PDA

View Full Version : Do you take it personal when a customer cancels?


wildstarblazer
09-29-2010, 10:12 PM
I rarely lose customers and when I do it makes me wonder what the real reason that they canceled was. And I take it personally.

They said it was strictly economic but I don't buy that cause they didn't complain about the price when they first hired me. I only did the yard a few times, but they were new to the area so maybe they got other prices after and decided mine was too high. $50 for about an acre though seems reasonable to me.

Anyone else take it personal?

DLCS
09-29-2010, 10:30 PM
I have before, and sometimes I still do. Don't sweat it. they may think your price was very fair and thats why they never complained. But in these times, some things just have to go. Lawn mowing for some is a luxery that can be handled themselves.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
09-29-2010, 10:34 PM
Only if they say, and can prove, I did a bad job.
I would vow to get better at what I do.

That said, hasn't happened to me yet....

h2oskier
09-29-2010, 11:15 PM
Kinda like the old saying goes when one door closes another one opens, keep the faith man im sure you'll pick up another, just think this could be the week you get 15 phone calls, all looking for your service.

nepatsfan
09-29-2010, 11:29 PM
In a word...yes.

corey4671
09-29-2010, 11:43 PM
I used to. and then this year it seemed like everytime I lost one, another better one came along pretty quickly. don't sweat it man. if you are making sure you are doing the best job you probably can, show up when you are supposed to and charge a fair price, you'll always have work

PLS-Tx
09-30-2010, 12:12 AM
Yep, makes me mad as a hornet but then we seldom lose any.

We did have one cancel yesterday, her son is going to do it, not a big contract but still a contract. It hurts more when it's big but I don't like to lose any.

ShooterK2
09-30-2010, 12:14 AM
This is a business, isn't it? Why would you take anything personally, unless they were family/friends, etc. If you didn't know them before they called you, and you dealt with them on a strictly professional level, then there's no need, in my opinion, to take something personally. My advice would be to just fill that spot with another customer and move on.

Here's another way to look at it: If I'm falling on hard times, and call and cancel my television cable plan, does the cable company take it personally? Do they all sit around in the office, talking about me, wondering why I cancelled? I doubt it. Now, I didn't TELL THEM that I was having a hard time financially, so they are left to wonder. But I'm pretty sure they just take me out of the computer system and go on about their business, as would I if someone cancelled lawn service.

I can just about guarantee you, there's some grass that needs cuttin' somewhere else.

MajesticUSA
09-30-2010, 12:44 AM
In this business you need thick skin because it is inevitable that a customer will cancel sooner or later. I have contracts so that makes people think twice before wanting to cancel for no legitimate reason. If you do quality work and you know it... it's always best to move on and work for clients who appreciate the effort and time you devote to bettering their properties.

Sammy
09-30-2010, 12:54 AM
Anyone else take it personal?

No...............

AzLawnMan
09-30-2010, 01:03 AM
After losing 89 customers in the last 2 years I still take it very personal. I had a long time customer of 10 years cancel yesterday. He owed me $1,500.00 and said he couldnt afford it anymore, that he and his son were gonna try and do it. Got a check today from him for $560 now lets wait and see if I get the rest. I go through my list of canceled customers and I try not to get upset but its only natural. Residential crews are hurting but my commercial and trees crews are doing good. I am so far behind on trees right now I cant even call for a check after we finsih a phase because Im affraid they are gonna ask why I havent finished the rest of the phases on time. Listen guys, if you are surving right now then you are a success. We survived $4 a gallon and the worst economic time in any of our lives. I look at as a happy man with a very great life and the money doesnt roll in like it used too, but the bills are paid and my kids and wife have a place to live and food on the table. The "fly-by-night" guys will go away when jobs return and we will still be around doing what we do. Keep pushing fellas!! :drinkup:

grassman177
09-30-2010, 01:06 AM
I am totally dependant on the situation. I have reasons i get upset, and other reasons i just dont care about. i do however have one customer who is getting bids which makes me nervous. i have had them for quite some time now. but for every very few i have lost , i have gained countless more. we gain a decent amount of new work every week, and it has been like this all year. bottom line is, give it your best, dont price yourself out of business each direction, and have at it.

Southern Pride
09-30-2010, 01:07 AM
I've never lost a lawn due to quality or customer satisfaction.
It seems either
A) Little Timmy down the street has a mower and a ride so he'll do it for $5 (and I completely support young kids going to work for themselves. Don't see it often these days.)
B.) The customer is cheap. In tough times. Isn't a lazy sack that decides they would rather pocket the money and do it themselves.

