having customers quit service during cold weather

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kturf, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. kturf

    kturf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    Every had customer quit using your service when the weather gets cold wanting too cancel contracts < thinking they can get a new or better deal in the spring of the year . but claim they loved the service you gave them
     
  2. launboy

    launboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 273

    Well if they "love your service" why they leaving???

    On the other hand let them go they will get a cheaper service, and either a few months into the season or the next year they will be calling you and saying "oh so & so please cut my grass this year the guy we fired you for did a sh!t job no way near your quality service, please". Then you laugh (to yourself) and say sure no problem it will be 5 more dollars than what i used to charge.
    ok it doesn't have to be $5 but it should be something for the trouble.
     
  3. kturf

    kturf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    Hello I agree i had one customer in a 500,000 house said he could get a spanish person to do it a lot cheaper next year I thought to myself when you need seed fert or areation its going to cost you out the a------
     
  4. launboy

    launboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 273

    ya man you got customers who have mow, bush trim, fert/aerate etc., people who get the works, give them deals. But ol' boy who has his grass cut by this guy and fert by this other guy then little billy down the street does his bushes and the neighbor does his snow. You know this guy every lco knows this guy, the one in search of the eternal low cost deal. This guy doesn't get any deals.
     
  5. kturf

    kturf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    I guess i have a hang up with losing any customer i want them all but no the cheap a--- they think that our work is cheap labor but they will spend 150.00 for dinner and sh--- it out two days later and not even get to look at something thats beautiful to look at
     
  6. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    quitting the contract creates an immediate COLA increase when they want to restart.

    I gave you a price based on 12 months of payments and you scrimpled out on 2 of them. So net to me I broke my back in peak season and you cut me off in slow season. Price just went up.

    I just wish we could leave them stranded for 2 months in peak season. wouldn't that be great.

    "Yes Mr. Jones. I know the grass is getting really high, but you know it is just too difficult to mow it this time of year."

    The reverse of
    "well it really isn't growing so you don't need to cut it but once a month, so I want a discount"
     
  7. kturf

    kturf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    thats a fact they want you when its high and when the season slows down its good bye i will try and get the kid down the street for 5.00 and then they call and say you seeded my lawn last season and now its dying because the kid cut the lawn with a mower on its lowest setting and the dead grass is your fault
     
  8. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,261

    Pardon me, I am from a non contract area. But isn't the whole idea of a 12 month contract 12 payments. If you have a contract they owe you 12 payments. Sounds like court time to me!
     
  9. grassworks

    grassworks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    thats what I was thinking.... You had a contract to cover you through the slow months(prorated ,right) and now they want to cancel since the lawn is not growing ? You need some sort of clause for cancellation during off season months.
     
  10. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    I think there is a reality check needed by some guys in the business. If you live where there is genuine legitimate work to be done in the winter, do it and charge for it. But if you live where there is zero happening on a customer's lawn, asking him to pay you for visits he doesn't need is going to result in some cases like this where they cancel.

    Instead, show the customer how paying a little more for ACTUAL WORK that needs doing Spring/Fall while skipping service in the winter if it really doesn't need anything can work out well for both parties. Budget well and you can still pay your staff. Diversify into things that are winter based.

    I found that I stayed plenty busy March-Dec and could fill about half the winter weeks (all I wanted to) doing mulching, shrubs, cleanups, etc. I just charged as I went and had zero complaints and excellent renewals.

    The PERCEPTION in markets where grass doesn't grow for 4 months is that you're too expensive if they're making payments all winter and wondering why, especially if their budgets need trimming.
     

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