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Help With Controlling Customers

 
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Old Yesterday, 12:46 PM   #1
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Help With Controlling Customers


Been a while since I have dealth with these problems, but wanted some input on two different scenarios...

First customer. This guy has taken off work to watch me and my guy finish his basement. I mean he sits and watched every move. Asking questions about every little thing and even is standing behind you and in the way when you turn and walk to and from the saw. Nice guy, but very annoying and slows down the day. I do excellent work and quality is not an issue. His wife gas noticed the annoyance and trys to make peace telling me behind his back that since he is from a different country it is his culture not to trust. I wish I would had never taken the job and makes me despise having to go to work. Anyone effectively deal with this?

Second customer.

A young couple and first house, making minor wall changes to a closet and opening a wall to make an area larger in another part. I have done hundreds of thousands of dollars of work for the dad, over 25 years.. but the son in law seems to developed a dislike for my price, he is polite, but I can feel it in the air. I asked to get a key so we can come Nd go to the empty house.. he was a tight deadline and I am fitting him in, which sometimes means I may be over there at 1am putting on a mud coat..
When asked when we can get the key, he wants to know when I will be there and he can "let me in". Again I do not like to be micro managed and would prefer not to take the job if this is how it will be...

Thank you for your inputs.. let me.know if it is me or them... lol.. mean ing dont sugar coat it for me...
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Old Yesterday, 01:44 PM   #2
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


Sounds to me like you are not screening clients or don’t have much experience in dealing with different types of clients. You should have clauses in contracts addressing such issues if you have contracts. We never do work for foreigners period. You will learn why soon enough. On the young couple they want to see where the money is going & if they don’t want to leave a key that’s not a big deal. If you have been in business a bit it’s up to you to read your clients. Nobody can read them for you. If they stand over your shoulder drag up & when they ask why be blunt & tell them you don’t operate under those conditions find somebody else. Tis what is. Good luck

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Old Yesterday, 01:45 PM   #3
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


The guy in the basement can be an insurance liability. Tell him he's gotta stay out of the way or he'll have to leave the work area. As for talking and answering questions, that's up to you. Short brief answers and we can talk while I'm picking up for the day.

As for the guy who won't give you a key. Not much you can do about it. If it's a time breaker and it has to get done then explain it to him. If he won't give up the key tell him that you can no longer guarantee that you'll meet the time deadline because it requires access to the site when needed. Especially since it's a slip in job.
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Old Yesterday, 01:48 PM   #4
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


I am not leaving a key for someone who may need to slip in at 1 A.M.
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Old Yesterday, 01:50 PM   #5
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


I have been in business for over 20 years. I guess I have been very fortunate. All if my work is refferal from past customers and my contracts are simple and just drawn up on scope of work and price. I have been bir ed a few times and I also understand the frustration of some clients that are not familiar how it works. I am however a little passive and sometimes get taken advantage of my kindness.

Was looking for input and just trying to be the nice guy without being an arrogant jerk.

I should have told the watcher to give us some peace if he wants me to do it, but really was reaching out to see what is acceptable from both sides..
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Old Yesterday, 02:44 PM   #6
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


Like Leo said it’s a safety issue with the alien. Write something in your future contracts to avoid as this only slows progress. Grow a set & be firm as there have been too many hgtv type of shows that leads people to think it’s a cake walk. If you’ve made hundreds of thousands off the young couple’s pops you need to be nice in a firm way to them. 1:00 a.m. would make most people not want to meet & let you in.
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Old Yesterday, 03:16 PM   #7
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


You need to drop the kindness & being the nice guy if you want to avoid these issues. It’ s a tough business & the recent crap going on it’s only going to get tougher with people drawing their belts in & the election. You are the contractor and have to call the shots within reason & not let client #1 hover over you although that’s too late. Tell him he must stay away so you can concentrate & finish his job to the standard he wants
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Old Yesterday, 03:48 PM   #8
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


You may have to just figure out a way to complete the basement and take your licks on it. The other one I would say 'no key...no work'. I'm out of here. Most of those 'favor' things don't turn out so well.
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Old Yesterday, 05:18 PM   #9
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


A lot of the work I do is on unoccupied house is in the midst of a real estate transaction.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, the work needs to be put off until after the close of the sale.

