View Full Version : Best way to weed out customers

02-02-2001, 10:44 AM
Great forum, I have learned much. This is my first post. As it is getting closer to that time again I was thinking of weeding out some of my "bad" customers. You know the ones who are always asking for more but want to pay less, no matter how hard you try they are never pleased. I do this part time and try to put a limit on the number of customers I have , but every year without any advertising I get more work. How do I weed out the bad so I can assess the new and get better customers in there place? Do I just not contact them or should I send a letter that I will no longer be doing their yard? Thanks for all the help.

Eric ELM
02-02-2001, 10:55 AM
The bad ones, I raise their price enough to make it worth the trouble to put up with them or they find someone else. It works for me. :)

02-02-2001, 12:17 PM
Eric's idea works great, but if you have a real pain in the butt customer who isn't worth any price, simply send them a letter stating that you will no longer be able to provide them service, and possibly reccomend several other companies that they may contact.


02-02-2001, 12:47 PM
I like raising the price to make it worthwhile to deal with them. This can backfire sometimes depending on the person because they will run and tell everyone that you are outrageously priced. Letters work well also, you just have to be civil with them.

02-02-2001, 12:48 PM
Spray Round Up on them (LOL)

02-02-2001, 02:36 PM
I'll write a letter. I sometimes will suggest other companies, but if I don't want it, neither will my friends.

02-02-2001, 02:47 PM
I too agree with raising the price, the way I look at it, everything has its price. If they dont want to pay, then they can find someone else. In the vast majority of my cases like this, it has been the quality of the yard that turns my prices high, not the actaul customer. I try to explain my reasoning to them and usually understand.

02-02-2001, 03:18 PM
I like the round-up idea. Spray the grass and not them. Let them think for awhile why all their. Grass has died. In the real would I would just write them a letter.

02-02-2001, 04:16 PM
I agree raise the price . A friend of mine in the biz always says, " There are no bad lawns if the price is right. "
However if they are #1 a-holes I always enjoy telling them to their face that their account isn't worth my time.

AB Lawn Care
02-02-2001, 04:35 PM
Like the other boys are saying,raise the price.We have been doing it and it is great!And for those clients you dread working for,give a 50% raise or higher.When they scream at you becouse of that(which they will becouse most of the loser clients think they call the shots.....not!)you can just give them a smile and say sorry gas prices are up.:-)Revenge can come in many forms,but this is the ONLY professonal way to get back at a loser clients.

Also welcome to the fourm!There are alot of guys on here that are a great help.Most of the vets have been in the business for a good number of years and there experience shows.I've been in this businness for 6 years and still learn new things every time I come to lawnsite.Have fun!

02-02-2001, 06:04 PM
I send them a letter usually in Febuary. Thers usually 2 or 3 that I get rid of because I absoluty hate cutting them or their on the low end of the pay scale. I have one thats always late in paying, so I raised his price to make up for his tardyness.

Davis TLC
02-02-2001, 06:58 PM
Raising the price on troublesome customers usually works, either to get them drop you or make it more worthwhile to you. I had one that I got rid of a few years back like that, she was a lot of trouble to deal with, always complaining about the price. Only had to raise her price $5.00 per cut.

02-02-2001, 07:41 PM
Hello Everybody:

I agree with most of the others, just raise the price & hope they tell others that you are overpriced. Some times you actually convert them into the best customers.

Complaints are told on the average 17 times & good praises are only told on the average 3 times. At least I read that somewhere. LOL :-)

When word gets out that you are overpriced & you do good Professional work. Well others will hire you just for that.

When someone wants the best do they worry about Price? No, I do not think so! When potential customers hear that you charge high prices & do Professional work, Who they gonna Call?

Lots of folks will hire you because they heard from one of their friends that you way overcharged, butt you did good work! Then they hire you just to show their friends that they can afford you.

Hey It's easier to appologize for price now, than quality down the road!

02-03-2001, 01:13 AM

Atlantic Lawn
03-04-2001, 11:08 PM
Keep raisin the price till ya just can't wait to go there....

03-04-2001, 11:39 PM
Great idea raise there price $10.00 to $20.00 per cut,if they crab just say price of gas is up etc.must compensate for the increase......

03-04-2001, 11:40 PM
We will usually send out a letter to these folks telling them that we are signing everyone up for full service only this season.

Once they see that they will have to pay for an increase in Seasonal Clean-Ups, pay for both an Aeration and Dethatching, and then realize that their Fert prices have gone up $10 an application ... - if they stay, its worth the added services because now they are full service contracts.

Just my .02

Paradise Yard Service
03-05-2001, 12:02 AM
Just mail them your original contract stating that you do such-n-such for so much $$$$$. And then proceed to let them know that recent requests for additional work require you to REASSESS the contract! Then give them the new quote you want and don't back down. I've actually found that as time goes by on most of my accounts, the lawn/garden gets whipped into shape and it takes less time to finish. Sometimes this brings on the Oh say can you take out the ol chainsaw and remove such-n-such etc. Stick to your guns. Since you have enough work, these are expendable.

03-05-2001, 12:11 AM
I agree with everybody else, raise your price! But, for the ones that really tick you off, wait till the heaviest part of the growing season to drop them. That's when all of of your competitors will be too busy to even give'm an estimate let alone do the work for'em.

03-05-2001, 11:14 AM
I too ponder this question every other year or so. Be honest with yourself. If you really don't want to deal with a paticular customer/property at any price..than drop them. Send a nicely worded letter with all the thank you and gracious BS and include a list of other contractors for them to call if you can. Most will just go with whoever mows next door or recomendations from their friends. Or, jack the price up to compensate your troubles if you need the work. My experience says just drop them as you can. Other doors will open.