Went back for a second clean today at a small storefront (8 panes and a door). Stopped by 4 weeks ago on an afternoon when I was canvassing an area, and told the owner I could do it for $20 per clean and do it on an every 2 or 4 week basis. He said every 2 weeks would be too much…I took that to mean every 4 weeks. WRONG! Obviously, I should have been more clear and said something like “see you in 4 weeks”, but here is why I’m pissed…his windows were a wreck, and I took great care to make them look good on the first clean. Spent close to an hour…scrubbing with a white pad, wiping all sort’s of gunk from his frames, removing old cobwebs, etc… but figured it would all be worth it on repeat cleans which would take no more that 15 minutes.
My question is, do you typically quote a new customer more for the first clean, or do you just make it VERY CLEAR that your pricing is good for an every x week regular clean, and that you are doing them the favor of a thorough first clean to kick off the relationship?
Occasionally, I have a storefront customer tell me something like “Don’t do it regularly. Stop in and ask first and I will decide if I want them cleaned.” I tell them that I don’t offer a ‘stop and ask’ service. I let them decide if they want bi-weekly, monthly or bi-monthly service. If they want the service less-frequently than that, then I encourage them to call me and I will work them in as my schedule allows, and at a higher price. I try to put the focus on the benefits this provides them. “You don’t need to worry about scheduling the window cleaning. It’s done.”
If a business already has nasty windows, I don’t usually even offer service. They are already demonstrating their priorities.
Just be clear when you’re bidding. For storefronts I’ll try and get them every 2 weeks, offices or lower traffic stores every 4 weeks. I’ll be by every x weeks, but I don’t check in with them. Just start cleaning. If they want you to check in with them you have 2 options:
Raise your price because you’re going to waste gas and time checking in because “Oh, they look alright, let’s do it next time.”
Explain to them, it’s like a reservation at a restaurant: I’ve set aside time in my schedule and gas in my truck to come do your windows. When you tell me no, that’s time and gas I could have used to schedule someone else. If I can’t get you on a schedule, then the time slot will get filled with someone else and I may or may not have time to fit you in.
Regarding Asian owned businesses: good luck. Restaurants are hard to get, nail salons even harder. But you’d better charge a premium for nail salons because nasty.