Justmowit advice very sound

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, May 18, 2005.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

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

    As some of you know, I've been in communication with justmowit. One thing they told me was that when a customer cancels service, they always act like it doesn't bother them. They said that often times, these customers will come back later on.

    So that's what I've been trying to do when a customer cancels. I try to act like, "OK. No problem. Let us know if we can help you out in the future."

    So this lady writes an e-mail two weeks ago and says:

    I need to cancel my lawn service right now. I totally understand your need to have a weekly commitment, but we have really only needed it mowed about twice since we started but I knew we needed to honor at least 6 mowings. I realize that soon it will need it every week, but sometimes during the heat of the summer, it slows down also. So please cancel our service for now. You guy does a great job, and we may be calling again if I can't find anyone else. THANK YOU,

    I was really pizzed about losing her. I was convinced she would find some schmuck who would allow her to dictate the mowing schedule, which we all know is not that hard to do. Some of the folks on lawnsite said I should have responded with "yes, if you need us again, the price will be higher, etc."

    Well, here is what I said in the reply:

    Thanks for giving us a try. If you need us again, please give us a call.

    Well, she just called to re-activate service. The justmowit method of handling cancellations seems to be the way to go. Just take the cancellation, smile, and ask them to call you in the future if they need anything.

    I have been asking customers when they cancel if the service has been ok. Not sure if this is the right thinig to do or not. It does kind of sound like you are pressuring them not to cancel. They all say the service is good, but even if they're not happy, they might not tell me because they are timid or whatever.

    Is there any reason to ask a customer if the service has been ok when they cancel?

    Or should you just take the cancellation, the way a phone company employee would, and ask them to call you if they need anything else?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 963

    Maybe ask, is there something we could have done better?? I would always do a quality control check. Be friendly and just let them know you are always finding ways to improve service.
  3. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,079

    If they wanted you to know they would have told you. Usually they never tell the real reason (can't afford it) and give you some bogus B.S. Then you are making your business decisions based on that B.S. This is not good. I agree just thank them for the opportunity to serve them and remind them that you are available if their needs change in the future. Polite and professional.
  4. jtrice11

    jtrice11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    In ANY service related industry, being courteous and professional is always the best practice. Yes, you may be mad as a hornet over the situation, but remaining above the frey will help you develop a great reputation in the long run. Even your unhappy customers will have nothing "bad" to say about you (and if they do, they are not good customers anyway).
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I've had this happen so many times, I can't count over the years. The words; "Well, keep us in mind if things don't work out, or if there's anything we can do for you."
    These words stick, and go a long way. Many times, these people even end up being referals and such.These guys that have the "greater than thou" attitude, and are "standoffish" not only set a bad tone for theur business, but in a sense, burn bridges. Courtesy can be a BIG influence in repeat business.
    I DO have a friend, however, (yes it's true...I have a friend)that says to some new people that really contemplate or want cheaper price. "Sir, I have around 500 accounts...so 501 is NOT going to make that big of a difference to me. This is what I offer, if it what you're in the market for, great. If not, I'll be GLAD to find someone cheaper for you."
    Believe it or not, this arrogance works for him. He gas a way of mixing it with a litle humour, and seems to "click" with every new prospect that he talks to. He goes to their level, and he always gets a smile. I've been with him and heard him say to people (mind you, these are upper middle class - the 3 car garage type) when they ask him how much, heis reply is "What kind of car do you drive?" He pretty much always walks away with a sale.
  6. jtrice11

    jtrice11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    Having the gift of gab is just that, a gift. And it sounds as if your friend has it.
    I'm new to this business and I have had people decline my service because of my price. Doesn't bother me at all, there is a million guys cutting grass, I just happen to be one that doesn't want to do it for free.
  7. greeneakers04

    greeneakers04 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 162

    DFW, I have been doing the exact same thing. I don't get mad, it may frustrate a little (mainly because of the initial happiness that came when you landed the account), but the high road is the way to go for sure. Or, the approach above, if you can phrase it properly in the right tone. I try to make it as easy as possible for a customer to tell me the truth. It won't hurt my feelings. Two weeks ago I had my first original customer have to cancel service. She almost cried telling me she couldn't afford it and had to buy a cheap mower and have her grandson do it (who lives in the house). I just told her thank you, and feel free to call me when things get better, and that I would stop by when in the area to make sure things are going ok sometime. It went over really well, and I believe she will call back someday. If not, ok.

    I think the best thing to do here is this:

    When a customer cancels (after completing the six cut minimum), send a survey by mail with SASE enclosed. With it, include a voucher for one free cut, if they reply to the survey. I think this is a great customer relations move. You will get some needed feedback, and they will get a good taste in their mouth for your company.....forever. :blob3:
  8. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,079

    Offer to do a vacation mow for them if they complete your survey. You get the feedback you need, they come home from vacation and their lawn looks better than it ever has since they had to let you go. Endless possibilites.

  9. greeneakers04

    greeneakers04 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 162

    Even better. It also gives them the "happy thought" of taking a vacation, and you are associated with that thought. That can't be a bad thing.
  10. Texas Mowem

    Texas Mowem LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 59

    I really don't care why people cancel service I have never asked and never will. Customers tend to come and go and it usally boils down to money whether it be them wanting to save money or you telling them to pay up payup in a timely manner. I have learned to recognize the ones that are going to cancel and I typically think its a blessing because something was wrong with the customer or the lawn anyway. I have only lost one customer that I actually didn't see coming still don't know what happened but it was not money.

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