they are constantly complaining about being overcharged.

What have you done with customers like this? I really think I should do this last job and forget it, because I can see that they'll be more trouble than it is worth. At the same time, I want positive word-of-mouth - I don't want them to run to their friends and say that my company is incompitent and expensive.
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 03-25-2009, 07:17 PM
Little's's Avatar
Little's Little's is offline
Brandon
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Shasta Lake CA.
Posts: 814
Rep Power: 7
Little's is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
There are a few people like this out there, and are bound to pick one up every now and then, but if it were me, I would drop them and replace them with someone who appreciates your hard work and lower prices.
__________________
Northern California
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-25-2009, 07:24 PM
swstout's Avatar
swstout swstout is offline
Steve
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Canastota, NY
Age: 65
Posts: 1,082
Rep Power: 7
swstout is on a distinguished road
Default Word of mouth

Quote:
Originally Posted by TouchtonsCLC View Post
I have just started a lawn care business and am excited to say I have 6 clients within 2 weeks (only 44+ to go!). Well, one of those customers is giving me a hard time.

Seemingly everything I do is wrong and overpriced (and I'm WELL under the $60/minute rate). I believe they are trying to dupe me into more work for free by complaining about how much I charge (which we both agreed upon prior to work commencing). Today marks the 2nd time in the same week that they've called to try and have me come back and do more work for no charge. So I'm now going to take down banana trees for free because my hedge trim job was not to their standard.

They lost their last lawn care guy (he wouldn't return their calls). Now I know why. Nothing is ever good enough for them, and they are constantly complaining about being overcharged.


What have you done with customers like this? I really think I should do this last job and forget it, because I can see that they'll be more trouble than it is worth. At the same time, I want positive word-of-mouth - I don't want them to run to their friends and say that my company is incompitent and expensive.
Don't worry about bad word of mouth from him. He is a "user" and everyone he knows knows it. He is the type that is always trying to get someone to do something for him and never return the favor. He is the one that is always borrowing something that doesn't seem to find its way home. His neighbors are probably wondering why you lasted so long?

Trying to satisfy him (who can't be satisfied) only takes time away from other customers. Drop him. He is not worth the aggravation.

Steve
__________________


Reply With Quote
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-25-2009, 07:31 PM
musician/lawnman's Avatar
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
Chuck
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South West Florida
Posts: 919
Rep Power: 7
musician/lawnman is on a distinguished road
Default

Well if you can honestly say the job was done right & the price was prearranged, IF they continue then drop em & move on.

Did you mean $1/minute being $60/hr? Cause Either way.... $60/man hour does seem a bit high & $60/minute is absolutely insane.

Most Tradesmen (plumbers, carpenters, electricians) are in in around $30-$40/per man hour. Most people still see landscapers as relatively unskilled labor. You need to be the cream of the crop to be hitting even $40/hr & land many jobs.

Just my take on it.
__________________
AAA QUALITY CLEAN CUT, LLC.
LAWN CARE & LANDSCAPING
Visit us here:

  #5  
Old 03-25-2009, 07:47 PM
TouchtonsCLC TouchtonsCLC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NE Florida
Posts: 53
Rep Power: 6
TouchtonsCLC is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by musician/lawnman View Post
Well if you can honestly say the job was done right & the price was prearranged, IF they continue then drop em & move on.

Did you mean $1/minute being $60/hr? Cause Either way.... $60/man hour does seem a bit high & $60/minute is absolutely insane.

Most Tradesmen (plumbers, carpenters, electricians) are in in around $30-$40/per man hour. Most people still see landscapers as relatively unskilled labor. You need to be the cream of the crop to be hitting even $40/hr & land many jobs.

Just my take on it.
Not $60/min. My bad. It's really per job depending on how long it will take to do whatever it is I need to do. My lawns are $35 - $45. The hedge job was 1.5 hours and $50. The first service to their lawn was $45, included pulling weeds in rear of property, mow, edge, trim fence lines & exterior property, blow-off property, and herbicide application. I don't think $45 for all of that was too much. AND I am giving them the $25 per visit rate on regular lawn maintenance (mow, edge, trim, blow-off).

So back to the hourly rate - I've heard many people say they won't even unload their equipment for less than $35 a visit, because the overhead to haul it, etc., isn't worth it. Is that reasonable?

Last edited by TouchtonsCLC; 03-25-2009 at 07:50 PM. Reason: Add something
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-25-2009, 08:03 PM
clarklandscaping
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I have 2 customers like this and they drive me insane. One just told me last week, when they received thier bill, that I had not serviced thier property all month! I had to kindly remind them that I was there as i had to pick up Februarys payment 2 weeks late.

I plan on finishing the month out for them and givin' em the boot.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-25-2009, 08:12 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 35,764
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

When you first get a business started, you just don't understand the language of the business. You may know how to do a specific job, but understanding the language means understanding the business as a whole.