I have no problem with those scenarios but (Solo) I have never, will never lose an account because I didn't live up to their standards. It would almost be impossible. This is why I'm weary of hiring 2 guys to take over...Then I would be the stressed out boss and probably lose some over stupid things.

So all I can add is do not take it personally if it is because of them. Now, if you do a crappy job take it personally and get better. I see some "LCO's" yards after they finish and it AMAZES me they get a check every month. Like If I just up and decided to start painting cars tomorrow..It would not be good.

soloscaperman
09-30-2010, 02:09 AM
I've never lost a lawn due to quality or customer satisfaction.
It seems either
A) Little Timmy down the street has a mower and a ride so he'll do it for $5 (and I completely support young kids going to work for themselves. Don't see it often these days.)
B.) The customer is cheap. In tough times. Isn't a lazy sack that decides they would rather pocket the money and do it themselves.

I have no problem with those scenarios but (Solo) I have never, will never lose an account because I didn't live up to their standards. It would almost be impossible. This is why I'm weary of hiring 2 guys to take over...Then I would be the stressed out boss and probably lose some over stupid things.

So all I can add is do not take it personally if it is because of them. Now, if you do a crappy job take it personally and get better. I see some "LCO's" yards after they finish and it AMAZES me they get a check every month. Like If I just up and decided to start painting cars tomorrow..It would not be good.

Dude you think just like me. To be honest when your not on the field the quality ain't going to be the same. I don't care if you pay someone $30 there going to hack something .My high end customers want me on there lawn not some mexican working for peanuts. I see every lawn like it was mine. I notice most of my clients picked me because I stand out from the other LCO's. I am not the most expensive guy but I ain't the cheapest. Those few bucks I loose I gain in more side work.

Southern Pride
09-30-2010, 02:52 AM
Dude you think just like me. To be honest when your not on the field the quality ain't going to be the same. I don't care if you pay someone $30 there going to hack something .My high end customers want me on there lawn not some mexican working for peanuts. I see every lawn like it was mine. I notice most of my clients picked me because I stand out from the other LCO's. I am not the most expensive guy but I ain't the cheapest. Those few bucks I loose I gain in more side work.

Ha you better believe it. It's like a given. The ME that was working for an LCO for $10/hr cutting and trimming is nowhere near the same ME now that I am LCO. If it is one thing I have learned thus far from hiring a couple different friends it is You cannot count on anyone but yourself. Ever. As much as I'd love to play boss and pay 2 guys to do it all, I'd be stressed and really get mad looking at their crappy work lol. I may keep this whole thing solo because I enjoy working for myself so much. I'll never do landscaping for $10/hr again.

Buck_wheat
09-30-2010, 08:12 AM
I rarely lose customers and when I do it makes me wonder what the real reason that they canceled was. And I take it personally.

They said it was strictly economic but I don't buy that cause they didn't complain about the price when they first hired me. I only did the yard a few times, but they were new to the area so maybe they got other prices after and decided mine was too high. $50 for about an acre though seems reasonable to me.

Anyone else take it personal?

Is that $50 per cut & what else is involved?

PlantscapeSolutions
09-30-2010, 10:13 AM
I've had several past customers that became future customers. You never want to burn a bridge. I always send a customer an email if they were a good customer to see if I can find out why we lost the customer. I've salvaged multiple accounts by trying to find out what the problem was. Sometimes things happen that are beyond your control that you get blamed for.

Damian
09-30-2010, 10:41 AM
As the son and worker for a LCO, I can say yes, there have been times when losing a customer was taken personally. At the same time, I can think of several lawns I do that I wish would cancel - but then I'd have less work, so... But what I admit to taking personally - especially when the customer really only wants me to cut their lawn and not our big crew - is when they can't be bothered to call the night before or even the morning before I leave for work to say that they are having work done on the property, ie., roof replacement, remodeling, AC replacement, etc.

MOturkey
09-30-2010, 10:51 AM
I've had very few cancellations for reasons other than people moving, home selling, etc., and, yes, I took a couple of those personally. The most recent, I put a note in with her final bill telling her I was upset when I found out someone else was now mowing (she quit saying she was going to do it herself). She called me back, and I've now been mowing the last three weeks.

