Lawn customers not responding

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by LawnsRUsInc., Mar 9, 2003.

  1. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 916

    I was wondering if any of you other companies are having a hard time getting last years customers to send proposals back in? In fall 2002 I sent them out for this year contracts and i received only a few back. About three weeks ago i sent them out again, with only a couple back in. I have only received 1/3 back as of 3/8/03. Should i be worried or does it take them till spring to send them in? I didn't increase prices either.
    Please help me stop worrying.
    Jason

    (This is my first year with proposals/ contracts is this the probelm that scared them?)
     
  2. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    Quit worrying you baby!!!!!!!!

    I'm just kidding Jason. I wouldn't get too excited, especially with the recent snows we got this last week. I'm in the same boat. Some people are quick to respond, but most take a few weeks. I personally wish they would send the stuff back also instead of waiting until the last minute, but that's how people are.

    Been relatively busy this week with plowing so it's not on my mind as much right now, although spring will be here shortly. :)
     
  3. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    If you do automatic renewals it will make your life much easier. Send them a letter stating that they will be automatically renewed unless they call and cancel. The ones who want to cancel will do so in a short amount of time. The rest do not have to worry about anything and neither do you.
    This is the way we do it now and it works great. We used to do it your way and the worring got to be to much. If it is something the customer has to do they will put it off until the grass gets knee high and then call to renew and want you out yesterday.
    Try it and I think it will make your life a little easier.
     
  4. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,325

    I agree with "kickin" this is the way that we do it too - it takes a lot of the hassle and stress out of it. Although you do have to watch out for the occaisonal customer that has moved and not told you. More than a few times we've provided free lawn service for a week or two to a new home owner - not knowing that our old customer had moved. We've also picked up a few new customers too that way.
     
  5. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    kickin sum grass kicked it right in the @ss!! I have learned over the years of waiting and waiting for people, to just put an automatic renewal in my contracts. Makes life a whole lot easier. You'll be surprised how fast someone will call if they no longer want to pay for something. Saves alot of phone calls, and most of all... your time! :cool:
     
  6. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    I've always worried this would happen, so in the past I made them call me to confirm before I started up again. This year was my first doing the opposite, they have to call to cancel. Kinda leaves me uneasy, thinking they'll run out to stop me from mowing!

    Your above example is sadly typical of so many people these days. No consideration at all. They just move and leave you to find another customer at the last moment. One guy this winter retired and decided to mow his own lawn didn't bother to tell me till I sent him a note with this year's plan and prices. While there are still exceptions, thankfully, with each passing year I have less respect for the "average" American. Our society is getting more and more isolated and dysfunctional.
     
  7. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 541

    I don't use contracts. They expect to receive a confirmation letter from me soon. The letter details the price increase, if any. And I tell them the service will automatically continue unless they tell me otherwise. It works fine for me. Oh, I also detail things about new equipment, what I did for the winter, I plug my other business and stuff like that. This way they get entertained by knowing a little about me. I give them updates on things with every invoice too.:p
     
  8. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    I only use contracts for annual customers when I start servicing them or when there is a change in the services. I visit my seasonal customers and ask them if they would like me to continue like last year.
    Many folks don't think about contacting you until the grass grows and it needs cutting.. Kind of why April and May are the busiest months of the year.
     
  9. philk17088

    philk17088 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,386

    Did any of you using auto-renew have any problems with customers not understanding this and not liking the assumption? I used to work for a company and when they switched to auto renewal, the techs and customer sales reps got an earful. I would really like to do this but am alittle afraid of p-off customers. I did give them an option on the last service of 02 to renew for 03, about 65% said yes but the others are waiting until now to renew.
     
  10. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    the gas company, electric company, the phone company, cable tv, homeowners insurance, the oil supplier etc. They just keep billing and or sending revised info till you tell them you got someone else.
     

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