how many customers do you lose per year?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by privatelawn, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. privatelawn

    privatelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    Ive lost about 20 since I started mowing 1 year ago, started business in august 16th last year with 0 customers and no experience mowing... learning how to drive the z was the hardest especially it being a 52" and most my properties being about 5000 sq feet, at the moment im almost at my goal of 100 customers for the first year. Im sure with alot more advertising id triple that.

    As for the lost customers, well its my first year and ive made mistakes which is where I lose customers. simple things like skipping the lawn because in 1 week it grew just half inch and they wanted it cut regardless. The biggest reason people have quit on me is for skipping a week when I thought it didnt need cut, I think I will just need to cut it regardless.
     
  2. aracad

    aracad LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    Hey I am a rookie, just started a few weeks ago. I have in my contract that the customer must notify me 48 hrs in advance of thier scheduled service day in order to skip a service visit. So far no problems. If they don't call to skip then it gets cut. I make sure we cover that very well before they sign.

    Also I do not give money back for skipped visits. Skipped visits will be credited towards next years service contract. I bill for 28 weeks so if they skip 2 (service visits) this year they get billed for 26 next year, but recieve 28 visits.

    What are your thoughts?

    How did you land so many accounts so fast. I could use help getting calls!
     
  3. MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,566

    HMM,100 customers in your first year,i'm all ears tell us how.
     
  4. privatelawn

    privatelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    I bill monthly, same price for all 12 months, when I skip its because it just doesnt need cutting but they still get billed the same amount. I have no contracts and nobody ever calls asking to skip them as it doesnt save them any money.
     
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    You are going to lose some % each year due to no fault of your own, ie., people move away, die, figure they will mow themself, someone comes and underbids you, and others. I usually put in my Business Plan 12 to 15% loss of business due to attrition and then go from there.
     
  6. privatelawn

    privatelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    Id say its because of being in the right location, I also think my direct mailers are just better then everyone elses I have seen.

     
  7. coonman

    coonman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    Your skipping the best part of the year to be mowing. Its payback for all those tough lawns in the wet spring that had to be double cut. I lose very few, usually to death or moving. Once you get a residential and you treat them good, they will usually stay with you.
     
  8. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    The more customers you have, the more chance you will have to lose them.
    We lost 2 good ones this year that were monthly accounts at $300, and both wrote letters saying they were going to try to do it themselves or with the help of a relative. These were customers who we had for years, but they said their financial situation changed. That's in addition to a couple that died, and a few that moved.
    We have close to 100 acounts, we lose probably 10%.
    The only time I can ever remember losing a customers due to "our fault", is when we won't tolerate skipping during active growing season and insist on a weekly cut. Some customers just aint down with that.
    There's also pita customers that sometimes just needed to be gotten rid of, so it will fluctuate.
     
  9. privatelawn

    privatelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    Ok so me losing 20% doesnt sound so bad anymore, im sure its on the high side but I think from now on I should stay at around 10% as I think I shouldent have many more quitters because of my fault.
     
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    The total number of accounts you lose really is arbitrary...it's the % of your total business (of what you lose) is what you need to look at year after year.
     

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