I know, business is business, but I, personally, am loyal to people I do business with as a customer. If I get good service, I'll never switch. Our trash hauler is an example. We use the largest company here locally. We've been with them for 10 years or so. There are several smaller companies that are cheaper, but these guys always show up, and never say a word about how much trash we have. My wife can clean out the garage and have 6 cans out there, and they just throw it in the truck and go, so I stay with them even if it does cost me a little more.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-30-2010, 02:28 PM
After losing 89 customers in the last 2 years I still take it very personal. I had a long time customer of 10 years cancel yesterday. He owed me $1,500.00 and said he couldnt afford it anymore, that he and his son were gonna try and do it. Got a check today from him for $560 now lets wait and see if I get the rest. I go through my list of canceled customers and I try not to get upset but its only natural. Residential crews are hurting but my commercial and trees crews are doing good. I am so far behind on trees right now I cant even call for a check after we finsih a phase because Im affraid they are gonna ask why I havent finished the rest of the phases on time. Listen guys, if you are surving right now then you are a success. We survived $4 a gallon and the worst economic time in any of our lives. I look at as a happy man with a very great life and the money doesnt roll in like it used too, but the bills are paid and my kids and wife have a place to live and food on the table. The "fly-by-night" guys will go away when jobs return and we will still be around doing what we do. Keep pushing fellas!! :drinkup:

Ouch! I know your in one of those areas where the economic bubble kind of burst hard. What are your annual sales? Or what percentage of your clients did those 89 lost ones account for?

Things here in central Texas were peaking in 2006. I lost some high end builder maintenance and some accounts from people who saw their cash flow or net worth take a hit. One way or the other I still keep busy and seem to still make about the same amount of money. My best sales year was 2008 with 330,000 and last year with a drought & the economy kicking us in the nuts we did 268,000.

You must have been doing a whole lot more than me if you lost 89 clients and your business lived to tell about it.

BrunoT
09-30-2010, 03:12 PM
It's not personal. It's just business.

nathannc
09-30-2010, 03:17 PM
I rarely lose customers and when I do it makes me wonder what the real reason that they canceled was. And I take it personally.

They said it was strictly economic but I don't buy that cause they didn't complain about the price when they first hired me. I only did the yard a few times, but they were new to the area so maybe they got other prices after and decided mine was too high. $50 for about an acre though seems reasonable to me.

Anyone else take it personal?

Define precisely your mission goals and objectives for the business. Write them down. From that construct the practices, methods and policies that are in alignmnet with your mission statement and best support your goals and objectives. Review and reflect on the preceding until they become crystal clear. Determine what ways would be best to communicate the above to your employees.

Doing the above helps to make the business like a game. Any criticism or rejection such as being dropped by a customer becomes not a reflection of you but, on a procedure, practice or policy that can be easily changed if need be or, more likely, due to factors not directly under your control.

Remember, taking offense at another's opinion is elevating their opinion over yours. If you are clear on the mission of the company, have carefully thought out goals and objectives and procedures, policies and practices that are born of experience and careful consideration then, you will not be bothered because obviously, it is not you that has the problem. At worst all you have to do is review some aspect of your business and repair.

Treat if like a game and you'll be much less likely to take any rejection personally. Being in a habit of becoming personally offended will ultimately sabotage your business and your peace of mind. Remember, it's just a game.

Southern Pride
09-30-2010, 03:43 PM
Things here in central Texas were peaking in 2006. I lost some high end builder maintenance and some accounts from people who saw their cash flow or net worth take a hit. One way or the other I still keep busy and seem to still make about the same amount of money. My best sales year was 2008 with 330,000 and last year with a drought & the economy kicking us in the nuts we did 268,000

Plantscape, what exactly do you do? Are you strictly landscape or doing some sort of construction? You lost me on high end bulder maintenance. Are you saying that YOU brought 330,000 home with you 2008 from cutting grass? Just confused and curious. Thanks for your time.

BCLawns
09-30-2010, 03:55 PM
my first year I used to get upset about it. As the years go by you learn to deal with it.

Southern Pride
09-30-2010, 03:59 PM
Define precisely your mission goals and objectives for the business. Write them down. From that construct the practices, methods and policies that are in alignmnet with your mission statement and best support your goals and objectives. Review and reflect on the preceding until they become crystal clear. Determine what ways would be best to communicate the above to your employees.

Doing the above helps to make the business like a game. Any criticism or rejection such as being dropped by a customer becomes not a reflection of you but, on a procedure, practice or policy that can be easily changed if need be or, more likely, due to factors not directly under your control.