I donít like those, as I prefer much rather to work on unoccupied.


If I suspect that may be the case, I will add a clause into the estimate saying this estimate presumes an unoccupied, empty house.

I havenít had to have a difficult conversation yet, but at the outset I would tell them that the unoccupied estimate is less than what itís actually going to cost, and give them an updated estimate.


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Old Yesterday, 11:50 PM   #10
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


Tuff ones .Personally for me it is a work in progress . Recently a good client was doing the hangout and talk thing . I am older and I was tired ,it just slipped out "This cost more when the client hangs out " went over fine ,she laughed and left .
The second type ,they have cost me money . But I get tired and I can be alot more blunt .
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Old Today, 09:01 AM   #11
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


I have two tricks for the nosey types:

1. Ask them to do something to "help out". I asked a homeowner to take a garbage disposal flange off his old sink for reuse. It would have taken me less than a minute, but he spent a good 20 or so puttering in his garage. Win/win.

2. Do something boring. Doesn't your truck need reorganizing anyway? They'll only stay when something interesting is happening. Shift gears.
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Old Today, 09:07 AM   #12
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


Guess you haven’t dealt with any orientals huh
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Old Today, 09:10 AM   #13
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


When people "visit" my shop when I work on the weekends they are immediately put to good use. Hold this, move that, get me this.... Usually they'll help or leave. Either way I happy.
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Old Today, 09:30 AM   #14
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


For #1 Create some kind of physical barrier that he can't cross or see through without entering the work area and tell him that he is not allowed in there for safety reasons.

Tell him that he needs to leave or you are going to cease work, then stick to your guns and walk off if he persists.
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Old Today, 01:53 PM   #15
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by stl_contractor View Post
I have been in business for over 20 years. I guess I have been very fortunate. All if my work is refferal from past customers and my contracts are simple and just drawn up on scope of work and price. I have been bir ed a few times and I also understand the frustration of some clients that are not familiar how it works. I am however a little passive and sometimes get taken advantage of my kindness.

Was looking for input and just trying to be the nice guy without being an arrogant jerk.

I should have told the watcher to give us some peace if he wants me to do it, but really was reaching out to see what is acceptable from both sides..
Been in business 31 years referrals only most of my customers are the complete opposite of what you're dealing with. I can remember twice I was the arrogant jerk with 4 letter words both ended up being some of my best clients. One said "I've never had anyone talk to me that way, we're going to get along just fine" we would sit and talk for hours while I was on the clock.

Some people just have to be put in their place......bluntly.
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Old Today, 02:04 PM   #16
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


Yea had to get nasty with a young builder who was trying to screw me money wise long ago, said same thing “nobody talks to me like that” My reply was nobody takes food off of my table. Eventually built houses for him on % basis & wound up taking 3 clients to build for & he went tits to the sky. Gotta be firm in this firm game no room for pushovers
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Old Today, 02:13 PM   #17
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


Forgot to mention he was one to hover over you & while punching out a frame my cut man who was a little wild then anyway shot a few 12s his way accidentally & the hovering ended. Back then Lonnie would just as soon take a knife to your throat as look at you. Been with me 14 years or so now so we don’t get any lurker what’s that for types
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Old Today, 05:45 PM   #18
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


I had an Asian guy call one time to do some work for him. He met me at the front door and let me in and immediately requested that I take off my shoes. I thought ...Ok. Then after talking to him about his project I realized he didn't want anyone wearing shoes the entire time we were working. I guess he thought it would keep his carpet cleaner. I passed on the project.
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Old Today, 05:57 PM   #19
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Re: Help With Controlling Customers


I've had a few of those. Pristine white carpets and we are doing nasty demo work in the winter with muddy boots.

Nope. I'll pass on those.

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