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How to stop clients skipping


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Posted (edited)

Just speaking to another window cleaner and he's a bit fed up of clients skipping. Not lately but in general when discussing business.

In all honesty most clients are honest and will admit whether they want a recurring/repeat/regular service or wether they truly just want a one off.
Unfortunately they is the few who lie and are seemingly dishonest on purpose.

To make matters worse, many are in need of the work and do not want to charge a higher first clean price either because they may not secure the quote or because it penalises the majority who are honest.

 

I am sharing how we minimise it from the start. Each new client gets their quote via email and we now include something along the lines of the following:

Your Commitment 

Unlike other window cleaners, we will not charge you an additional premium for conducting the Initial or First Clean when you request to commence a recurring service even though it takes us 50% longer on average to conduct the First Clean. 

However, we expect that you commit to a minimum of 4 recurring cleaning visits at your preferred cycle of every 6 or 9 weeks. 

Should you request to suspend or cancel your recurring service prior to the completion of 4 visits you will be liable to pay a cancellation charge equal to 50% of your 6 weekly price. 

This is same premium applied to One Off and Adhoc services which are declared as non recurring from the outset. 

 

It is a fair meet in the middle where you do to have to charge the premium but you set the one from the start.

Please adopt this if it can help you and your business.

Please share with any newer guys and girls out there as it can be tough when you're starting out and dealing with these issues that we've all faced at one time or another.

The more of us in the industry that adopt practices like this or similar, means the more we will improve the expectations of clients who can sometimes seem to think it's acceptable to mess window cleaners around as the experienced on here will surely agree.

 

Some alternatives as mentioned before are:

1. Charge double the first clean and give the fourth for free. so cleans will be 20, 10, 10 free. This levels out the price too.

2. Just charge more on the first clean if you are confident about business and not struggling for jobs and that suits your way of working.

 

Have a good evening all.

 

Edited by Omega
alt and enter submitted before finished. aka typing too fast for my own good!
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2 minutes ago, Omega said:

Just speaking to another window cleaner and he's a bit fed up of clients skipping. Not lately but in general when discussing business.

In all honesty most clients are honest and will admit whether they want a recurring/repeat/regular service or wether they truly just want a one off.
Unfortunately they is the few who lie and are seemingly dishonest on purpose.

To make matters worse, many are in need of the work and do not want to charge a higher first clean price either because they may not secure the quote or because it penalises the majority who are honest.

 

I am sharing how we minimise it from the start. Each new client gets their quote via email and we now include something along the lines of the following:

Your Commitment 

Unlike other window cleaners, we will not charge you an additional premium for conducting the Initial or First Clean when you request to commence a recurring service even though it takes us 50% longer on average to conduct the First Clean. 

However, we expect that you commit to a minimum of 4 recurring cleaning visits at your preferred cycle of every 6 or 9 weeks. 

Should you request to suspend or cancel your recurring service prior to the completion of 4 visits you will be liable to pay a cancellation charge equal to 50% of your 6 weekly price. 

This is same premium applied to One Off and Adhoc services which are declared as non recurring from the outset. 

 

It is a fair meet in the middle where you do to have to charge the premium but you set the one from the start.
 

With respect its not worth the paper its written on how are you going to enforce it ?.. we always charge double for first cleans this stops the messers.  The only exception is existing customers family or very close friends , when quoting I always explain this price is fir a regular 4/8 weekly clean and we work in all weathers ,if they hesitate ,cough splutter I imedjatly say I dont think you would be the type of customer we are looking for thanks for  your time and walk away , they arnt going to waist my time , by cancelling or saying after the first clean we will be in touch when we want them doing again . Been there done that 😂😂

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1 minute ago, Pjj said:

With respect its not worth the paper its written on how are you going to enforce it ?.. we always charge double for first cleans this stops the messers.  The only exception is existing customers family or very close friends , when quoting I always explain this price is fir a regular 4/8 weekly clean and we work in all weathers ,if they hesitate ,cough splutter I imedjatly say I dont think you would be the type of customer we are looking for thanks for  your time and walk away , they arnt going to waist my time , by cancelling or saying after the first clean we will be in touch when we want them doing again . Been there done that 😂😂

@Pjj appreciate your point but it works for us based on how we do things. we all work at different sizes and with varying processes so there is no one solution.

also, it's better than nothing for those that find this an issue. especially those starting out. I should add that prior to our quotes being sent we confirm whether they ask for One off or regular before pricing is mentioned which weeds out most. But even we still get a few and many agree to pay or just continue on.

another thing is where the charge is not paid, it is a write off so it pays some benefit in any instance.

