Lawn Care Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,476 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is our 9th year of business and I cannot remember one like this one when it comes to customers coming and going. It's like a roller coaster...one week I get 3, 4, maybe 5 new customers and lose none and the next lose 3 or 4 (for whatever reason) and get none. People (friends, family, business associates, vendors, etc.) ask me all the time how many customers we have and I tell them I honestly don't know. It keeps changing!!!

I know from college days in marketing the term to describe some of this is "attrition" (meaning you will lose a certain % of your business each year from no fault of yours...people die, move away, decide to do things themself instead of hiring someone, etc.).

Anyone else going through this or am I the lucky one?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,742 Posts
I went through that about a month ago. I was picking up like 4 to 5 new customers a week. And then all of a sudden like within a week I lost 5 customers. And of course each time the customer left because of the price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,476 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't think it's the economy...last year we had a terrible drought here in the NE and people saved money. This year, the exact opposite...we mowed just about everyone's lawn 5 times in July and boatload of double cuts I don't even want to think about.

You talk bout a turnaround...jeez louise!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,171 Posts
I know that many people are looking in my area, as I am getting 5 - 10 calls per week from potential new customers. I am pretty much full now so I can pick and choose which I want if any.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
Rod...as you know we don't do as much mowing as you do but what I've seen on a smaller scale, are:
1. about 5 people a month calling me who are in the process of firing their current mowing service(they never seem to have a believeable answer)
2. in general, people seem cranky and stressed out...overall rude(but not as rude as those Joysey yuppies that you have the pleasure of working with...haha
3. I even got "fired" 2 weeks ago...not because of price....because when I trim, she says her husband did not want ONE blade of grass in his new mulch....unreal...then she says "you must bag every time...NO EXCEPTIONS...this was a normal nice couple...until something got in their water ....now they're both need locked up before they hurt themselves

I guess all we can do is spoil the crap out of the ones we want to keep....as you know there are ways to do the little extras that don't cost us but a few minutes on each property...today I brought the recycle bin in for a customer...Her Highness comes out of her castle and tells me how much she appreciates our attention to details....I think this woman has spoken to me for less than 3 minutes in 3 years.....she's nuts too...she'll love me until Joes Mow and Go offers to do the $70 property for $30....

On the positive side, we're getting calls every week for not so for not-so-small landscape improvements...people indeed seem to be doing a lot of planting and landscape improvements...even got calls through that typical slow period after the 4th of July until late Auguest...you know, that time period where people forget we land grunts even exist. Go figure Rod??...good luck...Gar
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
So far my attrition rate has been greater than new customers however my sales while not increasing has remained flat. I have added fewer customers with a larger service bundle. Less customers, fewer stops, less labor, same sales = increased net profit. While I am not happy with this year's performance, the customers I have lost are those ones that were having us strictly mow with no possibility of upsales. They were price shoppers. While a large majority in my area have turned to cut throat price slashing I have held my price. I will be around next year and for those cut throats that survive the winter, unlike them I will not be saddled with a multitude of underpriced customers.

I may go three days or more without so much as a call (other than solicitors trying to sell me the latest labor saving device or one time services which I do not accept) and then have 2 or 3 jobs to bid in one day. Sell value, not price. Make them understand that when value is compared, you are actually cheaper
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,203 Posts
Haven't lost any but picked up a bunch lately.Lots of complaints about the quality of cut when we pick them up.I've seen a lot of dead spots from clumping and mulching in lawns with excessive growth. Seems like guys just don't want to do what needs doing to get it done right.LOTS of double cutting for us,but if that's what it takes then,ya gotta do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
It seems like in this area the lower level lawn care guys can't keep up ( guess those Murray's can't keep up with all the rain) so we have more potential clients calling.Now the after shock of that is when I quote a price you would think they saw the grim reeper himself.We lost some to lowballers but now they are coming back;I was a little nervous at the beginnig of the year;it seems to be leveling off and some are already calling to schudule fall cleanups.Most of my clients that travel have really shyed away and are starting to stay home and are spending more money on landscapes with a personnel touch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,476 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm beginning to think too the money they're laying out for simple mowing and maintenance this year is getting to them...most probably wished we had another drought this year like in 2002.

Ah, just wait to those leaves start falling...I better start wearing my flack jacket then LOL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
By the way Rod, my wife told me that twice in the past 2 weeks that 2 different financial shows on cable news had topics discussed about how people could reduce their monthly personal expenses in light of them trying to keep a lid on their home expenses.

She said that in BOTH of these shows, the financial "experts" said that people can easily mow their own grass and that this would result in a significant monthly savings. I gotta believe a lot of people saw one of these shows and maybe that's part of why we're seeing the rats jumping off the ship.

Personally, I can't imagine having a mowing service for a couple years and then start doing it myself in this heat, bug filled and water logged spring and summer. So maybe instead of canelling the service, more than ever they want to lower the cost of having it done...hence the high turnover that we're seeing. It seems like a fair amount of people don't care as much about the quality of the mowing/trimming, as they do about the price...just my humble observations
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,647 Posts
I don't see a problem. Fact is this is a GREAT year.

Yes we lost a couple. That's fine, what we gained far out weighs the lose.

I have gained 3-5 a month since April. Still going on estimates. Cause there are to many Gypsies making me look good. What ever price I quote we are getting. This time of year they are not shopping. They are tired of the crap they had to deal with. This will translate it retaining at least 90% of them next year.

Interesting thing is we are getting calls to trim shrubs for accounts of other LCO's..........That I will not entertain......I tell the home owner that they will have to cancel their service. Sign with us for the entire package...If they do great, if not. There is another estimate to get to.........:)

Landscaping has been fantastic for me last year and this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,073 Posts
I have said it before and I will say it again. In this day in age where there to numerous places to get the same thing (not really the same service but the same thing in the customers mind) they will go elsewhere based on price. Just look at where people shop now for items. The days of going to the local business are out for most and Target and Walmart win. People now see everyone and their brother running a mowing company. The customer thinks anyone can mow grass so why should I pay my current cutter X when I can hire cutter Y for half the price. The customer fires you hires the next guy is disappointed but will not call you back as that would be admitting their error and then calls someone else. The whole cycle is repeated many times over while the customer price shops. This will continue to happen as the economy is down and everyone with a mower is suddenly a cutter for hire.


Gravely_Man
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
Funny how when the home owner , takes the mowing away from you , their yard always looks like crap from then on . They can not do a lawn detailed like we do , in the same amount of time !

Got the call yesterday , back off mowing ever 7 days , just got your bill you mowed 5 times in July , Well sir we mailed statements on the 25 th of June , have you noticed that we had more rain this year than the past 10 years ? Thing is last summer we got behind one week and let him go 10 days , he called wanting to know why the lawn was not mowed !

If we can ever fiqure out when exactly to the minute they think it should be mowed then we'll have somthing , B t w its a second weekend home for the customer .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,476 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm not saying I'm not having a great year...when in fact, we are. This past July was the best we ever had...most accounts were mowed 5 times. Last year, we were lucky to get 2, maybe 3 in the month of July cause of that terrible drought.

My concern is just the % of turnover...no matter what the reason. Lawn Tek, hear ya about the 5 mowings in July. GLAN, I'm in the same boat as you (gaines outnumber the loses).
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top