How To Deal With Losing Clients


LawnSite Member
I have been in business for 24 years and I have learned as many have mentioned above that it is very important to understand why a customer cancelled. In addition, it is just as important if not more to keep track of how you acquired the customer in the first place. Let me explain, I as most everyone else have a limited budget for marketing and therefore you want to spend your marketing dollars on campaigns that result with the highest customer retention. A few years ago I ran three separate marketing campaigns that did boost my overall customer base. A year later I analyzed the retention of those gained customers and 2 of the 3 campaigns had approximately 90% retention and the 3rd campaign only had 40% retention. My service levels were the same for all customers so needless to say I didn't spend anymore wasted dollars on a campaign that only had 40% retention and I learned that sometimes the way you acquire a customer, regardless of service levels doesn't mean they are going to stick around for years to come. Some customers will always be in a shopping mode. New customers that were referred by another customer have always been the highest in retention. So instead of giving something away, like 50% off a service to a new customer that will only be in a shopping mode once again you may want to reward that existing customer for making a referral. Best of luck to you in the growth of your company.
Great comments.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Snowy MN
Not sure how to mowing industry is are other places (specifically lawn maintenance, not applications or anything else) but here we have one company in our city of 80k that does work on the lower end of the pricing range (we are CONSTANTLY ~$300 more per season mowing + cleanups).They are huge into mowing (by my standards, I think 4-5 crews daily) they do OK work but we constantly get calls from their customers wanting prices because they arent happy. About 90% of them stick with the other company, not even a new one because most reputable are more $$.

Point being, mowing customers are can be great customers but MANY of them are looking at price and only price. Just picked up a full everything customer, guy before was charging $33/mow but he "retired'. He did amazing work. She was with him for 10+years. We're charging her $41/mow and she didn't bat an eye. Her neighbor (our customer) referred her to us. It really matters HOW you get the customer, not just getting them. Referrals almost always will be good customers and extremely easy to sell.

Rant over. Going back to losing 7/40 customers. It happens. Assuming your work is atleast decent, I wouldnt worry. I keep track of the mowing customers we have. (Very small part of our business). Last year we lost about 10 of our 55. We also gained 16. Lost ones were mainly moving or deceased. I don't think any of them were because of the actual service. It happens, some years worst than others. Make sure you get a reason why they cancel.


LawnSite Member
Jupiter, FL
How do you deal with losing clients? Does it hurt? Do you feel depressed or sad? Sometimes they have a completely valid reason that they state. Other times they send an e-mail telling you they won't be needing your services anymore.

A couple weeks ago I sent a letter or e-mail to my clients. I was just keeping in touch with them and let them know that in the next few weeks we would let them know the specific day we would start their services back up. I mentioned we implemented a way to pay bills online, yadda yadda yadda. I immediately started getting e-mails canceling service. Probably 7 of my 40 clients. Every e-mail felt like a huge slap in the face and it really gets me down. I spend so dang much money on advertising, and I want to grow my business so badly that it's hard to feel like you're going backwards. How do you deal with these situations without it getting you down or taking it too personally?
It's only natural to feel a little down when a client lets you go, but the best way to get over it is to flip the script on clients. By that I mean create a business whereby you have the ability to choose who you work with and generate a waiting list for your services. The first step to do this is to clearly identify your dream clients, then you develop a long term marketing strategy to attract them. Once you figure out how to attract your dream clients and you fill you business with them you will be set. Anyone who let's you go is not your dream client. There will always be turn over but you have the power to choose who you work for when you are able to go after your best clients and fill you business with them. Keep at it and you will get there. I hope this helps!

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