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Former customer wants me back

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LawnGuy35, Mar 14, 2020.

  1. LawnGuy35

    LawnGuy35 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    A customer dropped me last season. He lives next door to another customer of mine. He's a nice guy, in his early 80's. Was a customer for 3 years. In 2018 I raised his per mow price by 3 percent, which I did for everyone. He wasn't too happy about that, but kept me. He also accused me of mowing when it didn't need mowed, which we agreed to disagree on. There was one time in July of that year where it was a toss up whether it needed mowed, and I chose to mow it. Otherwise he's the only customer in my 9 years of doing this that has accused me of it.

    Anyway, last year he went with someone else, and I continued mowing his neighbor's lawn. As the season went on I shook my head every time I showed up. The trimming and edging was crap compared to his neighbor's (subtle brag, ha!). Plus they left clippings all over. Always said to myself, "only a matter of time."

    Sure enough, this week I got an email from him asking if I'd consider mowing for him again this season ... that the guys who were doing it last year are no longer around. Shocking.

    How do you guys handle this? Take him back, no hard feelings? Take him back, but jack the price up even more? Tell him thanks but no thanks?

    Thinking I'll give him another try since it's right next door to another good paying customer, plus he was always a nice guy who paid on time. Just curious what you all would do.
     
  2. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,718

    A few years ago I had one of these and he was/is in his 80s as well. I took him back no prob at the same price. He was and still is my most particular customer (he's not a jerk)...but, honestly, I feel a respectful duty to older folks. He lost his gal last year and cried his eyes out while telling me about it - and shared w/ me that he didn't expect to be around this Spring. I looked him in the eye and said, "I know you & I'll see you next Spring." Crossed paths w/ him at the grocery store last week and he smiled and we greeted each other. Yep, felt good inside. Priceless.
     
  3. Mowing monkey.

    Mowing monkey. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,133

    He’s right next door to another customer, why wouldn’t you take him back?
     
  4. Mac-s Lawn & Snow

    Mac-s Lawn & Snow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 595

    if your going to give him another chance I would explain that its your call when to mow. With your other property there he needs to understand they have to stay on the same mowing schedule and you can not come back in 3 or 4 days to mow it when it is a little more ready.
     
  5. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,238

    O’Reilly has never refused my biz or jacked the price up if I used Auto Zone instead of them. Neither has WalMart, Aldi’s, Price Cutter, etc.

    If they are a decent customer and pay on time(sounds like this guy is/does) then why not take them back? Especially when it’s next to an existing customer.

    Now if the customer is a royal pita, then raise your price to make it worth while dealing with them or just pass and tell them your full.
     
  6. fatboynormmie

    fatboynormmie LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,498

    Me personally I would take him back . Just makes good business sense due to the fact that you’re right there cutting anyway. Some times they become your best customers as they now understand your value.
     
  7. Hawkshot99

    Hawkshot99 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,318

    I'd take him back. He's next door to your other customer.
     
  8. EricC

    EricC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 778

    Exactly, he knows what you’re about. You already have been thru the “ I decide when to mow” bit. He pays and you’re already there.

    He’s shown he wants to hire you, I see no need to make it any more difficult than it needs to be.
     
  9. mdghs

    mdghs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    I would take him back with your guidelines. If you don't he may find someone better than you and maybe cheeper and that company will have his lawn and may eventually get the lawn you still have.
     
  10. Guitargain

    Guitargain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    I agree with the others about taking him back. There are more than one reason to do so as mentioned by the others as well.
     

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