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M & S Window Cleaning

Hi guys, anyone here bought a trad round and successfully transferred them over to wfp

I have just bought over 400 customers who have been cleaned trad for the last 15 years. 

What percentage of customers do you think I will lose because of the transfer? 

also I paid out a fair bit for the round and get on very well with most of them. 

just worried about losing too many customers after paying out for the round. 

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Wind o kleen
27 minutes ago, M & S Window Cleaning said:

Hi guys, anyone here bought a trad round and successfully transferred them over to wfp

I have just bought over 400 customers who have been cleaned trad for the last 15 years. 

What percentage of customers do you think I will lose because of the transfer? 

also I paid out a fair bit for the round and get on very well with most of them. 

just worried about losing too many customers after paying out for the round. 

You should of asked that question before parting with money , if customers have been cleaned for last 15yr traditional ways  isn’t goijg go down very well

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spruce
1 hour ago, M & S Window Cleaning said:

Hi guys, anyone here bought a trad round and successfully transferred them over to wfp

I have just bought over 400 customers who have been cleaned trad for the last 15 years. 

What percentage of customers do you think I will lose because of the transfer? 

also I paid out a fair bit for the round and get on very well with most of them. 

just worried about losing too many customers after paying out for the round. 

 

This sounds as though you have been working the round already and subsequently purchased the round from the 'owner' you worked for/with.

 

This should be a lot easier than when we were in your situation 15 years ago. We purchased a compact round that was trad which we converted to wfp. We were trad cleaners and had never done wfp before. My son was introduced to our new customers and did a trad clean with the previous cleaners. I didn't know he had done this.

 

The round consisted of mainly dormers so climbing all over roofs wasn't an option for me. Nobody had heard of the wfp cleaning method before. We were new cleaners introducing a new cleaning method and to cap it all, we were foreigners selling a service to Yorkshire folk who are renowned for being distrusting.

 

What was a disadvantage ended up an advantage. The previous cleaners cleaned glass only and never cleaned the frames. It was hard graft getting the frames clean and leaving a perfect job. I even had to tell them on the first day that they didn't have to pay me until they were happy with the job done.

 

First day was a nightmare and I wished we had never got involved. When I arrived on 'site' the following day even I was amased at how good those windows were done wfp. They just gleamed in the morning sun. I only managed to do 6 or 7 houses a day on the first day's clean and each of those home owners came out and paid me, ensuring that I continued to clean them with this new system.

I did each house twice. After the first clean I went and did a first clean on the second house and then the third. This gave the first house's windows time to drip down and dry. I went back to the first house and did the glass again, repeating this with the second and third house.

I then checked each clean and sorted out any remaining streaks. I only knocked for payment once the windows had dried spotlessly.

 

As I said I only managed 6 or 7 houses a day and used around 500 litres of water each day.

 

We purchased a round of around a hundred customers and that took me 3 weeks to finish.

 

We honestly lost 3 or 4 which we never paid for. There were also a couple on the list who advised these cleaners hadn't cleaned them for years, so we didn't pay for those either.

 

We actually gained more than we lost because we got numerous jobs from people who wanted clean windows but didn't want the cleaner to walk on their roof tiles.

 

Here's what to look out for. This round was a 2 weekly clean and that's what we purchased it as. But over the next few months we got more and more turning us away because the windows were still clean. But they didn't want to pay more for a 4 weekly clean. This area is part of a tight knit community. When I tried to increase prices we got mass cancellations.

We found out that they had used this tactic on the previous window cleaners twice which explained why the prices were rather low.

 

I 'stuck to my guns' and we lost around 50% of the round we purchased. Slowly they started to dribble back at the new price, but I didn't get them all back. It actually generated a fair amount of ill will on the round. We later identified the ring leader but we continued to clean her mother's property over the road through all this carry-on. She (the ring leader) totally blanked us to this day and never asked us back.

 

Benefits are that they have better privacy - we don't know if they have made their bed or not this morning.

No more ladder marks in the lawn.

Better cleaning result - I'm ducking.

Its safer for us working on their property. (As a home owner they are responsible for our safety on their property. Its up to the home owner to provide workman on their property with a safe working environment.)

I have already fallen off my ladder. That was my warning shot. (We have 2 examples locally of windies who have fallen from their ladders and will never walk again.) I tell customer straight that I'm still alive because of this window cleaning method. We had enquiries asking us the clean the 'old way'. I refuse point blank. I just tell them I'm too old to die now. 😂

 

Honestly just do it, but my advise is to practice lots before you start wfp. Looking as though you know what you are doing and being confident is 90% of the change over battle.

