Time to purge?!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Kitman, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. Kitman

    Kitman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 214

    Any of you do a purge of customers? We’ve had a horrible spring like many of you. I am a solo guy and mow 77 properties each week. After a long rain delay, and numerous calls from the same old people, I feel like it’s time to do a purge at the end of the year. Planning on cutting 6-12 customers (some long time customers) who are becoming PITA or have fenced in back yards requiring small walk behind mowers.

    Any of you do this? If do, any repercussions from other customers?
    ltdlawn likes this.
  2. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 16,761

    Normally, I have not purged customers when they one of a cluster. The singles and outliers, yes. The problem clients are a horse of a different color. First, I would meet with them in hopes of establishing a better understanding of what reasonable expectations might look like. If they are unbending it is best to set them free.
  3. Wbdykes

    Wbdykes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I do mostly commercial stuff and if I get a residential place that is being difficult I pawn it off on another company or I let one of my guys do it on their own time
    Kitman likes this.
  4. Todd73

    Todd73 LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Florida
    Messages: 2,586

    In the middle of a geographical purge right now. It’s an area I don’t like, the yards are all bad, and with the exception of one, I’m not a fan of the customers. It’s also outside of my normal service area. The only reason I went there was my son was going to a school nearby. Next year he’s not the same school, so there’s no need to make the drive. I only had 5 houses there so it’s not a huge loss. The purge already began with one quitting last month, then one that had two houses fired me/got dropped 2 weeks ago after he accused me of screwing him on price (even though he was getting a 23% discount) and poor quality, leaving two houses that were notified today that I will be discontinuing service to their area at the end of July.

    Other than this, I have let people go on an individual basis on occasion. Only repercussion is one guy up the street from me. He had me mowing his crappy rental property and one he was flipping, but had a separate guy mowing his house. Flipped house sold leaving the rental. Tenant wouldn’t clean up the yard and after about two months of trying to get my neighbor to do something about ther tenant and getting excuse after excuse, I cut him loose. That was well over a year ago and he and his wife still won’t wave to me when they drive down the street. Oh well, I sure don’t lose sleep over it!
    hort101, GrassManKzoo, Lanton and 2 others like this.
  5. Clay Guinn

    Clay Guinn LawnSite Member
    from MT
    Messages: 79

    I honesty just increase to the price a lot the next year, like almost double, or hope they don't call me. I tell them the company is changing directions and we do not have equipment that can efficiently cut their lawn, so it cost more. My hope is that they don't accept, but if they do they are paying enough that I can spend the time at their place.
    Bcoogan23, hort101 and greennola like this.
  6. OP

    Kitman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 214

    I have thought about that. It’s a win-win for you.
    hort101 and Bcoogan23 like this.
  7. Todd73

    Todd73 LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Florida
    Messages: 2,586

    I did that this year on one woman. She damn near lost her mind. Needless to say, she did not renew.

    One of the two in my purge texted me a few minutes ago and said she’d find someone else for this month.
    zlandman, Bcoogan23, Kitman and 2 others like this.
  8. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 7,075

    I've purge a few clients over the years. Only had one get upset to the point of writing a bad review online. Crying about how I didn't renew his contract. All in all even with the one bad review I am happy I've dropped each and every one of them.
  9. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,667

    We have made the decision to walk away from a sizable book of business recently - considered asking for a higher price point but ultimately determined that its not worth the headaches. With hiring as tough as it is, we will redeploy the employees impacted to other higher margin services we provide.
    sjessen, Kitman and hort101 like this.
  10. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,667

    Happened today - mission complete!

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