Dropped customer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by capetrees, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. capetrees

    capetrees LawnSite Member
    from ma
    Posts: 217

    Just got off the phone with one of my oldest customers and had to break the news that I was dropping them. I actually was involved in the installation of the lawn 12 years ago as well as all the other landscaping on the property. She has been a good payer and has tried to stray to find a better rate but always came back. We've had our issues, usually with her trying to get me to be there more often than needed or obsessing on an issue that she felt NEEDED to be done but it always worked out. The reason I dropped her is the time involved to get to her property in comparison to the income. She lives 15 minutes out of the way one way, 30 round trip, and the lawn only took 25 minutes to cut at $30 per week. Then there was mulching, and some tree work but always needed to commit the entire day to her if it was beyond the lawn. Finally, the cost of fuel was the breaker. In the same time I was involved with her property, I could be travelling less and making more locally. I did find a guy to take over, all at the same rates and she seemed ok with it but it just seems major for the moment. Anyone else been through this? I'm actually relieved but I think she's not ok with it even though she claims she is.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    uhm, I have...

    Years ago, not with a customer but nevertheless a business type of relationship I felt had to be broken off...
    And I felt bad for leaving because it was all just these little things that really were not that important...
    But it would burn inside of me real slow and nice like and it all added up and it was just a little too much, and sure enough even then the price of fuel was the clincher.

    Coincidence maybe but it was just a similar situation.

    It took a long time to get over it, so give it time.
    Also I would keep this person in mind, maybe one day you might reconsider some things (or maybe not, but I eventually did, just something to think about from time to time not saying you have to go back there but just keep this customer in your mind as a kind, gentle person for some time to come... I think that might help a little).

    Good luck
  3. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,157

    Yes, and i will probably drop 2-3 more this year in the next 2 weeks. Weve been trying to expend in another location but its just not working out. Ive alreadt told the folks we were trying this area and had been for the previous year. For some reason we just dont get the calls here :confused: Odd as it may seem ive signed 33 new clients this year right in our home area,couldnt be happier.:) Your old customer will get over it. With fuel soaring to new levels i dont blame you .
  4. Carolina Cuts

    Carolina Cuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,152

    this is what stood out for me... I would've raised her rate by $5.00 each and every time you took her @ss back.

    Sometimes, the grass isn't greener on the other side.
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I never dump clients I just raise my price to cover the expense, if they are not willing to pay they have to make the call to end the service. I had one lady pay 3 hrs travel time for us to service her home she was 30 min away and I had a 3 man crew. I had to get them there and back.
  6. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    That is what stuck out to me as well ... it doesn't seem like she has showed you any loyalty, therefore, don't give it a second thought !!
  7. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,157

    Not to mention the fact that she always complained about the littlest things and wanted him to stay forever ! Agreed raising the price for her shoppin around . She then became even more PITA !
  8. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,513

    I dropped two last month. Both were seasonal customers and I'm almost completely "year-round full-service" customers only now.

    One was $40/cut and an occasional fertilizer. The time it took to drive there, mow it, and drive to my next account took just too long. I hooked up a friend to take them over.

    The other was $160/cut. It took me 3-4 hours during the summer and then nothing from December to April. I'm just too darn busy to kill myself to try and keep them serviced during my busiest time.

    Dropping the two of them was one of my best decisions so far this season.:)
  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    always hurts to say good bye.......

    Does for me anyway.... HAd A GREAT paying Customer that went Crazy this year...

    We charge her 125.00 Per Visit about 20 to 25 minute job.... She keep wanting ME to come back to do things like Change light bulbe out door, Wash her car, clen the windows outside, Come to find out she was smitten with me....

    Didn't mind doing little things like this, It was the Phone calls that were Killing me...
    10 to 15 a week..... I started spending too much time on phone...

    Good Luck
  10. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    Really ?? That's the first I've heard of that type of situation ... but you can't let emotions cloud a business decision !!

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