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Why customers quit.

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by mattfromNY, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    I just wanted to share something I got from a little workshop I am attending for business development skills. The instructor didnt have the source of where this came from, so I cannot quote anyone in particular. This is aimed at all businesses in general, not just the green industry.

    Why Customers Quit:
    1% Die
    3% Move away
    5% Other Friendships
    9% Competitive Reasons
    14% Product Dissatisfaction
    68% Quit because of attitude of indifference toward customer by an employee
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Ok, and 9 out of 10 customers fall under one of these categories:

    Want a LOT for nothing (anywhere from 20 to 70 percent off).
    Want the job done by their specifications and standards.
    Want an Lco to take care of everything, but can not afford our services.
    > Think 2-300 a year is enough budget for a 1/4 acre lot.
    Will not hesitate to pull a fast one.
    Want us to be at their beck and call (i.e.: a slave, a toy, a lawn boy).
    > And flirt with an Owner to get a better price, then wonder how and why this could've resulted in an affair.
    Want to run and control the business but are not responsible for what happens.
    > Explanations of any of the above, in my experience, are an absolute waste of time.

    And I tried, matter of fact I swore I would never become one of those jerk off arrogant sob Lco's, and time and again I got took for a ride. Only putting my foot down finally put an end to it, I do feel bad, I see the effect too, but it's a 2-way street. I must've explained the why and the how and the ins and the out of it all a thousand times, I think once or twice it had an effect, the rest of the time I might as well have been blowing smoke.
    Hence, the attitude.

    It is wrong, I am working on finding ways to say things that aren't as crude and redneck, but the truth and the end result is all the same, no matter how flowery a word I use, but yes, I am working on this.

    Because the only thing that keeps me sane is the realization that perhaps I am on one side of the fence and the customer is on the other, therefore there can never exist a perfect world between us, and it is up to each one of us to accept that, but it is hard.
    The other thing that helps is the realization that most simply don't know how else to go about it, but then neither do I...
  3. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    I really had to grit my teeth when the instructor got on the pedestal about 'The customer is ALWAYS right' yada, yada. He started in about being better listeners, and all. OK, so 90% of the time it is probably correct, but c'mon, just once in a while it feels real good to let a customer know EXACTLY how you feel about the situation!!
  4. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    The thing to remember is that 73% of all statistics are made up on the spot!
  5. Darrin A.

    Darrin A. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    As employees, there are only 2 rules in business:
    1. The customer is always right.
    2. When the customer is wrong, refer to rule #1

    As business owners, we get a third rule:

    3. If the customer is still wrong, FIRE them.
  6. (wi) Roots

    (wi) Roots LawnSite Member
    from 9
    Messages: 152

    Sounds like a salesman too me! What did you buy?
  7. Wayne's Lawn Service

    Wayne's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184


    I am not sure if it it is my seminar that you were at, but I do talk about those same percentages of why customers quit.

    The source on those statistics is "US News & World Report". And you are exactly right, I did say they were not green industry specific, but service industry specific.

    However, I do agree 100% with you that customers are not always right and sometimes firing a client is the right thing to do. Being in busines for 28 years now I can say I have fired a few clients over the years. Did not enjopy it, (well maybe a little) but as you stated the customer is not ALWAYS right. Thanks for listening and paying attention if it was my seminar you attended.

  8. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    No, it wasn't your seminar.
    I attend a local community college and take business workshops.
    I'm sure everyone that gives seminars quotes the same statistics from time to time, I just wanted to share this piece of information as a reminder to everyone.

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