Sunday, June 27, 2010

Push comes to shove

Now, I know I have broached the subject before. The one where some of the larger companies in the lawn care industry seem to have a playbook on converting former customers back into believers of the faith.

However, after listening to some of my loyal patrons moan about tactics their former providers are still using trying to win them back, I find it hard to fathom there would be any register of success.

Let's explore the various levels shall we?

The soft sell tactic: Is the post card you get in the mail from your former company expressing regret. "Something went wrong between us, but we will do what it takes to win you back."

This sentiment is usually accompanied by a picture of flowers, or kittens, or kittens with flowers.

Regardless the customer knows, if that company hadn't sent out students who didn't do the work in the first place, there'd be no need to send a card now.

The hard sell: This is a very aggressive tactic. Incessant phone calls to the point of belligerence demanding to know who's doing the lawn now, promising to under cut the price and even going as far as slander- "the company you have now isn't using the correct products on your lawn."

If they mean Sarritor, then touche'! They've got me there?

Most people I talk to, find this manner of trying to win a customer back infuriating. Why didn't they get a better price two years ago when they were being gouged by the very same company offering the discount?

The Blindside technique: Funny as it may seem, I lost one customer to this tactic. It involves the company targeting other members of the family and offering them a special price if they purchase lawn care for their parents/daughter/ son/ etc. perhaps as a birthday gift?

But usually this special price also comes with some extra applications you didn't ask for. Applications you are subsequently billed for anyway.

The desperate sell: It may involve some or all of the tactics listed above, but no matter how many times they hear the word, "No!", they remain aggressive and will even sneak an application in on your lawn then bill you for it, threatening legal action if you don't pay.

In all, I have an opinion on all the horror stories I have heard over the years. Yet, I know my advice will fall on def ears.

If you'd only treat your customers with more respect and do a decent job with the work you have been contracted for, there would be no need to lower yourself to such a crass member of the bad business animal.

Hello! Is anyone in the lawn care industry listening?

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