Keeping Clients

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by oneandonlyjojo, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. oneandonlyjojo

    oneandonlyjojo LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 125

    So this season will be ending in a little while. i was just wodnering what do u guys do to keep all your current customers. do u send out letters at the end of this season. begging of next. i dont work with contracts so assuming if people hated us they would have dropped us. many of our people love us and always talk non stop so hopefully no one leaves and i can keep on growing. any sample letters or any guidance please
  2. sgl41377

    sgl41377 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 191

    Why not use contracts? I use contracts that enable the customer to get out of the contract with two months notice. I find that my clients like being able to get out of the contract if they run into financial troubles, move, etc. I would look into getting a contract together and having clients sign during the winter months. Make the contract start right in the beginning of Spring. Make the contract for one year and hope for the best. If your clients love you they will not mind signing. I just started in May and have 3 contracts, I think through word of mouth, my advertising, and talking to people while I was out working, I should have at least 10 contracts by next spring. I work alone, have license, insurance, and hope I become more successful. I specifically started my business in order to put my wife through college. SO far so good.
  3. precisioncut

    precisioncut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Alot of the time you need to do nothing to keep your customers. If they like the price and love the work, they tend to stay. But make yourself stand out from others. I send holiday cards around Thanksgiving and believe me that makes you stand out. Offer them something that is a valuable service that you can easily do and still profit. Anything and Everything helps.
  4. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Messages: 0

    At the end of the season I send out client surveys, followed by gift cards for Blockbuster Movies or Home Depot usually in the amount of $5 to $10 dollars depending on what type of client they are. At Christmas I usually send out a small gift basket with a card.

    Like Precisioncut mentioned, anything to stand out from the competition, and most people enjoy getting something unexpected. How often have the cable guy ever given you a small token of appreciation. Never....see what i'm getting at. Just let then know your still thinking about them in the off season and then give them a call in early spring and their almost guaranteed to want you back again.

    A phone call would be better than a letter, a letter is too impersonal.
  5. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    The ones on contract know that the service is a continuing service unless notified differently.

    The ones not on contract are clients that have been with us for a long time, they too know that service is continued from one year to the other unless notified.

    I still send a letter in February explaining that I will be out in March and that if for some reason they don't need our service, they need to contact us.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I work it pretty much like Soupy does. With the December bill I also include a separate letter thanking them for their business, letting them know I'm available over the winter months for misc. work, and explain that the service with continue automatically in the Spring unless they tell me otherwise. My old boss used to send out renewal letters in the Fall for the next year, but not a lot of customers returned them- then he'd get all worked up.

    I've always figured, the power company or the cable company doesn't call you each year to see if you still want to be a customer.
  7. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Hi oneandonlyjojo,

    Here is a sample renewal letter from this post. If you would like to see some sample contracts, visit here.

    "Dear Valued Customer:

    I am pleased to announce that I will be approaching my 4th season of lawn maintenance service. I am also pleased to announce that even with gas prices going up, my mowing rates will not. If you have not noticed, I have changed my business name from Affordable Lawn Services to Progressive Lawn & Landscape. As my business continues to grows, I though so should my image. Along with a new name, I am offering a new service this year that we are very excited about. In a growing effort to make your lawn the best looking lawn that it can be, we are now offering fertilize ring and weed control. I have came up with a basic 5 step program that can be tailored to your needs and wants and is outlined below.

     Pre-emergent with fertilizer, applied in April. This will prevent most of those pesky weed from ever germinating.
     Spring fertilizer, applied in mid May
     Post emergent with fertilizer, applied mid June. This will any kill any weeds that broke through the pre-emergent barrier. Spot treatment or blanket treatment if needed.
     Fertilizer, applied in later summer. This will help get your turf prepared for the winter stress that it will endure.
     Winterizer (fertilizer) applied in early/mid November after last mowing. This will give your lawn the boost it needs in early spring.

    The last two steps are essential for preparing your lawn for the stress of the following years summer months by building a strong root system. I fell very strong about the last 2 steps so much, when chosen together, they will be discounted compared to the other steps of the program (i.e. if the other step are $45, the last 2 steps will be discounted to $30 each). Other steps that are offered include:

     Fungus preventer. It’s much easier to prevent than to cure
     Fungus cure
     Insecticide which controls insects such as grubs and army worms
     Control of Bermuda grass in dominantly fescue lawns

    Our goal here at Progressive Lawn & Landscape is to educate the customer and offer options. Choose one step or all nine steps, the choice is yours. With every 5 step program I will include a free soil test which will include the level of nutrients and ph factor. This alone is a $20 value.

    Along with our very excited new service, I am happy to inform you that Progressive Lawn & Landscape has added a $1,000,000 general liability insurance policy along with a $500,000 pesticide liability insurance policy.

    Other services that are offered and always have been offered include”

     Dethatching, the removal of dead, non-decomposed grass and matter which prevents new grass growth.
     Aeration—allows air, water and nutrients to reach directly to grass roots. Also help control thatch buildup in your lawn.
     Overseeding—I use the best machine on the market to receive the highest germination rate possible.
     Spring and Fall cleanups
     Scalping, for those with Bermuda grass and want a lawn that will green-up quicker

    If there is any possible way I can be of service to you, please do not hesitate to call. If I cannot be reached, please leave a message and I will get back with you. I will be in contact with you via phone in late March or early April about you mowing services.

  8. oneandonlyjojo

    oneandonlyjojo LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 125

    thanks guys. the sample letter is really all i was looking for if anyone else has examples that would be greatful thakn u

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