Converting old trad to wfp

Discussion in 'Water Fed Pole Cleaning' started by Tom in leeds, Apr 8, 2016.

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  1. Tom in leeds

    Tom in leeds Newcomer
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    Hi guys,

    I'm just wondering how you found transfering your trad cleans to wfp. I have converted quite a few in the last year but some are a real pain in the ****. Are there any really good tips of the trade out there?
     
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  2. Marko067

    Marko067 Well-Known Member
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    Might help if we knew what you were finding a pain; convincing your customers or the cleaning itself.

    My experience was that most of the problems were in my head. In practice it wasn't as bad as I'd imagined it. Much smoother in fact. One thing I found out quite quickly was that the more upbeat/positive I was about the change the more readily my customers accepted it.
     
  3. LIXRHI

    LIXRHI Newcomer
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    Ive just completed my first week on the pole after 10 years trad. So far the response has been great. No complaints yet.. I let every customer know in advance of the change with a letter and did my research so that any questions asked I could answer confidently. You're confidence will keep the customers mind at rest. Let them know the first clean might not be perfect but the results will get better with every clean. You'll always get some that take more convincing than others.. All the best pal
     
  4. Marko067

    Marko067 Well-Known Member
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    Don't get disheartened if you lose some. You will pick up more work. Keep things pleasant and you may find you gain them back. One of my most anti wfp customers now won't let anyone say a bad word about it. She was so upset about it, I just said, "tell you what, if you let me clean them this once wfp, I'll only take your money if you are satisfied when they're dry. If you're not then I won't accept payment." She came out and watched me cleaning them and was so impressed she didn't wait for them to dry before paying me.
     
  5. LIXRHI

    LIXRHI Newcomer
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    That's a good idea mate. I have that 1 customer too. He flat out said no way when I informed him of the changeover. I think I'll try that tactic.
     
  6. Poles Apart

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    You are doing this right, the worst thing you can do is say nothing as some suggest on here. I don't hand out letters to all customers but keep copies of a statement of method in the van just in case someone questions you, it's much better than bamboozling them with verbal gobbledegook as they would see it, by reading it in their own time they absorb it better saying nothing sews doubt and suspicion. I told a customer yesterday that his £9 job was going up to 10 after a absence of increase in 3 years he replied saying WHAT for pouring water on to my windows he thought we didn't have costs to the business we even told him we have to pay 80 quid for resin alone.
     
  7. spruce

    spruce Grand Master
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    #7 spruce, Apr 9, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
    The last time you tradionally cleaned the houses was a good time to give the frames and sills a good clean with your cloths. That makes changing over much simpler.

    We bought a trad round with the majority of houses being dormers. The previous cleaners accessed upper windows by walking up the roofs. They cleaned glass only and the frames were minging.

    We bought a wfp trailer for this round. So we were new to the customers (although introduced), foreigners (South Africans), and never done wfp before. We had Unger Teleplus poles (as whippy as fiberglass) and Vikan brush heads (heavy as a brick). We had 1/2" garden hose on hozelock hose reels (no minibore or microbore on sale in those days), no controller (hadn't been 'invented' yet), and 3mm jets. Most customers had never heard or seen wfp before either.

    The good thing about the round was that it was very compact, so we were able to scrub and rinse each window thoroughly and then move onto the next house and then the third house. Then we started back at the first house and cleaned glass only repeating the same process on the second and third house.
    We then inspected for any streaking issues and re-cleaned glass on those windows. We probably did 5 or 6 houses a day initially. But once the first clean was perfect, cleaning afterwards was much quicker.

    Being a good wfper only comes with experience which you have got to learn yourself, nobody can teach you. Before you clean any window carefully inspect it for bird muck or any other issues. (In fact its good to inspect all the windows on the side of the house you are cleaning.) We will pay attention to those issues by soaking them with water and giving them a scrub first.)This will save you time later.