It means understanding how to feel out customers before you bid on a project. As you go, if you are lucky enough to survive your initial trial by fire, you will start to notice warning signs. When these signs arise, you will do whatever it takes to get rid of them or avoid them.

There are customers/people who would love nothing better than to tear you apart. Use you as much as they can and then try and destroy your business because they are miserable with their lives. They will trap you. Take and take and take and take.

It's one thing to need to get the business started and take on whoever you can. But as soon as you can, we all have to stop being desperate and focus on the customers we are going to get the most bang for our time spent.

10% of your customers will take up 90% of your time. Try and cull that 10% as often as possible so you can make room for more profitable customers.

We only have so much time, energy and resources to spend each day. Spend it with profitable and happy customers.

Thats my view at least.
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-25-2009, 08:37 PM
TouchtonsCLC TouchtonsCLC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NE Florida
Posts: 53
Rep Power: 6
TouchtonsCLC is on a distinguished road
Default

My instinct from the beginning told me that the lady was a little nutty. But I'm willing to give the people the benefit of the doubt and keep them as a customer. I suppose I'll go and try to make them happy. But if that doesn't work I'll tell them to pack sand.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-25-2009, 08:45 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 35,764
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

It's all a learning experience and no matter what, you will grow from it. I look forwards to your updates on the matter.
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-25-2009, 09:53 PM
majoe7 majoe7 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 184
Rep Power: 6
majoe7 is on a distinguished road
Default Insatiable Customer

