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How to keep customers from cancelling?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by nobagger, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    I had a few nice sized leaf removal jobs scheduled for this week and next weekend. Both have canceled, The cancellation I got yesterday was from a single lady who has no time to do it herself and she is a millionaire, Iv'e know this lady for 20 years. She called yesterday and told me that 2 kids from the neighborhood were doing 3 houses in a row and she will keep my card for future reference.WTF! I loose a major clean up to a couple of little Johnny's? The other guy I knew was going to be a waste of time. I had a feeling he would cancel, he ok'd us to mow this year but at the last minute he canceled that. But we were to do a quick mow and bag the leaves (there weren't that many) and blow out 2 small flower beds. He signed a contract for a whole amount of no more than $75.00 he called and said the wind blew all the leaves away, I drove by and there were just as many if not more leaves yesterday. I can't believe how little people are willing to pay anymore for tough manual labor. I started pre qualifying cutomers on the phone, when they call I state that we are strictly by the hour when it comes to leaves but I can come out for a rough etimate. I then ask if they are willing to spend 300-400 dollars if it gets to be that high and they all about have a heart attack on the phone. I don't get it what am I doing wrong? I see other companies loaded full of leaves in thier leaf trucks and mine stays empty. Any thoughts?

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 834

    I think that people do get shocked by the cost of fall clean ups. I have a very low return rate on new quotes for fcu's. I also charge per hr. I think I've lost a couple to low bidders that will take away the leaves and not charge for it by dumping on their own property.
  3. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    Yea I dump them on my own property, that keeps that extra 50 in my pocket.
    To be honest I hate leaves, and only do them for my few full service clients .

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 834

    I dump on my property too. But, I CHARGE for it.payup
  5. Tyner Lawn Service

    Tyner Lawn Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 328

    Pulled up to an account yesterday and it was all cleaned up. This was a 5 yr old mowing account that I never had problems with. They had some kid do it even though they knew I would be there. It wasn't the money their just kinda goofy about things. Kiss off $150 for 2 hrs work. Have had a couple of friends tell me they had cancels for no reason.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I have this one lady that has the annoying habit of doing some of the work herself "because it was a nice day" I clean her place weekly, it gets real bad. Learned to show up on Thur/Fri, that way if its a "nice day" over the weekend, there isn't a whole lot for her to do yet :D
  7. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    I only do leaf cleanups for those with a service agreement.They're charged throughout the year,added to their weekly mowing price.It didn't take long to realize that no one was willing to pay a fair price for cleanups alone,in my area.Shrub trimming however, brings in more dollars per amount of work and is asked for more often than cleanups.
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    I don't have this problem but if it became a problem I think I'd simply institute a non-refundable deposit policy.

    "Ok, Mrs. Smith. The quote for the entire leaf clean-up is $550.00. If you want to get started, we just need a $100 deposit to reserve a date on our schedule."

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    I used to lose a cleanup to the kid down the block now and then
    i solved that real quick
    i would call the customer and ask what happend and they would tell me kid did it i said thats great get the kid to plow your snow and mow your grass next year and oh yeah that fire wood u wanted i dont think ill have time to bring that out either
    that way they got the hint i did it all or nothing and if i lost them i didnt care i found someone else to take there place that wanted my service
  10. beautifullawns

    beautifullawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 313

    I only do fall cleanups that get the year round package and that cost is figured in. Everyone else thinks it is too much money or something. I just started this year taking piles away for $75 a truck load. This works out pretty good. They get them to the curb then i come and pick them up.

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