prodigal customers, pride or policy?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Currier, Apr 29, 2001.

  1. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    What do some of you do about customers that didn't renew and then decide they want to come back. We are already deep into cutting and trying to keep up so I am telling any prodigals that unfortunately our schedule has filled. I then refer them to a friend that is taking clients. I have to say it really feels good to be too busy to work for people that for one reason or another decided to hang us out to dry!

    I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to just consider it standard operating procedure to not give them the chance to "fool me twice" I suppose it will all depend upon circumstances and account desireability...
     
  2. KD'sLawns

    KD'sLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    If there are any of these accounts that you would want back, tell them that there is a $50.00 reinstatement fee. Since your schedule is already full. Tell them that the 50 bucks is to insure you that they are serious about you doing their maintenance, and you will put them back on the schedule. The other accounts that you do not want; just refer them as you have been doing. Sometimes good people cancel looking for the greener grass only to find out its brown. Or, you could raise the prices for the ones that you would like to retain. Tell them that you would need $10.00 more every cut as your schedule is already full. This way you would see how serious they are about keeping you.
     
  3. Michael Fronczak

    Michael Fronczak LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    Tell them your schdule is full, now priced at overtime rate, 1.5 times last years cutting charge. Thats what you have to pay employees.
     
  4. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    my responce to there request would be determined by the market and how busy i was.i recommend not burning bridges tho.luck to ya.
     
  5. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    good grief. if you want their business, just take them back. if you don't, just tell them so. why make a big deal out of it?

    GEO
     
  6. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Banned
    Posts: 181

    I've been dealing with the same question as I am at capacity and solo, but I've taken back houses if they are on a block I'm already on. Since I'm already there doing the neighbor's house it's easier money in a sense and neighbors talk and sometimes like to hire the same company, so if you drop one the others may also drop you now or in the future. If I don't want it I just say "I'm sorry, I'm full, I'm working alone, but I may hire people in a year or two and I will contact you if that happens in the future..." keep the possibilities open.
     
  7. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    "good grief. if you want their business, just take them back. if you don't, just tell them so. why make a big deal out of it?"

    What is that statement about? I was not asking for advice. I was merely stating that it feels good to be in control of your business and not at the mercy of wishy washy cutomers.
     
  8. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    sorry currier--seems to me you were asking for advice. read the first sentence of your post.

    my point is that you seem to be crowing and beating the tom-tom at the same time. your choice but pretty pointless to me.

    GEO
     
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i kinda had a similar situation. had 3 customers , all neighbors, they loved my work last year, one gave me a sizable tip at the end of the season. all asked me to "please return" next season. well, since i can only carry so many clients and keep them happy i turned down work cus my schedule was full. then, these 3 customers didnt renew with me cus one of their nephews was gonna do the work. this was not only a shock, but cost me money because i turned down work thinking i had them back. i have a feeling they will be calling me back because junior is doing a shitty job, and yes the price will go up and i will also request a signed contract.
     
  10. cst51

    cst51 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    My philosphy is that if the work is there take it. If you see you can't handle the load once the season gets started, then drop the undesirable ones. I won't turn much down early because of the fact you never know what will happen once things get started. Once they do, you will be able to tell who your good customers are and who will stay with you for the long haul of the season. Particularly the residentials.
    Cary
     

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