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I dont have a problem with skippers generally...I've only had a handful over the last 7 weeks so I dont see the need for a long winded letter myself.....

 

I usually charge extra for a first clean as a matter of course......

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Posted (edited)

Quote extra for first cleans and be very hesitant on the next clean.

We don't get shafted much these days, but we have had a fair share of end of tenancy cleans by renters who are moving out under the guise of a regular clean and walk ups looking for a regular window cleaner and change their minds after the clean.

At the time of quotation we lay out our stand clearly. If they change the verbal terms of the agreement then we just walk away. We have often had a phone call many months later asking us to clean again and I refuse politely telling them why. They had their chance. Let them play the next window cleaner.

This way we don't loose out too much. We also have a full schedule so basically will only consider family and friend's referrals. We tend to get good customers via referrals as they are genuine customers.

If someone does ask us for a one of quote I will try to accommodate them for their honesty.  

If you have problems with skipped cleans now expect it to get worse with the state of the economy and people's uncertainty regarding their future employment status. We had 3 cancel on Saturday morning out of 12 to clean. This was my first day back since 23rd March. 

We have had all our commercials bar one postpone window cleaning.

Edited by spruce
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Just charge double on the 1st clean. It's not rocket science. No need to come up with some great big letter reading them the rights, that will just put off your customers. That letter is the biggest load of garbage, if someone gave that to me before agreeing to a window cleaning service, I'd laugh. It's window cleaning for goodness sake, not a contract to build an extension where you will need to spend thousands on supplies, it's just your labour and some bloody water. 

Business is business, people will mess you around. If your starting out and worried about charging extra for extra work that will inevitably be required on the 1st clean than you need to have a good hard talk with yourself, perhaps your just not cut out to be a businessman.

You should be thinking about how this job will provide your business with a profit that can be enjoyed and reaped. Not being apologetic for charging for something you are entitled to charge for.

Now I give all my customers a next clean date on their bill, and I stick to that. That forms some sort of goodwill contract, and works very well. Perhaps do something like that, but please don't make it something it isn't, it's just window cleaning. 

🤣

 

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9 minutes ago, cleaniac said:

Just charge double on the 1st clean. It's not rocket science. No need to come up with some great big letter reading them the rights, that will just put off your customers. That letter is the biggest load of garbage, if someone gave that to me before agreeing to a window cleaning service, I'd laugh. It's window cleaning for goodness sake, not a contract to build an extension where you will need to spend thousands on supplies, it's just your labour and some bloody water. 

Business is business, people will mess you around. If your starting out and worried about charging extra for extra work that will inevitably be required on the 1st clean than you need to have a good hard talk with yourself, perhaps your just not cut out to be a businessman.

You should be thinking about how this job will provide your business with a profit that can be enjoyed and reaped. Not being apologetic for charging for something you are entitled to charge for.

Now I give all my customers a next clean date on their bill, and I stick to that. That forms some sort of goodwill contract, and works very well. Perhaps do something like that, but please don't make it something it isn't, it's just window cleaning. 

🤣

 

great post.....i couldnt agree more....

 

he also mentioned the word "liable"!........that would put me off straight away if i was one of his customers!complete and utter nonsense.....

all but one of the skippers from my april work schedule have asked me to continue cleaning again now.......happy days....

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I don't do one offs. Got new one yesterday and told him he said already seen it on your website.  Then another came out yesterday wanting one off I said only regular he looked shocked and walked off. Result

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54 minutes ago, cleaniac said:

Just charge double on the 1st clean. It's not rocket science. No need to come up with some great big letter reading them the rights, that will just put off your customers. That letter is the biggest load of garbage, if someone gave that to me before agreeing to a window cleaning service, I'd laugh. It's window cleaning for goodness sake, not a contract to build an extension where you will need to spend thousands on supplies, it's just your labour and some bloody water. 

Business is business, people will mess you around. If your starting out and worried about charging extra for extra work that will inevitably be required on the 1st clean than you need to have a good hard talk with yourself, perhaps your just not cut out to be a businessman.

You should be thinking about how this job will provide your business with a profit that can be enjoyed and reaped. Not being apologetic for charging for something you are entitled to charge for.

Now I give all my customers a next clean date on their bill, and I stick to that. That forms some sort of goodwill contract, and works very well. Perhaps do something like that, but please don't make it something it isn't, it's just window cleaning. 

🤣

 

@cleaniac no need to be rude about it by calling it garbage. A good portion of posts I make I only try to add some value where I can. If you know better than please suggest but be respectful of others.