 

 

 

 

Edited by spruce

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A.K WINDOWS

Tricky one , I converted when I had around 200 customers 95% never said a word and was amazed it , a few said the didn’t like it but they didn’t cancel I just told them how it was , you could stand to lose a quite a few but would worry too much , give them a slip with the benefits of WFP

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spruce
25 minutes ago, A.K WINDOWS said:

Tricky one , I converted when I had around 200 customers 95% never said a word and was amazed it , a few said the didn’t like it but they didn’t cancel I just told them how it was , you could stand to lose a quite a few but would worry too much , give them a slip with the benefits of WFP

 

 

It's all about the round I believe. We left our new customers with clean windows and frames. That was our hook to hang our hat on.

 

We also changed over our existing trad round. We lost a few more of those old regulars as they didn't see the difference those on our new round did. We cleaned the frames and windows when we were trad. Their focus wasn't on the frames being cleaned as well but rather that the windows were left wet. Many of our older customers just couldn't deal with that.

 

This was 15 years ago. Everyone has heard of wfp window cleaning now, so nobody is offering a new technology now. We again gained more new customers when people saw how we cleaned, so the few we lost didn't matter in the overall scheme of things.

 

What @M & S Window Cleaning must realise is that he has purchased goodwill. When I worked for Reg Vardy about 18 years ago, Peter Vardy bought many struggling dealerships over the years. He would value the land and buildings the dealership owned and assess its location. He would access workshop equipment and spare parts inventory and that was what his offer was based on. He would never purchase goodwill. So he would never buy a window cleaning round. Our retired accountant customer we clean windows for also isn't interested in goodwill.

 

Its only us windies who put a value on a window cleaning round.

 

My son wanted to buy more work from this same cleaner but I refused. When they stopped cleaning a little later on we canvassed the whole area and picked up lots of their customers for free. That was at the start of the 2008 credit crunch.

 

 

Edited by spruce

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Pjj
1 hour ago, M & S Window Cleaning said:

Hi guys, anyone here bought a trad round and successfully transferred them over to wfp

I have just bought over 400 customers who have been cleaned trad for the last 15 years. 

What percentage of customers do you think I will lose because of the transfer? 

also I paid out a fair bit for the round and get on very well with most of them. 

just worried about losing too many customers after paying out for the round. 

 

 

Provided you do a good job there is no reason why you should loose any , some may take an instant dislike to it but most will see the advantages of it , I changed over 350 customers when I went over and lost one  

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scottish cleaning service
1 hour ago, M & S Window Cleaning said:

Hi guys, anyone here bought a trad round and successfully transferred them over to wfp

I have just bought over 400 customers who have been cleaned trad for the last 15 years. 

What percentage of customers do you think I will lose because of the transfer? 

also I paid out a fair bit for the round and get on very well with most of them. 

just worried about losing too many customers after paying out for the round. 

 

This may seem bizarre but I had hassle from customers with brown window frames. The folk with white window frames were delighted because they could see the merit in clean frames. The ones with brown frames only paid attention to their glass. After reading the above quote I suddenly remembered all the complainers had brown frames which doesn't really show the dirt like white frames. fwiw

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A.K WINDOWS
34 minutes ago, spruce said:

 

 

It's all about the round I believe. We left our new customers with clean windows and frames. That was our hook to hang our hat on.

 

We also changed over our existing trad round. We lost a few more of those old regulars as they didn't see the difference those on our new round did. We cleaned the frames and windows when we were trad. Their focus wasn't on the frames being cleaned as well but rather that the windows were left wet. Many of our older customers just couldn't deal with that.

 

This was 15 years ago. Everyone has heard of wfp window cleaning now, so nobody is offering a new technology now. We again gained more new customers when people saw how we cleaned, so the few we lost didn't matter in the overall scheme of things.

 

What @M & S Window Cleaning must realise is that he has purchased goodwill. When I worked for Reg Vardy about 18 years ago, Peter Vardy bought many struggling dealerships over the years. He would value the land and buildings the dealership owned and assess its location. He would access workshop equipment and spare parts inventory and that was what his offer was based on. He would never purchase goodwill. So he would never buy a window cleaning round. Our retired accountant customer we clean windows for also isn't interested in goodwill.

 

Its only us windies who put a value on a window cleaning round.

 

My son wanted to buy more work from this same cleaner but I refused. When they stopped cleaning a little later on we canvassed the whole area and picked up lots of their customers for free. That was at the start of the 2008 credit crunch.

 

 

I agree , the point about window been left wet was hard to explain they just didn’t get it and I put a letter around to notify and explain how it works, might as well wrote it in Arabic 🤣

 

i have bought work and it’s not easy crossing over I don’t think I would be anymore it’s a headache.

