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Anyone think this might help get them back?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    This is still in the "idea" stages, but I was thinking of sending out an exit interview to all clients who cancel. It might help to get some feedback as to why clients are cancelling service, as well as show the clients that we care about their business. The cost would be minimal, just a pair of stamps and two envelopes.

    Anyone else have some thoughts as to what should or should not be addressed in the exit interview? Anyone think the exit interview is a good or bad idea?

    DFW Area Landscaper

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  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    An excellent idea if your turnover/attrition is high. You can't get better until you understand how well you are doing now. Giving people choices to choose from lets you know how to redirect and focus your efforts...good luck with it.
  3. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    I already know that 90%+ are cancelling service due to A & D. Not much I can do about A & D because if they get laid off from work or they sell the house, you are fired no matter how happy they were.

    Yesterday, I lost a client to a competitor who is going to trim the shrubs for free just to get the lawn mowing business. Because she had been with us 3 years, I asked her why she was cancelling. Normally, I don't ask because if they sense weakness, they will eat you alive. Plus I don't want them to feel like they will have pressure to stay with us if they ever return.

    If they are canceling because they are finding other companies to do the work at lower prices...that is what I really want to know the answer to.

    As for poor quality, I do expect a small percentage of cancellations over that. It's going to happen. You can't keep all the clients happy all the time. If I learn that half of them are cancelling due to poor quality, that would be eye opening. But I am certain our quality is good enough for the majority. I am not concerned about trying to please the chronic complainers.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  4. z_clark

    z_clark LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    We really don't worry about loosing our "mow and go's", because there are always more clients calling to sign up.

    More importantly, I have found that the ones that cancel for reasons other than cost, we really didn't want anyways. These were the people that were expecting more than just a mow and go. These were the ones that would call about pidily stuff like "you missed behind the air conditioner" or "the edging is not exactly how I want it".

    But you are right about not costing you much to send this out. Nothing ventured nothing gained! I know Just Mow It never asks why....they just give a friendly "let us know if we can help you in the future".
  5. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116


    What is your minimum charge for mow & go? Are you firm on $25?

    I am seeing some door hangers for $20 again this year. One guy is printing $16 and I got one at my house yesterday.

    I think the exit interview is good for two things: It shows the client that we care about their business and more importantly, it will tell us if we are too far above market rates.

    DFW Area Landscaper

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    It's a very good idea DFW...always good to know why people quit. If you can do it anonymously, you'll probably get more honest responses.

    I usually ask customers why, never hurts to ask.
  7. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    Its an excellent idea. A very wise man once said

    "Customers who complain are our best friends because they give us an opportunity to improve"

    Which is very true.
  8. Kohls Landscaping Co

    Kohls Landscaping Co LawnSite Member
    Messages: 188


    I think that it's an excellent idea. The worst thing that is going to happen is that they won't respond. Take their comments as constructive criticism.

    Another idea would be to send out maybe one survey during the middle of the season to let your customers voice their opinions about your services. This may save you losing a customer of two. I think it shows your customers that you care.

    Like z_clark said, maybe not so much the mow 'n go's, but maintenance contracts.

  9. Precision Lawns

    Precision Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    We've thought about doing this, but I wonder how many of them would actually return it to you? Of the customers we've had cancel, it's like they went into witness protection or something. They seriously drop off the face of the earth and will never again respond to a letter or phone call, even if they were easy enough to get a hold of before. Possibly having the ability to do it anonymously may get some people to complete an exit interview, but I'm not so sure. After the phone call or letter saying they're cancelling service, most of them close the book on us. I'd love it if the exit interview idea worked, since there's a couple of our ex-customers who we would LOVE to know why they cancelled, as they gave no indication that they were dissatisfied with anything, just up and cancelled and then dropped off the face of the earth.
  10. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    Excellent idea DFW.... I'm just not sure if people would be willing to take the time to fill 'em out.

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