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Lost long time customer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pseudosun, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MD/NC
    Posts: 2,290

    I think you had every right to drop her. In fact, you should have stayed firm the first time.

    Problem customers are always going to be a problem. They have their reasons for doing what they do, no need to think "now why did she do it herself???" With the amount of time she "saved" you, you could have scheduled another job or 2. She cost you more than $50. She also broke her agreement with you. What would happen if you broke your agreement with her? I bet she'd be fired up and drop you!

    Your business is exactly that: YOUR business. I think you did the right thing though.

    The only thing I think you could work on (myself included :waving:) is when another situation like this comes up, relax, think it over, THEN make your final call. Jumping too fast sometimes could cost you a lot more.
  2. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,896

    OP you did the right thing dropping her.
  3. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    grassmonkey, i've been thinking it over for 5 years:laugh: I think it may have been a case of me being a mr. nice guy/yes man in the beginning that caused me to go back, but then she started up again after i agreed to go back "well, it's really not that bad, etc." The whole point of regular service is to never have your account looking bad. I actually feel sorry for her, because i've been around long enough to know what she's in for. She's been spoiled by me for 15+ years, and thinks she can take over. That's the frustrating part.

    THORNTON SERVICES LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 405

    This is always a struggle for everyone , we tend to take things personally , just look back at when you haggled someone down on a price or cancelled a service cause you did not need it. The more you deal with this stuff the more you get use to it, what helped me get over the hump was completely separating PERSONAL / BUSINESS when you first start out you tend to work for people you know etc etc , as your business grows these first clients that are high maintenance and low profit begin to stand out , best thing is to always look at this from a business stand point , create a business model / plan to maximize your profits and slowly build to that by weeding out the people that do not fit that model , they will be a good customer for the new guy starting up , If you need the extra work to fill the schedule then keep the client , if you do not then get rid of them and when you have the ability to replace them go ahead , this way you are doing whats best for your business not what the client wants , this will make you feel better as well , years of lawn care will make you cold or stress you to death , I would go the cold route , its business the less personal you get with clients the less they will squeeze you for those freebies and stuff. That does not mean you do not be polite and professional though. Just my opinion , don't lose sleep over it your customer is not its just business , next spring offer her a contract with everthing laid out for her if she does not follow through on agreement then do not resign account. What I would do.
  5. echo

    echo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,686

    If the customer cared they wouldn't have done the work themselves. Sounds like they're both better off.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,993

    Bottom line is things change, our business needs change and customers needs change. Its somewhere in the middle that the money changes hands.
  7. Geronimo

    Geronimo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    Bottom line is she is the one who is paying you, obviously you couldn't stand for her raking her own yard so you cut her loose. No big deal and certainly no reason to get upset. It is a business, customers come and customers go. Leave your emotions at home and take care business.
  8. Tom-N-Texas

    Tom-N-Texas LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370

    well it is her yard and her money, so you have to keep that in mind. Also it's always good to keep the big picture in mind before you drop someone: do they pay their bill on time? Do they complain much? Are they friendly? Is their lawn profitable? Is it in a good location? etc etc......

    I'll be dropping several accounts this next spring but this is only after careful consideration; it's never a good idea to drop someone in the heat of the moment because you might very well have a change of heart after you calm down and think about the consequences.
  9. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,855

    If she's hogging a time slot you know you can fill, then you're better off without her. But you shouldn't get pissed when someone wants to do their own fall clean up. Some of my largest, most expensive lawns have owners that do the clean up, or do some of it. One guy does it cuz he likes the exercise of working outside all day, one guy has a really nice john deere tractor that he likes to suck up leaves with, but still has me do a final clean up anyway, some just don't have enough trees to warrant the service, and would rather just rake it themselves. It is what it is. You want a clean up? Great, here's the price. You don't? Great, see you in the spring, have a nice Christmas.
  10. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    We were established for 15 years. Too much for her to handle. A couple of times, she let it stack up, and didn't want to pay the extra amount i quoted her. She also cancelled the night before this time. I could go on, but i just couldn't take it anymore. I see where you're coming from though. I have some accounts that i don't do for 5 months.

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