Forgive me for saying but something is wrong here.
First off, I think 8 to 10 complaints is way too many even on 40 to 45 customers. This means you have as high as a 25% complaint rate. If you are doing quality work and taking care of your customers, your complaint rate should be 5% or less.
Also, for every complaint you receive four people will not complain. Instead, they will just drop your service and you will never know why.
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]We usually put out about 1000 flyers per week for maybe 5-6 week and we get so busy and I have to help get the work done. Then before you know it the work will stop.
Part of the problem might be learned from this quote. Are you getting so busy trying to hustle up new customers that you are neglecting your current clients? I think most LCOs will agree with me that their businesses rely on repeat customers. You CANNOT run this business doing one time jobs. Also, I think most LCOs will agree that word of mouth is the best advertising. Instead of spending all that time putting out flyers, spend a few extra minutes with each of your customers. Ask your current clients to refer you to their friends and family. Don't bother offering money for referrals. If they are happy with you, they will gladly give references.
So, let's look as possible reasons why you are not retaining customers.
In my experience, customers look for:
1) Relationship: I've said it a bunch of times on these boards and I'll say it again here. Customers look for a professional relationship with their LCO. They want someone to talk with about lawn problems. They want someone to care for their yard...CARE for it, not just mow it as absolutley fast as possible and move onto the next job. They also want someone they can call up and say "Hey, Evergreen. I know you normally do my lawn on Thursdays but my little girl's birthday party is on Wednesday. Is there anyway you can come a day early?" It's okay to bend to a realistic demand from a customer. They will remember you for it.
Believe me, if you cultivate a respectful relationship with a customer, you will have a client for life.
2) Dependability: This works into the relationship heading too. I put this even above quality of work and price. Customers want to be treated respectfully and they want to know you will show up when you say you are going to. Customers will overlook the occasional flaw in their grass. They will even overlook your price being a few dollars higher than the other guy but if they can't count on you they will find someone else.
3 & 4) Quality of work & Price. Lots has already been written about these two. I won't delve into them here.
Anyway, that's what I see might be the problem from what you have written. Pay attention to your current customers and try to grow at a steady rate instead of all at once.
I hope this is helpful.