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View Full Version : Lost my original customer today, bummed...


gogetter
08-10-2004, 06:47 PM
Bummed out about losing a customer today.

She was my first customer. She works with my wife and when she heard I was leaving my full time job to start a lawn business, she became my first customer, and a great one at that.

Took care of her lawn for 2 seasons, then she said she was moving in with her son as soon as she sold her house.

She told me to take care of the sons lawn too and bill her for it.

So for about half a season, I took care of both lawns. Her house sold, and she moved in with her son at the end of last season.

Well today, in with her payment, was a not from the son: "Bought a mower!. No longer need your services!. Thanks, Mr. XXXX".

It was so short and with the exclamation points (!), I took it as him actually being angry for some reason.

Just seemed like it could have been done in a nicer way considering the relationship between me, my wife and this woman (his mother).

I know it happens all the time in this business (or in any business for that matter), but this one just kinda bummed me out. There are other customers that I would have been FINE with them dropping me, but this was a good one.

Oh well, just wanted to vent a little to people who know where I'm coming from.

locutus
08-10-2004, 06:52 PM
Maybe the exclamation marks are an indication of his excitement over buying a new mower. Thats what I would think.

Mark McC
08-10-2004, 06:55 PM
Hey Jon,

Don't worry about being bummed out. Even us lawn folks have feelings, eh?

I wouldn't read too much into the exclamation points. He may just be enthused about the new mower.

A recommendation? Send a note saying thanks for the business and that you hope the new mower works out. Remind them that if the mower goes on the fritz (not sure where that expression comes from), you can mow their place...AND do other things they might not want to.

Besides, mom may get a place of her own again in the future.

And you know what else? Better to regret the loss of a valued customer than to be so cold as to think nothing of it at all. Icebergs make lousy husbands and lousy businesspeople.

Canadian GreenScape
08-10-2004, 06:56 PM
I lost my first lawn awhile ago.. the older man went into a nursing home. I think about me pushing a old dead heavy craftsman around it every time I drive by.

Sooners
08-10-2004, 07:22 PM
He did say "thanks".

Norm Al
08-10-2004, 07:32 PM
letters are COLD almost no matter how the person types it! seems like he was just short and sweet! but you might call him up and thank him and his mom for his past business and tell him if he gets tired of spending his whole saturday mowing the lawn,,,,,,keep you in mind!:)

grass_cuttin_fool
08-10-2004, 07:49 PM
I lost my 1st customer I had whenI started in buisness. He had been a customer for 9 years, last year with all the raIN I got behind some and this guy was a nut if his yard wasnt cut on friday. He got his little brother to cut it and we parted ways. Well little brother is in the pen now for 30 plus years and we have a part timer in the neighborhood. This guy charges more than i did and has no concept of striping and he also likes to see dirt, makes me uggg to see that pretty yard chewed up. But its his choice. Go getter , it happens but hang in there and find a better customer maybe

gogetter
08-10-2004, 07:50 PM
Originally posted by Mark McC

Besides, mom may get a place of her own again in the future.



Nah, they built an addition onto his house for her. She's getting up there in years, and this will likely be her last home.

It's possible I am reading too much into his note. But I do know that since his mother moved in, he has put her on a "budget" with her OWN money!!(she was the one that paid the bill).
Based on that and other little stuff I know about him, I know he's on the cheap side.

They get one last bill for one mowing I did this month. I plan on sending a friendly note thanking them for their business over the last few years, and remind them that I'm here for other services if they need me.

I still do their neighbor. It was nice being able to do both lawns at once. Oh well.

prizeprop
08-10-2004, 08:40 PM
One of my properties I have been cutting since I was 16, I'm now 38. 22 YEARS, although different owners now. I wouldn't get bumbed out if I lost them. Don't worry about it, plenty more where that came from!!

nriddle77
08-10-2004, 09:02 PM
I hate losing customers. It's not usually the lost income that bothers me, I just don't like to be dropped for any reason. However, it is a fact in this buisness. Lots of my customers are elderly or sickly or both. I have had at least one customer die or go into a nursing home the last three years.

twindiddy
08-10-2004, 09:14 PM
yeah, don't be bummed about the note. his intentions were probably good.

M Raggs Yard Service
08-10-2004, 10:24 PM
Lost my first and best cust. 1.5 years ago.

Pancreatic cancer took her at a youthful 60 yrs. young.

Evan528
08-10-2004, 10:32 PM
Johnathan, Dont worry about the letter.... I actually got one similar last month from a client abou to move. In with her last check was a note "Moving next week..... I will not need your services anymore!!". Then on the memo of the check it said (last payment!!!). I guess this lady was pretty exited about not having to pay me anymore every month.....Did her property for about 8 years. I am taking care of the propery for the new owners now but you know how that goes. People are very cheap when they first buy a home. Do only what has to be done.

grass_cuttin_fool
08-10-2004, 10:35 PM
Dang, I just lost one tonight, guy went from workin overtime to no job at all, now he has plenty of time to do his , uggggggg, oh well have to keep chunkin

DennisF
08-10-2004, 10:45 PM
If you stay in this business long, you'll have plenty of customer turnover. Don't let it bother you...it's just business. Customers come and go. Some people change lawn care providers every year because they are looking for the lowest price and don't care about service or quality. I've found that there is no loyalty in this business and I've learned to work with these facts. If you learn to do the same you'll do well in the long run.

GrassBustersLawn
08-10-2004, 11:13 PM
Yes, he bought a mower, he probably has a pickup too. Next thing you know he'll be knocking on the doors of your clients! Seems like everyone with a mower is getting into the business this year!

Mike

Mikes Lawn Landscape
08-11-2004, 09:16 AM
Originally posted by grass_cuttin_fool
I lost my 1st customer I had whenI started in buisness. He had been a customer for 9 years, last year with all the raIN I got behind some and this guy was a nut if his yard wasnt cut on friday.

There is a valueable lesson for all of us in that quote. NO matter how long you been doing them they will drop you like a hot potato.

chevyman1
08-11-2004, 09:26 AM
you are reading too much into it gogetter, move on and send them a card during the holidays anyways

geogunn
08-11-2004, 09:55 AM
buying a mower and using a mower are two different things.

they will be calling you again, don't worry.

GEO

gogetter
08-11-2004, 10:55 AM
Ya see, it's nice to be able to come here and discuss stuff with others that understand.

So anyway, it's the next day and I'm basically over it already. It just kinda came out of left field and caught me off gaurd.

Oh well, moving on! Thanks all!

geogunn
08-11-2004, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by geogunn
buying a mower and using a mower are two different things.


I guess I coudda expounded on this one a bit....

last year I pulled up to a job and there was 14 YO punka-- sitting on a new murray in the drive.

he said: "hey man! my mom just bought this new mower (murray) and we are going to be cutting the grass from now on".

this kid was so full of himself but I just laughed and told him..."I used to cut the grass, but now YOU are going to have to do it! have fun!".

you shoudda seen the look on his face as he understood what I meant!

GEO :laugh:

txlawnking
08-11-2004, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by Mikes Lawn Landscape
There is a valueable lesson for all of us in that quote. NO matter how long you been doing them they will drop you like a hot potato.


And that is the prcise reason I don't get chummy with any customers..... They are NOT my friends..