Do you have "Detail Disorder"?

Do you have “Detail Disorder”? Find out how this deadly disorder can at best wear you out and at worst put you out of business.

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I’m treading the thin line between agreement and disagreement with you on this one. I suffer from Detail Disorder, and yes, I would love to be in and out of a house quickly, BUT, I don’t want to ruin my rep by leaving half-done jobs.

I am soooo guilty. But I love the results.

Chris King raises a very good point, as I was explaining this to a helper today. Of course give the customer great looking windows, but at the same time realize that they don’t see what you see. If you have extremely dirty windows to clean, and you do a 75% job, in the customers eyes, you did a 1000% job. I do not think this is a wrong approach but rather a smart business move. If you’re painstakingly detailing a window in a closet - ask yourself why? Pay extra attention to the big bay window in the living room instead. Give your customer what they want, not what they need. Or in other words, don’t lose sight of the forest amongst the trees…

I dunno…

TO me, the glass is the most important part. I do, well, not slack, but take it easier on screens, sills and tracks. Honestly, nobody is looking at their trackings or eating off their screens.

BUT, my helper, is a detail junkie. She’ll spend 20 minutes on a damn garage window making the thing look like it was installed yesterday. I had a word with her about “getting it done well enough” a few weeks ago, and she simply told me that thats not the way she does things.

She’s changed her habits since then lol

But still, I dunno, I’m half tempted to agree with the original post, and have been struggling with the decision to switch my style up a bit for the last few months.

Very interesting read Chris! I see the benefit of this advice. I know you aren’t suggesting we lower our cleaning standards but realize that we can get tunnel vision at times when cleaning and need to step back and look at the big picture.

If you are going to do the detail, you will either have to charge enough to do it, or you will have to be willing to
make less per hour.

Those are the choices.

Once you have set the example with the customer, they will expect more of the same.

Chris - That’s exactly what I’m talking about!

Thanks Tony. So true about the tunnel vision. We also clean and seal natural stone. Sometimes when we’ve been working on a floor all day, we start to see it way differently than someone looking at in a more realistic way. I can’t tell you how many times we thought it wasn’t good enough. When this happens, we have discovered that all you do is simply ask the customer. 90% of the time the customer comes out, looks at it, and screams “Wow, it looks amazing!”. This is the same floor that we thought didn’t look good enough.

It’s always better to spend an extra 15 minutes talking to your customer about their prized vintage corvette than spending an extra 15 minutes rubbing the spots off their bathroom window.

Detail disorder is what made me realize that there is a difference between window washing and window cleaning. We offer both services and price them accordingly

Cool. How do you package the two services? How are they distinguished?

There are 2 things here, … how you see the windows and how your customer sees the windows. Every second you spend detailing a window that your customer will not notice is a second wasted, … unless of course you have that disorder.

I’m not advocating slacking, cutting corners, and plain being lazy. But if you clean beyond what a customer will see as a great job, then IMO you are wasting time and therefore money. I had a problem with this early on and sometimes still do, but at least I realize it now.

I classify windows an important and unimportant. Bedrooms, bathrooms not so important. Windows that are covered by screens, not so important. But Kitchen/dining room, living room Master bedroom, very important and most important are inside top windows that you need a ladder to get to. If there’s a streak on them it will last the whole year.

Window washing is scrubbing the windows, tracks and frames. Window Cleaning is removing any type of debris, paint or stain as possible.

Nice blog Chris. Time is something you cannot get more of so why waste it on an “over the top” service. The line “reasonable and customary” comes to mind. My personal experience with doing a 100% perfect job has came full circle and has bit me in the @ss once I began hiring people. No one could fill my shoes in any way, shape, or form. Its a double edge sword. I was the guy who did a 100% perfect job AND talked to them about their prized showdog. I dished out such great service and report, they would have nothing to do with any of my guys. I had to basically beg them to give my crews a chance. I hired my first guy back in 1994 and I still deal with this today almost 16 years later. Dishing out service that a customer feels cant be duplicated by one of your employees will end up giving you a huge headache in the long run. Dont set yourself up for it.


I have finally seen the light.

Maybe in a trailer park. Not a great way to progress in your new found business bud

We classify them differently. The first is window cleaning and the second would be a construction clean up. We also do window restoration (the removal of hard water stains).

Now thats what I’m talkin about.