Customers who ditch you

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by ExmarkBoy, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. ExmarkBoy

    ExmarkBoy LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 154

    I got a text yesterday saying that one of my customers had found a different lawn service for their needs. This was only the second customer I have ever lost in 3 years of business. I had called the guy and asked him if I could let his grass go some extra days so that it wouldn't get as much summer burnout. He said that would be fine. He called and asked if I could come and mow, I said I could in a 3 days (yesterday). He said that would be great if I could mow on monday. I got there and his lawn was mowed. I figured he had time and just decided to do it himself (he likes to, but doesn't have the time). Then that afternoon he texts me and says that they switched lawn services and thanks for what I had done for him this far. Please share your thoughts and your own stories of times when your customers cancelled without any sort of warning signs. I look forward to what everyone will post. This might end up with some funny stories...
     
  2. Jaybrown

    Jaybrown LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,160

    One lady said the lawn looked good for 2-3 days after I cut it but then she said it would grow in all uneven. Here it's been the 6th rainiest June ever and the have many dips and low areas where
    water would sit. You don't need these people. They end up being a pain.
     
  3. Jaybrown

    Jaybrown LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,160

    You don't want someone that isn't willing to comunicate or understand within reason
     
  4. ExmarkBoy

    ExmarkBoy LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 154

    Very true, they become a real pita. However, I will say that he said frequent communication is very important to him, and I will admit I wasn't quite a good as that these last couple of weeks. But I also was giving to some of my new customers as thank you's a book of 6 mikes express car washes, and not a full week after I gave the guy his (which he wasn't even really expecting to get) he discontinues service. Maybe I'm just ranting a little bit and blowing off some steam, but I think he could have given me some notice and said he wasn't happy or something. But really, with my marketing, picking up another customer shouldn't be too hard (even in july).
     
  5. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    I did a clean-up for a couple and they were ecstatic. It was a crappy lawn and they asked me what I'd charge, they agreed and I signed them up for a season contract. The lawn was tiny and had a huge maple in the front, and it was pitted all over. I cut once, they were happy. Cut the second time, and continued on. I got to one of my commercials and received an email stating they wanted to discontinue my service, I did an awful job, the lawn was uneven, they didn't understand why their shanty didn't look like the Taj Mahal and when I was done. Didn't ask me to fix anything. Didn't ask if I could come back to show me what was wrong. They canceled and I sent the invoice. They are now 60 days late. I emailed and she said that if I had done a halfway decent job maybe I would be a priority, blah blah blah. I don't think I'll ever get my $60.00. After she put down my entire work ethic I asked her why a person would not ask a contractor to fix what was wrong when they knew it wouldn't cost anything, etc. And no reply. Overall I'm glad I do not have it as a house to deal with, and I figure it was a cop out to the answer that they simply couldn't afford it!
     
  6. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 981

    People are not loyal to their lawn guy anymore. Soon as some ahole on a mower comes by and says I'll do it for half what your guy does, their gone. Since anybody who can afford and operate a mower can get in this business, this industry has been harder than ever to make it in.
     
  7. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Send him a bill for 50% charging him for the drive time for failing to notify you in a timely manner.
     
  8. clydebusa

    clydebusa LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,660

    Been mowing since 1982 and all the above has happened to me. So I have learned a few things. 1. pictures before and after. 2. Signed contracts or at least a email or text stating they want the job done.
     
  9. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MD/NC
    Posts: 2,167

    I had a customer who lived in a townhouse. She was young, in her 20's, seemed like she was doing well for herself. She contacted me to cut for her, and weed her gardens as needed. No problem at all....I gave her my price and she was fine with it.

    I cut for a few months and did the weeding, then got an email out of the blue. She was canceling the service because I didn't come over after a hurricane to pick up the 50 leaves in her yard from the 1 tree that she had.
     
  10. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MD/NC
    Posts: 2,167

    I know this thread is more about stories than advice, but I agree. I won't take a job without an email explaining what they want.
     

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