Some new callers will really put you to the test. They will try your patience and press every button you have. Some of your current customer base will do this too from time to time. How you handle it can make the difference between making money from them or not as we will see from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. In it, we hear some great mowing customer stories. Some were able to be saved while others weren’t. Perhaps there are lessons you could learn from these interactions.
One lawn care business owner wrote “I got a phone call the other day from an elderly customer. After answering, she spent 20 minutes bad mouthing another mowing company as she was trying to convince me she wasn’t cheap.. she said something along the lines;
‘He charged me for work I asked him not to do, because my grass didn’t need cutting at the time. bla bla bla bla.’
Anyway, I was able to get her address and phone number, but this old lady was so riled up on the phone that she hung-up on me once I was able to get a word in!!!
After a moment I thought about what I would have loved to say to her if she didn’t hangup on me for no reason.
‘You will be charged for the complete month regardless if you want us to show up or not. This is a business.’
ANYWAY, I don’t think I will do business with this lady, she sounds like a problem. Not sure if I should trust her, or the guy she fired. It’s not like I’d give her a discount which I’m sure she wanted from the other guy.
Why do some customers just seem to suck the life out of me?”
A second lawn care business owner said “this reminds me of a few years back when we had our 14″ snow storm. It took me 20 minutes just to get to the neighbor’s driveway to get my 4-wheeler and trailer. I got a call from one of my snow plow customers (who isn’t a customer anymore) demanding I show up immediately and clear his drive. I explained to him that the city crews haven’t even been out to do the streets yet and I was having difficulty getting my equipment to the street, let alone down the street…and I have a 1 ton dually 4×4.He freaked out and told me he had a doctor’s appointment (not an emergency) that he had to get to on time.
At this point he’s annoying me, so I asked how he planned to get down the street once I cleared his driveway. He said the city crews would be by and he’d get out. HAHA! So I told him I would work my way to him but that I had other customers on the list ahead of him who had already called. That pissed him off even more apparently.
It wasn’t an hour later he calls me back. He says I owe him the $25 I would have charged him to plow the drive. When I asked him what for, he got all pissed off and began cursing me and said he had to hire someone else to come do his driveway. The guy’s a freakin’ nutcase! He thought I had to pay him back because he had to hire someone else…??? WTF??
After he called me every name in the book, I got him good and told him I have appreciated his business for the last 2 years and I wish him all the best and to have a WONDERFUL day. Just before I could hit the ‘end’ button I heard a scream ‘F YOU!!!!’ LMAO!!
Some people are freaking crazy!! By the way…It took the city crews 3 days to clear all the streets in town. It took them 2 days to get to his street. I’d love to have heard how much he was gonna charge the city!”
A third shared “maybe the problem is in the way you interact with them. Sure I get customers that are on fixed budgets and want the cheapest price available, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to sign them up.
They call, I go and give an estimate (written). They ask how often I cut and I tell them every week. ‘Oh well what if it doesn’t need cutting?’ I tell them I am here every week, I mow, trim, edge, and blow off.
This goes around two or three times, then they figure out that I am not here to save them money, I am here to provide a service. That service is for them to never have to worry about their yard. It is not how many times I cut the grass, it’s how many times they have to worry about the grass being cut. If they don’t seem to understand, I tell them ‘here is my estimate, I have another customer to go see, feel free to call if you want me to take care of your yard.’
Seven times out of ten, they call me back, agree to pay the monthly rate, and everything is fine. The others usually call me 2 or 3 months later because the guy they have doesn’t show up/ do a good job/ yadda/ yadda/ yadda/, then I charge them $10 more a month than the original estimate.”
Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