My first lawn care customer is the worst one!

Any lawn care customer you can get initially feels like a gift. Regardless of how badly you bid their property, you feel like no matter what, you have taken a positive step. Sometimes though, those early customers end up being your worst customers for many reasons as we will see from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. With a little insight, you might be able to avoid this problem.

One lawn care business owner wrote “since I finally got all the mowing equipment I needed and started my business, I have been lucky to  gain quite a few customers. However, I have my first lawn care customer ever, from four years ago and she pays me $20.00 for her 100′ x 100′ lot. I’d normally charge at least $25 if I didn’t have to push mow any of it, if there were no fences, and not a ton of trimming.

Week after week, she complains about the quality of my services. All of my other clients say that I’m the best they have hired for their property. But this woman, says no and that I am terrible. So I made her a deal. I got her to hire another lawn mowing company for a one time mowing. They charged her $43.78 for it. They tore her yard up and did a terrible line trimming job.

She agreed they did terrible. So I continued to mow just like normal. She laid off of me for about 3 weeks. Then BOOM, I’m doing a bad job. So, I call the ‘Best’ guy in town to come and mow her yard. I pay out of my pocket for it, $35.00. He did a good job, except, he didn’t trim half of it.

So she finally realized ‘oh hey, this guy is pretty good.’ Does anyone else have customers like this? To me, the $35 was well worth it, it got her to shut up.

I really would like a nice way to drop her, without leaving her in a bind. She’s not able to mow the lawn herself. It’s hard for her to get out and water her flowers as well.

For now I guess I will keep her at $20.00 for now. Next year I’m going to hopefully get 20 or 30 more lawn care. If I can get one that will make a better profit than her’s, she’s gone. I just don’t know how to nicely drop a client.”

A second lawn care business owner said “it’s been my experience that the less they pay, the more likely they are to complain.

I think she is getting her $20 worth. Now is the time to raise your price to $35 a mow. You just showed her you do better quality than the other 2 did at a higher price. If she wont budge, then drop her.

Or you can simply write her a letter that says

‘Dear Client,
As of 09/15 we will no longer be maintaining your property’ and add whatever you need to after that.

There is no point in even going as far as you did to hire other company’s to mow the customer’s property. If they are a pain in the butt, find another lawn care customer to fill their slot and dump the one that is the pain. Life is too short.

This is your business and you have every right to choose who you want to service and who you don’t.”

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