Like with any other customer service based industry, lawn maintenance is totally a customer centric industry. After all, us “lawn guys” are providing a service to your property to hopefully beautify and make the property better than we found it. So of course we want you (the customer) to be happy with the service or product that we provide! With this being said, sometimes even the best companies in any service based industry cannot keep up with a constantly complaining or nit picky customer. Unfortunately sometimes the best, and only thing to do is to just simply let. them. go! In this article I want to briefly cover how to recognize an “unsatisfiable customer” and how to let. them. go.
I know what you’re thinking... Landon? WHAT!! fire your own customer? My answer.....yes.
Let me explain. While I’m a big proponent for customer satisfaction, I’m also a big proponent for ensuring that my team and I are able to easily please the customer with our services provided. This means we’re not jumping through 100 different hoops every time we go out to service your property because the service we are providing is simply, “not enough“, Or “not up to the customer’s standard“.
When determining whether to fire a customer consider these three things.
1. Do they complain constantly?
We’ve all had at least one of these customers.. where every time you go out to do service on their property it’s always something. Whether they want the grass cut shorter or higher, or they want the weeds pulled from their flower beds, or they want their hedges trimmed more. Simply put, they’re never able to be pleased no matter how high-quality the service provided is. Let them go! They will cause you (the business owner) a headache along with causing more hassle for your managers, field technicians, etc.
2. Do they want extra service items done for free?
You know what I’m talking about, the one customer who always wants the hedges trim for free, wants a free cut here or there, wants a discount, or wants the weeds sprayed. Avoid these types customers at all cost, and if you already are servicing somebody like this drop them like a hot potato! I understand that everybody’s trying to save some money, and I understand that they want to get the best service for a reasonable rate; but they also have to understand that we are a business. We are in business to make money! We simply cannot provide free services on somebody’s property and expect our business to stay open long.
3. Seems as if they can’t afford the service?
Even though it’s none of my business as to what our customers do with their money, it does become my business once they request services and don’t or can’t pay. side note.. (This is why it’s always important to get at least a 50% deposit upfront for any type of landscape job that you were doing.) If a customer is consistently behind on their monthly payment by at least a couple days or weeks drop them immediately. It’s not fair to you as a business owner to provide a service that the customer has requested and then your customer can’t, or decides not to pay. unfortunately some people take advantage of small business owners and think that since we are small, we’re just going to “brush it off” that is simply not the case. In fact, the small business owner needs those funds way more than a bigger Multi million dollar operation business does. But that’s a discussion for another day.....
Once you recognize the complaining customer, now it’s time to fire them. Some people may be uncomfortable with “firing“ their own customer but as I stated, it needs to be done sometimes.
What I simply do is either text or call the customer and let them know that I understand that they have had problems in the past with our services and it seems like every time we visit the property something is always wrong. I then let them know that it seems as if we cannot provide the service that they require at the standard they require it at and unfortunately that means that we have to discontinue service to the property.
I hope this bit of information helps you in the growth of your lawn care business. If you have any further questions or would like to speak more about the topic feel free to contact me.
LDM Lawn Service