Why I lose lawn care customers.

Have you had a mowing customer call and cancel service? Possibly even more than one? Over time you will have customers cancel service, but why are they cancelling? Understanding the answers to this question can help you improve customer retention. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, one landscaper talks about the 3 main reasons he has found why clients cancel service.

One lawn care business owner wrote “a landscaping business is a service business. Customers will always come and go. The 3 main reasons I have found why a customer leave are the following.

  1. Price
  2. Quality
  3. Service

I am sure many of you have some of the same mowing customers since your first year in business. We all know who we have as customers, but does anyone know who they lost as customers? That idea got me thinking and I decided to make up a spreadsheet for my lost business and figure out why they left. I include the name, address, reason for quitting, price, and any problems I had with them. I figured it would be best to keep this record to improve my business in the future. This way if/when they call again, I know why they left before AND what I need to do to not let it happen again. Does anyone else keep a list like this?

I guess when I think about a lost customer, it’s not so much losing them, because if I lose one, then I pick another one up. The main issue I am focusing on is keeping track of lost revenue/weekly sales. This way I know what I need to do to make sure I’m still on point for the year end numbers. Anyone can say ‘I lost 3 customers, I need 3 more to stay even.’ But that is not true. Although you may not lose many, which most of us don’t, it’s always a simple reminder (what to tell them if they call again, and weekly revenue). I feel like for myself, its always good to look back at reports and study what has been going on. I try to keep an advantage over my competitors and I feel this helps me. My purpose is to grow, not maintain the same customer base size.”

A second lawn care business owner responded “If I get fired, I feel like it’s never my fault.

I drop a lot of clients every year with good reason, those who drop me are suddenly capable of doing the work themselves, moving out of town, death, or can’t afford my new prices.

The ones who create the biggest problems still won’t fire me, it’s kind of silly. It’s as if some of my customers hate me, but need me - so all they get to do is complain in their corner and wait for the day I decide to drop them.

Most of my problem customers won’t drop me because my prices and quality are great, it’s more that I do not communicate well with clients who stress me out.

Once a client gets on my bad side, I do not focus my attention on them, it’s already in my mind that I will be dropping them after the season has ended.”

A third shared “I only lost one customer this year due to a low baller. I was mowing for this guy and I saw this idiot riding around the neighborhood with a push mower in the back of this piece of crap truck. I watched him stop at several places around me. Next I get a call a few days later from this customer saying he found someone cheaper. I was like ‘Ok dude whatever.’

Two weeks later this same customer calls me back and asks if I would take him back on. Yeah right! I told him maybe next year since I already filled his spot.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

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