Problems buying a traditional round?

Discussion in 'Water Fed Pole Cleaning' started by Mr and Mrs window cleaner, Mar 24, 2016.

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  1. Mr and Mrs window cleaner

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    Hi there,

    We are a wfp business and are considering buying a small round that's currently cleaned traditionally with ladders.

    We're concerned that the existing customers won't be happy to switch to wfp.

    Does anyone have any experience of this? Is there a typical churn rate, where a percentage of customers say they don't want wfp?

    Thanks a lot,

    Jo
     
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  2. CMRwindowcleaning

    CMRwindowcleaning Active Member
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    I bought one and done tops only water fed pole from the first day a lot of customers liked it as we could do the extra Windows the trad guys couldn't get. After a few cleans tops only we swapped to wfp everything. Only lost a few customers but think that was just natural and not much to do with the pole.
     
  3. David K

    David K Forum Addict
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    No problems ! Just explain how it Works if there in , or have a little letter with you on the first clean . I do that and it Works perfectly . I focus on the benefit for the costumer ( frames) :thumbsup:
     
  4. Mr and Mrs window cleaner

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  5. Trev81

    Trev81 Guru
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    Why be concerned, WFP done correctly does a better job IMO, only difference is there left wet after you go, if the odd few don't like that and want there frames left dirty with dry windows just get rid. Just explain no more missed out windows and the complete window & doors cleaned for no extra cost. Then when there converted slowly creep up the prices if you feel there a little underpriced.

    *Disclaimer* I must stress this is not true of ALL trad window cleaners I know some here are decent and do a great job, but for many around my way and the work i 'see' on a daily basis WFP does give a better over all clean, many I see are glass only merchants and I take on quite a bit of work from customers wanting a more complete cleaning service, some of the first cleans I have done after they stated they have sacked there bucket bob are horrific! So if I was you I'd buy it and convert them if the price is right.
     
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  6. spruce

    spruce Grand Master
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    #6 spruce, Mar 24, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
    From personal experience Mr and Mrs window cleaner each situation is different and because one thing works for some, doesn’t mean that it will work for all.

    Our first major step into window cleaning was buying a trad round from a window cleaner my son knew. My son was introduced to these and they cleaned them together. They were mainly dormer houses. So cleaning traditionally meant climbing over roofs to clean the bedroom windows. I didn't know son had bought this round until after the deal was done.

    The first time we cleaned them on our own was with wfp. To make matters worse it was the first time we had cleaned wfp as we cleaned traditionally before. We bought a wfp setup because of this round with its dormer windows. Wfp was little known 11 years ago in our area so we had to make all sorts of payment concessions. The other thing that didn’t help was that we were foreigners (South Africans) introducing a new cleaning method that was as foreign to them as were the cleaners.

    One thing that worked with the Northern’s mentality was that they should only pay us once they were happy with the results. The first day was terrible due to the state of the windows. The previous cleaners only cleaned the glass and didn't touch the frames and they were minging. We probably only did 4 houses each day and each house was cleaned about 3 times before they were spotlessly clean.

    We sold the concept of cleaning the frames as well as the windows and once people in the street saw the difference, most on the round were eagerly awaiting our arrival on day 2. I believe that this was the reason we only lost one or two in the whole estate initially. We had never considered what an impact cleaning frames would have on our acceptance as cleaners into the area.

    The previous cleaners cleaned every two weeks which ended up being another issue we were caught out with.

    I've have found that the average customer doesn’t think the way we would like them to think. According to the previous cleaners they had 2 prices, glass only or glass and frames. 90% wanted the glass only price. They were charging £5 for glass only for a 3 bed semi every 2 weeks. We kept to the 2 week cycle. Everything was fine for the first couple of months as we exceeded our new customer’s expectations with clean windows, frames and sills. Whilst some saw the cleaning of the frames as a sweetener, it wasn't long before it became the accepted norm and expected.

    But we then started to get 'leave them this time' as they are still clean rejection. Within a couple of months virtually the whole round was doing this, but they still expected a monthly clean for £5.
    We did manage to get a higher price for a 4 weekly clean from some, but it wasn’t much more and we lost a lot of customers.

    We were disappointed as we had paid good money for the round, but we accepted that it wasn’t working out the way we had presumed it would.

    Slowly over the next 6 months many of those came back to us at an agreed price rise for a 4 weekly clean. But there were some that didn’t. We did gain more work from neighbours so ended up better off in the end.

    We weren’t sorry we bought this round as it was very compact. But looking back we would now canvass for new customers and price higher. The round consisted of about 100 customers, which was about 10 days work for me on my own. But through word of mouth and a little canvassing we have more than enough work for 3 of us. The downside is that the additional work we got (apart from one new estate) isn’t very compact.

    I had printed sheets explaining the benefits of wfp but most didn’t understand it. I didn’t bother to hand them out in the end. I found that short answers were best.

    “What stuff do you put in your water to make it clean so well?” “It’s not what we put in, it’s what we take out” usually answered that one.

    “What type of water do you use?” “It’s magic water, that why it cleans like it does” also stopped a long conversation of explanation that went over most people’s heads and wasted time.

    “Why don’t you dry the windows after you have washed them?” “If I did that then I would have to use my ladders. If I did that then we would both know if you made your bed this morning. But as I’m going to leave them to dry naturally, then you are the only one who will know whether you have or not.”

    If you have an established window cleaning round then take a chance on it if the price is right and the cleaning price is also right. If there is an issue with either one or both, then rather canvass for more work and forget this.

    Nowadays we just clean new customers. We don't discuss what cleaning method we use. We have only had 1 person in the last couple of years ask if we use that pole thing. When she found out we did she said no and I said "Bye."
    We did a new clean for an old dear about a year ago. I thought that we could have a problem so I informed her that we use the wfp method. Her answer was that she didn't care how we cleaned them. All that she was interested in is that they were clean when we finished.
     
  7. simon

    simon Guru
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    i've just done the 2nd clean on a trad round i bought, the lad had done it for 15 years, never touched a frame & barely wiped a sill lol so the first clean was proper hard work also his prices weren't good but all the work is mixed in with stuff i had already so its not been too bad
    i told all the customers i would clean them 3x at the old prices then i would have to up them a bit as he had for example £6 & £7 houses next to ones i have at £12 & £14 but so far they have all been very very happy & some £5 & £6 ones have doubled the price themselves already
    but i have bought 2 trad rounds that wouldn't accept a price rise so i did them till i got fed up & gave them to a mate
     
  8. tench0771

    tench0771 Grand Master
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    i brought a trad round last summer only 2 roads £140 off quids wrth i clean tops wfp trad bottoms on 1st 4 cleans to get them used to it now i wfp the lot picked up 2 new jobs last month in the road due to wfp as i think people r curious to no what its like ect also when i got my gutter vac out every one was like whoa never sin that b 4 also having all the safty cones out it looks very pro compaired to a guy with a load of riped scrims drying on the bonet of his unsignritten van not that i look down to those who do that as i was like that years ago i had lots of comments say how good wfp is and how mch cleaner the glass is im 7 weekly and there still prity clean when i come to do them again not lost any wich i was suprized as some dont like glass left wet ect:rolleyes::D
     
  9. peter rogers

    peter rogers Grand Master
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    I looked at one but was in a area I am in and wanted to expand but it was to cheap per house and would oF took to long to put price up
     
  10. Mr and Mrs window cleaner

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