    We clean the top frame first with each clean but very really rinse it these days on maintenance cleans. We then wash the window sides and bottom but not the sill. Then we 'box' the glass around the edges and then clean the glass inside the 'box'. We have found 2 passes to be the best. We then wash the sill and rinse the window. This works for us as we rinse off the glass. (With experience you will learn to aim the jets (pencil) of water a few mm below the top of the glass and rinse.) We switch the water flow off and then wipe the sill with the brush.

    Once you have done the initial clean and they are done well, the following clean will be a maintenance clean. Don't over clean (I have this problem).
    But do go back and inspect the finished job. Once it is perfect then you will gain confidence to wash and walk away; but that only comes with time and experience. If you have a good brush you could get away with a single pass on a 'clean' window, but you need to try it. (We have a children's center and council offices we clean on a weekend when no one is about. In the early days it was a great place to test what worked and what didn't on south facing windows as no one was around. Your own house is also a good place to experiment on.)

    Older windows with upper openers above a full pane of glass below are ones to watch out for and you will get streaking down the center of the glass. We have one house that we do all the upper windows on ground and first floor and then carry on with the others in the street. We then go back to that house 3 or 4 hours later and then wash the lower glass under those openers. By that time the upper windows have dried of. She's had a few wfpers over the years who have 'stopped coming' because of these windows.
    One local cleaner dumped all his customers who had those windows due to the extra time it took him to get them right.

    If you see a vertical row of water droplets in a straight line from the top of the window there is a good possibility that these will dry as white spots. We get this a lot on the North East coast. If you see this we shake the brush 'dry' and then wipe any water droplets from the top frame. Then switch the water on and wash the glass only. Inspect later. We have this issue on a couple of south facing windows where the upvc frames appear to be oxidizing.

    I'm a bit OCD when it comes to cleaning customer's windows. I had the same local lad mentioned above saying to me that he was only interested in customers who were happy with a 90% clean. When he first said that I was shocked as it goes against everything in me. But it does make a lot of sense. Its not humanly possible to do a 100% perfect job. So even with my approach I may class my clean as a 95% clean on each house. He recons it takes him twice as long the clean to a 95% standard as it would to a 90% standard. Food for thought. On the hand, if he took his van in for repair, would he be happy with a 90% job?

    He also dropped all his customers who had back gates that were difficult to open as they hindered his earning potential. Offered fronts only or nothing.
    He has a full round btw.

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  8. spruce

    spruce Grand Master
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    A couple of weeks ago I informed a customer my now departed (got a proper job) son in law cleaned that we had a new cleaner covering that part of the round for us that son in law used to do. She said she only wanted someone using that pole that we have and not someone cleaning the old way by standing on her roof.:)

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  9. spruce

    spruce Grand Master
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    My advice is to just move on. Its your customers personal preference. Some ignore that there is a safety issue and that the reason for doing this is that you want to live a long healthy life.

    We have a customer who is one of the rapid response team working for the NHS. He was called to an incident in Middlesbrough just before Christmas where a window cleaner had be blown off his ladders whilst working and sadly didn't make it. The owner of the house he was working on was distraught. But it was too late for 'if onlys'.

    He made me swear that I would never use ladders. I did say that I do have to use ladders occasionally but never on my own and never in windy or bad weather. He was not total happy with the answer.

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  10. daveyboy

    daveyboy Legend
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    All this fuss to change customers to a different method of cleaning
    Just clean it the way you want as you are getting paid to clean them which is what you are doing
    You don't tell a mechanic to use air tools because you don't like spanners
    Poles Apart why is the worst thing not to tell them?
    I changed all my customers over by cleaning them
    If nobody in then great
    If in and come out and ask i just said it's 100% pure water and will do an amazing job on the frames etc ..let it dry and any problems give me a shout and I'll sort it
    Everybody happy and loving this new "wfp thingie"
    It was as easy as that for me
    What is the point of a method statement for customers etc
     
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