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M & S Window Cleaning
6 minutes ago, A.K WINDOWS said:

I agree , the point about window been left wet was hard to explain they just didn’t get it and I put a letter around to notify and explain how it works, might as well wrote it in Arabic 🤣

 

i have bought work and it’s not easy crossing over I don’t think I would be anymore it’s a headache.

I bought this round so I was in a position to go full time with the new round. hoping to convince the new customers to move over but can’t afford to lose too many too soon. 

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scottish cleaning service

I do both so never lost a customer. Sometimes I'm just as fast with the ladders so doesn't bother me.

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A.K WINDOWS
16 minutes ago, M & S Window Cleaning said:

I bought this round so I was in a position to go full time with the new round. hoping to convince the new customers to move over but can’t afford to lose too many too soon. 

I’m sure you will be fine mate , 9 out of 10 people just want clean windows doesn’t matter how you do it 

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Pjj
25 minutes ago, A.K WINDOWS said:

I’m sure you will be fine mate , 9 out of 10 people just want clean windows doesn’t matter how you do it 

 

 

Totaly agree you need to educate the customer , you don’t take your car to the garage and tell the mechanic how to do the job , he tells you what needs doing and how he will dk the job to a high standard it’s the same with us . 

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dmw

I just changed my 300 customers overnight 3 years ago to trad without telling them and also that month as my biannual increase was due put the prices up as well. I only lost 5 or 6 who were duly replaced, plus I could get the awkward windows as well so a  but more extra cash.

It was probably the likes of Spruce that pioneered the method and many ( not all ) were familiar with the process.

Where it helped me more than you is that I'd been cleaning them for 26 years trad and they knew and trusted me to clean them properly, so that went in my favour.

One thing I would strongly recommend is don't give them a choice of methods ( even bungalow's) or you'll make a rod for your own back.

Best of British.

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spruce
3 hours ago, A.K WINDOWS said:

I agree , the point about window been left wet was hard to explain they just didn’t get it and I put a letter around to notify and explain how it works, might as well wrote it in Arabic 🤣

 

i have bought work and it’s not easy crossing over I don’t think I would be anymore it’s a headache.

😂

We went to pain staking lengths to explain that we clean windows with de-ionosed water. We knew we were onto a looser when we had to explain what deionised water was. "Its like distilled water."

"What's distilled water?"

Once we finished they would ask, " so what do you put into the water?" Funny thing was that everyone down the road was asking the same question.

 

In the end I gave up so my reply was one of these;

"Its magic water."

"If I told you I would have to kill you and I don't want to do that as I would loose a customer"

"Its not what we put into the water, its what we take out"

 

We printed out a leaflet explaining how and why we have chosen this cleaning method;

environmentally friendly,

more respect for your privacy,

no more ladder holes in your garden.

adherence to Health and Safety initiatives regard the use of ladder applicable from 2005,

reach windows we couldn't doing it traditionally, etc. etc.

TBH it was a waste of effort, paper and ink.

 

When we went back to South Africa in 2008 for a wedding, I asked the owner of "The House of Coffees", a coffee house franchisee that was all over the country, what the recipe was for their iced coffee. Its not coffee made with crushed iced water as it is here. Its made with ice-cream, cream, coffee and a few other ingredients. He told me that he couldn't do that as it was their chain's secret recipe. He was protecting that knowledge like the manufacturers of Coke do.

 

I got to thinking about that and asked myself why we should share info to our customers about how we remove salts and minerals from our cleaning water.

Edited by spruce

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scottish cleaning service
29 minutes ago, spruce said:

😂

We went to pain staking lengths to explain that we clean windows with de-ionosed water. We knew we were onto a looser when we had to explain what deionised water was. "Its like distilled water."

"What's distilled water?"

Once we finished they would ask, " so what do you put into the water?" Funny thing was that everyone down the road was asking the same question.

 

In the end I gave up so my reply was one of these;

"Its magic water."

"If I told you I would have to kill you and I don't want to do that as I would loose a customer"

"Its not what we put into the water, its what we take out"

 

We printed out a leaflet explaining how and why we have chosen this cleaning method;

environmentally friendly,

more respect for your privacy,

no more ladder holes in your garden.

adherence to Health and Safety initiatives regard the use of ladder applicable from 2005,

reach windows we couldn't doing it traditionally, etc. etc.

TBH it was a waste of effort, paper and ink.

