How To Deal With Losing Clients

OakNut

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Pittsburgh PA
I've only lost the ones who moved, died, or had kids old enough to start earning their allowance.

The only one I can think of that fired me was the wife of a guy who hired me without discussing it with her. She said my price was too high and wouldn't even stay on the phone to discuss it further.
I only miss that one 'cuz she would come out to pay wearing a bikini top and pull the money out of her left :eek: :eek:
 

PLW

LawnSite Senior Member
I know that losing customers can really bring a person down. Just keep your head held high and market, market, market, and you will get those 7 clients back plus some.
 

dKoester

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Chesapeake VA
Cedar if all your lawns look like yours in the picture you shouldn't worry about these drop offs. From here out let people know you are a full service lawn and landscape maintenance company. Do your best work and put all the terms and conditions upfront to let future clients know what to expect and then execute it flawlessly. So you experienced a bump in the road, go advertise, get some more accounts and limit your churn.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
I've only lost the ones who moved, died, or had kids old enough to start earning their allowance.

The only one I can think of that fired me was the wife of a guy who hired me without discussing it with her. She said my price was too high and wouldn't even stay on the phone to discuss it further.
I only miss that one 'cuz she would come out to pay wearing a bikini top and pull the money out of her left :eek: :eek:

He didn't necessarily "get fired" by any of them.

Just because you are doing someones lawn doesn't mean you will ALWAYS be doing it.

People have a multitude of reasons for hiring someone.
Especially when you are small and just starting out you will pick up everyone else's drop outs and drifters.

Think of it like the plumber, does he get pissed because that guy who called hint o fix his toilet called someone else to unclog the sink?

the nature of mowing is to TRY and get weekly mowing, but this isn't a goal of all customers.
The RIGHT customers have that goal because they just don't want to consistently bother trying to find someone and set them up.
But what does the right customer look like? Smell Like? sound like?
You can't know that most of the time, and certainly not when you are first starting with your initial 40 customers.

it simply boils down to the majority of these 7 customers are inconsistent customers, they will always be for whom ever they contract with, it's the nature of the person, has nothing to do with who is servicing them.

It's bad luck to find that many all in what bunch, but like I said it's much more likely at his size and stage of the game… he's picking up people other's have dodged…. just growing pains is all.
 

Tn Turf

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Spring Hill, TN
Sounds like some of them are getting the spring fever and are looking forward to being outdoors, saving money while soaking up some sun and exercising. And the grandmother wants to teach her grandson some responsibility and worth ethics (nothing wrong with that). Just keep the door open if the boy peters out and loses interest... you'll be the first person she'll call when she needs someone to come mow it.

You should probably keep in touch with them. I suspect when the weather gets hot and they lose interest in being outdoors working/sweating, they'll be calling around looking for a lawn service. Maybe send them out a postcard a few weeks after mowing season begins to offer them a free/discount mow if they take you back and prepay in advance. Or offer an additional service like trimming a few hedges for free. Just something to sweeten the deal.

My guess is you'll replace these accounts effortlessly and you'll forget about them in the next month or so. I'm willing to bet a few will call you back after they lose interest in mowing it themselves.
 

Woody82986

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
DFW, TX
When I started out, losing a client bothered me a little. Now it's purely a business thing. I don't get emotionally attached to any of my clients. Yeah, I'm friendly, and I know enough about their lives to be able to make a conversation some times, but I don't let any part of it affect me personally any more. Just double down on the word of mouth and other advertising you are doing and get them replaced. In the interim, pump your current clients for some extra work to get some of that lost income replaced in the short term. That's something you should be doing anyway this time of year. Keep up your good work and you will be fine, I'm sure. Also, as your business matures, you will find that you create better, longer lasting business relationships with your clients. You might not even notice that you have become more discerning with client acquisitions.
 

MarkintheGarden

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
St. Louis, MO
I made no changes. One lady said her grandson was going to do it. One guy said he got his mower fixed so he would do his own. One guy told me he hired a more full service oriented company without asking me if I offered more than mowing. I realize that's my fault for not making him aware. Another guy who I do 2 properties for said he didn't need my services anymore.

Most have good legit reasons, I find it hard to cope with this business consuming my thoughts pretty much all day all year then to see 7 customers go POOF and disappear in a matter of a couple weeks. I am competitive and I am always the first person to hate on myself in sports, or whatever I am competing in. I will suck it up and move on. I should ask people why they cancelled that don't specifically tell me but I don't want to come across as the kid that's cut from the team and demands an explanation why when the coach just wants you to get lost.

This will be the start of my third year in business. I am in a town of 30,000 so my business can only grow so big. My company isn't old enough to have a large base of loyal customers. I imagine I will add a few loyal customers every year and others will come and go.

I appreciate your input, as well as others.
Like everyone else said, do not take it personally.
Yes, do always ask if there is a reason for the change.

This time of year, clients are easy come, easy go.
Just put out lots of flyers and keep on keeping on.
 
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