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Dealing with a Dentists receptionist

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by martyman, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    I dealt with a receptionist for years at a local dentists office. It's a large property for me and I spent the time and charged them very fairly with little or no problems when collecting money. For a few years, because they had just moved in and didn't have many clienteles I treated them as a residential property. This past year has been a different story with the receptionist being overbearing and rude, I tried many times to bypass her and deal with the dentist owner and she actually told me that "If I want to talk to the dentist I have to go through her"...

    So...two months of telling them that the contract for snow is coming up they don't phone and finally I meet the dentist in the parking lot and he say's "Oh no problem, you just bring the contract". I was doubtful and take my bill for my fall clean-up into the office and tell the receptionist that the plowing is confirmed and she replies "Oh really?" "Well, you better come sooner and last year so many people almost slipped"

    My contract is quite clear on responsibility and I told the receptionist that if you want a COMMERCIAL contract you need to PAY $$$$$$$ and that if I need to SALT you need to PAY$$$$$$$ and she was quite indignant and said that "I don't think the dentist will pay that amount".

    It was weeks and I gave up the contract, but yesterday I get a phone call...it's the wife of the dentist and they want to negotiate...:waving: Ya right.

    I spent hours making sure this property looked mint all year and in the winter they had almost no clientele I still made sure it was clean and they never called me for months until we got a slight snowfall the other day...

    I took a business course in College (typing and Marketing) I was the only guy in a class of 30 girls (it was rough) and these stupid small business owners have no idea that they screw themselves by treating guys like me like garbage.
  2. Big Dog D

    Big Dog D PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,134

    If you ever think that you are irreplaceable, stick your finger into a glass of water, pull it out and see what happens to the place where your finger was!
  3. Remsen1

    Remsen1 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    That's true but I think Big Dog has done everything that one could ask. I would politely ask the dentist if you can deal with him and only him when it comes to anything other than simple billing. Basically anytime a decision has to be made or a conversation has to take place you want to talk to him.

    My wife used to be a DDS receptionist. Don't let her push you around they don't get paid crap, they have little to no authority.

    If it's the dentists choice to keep the receptionist between you and him then you need to inform him that she is making decisions that could be a liability to him (ex. waiving de-icer).
  4. Andy N.

    Andy N. Senior Member
    Messages: 236

    Big dog, today I have heard that saying twice. Up to today, I had never heard before. Interesting!
  5. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    Thats good, I like that..:nod:
  6. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    Just walk away.
  7. larryjlk

    larryjlk Member
    Messages: 66

    Would that work for any appendage?
  8. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    Well, the wife of the dentist called me back today...she applogized and said that the receptionist has become obnoxious. I walked away from it and I'm glad.
  9. RAZOR

    RAZOR Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    I would just send your contract and invoices by mail that way you won't have to deal with her directly. The worst thing she can do is give you a nasty note with your cheque.
  10. Winter Land Man

    Winter Land Man Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    I've dealt with woman who have life-long pms before. I take an audio recorder, record what they say, and play it to the owner. :drinkup:
  11. Chris-R

    Chris-R Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    When I am dealing with a very rude client, I send my wife in for the kill. She gets a kick out of it. There's nothing more fun than watching a cat fight :)
  12. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,600

    I think the last thing you want to do is take a stance. It is always better to be professional than not. Reputation is king. For this idiot your dealing with simply kill her with kindness. Talk to her as if she was super important. At the same time your goal is to get to the dentist. ( Ever been in an airport and have to deal with the TSA power trip idiots ?!?! ).

    Present your plan as two options, clearly written on paper. One shows the plan as residential along with what they can expect for what price. The second is a commercial plan with what it offers and price.

    If she still continues down her terrible path then schedule an appointment with the dentist and present yourself as concerened about his business and how you can address that issue. Never attack the first idiot because you'll have to deal with her again.
  13. Big Dog D

    Big Dog D PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,134

    Try it and find out. Nothing else of mine will fit in anything less than a 2 gallon pail. :D

    Happy T-Day!!!!!!!
  14. gpin

    gpin Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    I have learned to never burn a bridge. The most important part of my job is the sales end. We are expensive and provide excellent service. There is always someone cheaper knocking on my clients door. So I sell sell sell. We are insured, back up equipment, back up contractors, we have never let you down in 20+ years. A couple times a year someone likes to take a dump on my head. I've learned to like it. I respond to the ridiculous complaints instantly. I kill them with kindness and service. Oddly enough, the ones that torture me the most and the ones that I have to suck up to to no end end up referring our service to more people than the normal, kind clients/property managers. If you can figure people out, let me know.

    As far as I'm concerned, the customer is always right. Some days it takes a few deeper breaths than usual but I'm still maintaining a healthy profit margin and have been able to raise rates where necessary. Send me your problem customers, as long as they own over 1 acre of asphalt, I'll let them bang their guyones on my chin.

    My first employer taught me to make a list of problems to deal with every day. Start at the worst problem and work you way down the list. That way your day might end up better than it started.

    It's all about money to me. I'm not going to lose one $ over someone's bad attitude.
  15. larryjlk

    larryjlk Member
    Messages: 66

    might have to change your name to Big Kahunas :drinkup: enjoy the holiday
  16. gpin

    gpin Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Yeesh, Big Dog, I guess everything averages, mine fits in a shot glass.
  17. Makndust

    Makndust Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    I plow the parking lot for one of our local optomitrists. He had a low hanging branch off a tree in his lawn hanging over part of the parking lot. Twice, while plowing underneeth this branch, I have knocked off my magnetic mount Nova strobe. I finally caught him in his office one day. I knocked on the door and he answered. I asked him to please trim his tree branch as I would hate to have to charge him for a new strobe if it breaks the next time it lands in the pickup box behind the headache rack. His response was "Why don't you trim it". My reply was "I'm not in the landscaping business. If I have to trim your tree for you It will be with my Husky chainsaw about 6" off the ground." The next day the branch was gone. I love it when a plan comes together. Getting back to the original topic, his receptionist is a real pta to deal with also, thats why I waited to deal with him directly.
  18. Mowerpan

    Mowerpan Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    HAHAH thats awesome:)
  19. dirt digger

    dirt digger Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    hey martyman...you had a class with all women at college?....i'de kill for one of them, all my engineering classes are all guys...the few girls in the engineering major are going extinct...haha, anyway..the heck with the receptionist, shes making close to minimum wage just trying to sound important...just get the dentists home phone number.
  20. dirt digger

    dirt digger Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    yea, but if enough people pull their finger out of the water, then there is no more water left...and if this lady keeps treating people like that, word will get around and only lowballers will want the work..then they'll get a crappy job and be begging for the good guys to come back..but they won't...