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9 Signs You Need To Cut A Toxic Client (& Horror Stories)

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Lawn care or client care?
9 signs it's time to part ways with a customer9 Signs it is time to cut ties with a challenging clientLook, we often focus on customer service in the lawn care industry. 

It's true, that taking care of customers is simply a part of any service-based industry. 

But on the flip side, sometimes there are customers we simply need to cut instead of their lawns

In my experience, learning when to cut clients is one of the toughest lessons to learn about running a lawn care company. 

Fortunately, there are some tell-tale signs that your client simply isn’t worth your time.

And you and your business would simply be better off without them. 

Below you will find 9 signs you need to drop a toxic client!

Reasons lawn care professionals cut clients

Top 9 Reasons Lawn Care Pros Drop Clients

We wanted to hear from other lawn care pros what their main signs were that they needed to drop a client. 

They gave us a lot of good insight and even a few horror stories. 

Check out what these lawn care pros had to say about the reasons they break up with their clients.

Wants extra stuff done GreenPal

 Sign #1: Expects Free Services 

Look, one of the most common issues I have run into is clients expecting free services.

And I know I am far from the only one to have experienced this.

At first, it's something simple like helping move a couple of chairs out of the lawn. Next thing you know you they want their garden beds mulched without paying more. 

Or maybe they expect the garden beds to be weeded. 

Whatever the case, a client that expects free service is one that won’t be worth the time in the long run. 

Cheap clients GreenPal

 Sign #2: Cheap or Constantly Try To Negotiate 

When you set a price for your services, stand by it. 

The moment you start to negotiate rates with your clients, you have entered a dangerous space. 

If you say it’s going to be $650 to mulch the garden beds, that's the price

If they try to negotiate that you may want to consider dropping them altogether.

Waiting for lawn care clients to pay me

 Sign #3: Won’t Pay on Time 

Look, we all have a rough time every once in a while.

And there are definitely occasions where it may be hard for someone to pay on time. But some customers make a habit of it. 

If your lawn care client is constantly failing to pay on time, or you have to chase them around to get them to pay. 

It’s time to drop your client!

Ill call you when I want it cut

 Sign #4: “I’ll Call You When I Want it Cut” 

This one is enough to make a lawn care pro cringe.

The moment you hear “I’ll call you when I want it cut” you need to be done with that client.

It’s time to move on.

Keeping your schedule is already difficult enough. You can’t let your clients make it more difficult. 

While you need to offer your client some flexibility with the schedule, ultimately you need to have the final say

And a client that expects to be able to call you on-demand is only going to get in the way of that.

Toys in the yard can be a problem for lawn care pros

 Sign #5: Toys Always on The Lawn 

This goes along the lines of expecting extra services for free. 

Having to pick up a bunch of toys every time you cut the lawn may be a sign you should cut a client.

It's true, every once in a while there are going to have to be some items that need to be removed from the lawn. 

It's part of the job.

But, if it gets to be to the point where it's a complete nuisance. You need to address it with your client, and if it still isn't resolved it's time to fire your client. 

Sign #6 is along the same lines.

How lawn care pros deal with dog poop

 Sign #6: Dog Poop! 

Like toys, dog poop in the grass is simply a part of lawn care to a certain extent. 

However, it can get to the point where it gets to be a bit out of hand. 

We wanted to know how lawn care pros dealt with the issue of dog poop on the lawn, so we asked them. 

And this is what we found...

How do you handle dog poop on your clients property

Most lawn care pros, 311 simply chalked up dealing with dog poop to being part of the job. 

On the other hand, 90 lawn care pros said they will charge more for having to deal with dog poop on the lawn. But they will typically give their client the opportunity to correct the issue.

However, most of them, 49 said they would address the issue with their client first, before increasing the price. While 18 said they take the passive-aggressive approach of mowing around it to make a point.

Finally, 17 said they will simply fire the client. 

We found a lot of interesting ways lawn care pros deal with dog poop on the lawn, but we will have to cover that in a different article.

Micromanagers are a lawn care pros worst nightmare

 Sign #7: A Micromanager That is Always Watching You Work 

Look, we all like to be recognized for our hard work, but some clients give you a little too much recognition. Micromanging clients need to be cut

If you have a client that likes to watch you cut a lawn from beginning to end. 

Like this one: 

Alwasy watching you, its time to cut a lawn care client

Or likes to stand behind you while you are pruning bushes and give you ‘pointers’. 

It may be time to move on.

Cleints always cause you giref

 Sign #8: They Constantly Cause you Grief 

Is your client always causing you grief in general?

Well, it's time to fire them!

Look, there are always going to be clients that you may not get along with. 

But if they constantly cause you grief by complaining, or calling you all the time, this is the sort of toxic behavior that will drag down you and your business. 

Sends you texts after hours

 Sign #9: Text and Call All The Time 

Sometimes you may need to communicate with clients. 

In fact, it's a good idea to talk with your clients from time to time. 

But there are those clients that like to talk a little too much. 

Maybe they text or call every day, or only bug you on the weekends. 

Regardless of whether your client likes to talk a little too frequently. It may be best to move on, so you can continue to serve your other clients efficiently.

Deciding Which Lawn Care Clients to Fire 

At the end of the day, you need to weigh the difficulty a certain client presents you with, versus the business that they bring you.

It’s a difficult lesson to learn, but the sooner you can cut bad clients the better

You will waste a lot of time and energy dealing with clients that aren’t worth the time. Learn how to identify and fire them early on. 

And you can spend the time you would have wasted dealing with a nuisance client, growing your businesses elsewhere.
Quick Summary: 9 Signs It's Time to Part Ways with a Customer

Why It's a Problem
Expects Free Services
Clients expecting free services can be a drain on your resources.
Cheap or Constantly Tries to Negotiate
Negotiating rates undermines your pricing and business integrity.
Won't Pay on Time
Consistently late payments disrupt your cash flow and efficiency.
"I'll Call You When I Want it Cut"
Unpredictable scheduling makes it challenging to manage your time.
Toys Always on The Lawn
Constantly picking up toys is an unnecessary and time-consuming task.
Dog Poop on the Lawn
Dealing with excessive dog poop becomes an unpleasant responsibility.
Micromanager Watching You Work
Constant scrutiny can hinder your productivity and create stress.
Constantly Causes You Grief
Clients causing continual problems negatively impact your well-being.
Texts and Calls All The Time
Excessive communication disrupts your work-life balance. 

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