Loosing accounts.

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Kurt, Oct 29, 2001.

  1. Kurt

    Kurt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I started a landscaping business in Florida back in April 2001 and since, the business grew to a billing of $2,500 a month, which was okay for one person. I lost a few because it's hard to keep EVERYONE happy, but now that the Fall season is here, a few more dropped with WHATEVER excuse. They never say ". . . because the grass isn't growing . . . ".
    Is this a common event in this industry and what does everyone do about it?
  2. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    How many are you losing?

    We lose about 1 every two years.

    We have been in business for three and there has been only one lost account. It does slow down because of lack of growth, but they have never cancelled for next season.
  3. Kurt

    Kurt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I had marketed heavy in March and April. Got about twenty accounts. Lost about eight. Due to "whatever" reason.
    What does it take to make these people happy?
    One woman, I gave her ten bags of mulch, five bags of top soil and extra services just so she would retain us during the non-growing season. Verbal aggreement.
    Last week she called to cancel due to "bla, bla, bla" After a while, I don't listen because people Lie.
    Okay. She said her boyfriend was injured and couldn't work so they couldn't afford . . ."
    I had one guy say he wanted to get an aggressive approach to his lawn maintenance. So he let us go? What the f... does that mean? See what I mean about people lying?
    Is this just me or does anyone have any suggestions?
    I tell people I am open for calls and we provide prompt customer servce. BUT, they want us to drop what we are doing and come out that moment.
  4. Chuck Sinclair

    Chuck Sinclair LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    Just asking but could it be your work? they won't tell you that they don't like your work they just make up some excuse to fire you.
  5. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    " After a while, I don't listen because people Lie."

    IMO you need to start listening, so you can hear why your customers are dropping you. Apparently they have the answer you are seeking...
  6. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 949

    I lose people every year and gain back more. It is part of the business. The economy is not that good right now and if people need extra money we can be the first to go. Are the accounts that you are losing replacing you with another crew? I always check that out to see if they were unhappy with me or just trying to cut costs.
  7. Kurt

    Kurt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Actually, I do listen, but they NEVER tell the truth. One guy said "You guys are doing a great job, but we plan on a more aggressive approach. . ." In my opinion, you don't fire someone if you want a more aggressive approach.
    Another said that he was going to do it himself.
    Another said they were cutting back on expenses.
    Another said that we ran over an orange without picking it up. This was after one month (no warning).
    A couple of people asked me to do extra (no charge) work, and then let us go the following week.
    YES I do listen, but that is NOT teaching me anything except to distrust people. I can feel that I'm doing great with someones lawn and then the phone rings. Blah, Blah, Blah . . . we are letting you go . . .
    Funny. It didn't happen during the growing months.
  8. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

  9. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    Maybe these were just "nice" ways of expressing general dissatisfaction. For whatever reason.
    That MIGHT be catagorized as a "white lie"...

    You said it!

    You've told us what they have said.
    I wonder what the fly on YOUR wall heard!
    How did YOU "handle" these phone calls?

    Was there ever a time that you sat with your clients and discussed the details of what each others expectations were?
    Some radicals put it in writing...

    My .02
  10. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    BEFORE I work for them .....I ask 3 simple questions

    How did you here of us?

    Have you ever had a professional lawn service n if yes was it year round n what did they do or not do to make you look at us?

    Do you want monthly service based on a yearly agreement?

    Then we get into specifics of our service, billing etc. .....there are street loads of people that will let go in winter

    Be careful of the ones without irrigation n those that are NOT St. Augustine ….look at the general property BEFORE you start …..is the edging tight ….is the house clean …. Is there junk everywhere …..is it a dirt lot

    Hang in there it gets better after the first winter n if they call back in spring jack the price up ;->

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