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gman
05-08-2007, 04:41 PM
I am always getting new customers, but then I lose 1. There seems to be a big turnover all the time. Is this how it is in the lawn biz? Just wondering if this is normal or am i doing something wrong.

Steve
05-08-2007, 04:59 PM
Hi gman,

Are these weekly service customers you are talking about or are you referring to one time jobs like clean ups etc?

myrlin
05-08-2007, 05:29 PM
It happen to me to.i have no id what going on.


barry

gman
05-08-2007, 08:32 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ May 08 2007,4:59)]Hi gman,

Are these weekly service customers you are talking about or are you referring to one time jobs like clean ups etc?
These are not cleanups, they are weekly customers

Steve
05-08-2007, 08:54 PM
Hi gman,

There could be many factors involved with this customer churn. Is it possible other lcos are coming in and under bidding? Could the customer be upset with the service?

When these customers leave, do you ask them why? If so what are they saying?

Also do you use yearly maintenance agreements? If not, have you considered using them in the future?

Steve
05-08-2007, 09:05 PM
Here was an interesting post on a blog that deals with customer churn. It just kinda goes to show you, most often we just don't ask the consumer why they have decided to stop purchasing from us. If we are interested in knowing, we really should simply ask them.

If I stop buying, ask me why! (http://www.disambiguity.com/smart-email-if-i-stop-buying-ask-me-why/) - Two clever companies noticed I was doing something that was not making them money recently and emailed me to let me know they’d noticed. And then they tried selling me more stuff. As though I must have just got bored or forgot what I was doing when I was supposed to be spending money. As though it couldn’t have been a problem with their product or their processes.

Neither of them ever asked me why I stopped buying. Although I was eager to tell them both.

The first example was Three which I discussed in an earlier post and just this morning Ocardo emailed me saying they’d noticed I’ve not been buying their organic boxes lately. You can tell from their email (above) that they assume that I’ve just forgotten about this great service they’re offering and that a reminder and maybe a special offer will trigger my buying behaviour again.

They’re totally wrong of course. I stopped buying their product deliberately because I think it’s a rip off. They send me boring fruit and vegetables, ones that I don’t really use, and they charge a whole lot of money for it. I don’t buy their product because I can get better organic boxes elsewhere.

If I was running Ocardo (or, at least, in charge of sending out this email), I’d definitely be finding a way not just to remind people about my product, but also to initiate a conversation, a dialogue. Don’t assume I’m just a dumb user who forgot or got distracted… ask me.

If you’re smart enough to look for customer intelligence (who’s stopped buying what), then be smart enough to respect a customer’s intelligence. You’ll end up with a much more more clever company… and maybe even an organic box that I’d want to buy from you again.

LawncareMarketingMagic
05-09-2007, 06:27 PM
Gman,

It could be your customers are leaving because they're having a hard time equating the cost you're charging with the value they're receiving. As a result, when someone else comes along with a cheaper price (and lesser service), they drop you like an old boyfriend.

The key is to make sure they understand the VALUE they're receiving as a result of your service. It could be the extra attention you pay their yard, or the years of experience you have in the industry, or the fact that you're licensed and insured. Each of these facts translates into some benefit for your customer and it's your job to make sure they understand what that benefit is.

Also, even though this may cause some debate among LCO's, I firmly believe it's vital that you establish a relationship with your customers. Get to know them beyond the services you provide and take an interest in their lives. That doesn't mean invite yourself over for dinner, but consider sending a monthly newsletter, birthday or holiday cards, calling periodically to check on things, etc.

Go that extra step to make them feel important and the next time a cheaper offer comes along, they'll think long and hard about dropping you.

Steve
05-09-2007, 10:04 PM
Chestin,

If an lco goes about asking customers who are leaving why they are leaving, should they ask if it is because of a lack of value?

How would you suggest an lco ask that question? Should it just be simply, do you not feel you are getting enough value? And then should there be any follow ups to that like maybe so they can find out in what area they don't feel they are receiving value?

LawncareMarketingMagic
05-09-2007, 10:22 PM
You probably wouldn't need to ask if they're getting enough 'value', but simply asking them why they're leaving should give plenty of insight. If they say they're leaving because they found someone cheaper, that basically means they didn't feel as if they were getting enough value.

Value can be defined as what your customer gets for the price they pay. So it stands to reason that if they're leaving for someone that offers it cheaper, they're not getting enough value.

If that is indeed the case, it's time to examine the way you're positioning your service. It might also indicate a need to better educate your customers on your services and why you are a better choice than the neighborhood low ball scrub.

