Lost my first account today....bummed

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Cathman, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Cathman

    Cathman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    Well i am a part timer, and i have been hitting up my customers from last year. Finally got a call back from the last one today and they told me they are going to use someone else. Now, not because i did a poor job, but because they have a pool. I am a solo guy and they said the other guy has a crew. They want someone to be able to stand there blowing while the guy edges around the pool so that none of the grass gets into the pool. They dont want to have to clean any clippings from the pool.

    They asked me about it when i started it last year and i told them i would do my best. On non-windy days it was a non-issue. I used my stick edger around the pool area to minimize stuff flying everywhere. On windy days i was challenged. I edged that area last so i could get the blower to it quickly. I even tried having the backpak on and the edger in hand and doing both at once....well that didnt work too well.

    So i am kinda bummed that i lost a customer. Everyone else has continued on and when i told them i had to increase my prices slightly....not one problem (very small increase to cover these dang gas prices).

    BUT....and there is always one right. I stopped by one of the other homes in the neighborhood and did a cold call and wham....got another that pays more. I now have 8 in this one neighborhood....gotta figure out a way to get them all there. I keep about 20 total as i only do this part time.
  2. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,540

    One door shuts and another opens...great job on landing the other one!
  3. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    its the circle of life...

    i" ve lost them for about every reason besides Quality

    some don't like my straight shooting attitude
    some move
    some do it themselves
    some DIE(i hate these)
    Some get a relative that jumps into the biz(sometimes you get these back)

    Since i struggle to find my type of customer in the right neighborhoods they all hurt...
    but I usually pick up more then i can ever lose....its cheaper to keep them.... just like wifes

    Some people like what your going through decide if 1 guy is good 3 must be better...What they don't realize is in most cases the 3 man crew must service alot more customers to remain profitable....They sometimes lose that personal touch they had with the solo.... maybe they will be back...

    congrats and good luck with the new ones
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Something about the grass in the pool story ...

    I know it doesn't really matter, but it just kills me...
    It's one thing if I asked why, or if I know!

    But most of them volunteer that stuff, I don't ask...
    Now I'm like, yes I hear you'd like to cancel, I'll go ahead and take this off the schedule...
    Very well, thank you very much for your past business, have a nice day.

    So why feed me a line of unsolicited bull?
    I don't get that one.
    Oh well ...
  5. bill8379

    bill8379 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 778

    I don't get any grass in pools when I trim unless it's very windy and even then it's minimum. I lean the trimmer to the left and walk backwards.
  6. slowleak1

    slowleak1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 532

    invest in a cleaning net. IF you do get grass in the pool just go back and scoop it out with the net.

    SILVERSTREAK INC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    for every one you lose i will assure you youll get one or two that come to you
  8. Cathman

    Cathman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    Well i understood why, i have a pool myself...i dont have my pool surrounded by grass though....i have landscaping around it so it is not an issue for me. The only issue came on windy days. And i tried every way i could think of to make it work, other than buying a net to clean it. Just one more thing to carry on the trailer, then i would probably get people to asking if i did pools. (I am actually thinking about adding this as a service, need to look into what is required). That would add to my one stop shop philosophy. And i have thought about getting a helper, but in truth i am too small and want to remain that way.

    So far i have picked up all the lawns in that neighborhood by word of mouth or people seeing me there. I work in the evenings and weekends so i think i get some good exposure. This is a new neighborhood and they are still building so i hope to pick up a few more. They all pay well and on time. If i could get all 20 in that one neighborhood i would stick to it and my commercials. The neighborhood is about 2 miles from the house...great on gas and time savings :clapping:.
  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    This "CREW" thing will work both ways...

    I have had a customer that complained because we showed up and spent 17 minutes at there house,

    He stated that if he's gonna write a check for 45.00 a visit, 180.00 a month he beloves we should be there longer than 17 minutes.

    I have explaned to customers that when you have a crew, 2,3 and sometimes 4 men.
    I have to pay them too. so 17 x 4 = 68 that would be the amount of man hours spent with a 4 man crew...

    BUT somehow they DONT see it that way,

    But remember you CANT and WONT please everyone....

    hand in there at least were behind you
  10. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I've seen these screens that are free-standing, that you can put up on the pool deck to keep crap from shooting in the water. If you deal with a lot of pools, maybe call a pool supplier and suggest them to your customers.

    I have always forewarned any customer with a pool, that despite my best efforts, some grass will inevitably wind up in the pool. I'm sorry but I'm just not cleaning it out. These people all try to save money on the pool construction by getting the narrowest of decks made, and unless they have a 10 foot deck or wider, it's hard to keep grass out of the pool.

    Fortunately I only have one customer with a pool and it's in it's own little area away from the turf.

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