In any event, think what you want but I have built a large enough business where I can earn good money without having to even go out myself. So my ways of doing things work for me because I can just sit back and enjoy profits if I would like to now.

We run our business more formal than most and the funny thing is I was criticised like you have done here, by other window cleaners who had been in the game for many many years.
My business grew to 3 vans and full rounds with excellent reputation in less than 3 years and still growing despite being told I do things too formal.

 

Also, it's easy for all you established guys to charge double and be blunt with customers. There's nothing wrong with that but my post as I mentioned was aimed more at those who have trouble with it and getting work.

When you're in position where you can't make enough to pay your bills you are are not in the position to be blunt and walk off from customers as has been mentioned.

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41 minutes ago, Omega said:

@cleaniac no need to be rude about it by calling it garbage. A good portion of posts I make I only try to add some value where I can. If you know better than please suggest but be respectful of others.

In any event, think what you want but I have built a large enough business where I can earn good money without having to even go out myself. So my ways of doing things work for me because I can just sit back and enjoy profits if I would like to now.

We run our business more formal than most and the funny thing is I was criticised like you have done here, by other window cleaners who had been in the game for many many years.
My business grew to 3 vans and full rounds with excellent reputation in less than 3 years and still growing despite being told I do things too formal.

 

Also, it's easy for all you established guys to charge double and be blunt with customers. There's nothing wrong with that but my post as I mentioned was aimed more at those who have trouble with it and getting work.

When you're in position where you can't make enough to pay your bills you are are not in the position to be blunt and walk off from customers as has been mentioned.

I am not blunt with any of my customers. I have a very good working relationship with all my customers and the customer is always the 1st priority.

But I make no bones about it, the letter is garbage. 

I am not saying the letter is garbage to insult you..I am waking you up to the fact that the letter is next to useless, and will do only one thing; alienate your customers. So the fact is it is garbage. It's useless, it serves no positive impact, it puts you at an immediate disadvantage, you could even say it is blunt, something you say I am. 

 

 

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Teddington Window Cleaners
1 hour ago, Bwfc said:

I don't do one offs. Got new one yesterday and told him he said already seen it on your website.  Then another came out yesterday wanting one off I said only regular he looked shocked and walked off. Result

Why don't you do one offs? 

 

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I usually add a bit more for 1st cleans unless not that bad but if they mess me about just write it off.

However I speak to a lot of window cleaners round here and we don't hesitate to tell the others we know to swerve it if they ask another of us next time.

Like a little blacklist on whassap.

@Adams0211and me have done that for ages and he had a quote request from someone who didn't pay me and basically said "due to the fact you don't like to pay your window cleaners you're not for me" lol

She also was on Facebook asking someone their prices for doing her nails so I replied on the post don't take her on as she still hasn't paid me.

I will make it awkward for people but end of the day I've still done the job and got paid so good luck finding another mug.

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3 hours ago, Teddington Window Cleaners said:

Why don't you do one offs? 

 

I just decided not worth hassle as not desperate for money. Rather focus on my regulars

Sorts people out quickly aswell whether they want it regularly

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3 hours ago, Teddington Window Cleaners said:

Why don't you do one offs? 

 

If you have a full round then one off's are a pain.

If you are looking for work then a one off could result in the customer becoming a regular. Give us a call when you want them done again is an open invitation to them. It just keeps another cleaner from getting their foot in the door.

I see the one off's from both sides, mine and the customer. If I was a customer looking for a new regular window cleaner I would probably also ask for a one off to see if the cleaner was any good.

We've seen a few one off's become regular cleans but we have seen as many only done the once. What annoys me is a dishonest customer not being truthful upfront - asking for a regular clean and then cancelling after the job is complete. If they are prepared to lie then I'm not their window cleaner.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, spruce said:

If you have a full round then one off's are a pain.

If you are looking for work then a one off could result in the customer becoming a regular. Give us a call when you want them done again is an open invitation to them. It just keeps another cleaner from getting their foot in the door.

I see the one off's from both sides, mine and the customer. If I was a customer looking for a new regular window cleaner I would probably also ask for a one off to see if the cleaner was any good.

We've seen a few one off's become regular cleans but we have seen as many only done the once. What annoys me is a dishonest customer not being truthful upfront - asking for a regular clean and then cancelling after the job is complete. If they are prepared to lie then I'm not their window cleaner.

The thing that gets my back up and I walk away is when they say we'll give you a try and see how you get on.

Probably just pride getting in the way but I give a professional service and give me a try doesn't wash with me.