But again, you'll never know why they're leaving unless you ask the question.

gman
05-10-2007, 09:28 AM
Hi

I think that I'm offering my service to cheap for the amount of work that I'm doing for all my clients. If I'm there I doing a extra small job for every client to improve the yard. And nine out of ten time I'm no charging anything. I was talking to another lco, and he was telling me that I'm charging way to low. He would charge alot more then what I'm changing for the adverage lawn.

gman

tiedeman
05-10-2007, 06:21 PM
Perhaps you just have the wrong type of customers and it has nothing to do with you. Perhaps because of how low your price is you are attracting the price shoppers.

Raise up your price and don't be disappointed that when customers tell you that you're too much. Don't expect to land every single account. If you do land every account, then "yes" your prices are definetly too low

Steve
05-11-2007, 08:20 AM
gman,

Another thing I was thinking about after reading your post is that you might have too many of the wrong customers. When an lco offers their services for too cheap, they tend to attract very price sensitive customers. This could explain the high turn over rate.

If you were to raise your prices, you may tend to attract a different clientele. This would be a customer base who has no problem paying for services rendered and extra work when it is done.

Has anyone else ever found this to be the case as well?

Steve
05-11-2007, 08:23 AM
LOL Troy, I didn't see your post before I made mine. http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Well there you go, I agree with Troy.

Very good point.

gman,

A good way to weed out these clients is to precreen them when they first call you. ask them if they had a previous lco. If so, why did they stop using them? If they tell you it was because the lco charged too much, look out.

gman
05-11-2007, 03:37 PM
Hi

Thanks for the info it will help me I will try to raise my price. I have been getting all my customers. I should have a prescreening list when I talk to the customers. Any help with that maybe 3 or 4 questions and which will the best one??

thanks
Gman

tiedeman
05-12-2007, 12:12 AM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ May 11 2007,8:23)]LOL Troy, I didn't see your post before I made mine. http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Well there you go, I agree with Troy.

Very good point.

gman,

A good way to weed out these clients is to precreen them when they first call you. ask them if they had a previous lco. If so, why did they stop using them? If they tell you it was because the lco charged too much, look out.
LOL...I thought it was funny as well

tiedeman
05-12-2007, 12:25 AM
Quote[/b] (gman @ May 11 2007,3:37)]Hi

Thanks for the info it will help me I will try to raise my price. I have been getting all my customers. I should have a prescreening list when I talk to the customers. Any help with that maybe 3 or 4 questions and which will the best one??

thanks
Gman
Let me throw you an examples of different phone conservations that you might have with customers and in the conversations I am going to have what you SHOULD say and do. *C=Customer and G=You

Situation 1:
G: This is Gman lawn care how may I help you.

C: I am looking for someone to cut my lawn

G: Are you looking for a one cut or seasonal service?

C: *I am just looking for a one time cut while my mower is serviced.

G: *Well, I am sorry, we do not offer one time cuts. *Sorry I couldn't help you.

Conclusion: *Do not take on one time mowers. *You will gain nothing from it in the long run. *All they want is a cheap fix, not a long term solution


Situation 2:
G: Hello, this is gman lawn service how may I help you

C: *How much would it be to mow my lawn?

G: *Well, I would have to come out and look at the property first to determine your price.

C: *Can't you give me a ballpark over the phone

G: *No, Sorry I can not.

Conclusion: *Do not take on a customer that wants an estimate over the phone. *Now if they ask you that they would like you to come over and give them an estimate, then that is a different story.


Situation 3:
G: *Hello, this is gman lawn service, how may I help you?

C: *I would like an estimate for lawn maintenance.

G: *Now this is for the entire season, correct?

C; *Yes

G: *Great. *I will just take down your address for I can meet with you for the estimate and to talk about the contract

C; *Contract? *I am not signing a contract.

G: *I am sorry, but all lawn maintenance accounts are required to sign a contract.

C: *Forget it then

Conclusion: *Why would they want to refuse to sign a contract? *More than likely they probably would not be a good customer that would try to stiff you out of money.


Situation 4:
G; *Hello, this is gman lawn service, how many I help you?

C; *I need an estimate for lawn maintenance.

G; *Not a problem, I would be more than happy to give you an estimate for seasonal weekly mowing.

C; *No, I just need it mowed every 2 weeks.

G; *I am sorry, but we only offer weekly mowing services.

Conclusion: *This weeds out any bi-weekly customers lawns that may get super tall and super thick in which you would waste time and money on in the long run



So these are some examples that I have given you for when someone calls on the phone asking for an estimate.

gman
05-12-2007, 03:28 PM
Thanks again

This should help alot in the future. I will keep ypu posted on how it is going.

GMAN

Steve
05-12-2007, 11:14 PM
Troy,

You did a great job with that. Totally nailed the topic on the head. With that information an lco should really be able to push their company to a new level. http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/yourock.gif