What to do with this customer - Snow Plow Forum -†Let's Talk Snow Discussion Forums

 
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-10-2011, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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What to do with this customer

I generally plow residential at the 3" mark I have had two customers ask that the plowing start at 5".Anyone encounter this.They both understand the agreement and are summer customers too.No m oney issues with these people thay have it.3rd customer has begun using snowblower at the lower amounts and calling me off.WTF We have not had alot of snow this year.I have 90% resi because year after year have not been able to land the sought after commercials for what ever reason.This work is a pain in the A.Anyone have similar situations did you let am go or reason with them or just stop going?Dave
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-10-2011, 05:03 PM
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I had a resi who liked being able to get the "exercise" from shoveling but didn't want to do it if it was over 6", so that is what she asked for. She lived in the same development as 2 other customers so I had to be there anyways. One of them was actually her next door neighbor. Often I would plow one of the drives but not the one right next to it! If it was over 6", she got plowed, if not..... she didn't. Obviously, I priced accordingly. Her pricing started in the middle range whereas other customers who had a 2"-3" trigger started cheaper.
I kinda figured, what the heck, she is the customer. If she wants me not to plow under 6" then I won't. She writes the checks. They always cleared. Who an I to argue.
This is when I was 90% resi's. Now I am about 40% resi's.

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post #3 of 15 Old 01-10-2011, 05:56 PM
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Simple:

Times are tough and people are pinching pennies and cinching their belts to try and afford what they need... by shaving off "where" they can ,and, "what" they can.
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-11-2011, 02:36 AM
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If you need to go back and reason with a customer that knows the deal and wants to change how YOU run your buisness I say by by.Your time during an event is all planned out and waiting on their OK or being sent away (being shoveled already the same) is totaly unaccetable.But if your OK with that and you dont drive out of your way too far its your call.If you let them get away with that where do you stop.I have found that any customer you talk to every time the forcast says snow is trouble,my best customers I have never met other than a wave out the window and a check in the mail.10% of your customers will be 90% of your problems,limit your lifes problems.
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-11-2011, 02:56 AM
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You only have so many slots to fill in with customers . I always and do fill in the slots with full time customers .

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post #6 of 15 Old 01-12-2011, 10:24 AM
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I remember when I started plowing resi's, I had ones that only wanted to be plowed at 4", 6", 8" and even 12" or more. I took it on just where I was just getting started but as time went on I was able to get more and more full time customers I just turned away the odd balls. Everything I have know is a 2" trigger. I still take on the one timers but I do not plow them until my regulars are done and I charge more for one time calls.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-13-2011, 05:37 AM
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I have two accounts that only want to be plowed if it's 5" or more. This was agreed on though right from the start when they signed the contract not a mid season change. I don't see it as a problem as long as you are getting paid a fair price (my pricing is higher for these people). You can always replace them next season with a "normal" account.

Neal
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-20-2011, 04:31 PM
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money is tight this year people are acting very strange,my advice to you is do as they want,if they only want you to plow only at 5inch you should only plow at 5inch or more,or they may not pay you anyway,the last storm we had,and we have only had 4 storms all year,i had 3 customers bitching about how much they pay,
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-20-2011, 05:22 PM
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I have a 2" trigger on everybody, I had my wife in stitches one night when she heard me explaining to a tough customer that I only have room on my plowlist for customers who want to be plowed when it snows, not just when it a heavy snow . A plow truck is a big investment, a shovel or snowblower is peanuts compared to a well equipted and maintained plowtruck. Unless you feel the person is struggling and you'd like to help them out thats okay but if they're just penny pinching I'd politely tell them its 3" or they need a new plow guy.
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-21-2011, 04:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john damps View Post
money is tight this year people are acting very strange,my advice to you is do as they want,if they only want you to plow only at 5inch you should only plow at 5inch or more,or they may not pay you anyway,the last storm we had,and we have only had 4 storms all year,i had 3 customers bitching about how much they pay,
So what your saying is when it snows 3 inches today and your customers who are at a 3 inch trigger get plowed and tomorrow it snows 2 inches the one customer you skipped gets done ?? I tell my customers what they get plowed at, they don't tell me, Its my business and I run it MY way.. There has to be limitations in this business and we as professionals draw the line, not the customer. I cant speak for everyone, but i have the client base to pick and chose my customers, and if a potential new customer calls i tell them this is what i plow at... no exceptions.. The only exception to this is my Businesses.. which in turn pay more than a residential anyhow..

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post #11 of 15 Old 01-22-2011, 04:23 PM
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Wink

Yesterday I slow down, hit the ambers, drop the plow, scoop the bank & then I see the customer & his wife standing in the drive with shovels. They have 1/2 the job done. He says "money's tight" this mo.,your doin a great job, we'll get this one, keep coming back,etc". This is one of my 'better' d-ways,on a busy main road, but lots of room, & turn arounds. Allways pay quick...... I say Ok, no problem, see ya next time. This morn. I'm out doing clean-ups & when I go by I see the city plows have pushed up a massive boulder bank across there d-way. At first I chuckeled to myself, serves them right, heh heh. On the way back by I worked the end clean for em. My good deed for today!
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post #12 of 15 Old 01-22-2011, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobsterman View Post
Yesterday I slow down, hit the ambers, drop the plow, scoop the bank & then I see the customer & his wife standing in the drive with shovels. They have 1/2 the job done. He says "money's tight" this mo.,your doin a great job, we'll get this one, keep coming back,etc". This is one of my 'better' d-ways,on a busy main road, but lots of room, & turn arounds. Allways pay quick...... I say Ok, no problem, see ya next time. This morn. I'm out doing clean-ups & when I go by I see the city plows have pushed up a massive boulder bank across there d-way. At first I chuckeled to myself, serves them right, heh heh. On the way back by I worked the end clean for em. My good deed for today!
Your good deed will not go unforgotten and it will come back in the future.
Who says that nice guys finish last ! Nice going
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post #13 of 15 Old 01-23-2011, 01:54 PM
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Your a good man Lobsterman, I too would have chuckled at the snowboulder and probaly kept driving.
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post #14 of 15 Old 01-23-2011, 02:25 PM
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I had a customer like that, but they were worse. They just wouldn't touch it if were less than four inches. "We've got 4wd, we're fine".

I explained to them that I have a way of doing things, and that includes protecting my equipment, and their property. In this case, they had a stone wall next to part of the driveway. I told them I couldn't afford to slide into that if my truck got caught in an icy rut. Went OK for a couple of storms, then he stopped me halfway up the drive after a 3 inch storm, heavy stuff. I suggested we part ways. Picked up the blade, left the pile in the drive, and backed out.

Plowless and Pleased
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post #15 of 15 Old 01-24-2011, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jmac5058 View Post
Your a good man Lobsterman, I too would have chuckled at the snowboulder and probaly kept driving.
Well guys....it is an nice job & I'm confidant that this was a one time owner shoveling. I was running a little behind. If I had not busted up that ice bank then, [what they didn't move] would be like hitting a brick wall later this week.
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