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Losing customers?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lowcountry Lawn Care, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. I have a question for you guys that have been in this business for a while. I lost another customer today which makes number 3 in the last month. All of these cancellations were short notice and none of them had any complaints about my service. Today the lady that cancelled just told me that her husband is done with most of his traveling for the year and he can take care of the lawn from now on. Now to my question. How do you approach getting the customer to sign a contract? This seems like what i am going to have to do from now on. Do you guys agree with contracts and should they be 6 or 12 months? Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks as always guys.
  2. i_plant_art

    i_plant_art LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 558

    i do all of my mowing on contract no matter what... no exceptions the market here is so competitive people will under cut you by $2.00 just to get the job and the customer will cancel on us... grantite they suffer from lack of quality... i do all of mine at the begining of the year unless of course it middle of the season... most times its just something simple like X cuts per month for $X.XX billed at the first of the month and due by the 20th of the month during the growing season........it works for me just go and talk to a lawyer and have them draw u up a simple comtract for it....... itll cost a lil dough maybe ($200-$300)but its worth it.... it allows u the relief of knowing ur bills will be paid and ur family is fed during the month ya know......
  3. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    It's all part of the business. I have people cancel every year at different times, but luckly I have enough people also calling that I can take on new customers pretty easy. I don't use contracts on residentials. It would scare me away if I were a customer having to sign a contract for someone to cut my grass!
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,192

    Only old people get afraid of contract...young people understand and that is the way to go....we ran15 years without contract but when we went full time I had to know what my load was going to be so I could hire people. Young people like a small amount per month and they want to do direct transfer of money.
  5. 25nbl

    25nbl LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    Contracts are nothing but a piece of paper, they are worthless!! Sure, you may be able to get some money out of an average customer, but for the most part, if they want out of it, they can get out of it pretty easily. And as far as commercial accounts, forget it...
  6. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,351

    On lawns we use contracts just so we know to whom and where to send the bill to and its nice to get the name spelled correctly although even printed you some times can't read them. I was informed today I lost an account on my other crews rout and the reason was he claimed we had a secret agreement to only cut him on Fridays LOL. Well last year my list was smaller so he ended up that way not this year. And I will drop any jackazz that thinks he’s going to tell me what days I can and can't work for him on.
  7. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    I think that contracts are very good for business. There are soooo many problems that can arise if you don't have them, such as agreed upon price, starting and ending dates, services rendered, and so forth. People aren't always on the same wavelength as you are, if you know what I mean.

    My grounds maintenance contracts, which are mailed out before the season starts, are designed not to scare people away, but rather to inform them of my services, and to exchange important information. I know that some guys might approach their clients who cancelled and say, "you signed a six month contract and I'm going to hold you to it!" but I wouldn't. I'm not that type, are you?

    You know, Lowcountry, it's probably just a coincidence that you've had a few cancel out on you. Just make sure you look professional, do a professional job, and carry a smile. Oh... wearing deoderant helps too.
  8. elliottsland

    elliottsland LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Hey Lowcountry! Dont let that bother you! In this business customers sometimes have the attitude that landscapers are not professionals and we can cut yards whenever they want it w/o contracts. I say always use a contract. Our business is well worth it! Be professional!
  9. nriddle77

    nriddle77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    Try not to take it personally. If you did good work at a reasonable price it's probably not your fault. People quit on us for all kinds of reasons, some real, some made-up. Don't stress about it. :cool:
  10. KINGjosh

    KINGjosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

    hey man dont worry about a couple of accounts! stay focussed and keep givin it 100% steady advertisement will balance it out! I just dropped all my dog **** accounts last week! 6 in total. i still got some shot yards but those were full of it. I was eating it with the wipper :D

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