Spring is here! Have all of your clients renewed this year? Is there a way to know which clients are going to stay with your company? Do you have them sign a contract at the end of the previous season? Or do you call them when spring arrives? Some LawnSite.com members share their tips.

Captain Mike: I have a core group of customers that have been with me for 15-plus years. While servicing their lawns, I’ve picked up 25 others last year alone.

My question is how do you know these people are coming back? Do I call them? I’ve had nothing but positive remarks about my work, tips on top of my final bill and even a basket of “joy” given to me for just doing what I love.

What do you do? I want to figure out who’s in and who’s out.

jc1: We keep in touch by sending cards:

  • Thanksgiving: “Thanks for being a great customer.”
  • Christmas: “Happy Holidays! See you this spring.”
  • February: “It’s been a cold few months, but we are looking forward to getting back to work. See you in a few weeks.”

That way it is pretty clear you intend on starting where you left off.

JFGLN: Put something like this on your invoices: “For your convenience, service programs automatically renew each year. Contact us if you would like to make a change.”

I also put on there when the mowing season begins and ends.

GKPM: Every year I send a letter to all of my previous year customers about six weeks before I start service. I state the date I plan to start services, depending on weather, etc. If there is any sort of price or service-related change, I address it at that time. If I have added or deleted any services offered, I address it at that time. I usually have something that the customer fills out and sends back in so I can “update” cell phone numbers, email addresses, etc. If they don’t want your services any longer, they’ll contact you.

gulfjoe: I’m sending my renewal letters tomorrow. They pretty much say if you want to keep my service no need to contact, and if you want to cancel let me know by phone or email. I informed them of the referral program and discount. Last year was 100 percent retention and I’m hoping for the same this year!

Kelly’s Landscaping: Send out the contracts this week (mid-February) with self-addressed and stamped return envelopes, making it as painless as possible. In three weeks, we’ll send out the “Where the hell is my contract?” letter (lol) to any still out there. That brings in most of the ones that are still missing. After that, it’s a judgment call on whether to call each missing one or not. But as that’s going on you’re getting calls for new work, so losing a few to attrition is a non-issue.

Chris112lee: I auto-renew everyone. I send out a letter that says to contact us if they wish to make changes to the service. No need to contact if they wish to continue service. I usually lose about 1 percent per year due to moves, etc.

360lawncare: We just send out a letter letting everyone know when we are getting started back up and thank them for being loyal customers and leave it at that. If they want to cancel, they will let me know.

billythekid: I call everyone. Usually I do this to get a personal interaction with the customer, because some I see rarely, if at all. I also use it to upsell services. I have a lot of customers who prefer to text, which is fine with me. I send them a text and make sure it is proofread to the best of my abilities.

Cedar Lawn Care: In the fall, I tell them we will be starting back up at the beginning of April. I tell them to let us know if their situation changes. In March, I send out a letter letting them know the date of our first service. I tell them their price and start mowing when I say I will.

Continue the conversation about returning customers on LawnSite.com