All I can say, is drop them. PERIOD. Don't worry about the bad press from them. There are so many more client's out there. If a customer gives me a hard time and I did the job right and felt good about it, then strike 1. Next complaint, strike 2. The last issue , I tell them, they're Fired, not letting them fire me. I stand by my work 100%, and have customer tell me that all the time. BTW, Charge $60.00 per hour, and nothing less. If your work is that good, then walk the walk. Also, here in Florida, NO-ONE will work for under $60.00 and hour. IE: Auto-75, Air - cond. 75, Elect. 75, Computer work the lowest 60 an hour.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
bad customer quickcleanlawn General Business Discussions 2 07-31-2008 10:06 PM
new customer Wendicp Gopher Software Support Archived Question & Answers - Read Only 0 08-29-2007 04:40 PM
The $20 a cut customer Steve Show Off - Picture Post - Photo Gallery 5 09-05-2006 08:18 PM
2 PO # same customer Gopher Software Support Archived Question & Answers - Read Only 1 03-28-2005 05:32 PM
Customer F.A.Q.'s Steve Gopher Software Support Archived Question & Answers - Read Only 0 02-23-2004 10:34 AM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Pushy customers
christopherhicks82
Yesterday 08:22 PM
Yesterday 09:19 PM
by christopherhicks82
2 55
Looking for advice on a...
Tekeda1
04-13-2014 09:53 AM
Yesterday 07:55 PM
by Just for Cuts
23 546
Pond...
xandrew245x
Yesterday 03:29 PM
Yesterday 06:45 PM
by xandrew245x
2 56
2.5 acre mowing
xandrew245x
04-18-2014 06:55 AM
Yesterday 05:23 PM
by Just for Cuts
13 286
About D@## Time!
TamMik
04-02-2014 08:10 AM
Yesterday 05:14 PM
by BelleCityLawn1
19 841
Back for this year
xandrew245x
02-21-2014 04:30 PM
Yesterday 03:36 PM
by xandrew245x
19 989
The $20 Mow Job
Dan Tanner
04-21-2014 07:24 PM
Yesterday 03:17 PM
by Dan Tanner
4 150
In a bit situation need...
googus
Yesterday 08:01 AM
Yesterday 01:50 PM
by stevef1201
5 104
What Was Your Setup When...
superrman77
02-11-2014 10:53 AM
Yesterday 12:29 AM
by Tony317
22 1,687
Sulky and Turf Tracer
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:44 PM
Yesterday 12:07 AM
by Tony317
9 429
danny 2
danny2
04-19-2014 10:19 PM
04-21-2014 12:25 PM
by Steve
3 132
this mower is driving me...
boog
04-17-2014 12:07 PM
04-21-2014 12:10 PM
by kslawn
13 319
What Fertilizer to Use?
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:56 PM
04-21-2014 12:02 PM
by kslawn
20 562
I Got Taken...,
Dan Tanner
04-19-2014 06:26 AM
04-21-2014 11:49 AM
by Steve
4 216
new to this forum!
mower13126
04-18-2014 07:37 PM
04-21-2014 11:39 AM
by Steve
4 143
REO calling
Dan Tanner
04-16-2014 05:03 PM
04-21-2014 11:33 AM
by Steve
12 333
Any greenhouse operators...
GoGreenerKS
04-15-2014 11:21 AM
04-21-2014 11:27 AM
by Steve
5 185
quickbooks users
CDLAWNCARE
04-20-2014 09:03 AM
04-20-2014 09:58 PM
by MBLC
3 142
employee pay
4 seasons maintenance
04-10-2011 09:34 PM
04-20-2014 04:40 PM
by Dan Tanner
20 6,865
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
04-20-2014 11:13 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
32 1,190
Lawn Renovation
stevef1201
04-11-2014 12:00 PM
04-20-2014 11:11 AM
by kslawn
10 346
Customers droping like...
goodtimez
04-18-2014 09:53 AM
04-19-2014 08:09 AM
by CDLAWNCARE
7 219
Best Bulk Mulch delivery...
Steven Virgadamo
04-18-2014 09:52 AM
04-18-2014 05:34 PM
by Steve
2 98
Steve Virgadamo,...
Steven Virgadamo
04-18-2014 09:49 AM
04-18-2014 05:08 PM
by Steve
2 81
Instagram
Gerardo_Landscape
04-16-2014 11:28 AM
04-18-2014 04:51 PM
by Steve
3 164
Help with weed liability!
Prolawnofchatt
04-15-2014 09:10 AM
04-18-2014 04:47 PM
by Steve
5 234
Nationwide lawn care...
Billy Goat
04-15-2014 05:21 PM
04-18-2014 04:39 PM
by Steve
9 252
Truck Signage
Dan Tanner
04-16-2014 11:00 PM
04-18-2014 04:04 PM
by stevef1201
10 271
leaf removal
tlf59263
04-15-2014 10:00 PM
04-18-2014 03:59 PM
by stevef1201
6 227
Pay per click advertising
roostertail
02-12-2014 07:26 PM
04-17-2014 07:11 PM
by yardrate
10 632
Accepting credit cards,...
Darksteel
03-17-2014 08:01 PM
04-16-2014 01:02 PM
by jymie
15 788
Trimec
acrajchel
04-15-2014 08:24 PM
04-16-2014 11:10 AM
by Steve
3 141
Gopher Forum Discount!
BlackRain75
04-12-2014 10:44 PM
04-16-2014 10:50 AM
by Steve
9 337
hello
NFrailey
04-15-2014 01:39 PM
04-16-2014 10:48 AM
by Steve
1 125
Pricing a Mulch Job
dmcalpi
04-07-2014 02:16 PM
04-16-2014 09:40 AM
by jymie
21 764
google earth
CDLAWNCARE
04-12-2014 03:24 PM
04-16-2014 09:36 AM
by jymie
8 283
There has to be an...
CDLAWNCARE
04-14-2014 12:59 PM
04-15-2014 04:06 PM
by Dan Tanner
6 229
First Day Back!
BelleCityLawn1
04-09-2014 09:13 PM
04-15-2014 11:16 AM
by Steve
11 364
Mow America
stevegredler
04-13-2014 01:02 PM
04-14-2014 09:53 PM
by kslawn
5 269
Power Broom
acrajchel
04-14-2014 07:46 AM
04-14-2014 12:47 PM
by CDLAWNCARE
2 147
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
04-14-2014 11:34 AM
by Steve
1,176 286,444
Equipment reviews
Greg'slawnandlandscape
04-09-2014 07:17 AM
04-14-2014 11:27 AM
by Greg'slawnandlandscape
13 521
Aerating Prices?
Dan Tanner
04-08-2014 03:16 PM
04-14-2014 10:31 AM
by Steve
13 519
Estimating help
acrajchel
04-11-2014 06:06 PM
04-14-2014 10:20 AM
by Steve
3 229
Need help bidding church...
GreenRidge Lawn&Landscape
04-07-2014 08:01 PM
04-14-2014 09:49 AM
by Steve
12 491
Hello all
Griff20114
04-12-2014 05:08 PM
04-14-2014 09:46 AM
by Steve
1 145
Step by Step Spring Lawn...
WarriorLawnscaping
04-10-2014 07:01 AM
04-14-2014 09:43 AM
by Steve
5 307
Jeff Cowden
jcowden
04-11-2014 07:27 PM
04-14-2014 09:39 AM
by Steve
1 139
Exmark Commercial 30...
Dan Tanner
04-11-2014 05:35 AM
04-14-2014 09:37 AM
by Steve
4 248
Small guy time to get a...
googus
04-08-2014 08:16 AM
04-13-2014 07:18 PM
by A. Kulak Landscaping
9 395
» Popular Tags
4wd advertisement aerator bid birdscaping buy charge christmas light service client collections subcontractor customers decorating ecosymbiosis exmark fall ferris financing first truck flower bed cultivation price for sale franchise georgia gopherhaul grass clarksville gravely gravely 34" zero turn holiday holiday decorating how much to charge how to bid introduction invoice late lawn care lawn care business show lawn service leaf cleanup lesco lighting marketing mechanic mowing mowing clarksville mulch mulch estimate new and restored landscapes new buisness new business office management podcast promotion reo savannah scag seo sole proprietorship sprayer starting a business start up lawn care business stihl subcontractor taxes theft of services tips top dresser toro tree care walker winter zero turn
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:55 AM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:55 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy