Had a great customer today.....NOT!


I had booked this appointment earlier this week and I thought this customer would be fine. She was so happy to receive my flier because she had no idea how to get a window cleaner. (note to self, FLIERS WORK SWELL)

So I arrive this morning, explain that I’ll be doing all the interiors first then later on when the temperature is kinder I will complete the exteriors. “Fine” she replies, all smiles.

I start cleaning the windows in my usual manner, top floor front to back then the basement. This lady is sneaking behind my route checking everything and keeps asking me “you did these ones yet?” Yes I explain, but you’ll notice more once the exteriors are complete. One room after another she is following me and pointing out dirt or spots. I keep going back and showing her how the dirt is on the outside. I’m 95% done with the interiors and she’s still on my case. I tell her she won’t get the ‘wow’ factor until I’m done everything. “good, cause I don’t see any improvement at all so far”.

I could tell you that her sliding glass doors were almost opaque with dirt before I hit them, I could tell you that I had to scrape off all kinds of crap the grandchildren smeared all over the place, basically I could tell you that no one has had a beautiful view through these windows in several years. But this lady is too much and her comments are all I can think about for the entire job.

After everything was done, she says, “well I guess you did your best”. I just smiled back at her as I accepted the payment because I really didn’t know what to say at this point. I’m so used to the opposite response from customers. I even took close to an hour longer triple checking my work because I didn’t want to hear any more comments from her.


I’ve had a couple of those customers before. I just keep working like you did and if they aren’t impressed I either raise the rate next cleaning or am “booked” if they try to reschedule.

Ahh yes. I’ve had a few of those types of customers as well. Good thing they are few and far between for me. I think the best way to deal with it is do just what you did. Grin and bear it. My favorite (sarcastic) is when the customer acts like you are inconveniencing them and are not accommodating at all. If you haven’t had that type of customer yet, just wait you’ll see.

You mean the ones that treat you like a servant! I had a customer like that emphasis on had! I won’t be treated like someones doormat. There are to many kind, appreciative people out there waiting to have me do work for them.

Sorry to hear about that woman Mark…ive had a few of them and they just ruin your day. I had one that i finally asked “why did you hire me anyways?” then they just left me alone to do the job. Yet another one i told them if they kept slowing me down I was gonna have to charge them extra. These are people that are in the same category as the price shoppers. They want everything for nothing. If they could they’d have you run out to get groceries for them while your out and about.
I make it a point to explain what I am going to do before i even start. In summer i will do the outsides first, then finish with the insides with fresh solution. This way they can see an immediate difference.
You’ll be able to get a feel for those type of people once you deal with a few more. If i get a bad vibe from someone while im giving the estimate now i just make sure i add extra to the price, in case they hassle me.
I’m sure your job was impeccable…maybe she just liked having you in the same room as her…lol

If I may ask, why did you invoice her if you hadn’t completed the work?

Kevin…are you talking to me or Mark? i never invoice before the job is done…

Talking to Beautiful View…he mentioned that he “accepted the payment” but I am under the impression that the outside wasn’t done yet.

Of course, I may be wrong about that. Maybe I misunderstood the comment.

I completed the work and got paid.

Ahhh…my mistake. Sorry.

Today I had the opposite. A realtor had hired me to clean windows in a house he was trying to sell. a real dump. He came to let me in but had nothing else to do so he just followed me around as I worked. This time it was great. He praised my work, asked me to make up an info package for him and some other realtor friends and was really a decent guy who could appreciate the difference a window cleaner can make to a home.

Some days you win, some you lose. I guess as long as I know I’m doing good work I should be happy.

Congrat’s, you may have broken into the homeshowing window cleaning. Hopefully he does some good referring for you.

Keep saying things like that Mike,:wink: I just got off the phone with him and now I have to squeeze in an exterior job for another one of his clients tomorrow.

Mark thats awesome! I never had any luck with any of the realtors in this town…Thats ok though. I have a contact now that is runs a carpet cleaning business and caters mainly to seniors in homes. He wants to sit down with me and work with me to get referrals both ways. He says many of his clients ask about the windows but he don’t do windows.
Now I know lots of seniors are cheap, but I still think if they have the opportunity to have the windows done by someone there is money to be made. I have to meet with him, hopefully this afternoon, just waiting for him to confirm.

Hey Eric,

Funny thing you should mention carpet cleaning. I got a call two days ago for a store that needed some rush job done. I went there at 7am today, did the work but discovered the guy hiring me is a maintenance company and he just sources out different types of cleaners for his clients. He does carpet cleaning himself so he asked if I wanted to swap referrals. Of course this is a no-brainer. Damn, sometimes you have a week when everything just clicks.

Good luck on your meeting! And I believe you shouldn’t give up on Realtors just yet. You probably only need to get a small few to start and they can keep you busy.

Mark, im not going to give up on Realtors just yet, i dont give up on anyone these days lol The meeting went fine, although this gentleman is just starting out and has very few clients, but we swapped cards and stuff so we will see what happens down the road.

I appreciate the fact that you didn’t lose your cool. Sometimes its hard. But the fact that you didn’t get mad shows wisdom on your part. It makes better business sense.

This is what I can offer. ‘break the ice w/ the customer. I have people that watch me from room to room to make sure I wash every window’ & jump in and say ’ oh let me move that out of your way so you don’t break it’. did you wash this window? once you do a simple favor as to changing a light bulb, remember a dogs name, to knowing when to wear booties on shoes. I prob didn’t answer you’re [U]?[/U] to the fullest, but I’m full of ideas. The willow.