Getting customers back after winter, part 2

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by flam41, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. flam41

    flam41 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 125

    I didnot want to add to the other mostly pointless pissing contest started earlier.
    The past 4 seasons I send a gift certificate = to one mow, trim, edge, & blow to all I want to keep in a Christmas card. Since I bill at the end of the month by the time they get the bill I am already on the 2nd month of the season. next thing you know as busy as most folks are its Christmas time again. It is giving them not only a think you, & if people have something of valu in therir hands they will most likely use it. I believe we can all let go of one mow to generate a seasons income.
     
  2. Need a Little Trim

    Need a Little Trim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    I agree with that being a great Idea I do something similar where if I get 3 signed referals (contracted) you get one cut at 50% off. However, that is a great idea to do for the winter.
     
  3. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Posts: 867

    While I appreciate the meaningfulness your gesture, I do not feel we should have to bribe our customers into staying on. Most will stay, maybe a few will leave, more will come to replace them and then some. I think a simple "happy holidays" card or something like that is sufficient, to let them know you are thinking of them in the off season. Little things like that mean alot in the service industry. I am still small time, and I just can't imagine working a week for free if I don't have to, it would be a big hit in the wallet for me. A big company I think would never offer that much free service, unless it was a write off, which I do not think it is. However, something like a retail gift certificate would be a write off, and therefore of value to you as well.(someone correct me if I am wrong) If you really want to give them something for free, how about a small discount? 10 or 20% at the most? No offense intended, but giving away free cuts to everyone just sounds costly and unneccessary. This might be a useful strategy for gaining new customers, ( i.e. a free cut with a signed contract) I think it is important to be focused on growing your business rather than trying to keep the business you have, which, if you maintain a service mentality, and under-promise and over-deliver, you should not have to worry about keeping. JMO:)
     
  4. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I really don't lose many over the winter, except for those who move away. So just my 2 cents, but giving a free cut away is probably not necessary. I'd be giving away over $2,000 worth of cuts every year if I did that.

    I do offer a free cut for referrals, but that's a little different scenario.
     
  5. Need a Little Trim

    Need a Little Trim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    Well, I know here it isn't necessary because we are cutting nearly year round. The winter is so mild that you will still be able to cut all customers at least 1 time a month if not 2.
    If the guys that get the God awful amounts of snow are losing customers come spring due to the out of sight out of mind mentality then some mesures should be made. It seems that too many LCO's are concerned with the bottom dollar when it comes to existing clients and only worry about creating more and more business.
    You need to show your current customers that you appreciate them getting you where you are. There are very few ways to set yourself apart from the guy down the street and offering these types of marketing ideas are things that should be explored and possibly implemented. However, each business tailors these things to themselves. He offers free cut gift certificates, I offer 3 signed referrals and 50% off one cut, you may decide to only give 20% off across the board for the spring kick off. It is all the same just different variations of what works for them.
     
  6. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Another way to look at this is, assuming you're going to get the vast majority of your mowing customers back, why give them a credit for something they are going to buy anyway? Give them a coupon for a service they haven't had done before, such as shrub trimming, mulch, etc. Use the opportunity to upsell.
     
  7. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587


    i dont have hundreds of customes so its easy for me, but i go through my customer list, find somthing they have not had done this year, and include a couplon in the holiday card for that unused service, be it on a spring cleanup, or schrub trimming or what ever.....
     
  8. Ol'time Lawncare

    Ol'time Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 497

    I'm lost with these threads, what i mean is i don't understand the concept on giving free stuff to the customer. isn't the customer suppose to give something to the lawn guy,mailman,UPS Man. We are the ones who work in the elements!!! You want to know how to keep that customer... provide a good service and they will call you every year or even tell you to call the at the 1st of the next grass cutting season!
     
  9. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    15% off a service they have not used before, ... and not to keep a customer, but for the opertunity to upsell a service, they are going to stay with me or they are not, weither i give them something or not.....

    im talking about selling services...i aint giving free cuts...... or free anything for that matter....
     
  10. sicnj

    sicnj LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 258

    10% off Spring Cleaning sounds like the best way to do it for me.
     

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