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mtdman
06-10-2003, 12:24 AM
Just curious as to how everyone invites customers back in the spring?

This is how I do it:

In March I send out letters to everyone inviting them back. If I increase their rates or change their service, whatever, I do it in the letter. Mostly everyone stays the same, and mostly everyone gets the same form letter. The letter includes a postcard, stamped, with their name on it. If they want to return, they send the card through the mail. Or they can email or call. Pretty simple, eh?

The problem this year was I had to drop a bunch of customers and I didn't send the letters to them. Unfortunately, many of the dropped customers waited until the last minute to call ME to find out if I was doing their lawns, and some were mad because I didn't let them know ahead of time. Other customers who got the letters never sent in their cards and found out when they called at the last minute I was booked up. One guy even waited until the end of May to call and find out why I hadn't been by yet. Oops.

:D

Sean Adams
06-10-2003, 06:51 AM
If from seasons in the past your clients were accustomed to receiving a letter from you, I guess you can't blame them for being a bit upset.

If it isn't too late you may still want to send them a letter expalining the situation, recommend someone, and tell them if things change you will contact them in the future.

greenman
06-10-2003, 10:30 AM
Do you invite them back if HE/SHE dropped YOU for someone else the previous year?

dfor
06-10-2003, 05:44 PM
Usually about the beginning of March I will call all customers. I just ask them if there is anything they would like me to do before the grass starts growing. I make it sound like I already know that they want me to continue cutting.

John Gamba
06-10-2003, 07:11 PM
Holiday Card's threw out the winter,Even If you plow them Or Not. Always Send Letters Out at The earliest Time With a Send Back DATE. Never take anything for Granted.
john.

Zattpazz
06-10-2003, 07:19 PM
dfor,
I like your approach!

kickin sum grass
06-10-2003, 07:29 PM
we simply send a letter telling them they are auto renewed for the season. If they want to cancel service they must call. I also list all services they received last year and put a charge next to it for the upcoming season. I also list the services they didn't receive and give them a price so they know what services they are missing and how much it cost. That has been a great upsell. This way has been the easiest so far. They do nothing to renew and only have to contact to change or cancel service. This has eliminated the people waiting till the last minute to call back to renew and all that ohter hassel. You can assume they are back and it makes your life easier unless you get that call. And you should have had the curtousy to send a letter to the people you cancelled. You know how bad it is when you think you have something and then find out you don't. Always let people know what is going on. It makes you look professional even if it is bad news.

LAWNGODFATHER
06-10-2003, 11:15 PM
I send out "contracts" the first day of September and require all of them back by October 15th, all for the next season to present customers.

In February we still send out a letter to confirm there have been no changes and upsell other services.

I do this for more than one reason, but the main one is; customers wont shop if they stay committed.

wacamaster
06-10-2003, 11:38 PM
I also do the auto renew. I just say "for your convienience, services will continues from season to season." Seems to work well.

mtdman
06-11-2003, 12:26 AM
Originally posted by greenman
Do you invite them back if HE/SHE dropped YOU for someone else the previous year?

No.

mtdman
06-11-2003, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by Sean Adams
If from seasons in the past your clients were accustomed to receiving a letter from you, I guess you can't blame them for being a bit upset.

If it isn't too late you may still want to send them a letter expalining the situation, recommend someone, and tell them if things change you will contact them in the future.

When they called, I explained the situation to them. Most of the customers I dropped were lawns too big for me to continue on my own, or PITA customers, people who didn't pay on time, etc. I wouldn't take any of them back. As an after thought, I realized I should have notified them dropped customers, but it's too late now.

The guy that called at the end of May killed me. I had been mowing for 5 weeks by then. Why wait that long? I would think after 5 weeks you might begin to suspect I wasn't coming.

The other thing I had to do was to leave a message on my voice mail explaining I wasn't taking any new mowing customers, my schedule was full. People still continued to call and ask for estimates. And another woman that I did for a vacation mow continued to call and basically beg me to mow her lawn. How many times and how many ways can I explain "no" to a person?

Not that it's a bad thing. It's good to have too much demand, but some stuff is unbelievable.

:D