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Lost my original customer today, bummed...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by gogetter, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    Bummed out about losing a customer today.

    She was my first customer. She works with my wife and when she heard I was leaving my full time job to start a lawn business, she became my first customer, and a great one at that.

    Took care of her lawn for 2 seasons, then she said she was moving in with her son as soon as she sold her house.

    She told me to take care of the sons lawn too and bill her for it.

    So for about half a season, I took care of both lawns. Her house sold, and she moved in with her son at the end of last season.

    Well today, in with her payment, was a not from the son: "Bought a mower!. No longer need your services!. Thanks, Mr. XXXX".

    It was so short and with the exclamation points (!), I took it as him actually being angry for some reason.

    Just seemed like it could have been done in a nicer way considering the relationship between me, my wife and this woman (his mother).

    I know it happens all the time in this business (or in any business for that matter), but this one just kinda bummed me out. There are other customers that I would have been FINE with them dropping me, but this was a good one.

    Oh well, just wanted to vent a little to people who know where I'm coming from.
  2. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,266

    Maybe the exclamation marks are an indication of his excitement over buying a new mower. Thats what I would think.
  3. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    Hey Jon,

    Don't worry about being bummed out. Even us lawn folks have feelings, eh?

    I wouldn't read too much into the exclamation points. He may just be enthused about the new mower.

    A recommendation? Send a note saying thanks for the business and that you hope the new mower works out. Remind them that if the mower goes on the fritz (not sure where that expression comes from), you can mow their place...AND do other things they might not want to.

    Besides, mom may get a place of her own again in the future.

    And you know what else? Better to regret the loss of a valued customer than to be so cold as to think nothing of it at all. Icebergs make lousy husbands and lousy businesspeople.
  4. Canadian GreenScape

    Canadian GreenScape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 217

    I lost my first lawn awhile ago.. the older man went into a nursing home. I think about me pushing a old dead heavy craftsman around it every time I drive by.
  5. Sooners

    Sooners LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    He did say "thanks".
  6. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    letters are COLD almost no matter how the person types it! seems like he was just short and sweet! but you might call him up and thank him and his mom for his past business and tell him if he gets tired of spending his whole saturday mowing the lawn,,,,,,keep you in mind!:)
  7. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    I lost my 1st customer I had whenI started in buisness. He had been a customer for 9 years, last year with all the raIN I got behind some and this guy was a nut if his yard wasnt cut on friday. He got his little brother to cut it and we parted ways. Well little brother is in the pen now for 30 plus years and we have a part timer in the neighborhood. This guy charges more than i did and has no concept of striping and he also likes to see dirt, makes me uggg to see that pretty yard chewed up. But its his choice. Go getter , it happens but hang in there and find a better customer maybe
  8. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    Nah, they built an addition onto his house for her. She's getting up there in years, and this will likely be her last home.

    It's possible I am reading too much into his note. But I do know that since his mother moved in, he has put her on a "budget" with her OWN money!!(she was the one that paid the bill).
    Based on that and other little stuff I know about him, I know he's on the cheap side.

    They get one last bill for one mowing I did this month. I plan on sending a friendly note thanking them for their business over the last few years, and remind them that I'm here for other services if they need me.

    I still do their neighbor. It was nice being able to do both lawns at once. Oh well.
  9. prizeprop

    prizeprop LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    One of my properties I have been cutting since I was 16, I'm now 38. 22 YEARS, although different owners now. I wouldn't get bumbed out if I lost them. Don't worry about it, plenty more where that came from!!
  10. nriddle77

    nriddle77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    I hate losing customers. It's not usually the lost income that bothers me, I just don't like to be dropped for any reason. However, it is a fact in this buisness. Lots of my customers are elderly or sickly or both. I have had at least one customer die or go into a nursing home the last three years.

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