A nice way to let your lawn care customer go.

People will be people and if there is a chance for communications to become mixed up and wires crossed, it will happen. You may find yourself giving a verbal lawn care quote for a job earlier in the year and when you get around to doing the job, the customer may remember you quoting a different price. A difference in a customer’s memory can lead to conflict which can then lead to you getting fired from the job or you potentially firing the customer. Such is the case for one business owner as he shared his story with us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

He wrote “from day one, it’s been an on going battle with one of my lawn care customers. I initially tried to look the other way when it came to warning signs with this customer because I was looking to expand my lawn care business into a new area. His lawn was the only lawn I had to service in this new area of town. I was hoping that by mowing his property, I would be able to expand my customer base but I just can’t take it anymore. Now instead of looking to expand into that new area, I am looking to dump this lawn care customer without damaging my reputation.

If you are wondering what the big problem with this customer is, it’s that he is always arguing with me when it comes to prices and I’m not interested in putting up with this anymore.

We’ve already done the work for him in the past and he was quoted a price for a spring  clean-up, earlier in the season. At first, he was agreeable to the price, but now he’s telling us he is not happy. AFTER the work has been completed he is telling us we quoted him a lower price and he is requesting a price reduction on the job we already performed!

Our history with this client is that he reduced his lawn care service from bi-weekly to 1x per month, and I didn’t change his price to reflect all the growth that I’m cutting now. Secondly, I am really going out of my immediate service area to mow his property with my nearest client at least 10+ miles away. So it is costing me more money to get to the job site so I can deal with his continued nonsense.

Here’s is what I emailed him.

I appreciate your concern over pricing of the spring clean-up. Our prices are very competitive with other lawn care companies in the area and I can assure you that in your case, we charge under what the market allows for in your area. Unfortunately, while I value your business, I cannot honor your request for a price reduction or further work for no charge. Therefore, our invoice to you will stand as is and we will no longer be performing future services.

JOE’S LAWN CARE COMPANY operates out of your area. I feel they will be able to better price work in your neighborhood, as they have an extensive clientele list there. While I do hate to see you go, I want you to be happy, and I cannot accommodate a price reduction at this time.”

A second lawn care business owner shared “I would probably take out the part that says ‘we charge under the market value’ and then send it off.

This is an example of why it is very important to have your estimates in writing form or sent via email. Otherwise if you just use verbal quotes, people forget what they said or what they agreed to and problems will pop up because of this.

When we give quotes, they are always followed up via email so that everyone is on the same page. I have yet run into any problems after the fact due to the price quoted. If a customer did not have email I would have them initial a quote form presented on site.

If I wanted to gently fire a lawn care customer, I would probably write them and say:

‘On behalf of my company (company name) I would like to thank you for the opportunity to provide you with a quotation for the clean up of your property.

We take pride in our work and based on customer feedback the quality of our work reflects this. I understand you have concerns over the pricing in our quotation and we respect this, I trust you will also respect we offer competitive pricing and our quotations are final.

We are aware there may be other companies willing to cut corners in order to offer better pricing however cutting corners is not the direction of our company.

We wish you well and should you require services in the future, do not hesitate to contact us.’

Sending such an email is relatively neutral and won’t lead to any hurt feelings or jabs at their ego.”

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Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
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A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
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