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When does a customer become a bad customer?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by MikeTA95, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. MikeTA95

    MikeTA95 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    When, if at all, do you guys decide to move on from a customer? Especially those weekly lawn mowing customers? What is the line for you when you decide it is no longer worth your time?

    I'm starting to get worn down with a handful of customers that I've had from my start, but still only use my company for lawn mowing and nothing more. I'm trying to expand more into landscaping, and i don't focus on mowing as much anymore because it just isn't very profitable. At the same time, I'm afraid to drop these people and to allow someone else to take over my spot.
  2. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    You can't have your cake and eat it to. If you really want to move on let your customers know of your plans and make arrangements to have someone you know and trust to continue maintenance work for your old accounts. It is the least you can do and your customers will thank you for not leaving them with no choice in the matter.
    easy-lift guy
  3. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,745

    Think you answered yourself right there. If you're scared to drop them, well... they must not be that bad. The ones I've dropped in the past, I didn't look back and laughed at the guy unloading and wished him the best.
  4. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    If you're schedule is full without them, and you don't want to service them anymore, drop them. I know you can feel a sense of loyalty to them, but if they don't fit your business plan anymore then let them know at the end of the season so they have plenty of time to look for a replacement. Part on good terms and thank them.
  5. fastlane

    fastlane LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    When you don't look forward to servicing their property for whatever reason.
  6. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    First why are you afriad to drop them?

    Why is mowing not profitable enough?

    Working to cheap?

    Expenses too high?

    Equipment not suited for the property's?

    Have not raised prices on those oldest customers to bring them in lin with your newer customers?
  7. AdkadTechnologies

    AdkadTechnologies Sponsor
    Messages: 15

    All good questions to ask.

    In the end, if letting go of a customer is something you feel you need to do, it is always wise not to burn bridges if possible. Recommend someone else, be honest with them about changing services and let them know that if they ever need you they can still reach out to you.
  8. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    When I get to the point where I cringe every time I seen them on the property or get a phone call from them. Thats when I know they are a true headache.
  9. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,096

    When they call a lot or when they follow you around the yard as you mow and whip. Not fun! If you would rather ignore their phone call than answer, I'd say that's probably a bothersome customer.
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Bad customer: One who does not pay, or sends NSF checks.

    All others, if they pay, are not bad customers. The only way to have an income stream is having a customer base that pays, pays according to what the LCO and customer have agreed upon.

    LS has plenty of threads discussing "bad customers," but none that talk of LCOs of LS being bad contractors. I am sure happy that I am part of a LCO community where there are no bad contractors.

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