Surprising how many people say that.

Safe to say they're not my customers lol.

Edited by Dave B
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5 minutes ago, Dave B said:

The thing that gets my back uo and I walk away is when they say we'll give you a try and see how you get on.

Probably just pride getting in the way but I give a professional service and give me a try doesn't wash with me.

Surprising how many people say that.

Safe to say they're not my customers lol.

As I say, I can see both sides of it.

I've seen the shoddy workmanship of a tradesman who really believes he is a professional. 

I've seen lots of them called mechanics in dealer workshops. I've also seen a few replacement window botch jobs by professional window manufacturers and their fitters. .

The one such manufacturer, supplier and installer is (temporarily postponed because of Covid19) a customer. They fitted new windows and front door to a local fish and chip shop. What a mess. When they came back to sort out one issue they left a couple more behind. It started when they discovered the door opened the wrong way.

The professionals who fitted our kitchen were also a joke. Three of the counter tops weren't level and nor was one of the kitchen cupboards. They were a well known company. The inspector who was sent out found a couple more issues which I wouldn't have seen tbh.

And the cavity wall insulation guys forgot to fill in some holes they had drilled when applying the insulation.

I've seen some pretty shoddy window cleaning work done over the years as well, so unfortunately our trade isn't immune from this either.

For me my reputation is paramount. I go too far with each clean I admit. Sadly the same thing can't be said for everyone. "Splish splash  give us the cash" seem to be quite a popular motto these days. 

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1 hour ago, spruce said:

As I say, I can see both sides of it.

I've seen the shoddy workmanship of a tradesman who really believes he is a professional. 

I've seen lots of them called mechanics in dealer workshops. I've also seen a few replacement window botch jobs by professional window manufacturers and their fitters. .

The one such manufacturer, supplier and installer is (temporarily postponed because of Covid19) a customer. They fitted new windows and front door to a local fish and chip shop. What a mess. When they came back to sort out one issue they left a couple more behind. It started when they discovered the door opened the wrong way.

The professionals who fitted our kitchen were also a joke. Three of the counter tops weren't level and nor was one of the kitchen cupboards. They were a well known company. The inspector who was sent out found a couple more issues which I wouldn't have seen tbh.

And the cavity wall insulation guys forgot to fill in some holes they had drilled when applying the insulation.

I've seen some pretty shoddy window cleaning work done over the years as well, so unfortunately our trade isn't immune from this either.

For me my reputation is paramount. I go too far with each clean I admit. Sadly the same thing can't be said for everyone. "Splish splash  give us the cash" seem to be quite a popular motto these days. 

Every job I do is to the best standard I can do.

It gets me a lot of work from recommendations and anyone who moans which is very rare I call their bluff as invariably it is someone who only wanted 1 clean trying to put me off after the first clean.

Don't get me wrong sometimes we do have issues like an ex trad job I picked up and did the whole lot but had a few drips from the vents that hadn't been cleaned in the 3 years they had him so went back and re did them.

Took minutes to re do the tops as the vents had already been cleaned out and then re did the bottoms but had already told the customer it may happen and was happy to go back

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3 hours ago, spruce said:

 "Splish splash  give us the cash" seem to be quite a popular motto these days. 

Yes, but just because someone works really efficiently doesn't automatically mean they are doing a poor quality job. You can have someone spend an hour on each window, rinsing and scrubbing, rinsing..making a big ole hoo haa over the whole thing and do a poor quality job. 

Quite often i see window cleaners standing there "rinsing" off the pure water they just put on the glass. I mean what are they rinsing off exactly ? if its pure water? Perhaps if they used 000 tds water they would have nothing to worry about.

Quite often when i pick up new customers they would tell me that their last window cleaner would stand there and make a big old song and dance about how good they are, but they left run marks, were unreliable, moody, and wasted time when the customer was in trying to chat for half hour.

I am often met with surprise on new customer cleans when I can get a whole 6 bed detached house done and dusted, with perfect results every time within 20-30 mins, they look at me like wow that's quick, and you can see the trepidation in their faces, when I hand them the bill for payment. But I don't get complaints, because its always perfect results every time, and I keep them happy and they stay for the long term. 

Your in this game to make money, not make a big old song and dance making yourself look like you are doing a good job. Just get on with it and do a good job, efficiently. 

 

 

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If I presented a 'contract' like that to most of my customers I would literally get laughed off the property. Jesus Christ we're window cleaners not property developers lol. To me something like that is putting an instant barrier up between you and the customer from the get go, not good to create a long sustaining friendly relationship imho.

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