Remember, taking offense at another's opinion is elevating their opinion over yours. If you are clear on the mission of the company, have carefully thought out goals and objectives and procedures, policies and practices that are born of experience and careful consideration then, you will not be bothered because obviously, it is not you that has the problem. At worst all you have to do is review some aspect of your business and repair.

Treat if like a game and you'll be much less likely to take any rejection personally. Being in a habit of becoming personally offended will ultimately sabotage your business and your peace of mind. Remember, it's just a game.

This is some of the best advice I've read yet. That's exactly correct but also take your service and quality level very seriously. I do and I never get anything less than the "awesome, excellent job" comments. Go beyond customer expectations and you win everytime. I think BY FAR the hardest transition in this business is instilling your employees with the same work ethic.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-30-2010, 04:10 PM
Plantscape, what exactly do you do? Are you strictly landscape or doing some sort of construction? You lost me on high end bulder maintenance. Are you saying that YOU brought 330,000 home with you 2008 from cutting grass? Just confused and curious. Thanks for your time.

That is the gross sales for the year. We do AutoCad landscape design, installation, all aspects of maintenance, landscape lighting, and now Holiday Lighting from Holiday Bright Lights.

wildstarblazer
09-30-2010, 08:05 PM
It's not personal. It's just business.


Okay, now this post was the freakin best one. You made my day.

Love it!! (picture of Michael Corleone)

mowerdude777
10-02-2010, 03:58 PM
For me it depends on the client, I had one that was VERY loyal and ALWAYS tipped me and said my work was great, then one week I show up to be informed that she weht to wal mart and got a mower!

AzLawnMan
10-02-2010, 06:33 PM
Ouch! I know your in one of those areas where the economic bubble kind of burst hard. What are your annual sales? Or what percentage of your clients did those 89 lost ones account for?

Things here in central Texas were peaking in 2006. I lost some high end builder maintenance and some accounts from people who saw their cash flow or net worth take a hit. One way or the other I still keep busy and seem to still make about the same amount of money. My best sales year was 2008 with 330,000 and last year with a drought & the economy kicking us in the nuts we did 268,000.

You must have been doing a whole lot more than me if you lost 89 clients and your business lived to tell about it.

I am still doing good as far as sales are concerned, but I think about the money that would be coming in if I still had all those clients. We will actually be doing more in sales this year than I did last year year, its all the extra jobs I would get calls for that I miss. I would get at least 5 calls a day for clean-ups and get all 5. I remember having them pay me cash and not worry about documenting it because our numbers where through the roof. I used to roll around with no less than $1k in my pocket at all times, well that was 2 years ago and I am lucky if I can get $20 in cash!! I get upset when I see guys in their SUV's pulling a trailer with "Why pay them more when we can do it for less" on the sides of their trucks but, what am I gonna do. I was around before them and I will be around after them. I went on a 3,600 sqft sod bid with curbing and about 20 tons of rock. He said I was double what the other guy was. I asked to see the business card and he said the guy had ran out. I asked what was the name of the company and he said "Low cost XXXX" dont wanna say the whole name but you get where im going. Anyways, I had the customer call him while I was there and ask him some questions while I was on speaker and the guy had no idea what he was talking about, gave no answers and couldnt tell the customer the process of how he was gonna do the job. Now get this, and I $h!t you not. I get a call from the other company claiming to be the home owner and asking me if I can give him a bid for the same job!!! I called the home-owner and told him what time we were gonna meet there and he had no idea, because he would be at work. The home-owner showed up when I told him and the guy said I was a friend of his helping him out. When he found out I also gave a bid he said "I forgot my clip board in the truck, I will be right back." Well he never returned. But because of that the home-owner is scared out of his mind and now wants to do more "research".

txgrassguy
10-02-2010, 06:50 PM
Almost never.

The very rare times when a client cancels then bad mouth's me to other prospective client's - this I take EXTREMELY personally.

This said it has happened only twice in ten years and a visit to their front door while I was hot and sweaty with a sharp shooter in my hand nipped those two instances in the bud.

h2oskier
10-02-2010, 07:31 PM
Almost never.

The very rare times when a client cancels then bad mouth's me to other prospective client's - this I take EXTREMELY personally.

This said it has happened only twice in ten years and a visit to their front door while I was hot and sweaty with a sharp shooter in my hand nipped those two instances in the bud.

Yeah and if they don't like it beat em into submission :laugh:

Southern Pride
10-02-2010, 09:58 PM
sharp shooter?