 

When we went back to South Africa in 2008 for a wedding, I asked the owner of "The House of Coffees", a coffee house franchisee that was all over the country, what the recipe was for their iced coffee. Its not coffee made with crushed iced water as it is here. Its made with ice-cream, cream, coffee and a few other ingredients. He told me that he couldn't do that as it was their chain's secret recipe. He was protecting that knowledge like the manufacturers of Coke do.

 

I got to thinking about that and asked myself why we should share info to our customers about how we remove salts and minerals from our cleaning water.

 

I just tell them to google pure water, case closed. keep it simple.

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spruce
1 hour ago, dmw said:

I just changed my 300 customers overnight 3 years ago to trad without telling them and also that month as my biannual increase was due put the prices up as well. I only lost 5 or 6 who were duly replaced, plus I could get the awkward windows as well so a  but more extra cash.

It was probably the likes of Spruce that pioneered the method and many ( not all ) were familiar with the process.

Where it helped me more than you is that I'd been cleaning them for 26 years trad and they knew and trusted me to clean them properly, so that went in my favour.

One thing I would strongly recommend is don't give them a choice of methods ( even bungalow's) or you'll make a rod for your own back.

Best of British.

 

A can't take that credit tbh.

 

We have to ithank the likes of Alex Gardiner who was instrumental in bringing an affordable carbon pole to the masses. He was the Henry Ford of the window cleaning business. Before Alex opened Gardiners in 2005,  I spoke to a fellow windie who was using a 57' Facelift pole to clean a block of flats. He told me the pole cost him over £2000 + VAT and was very heavy. There was no way we could have afforded a pole at Facelift prices in those days.

 

We also have to thank Alex for the brushes he started to make with window cleaners in mind. We could then consign those Vikan brick brushes to the bin.

 

Then there was Steve Jones with his Aquadapter and then the Univalve. These transformed the way we controlled our flow of water.

 

Our first 80 meter length of minibore hose on a petal hose reel came from Cleantek 15 years ago, a company in Scotland no longer trading. I still have the hose reel and a shorter length of that hose on a Hozelok reel. The hose is fine in summer but unmanageable in winter as it goes so stiff. Compared to the 2 lengths of 1/2" garden hose we used, this minibore was better than sliced bread. 

 

We also thank the electronic wizards of Spring and Varistream controllers who have manufactured a product to help us reduce battery demand and save water.

 

Honestly, we have a lot of people to be very grateful to for providing us with the means to work safely and efficiently.

 

A fellow window cleaner was the first in our area to venture into wfp followed by myself. He had been trad since he left school and was very hesitant about changing customers over. He had been cleaning his round for around 15 years trad. (The difference between us is that I had no choice to go wfp if we were to service the customers on the dormer house round son had agreed to purchase.) We both inspired each other. Once I got my round up and running I helped him get his changed over. It gave me lots of experience.

 

Wfp has been done commercially for more than 50 years in the States. I seem to remember reading somewhere that Tucker pole systems were in use in the States in the 1950's. It was Peter Fogwill and a few others who brought an affordable system to small window cleaning businesses. Jeff Brimble helped many of us in those early days to get up and running. There was another DIY forum but that was eventually shut down for a reason I can't remember. That site ran a DIY thread on converting a Ron Thompson Put Over pole to wfp using a Bentley floor brush. That got us into telescopic carbon fiber poles when Alex started to sell them. The rest we discovered as we went along.


 

 

32 minutes ago, scottish cleaning service said:

 

I just tell them to google pure water, case closed. keep it simple.

 

In those days not everybody had a computer and Google wasn't what it is today.

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Stevieboy

You could just tell them you are not any old window cleaners you are M and S window cleaners. 

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ks789
12 hours ago, Stevieboy said:

You could just tell them you are not any old window cleaners you are M and S window cleaners. 

Thats a great catchline. Reminds me of an idea id had once to call mine 'Carlsberg cleaners' probably the best window cleaners in the world 🤣 🍺 😂

But I reckon they'd connect me with lager too much, which is already a tad too well known in some of my areas 🤐

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Tango
23 hours ago, scottish cleaning service said:

 

This may seem bizarre but I had hassle from customers with brown window frames. The folk with white window frames were delighted because they could see the merit in clean frames. The ones with brown frames only paid attention to their glass. After reading the above quote I suddenly remembered all the complainers had brown frames which doesn't really show the dirt like white frames. fwiw

 

You sir have just saved me a lot of faff! Never thought about the colour of the frames being an issue / lack of cleaning required. 

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scottish cleaning service

I'm changing over to the Exceed hoseless system and I'm not sure if I need to use a plastic 6mm to 8mm insert on red hose before it enters the brush T connector? Any help welcome.

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