Scheduling/rescheduling?

Hi Guys,
I have another question for the Guru’s! This year things have been taking off nicely. I have been following a lot of the advice/tips I’ve received on here…and the biggest one I think that helped me is keeping accurate notes, getting email addresses and sending out one big email for those interested in Spring cleaning and got a great response this year!

Now the dilemma I am facing is how to schedule these in with the volatile Spring weather we get here in Canada! I basically only confirm a date with the customer about a week in advance as if I book out further than that and we get a few rain days and have to reschedule, i basically have to reschedule everybody! The customer is usually looking for a date, and I usually give a ballpark of what week of the month i plan to be there, but that makes it hard for those customers that work during the day to schedule for them to be home if they are just relying on a ballpark date…Just wondering how you guys approach it. I cover a fair amount of ground where i operate, and its not as easy as just rescheduling them in the next day with other clients as their home could be on the opposite side of the city.

Another problem is that although I tell people that the rain will not affect their window cleaning, and we can work in anything but thundershowers, most just do not want it done if its raining…so i don’t want to push it to be done. if you have to reschedule due to weather, where do you put the rescheduled client? Do you move them into your next day’s work? Do you set aside a day to fit them back in? Sometimes an full day is disrupted by weather so just curious how you guys/gals make up the work.

Your help is always appreciated!

Sometimes they have to wait a week or more to get back on the schedule

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Our rain and reschedule policy: $100 deposit taken upon booking. We require 48 hours notice for cancellations/reschedules or they forfeit their deposit. We tell them up front that we will come on the day scheduled, and will complete the insides and do our best to work through any inclement weather. If we can’t finish the outsides, we will come back to finish on our next available opening. If it seems like it won’t be feasible to make 2 trips for a particular job, then it’s up to our discretion whether to push through it or reschedule the entire job. People have been pretty cool with this so far.

How about a rain check?

I’ve been working on a format that I’ll post in the members forum. The idea is to give them a rain check that basically says if it rains within 7 days of cleaning, we’ll come out and touch up the exteriors free of charge and as soon as our schedule allows.

In your case, it just gives them piece of mind and allows you to clean as per schedule. If it rains and the windows don’t get messed up, then you’re good. If a couple of windows do get messed up, then you’ll have to touch them up. But you can basically play the odds and get stuff done.

If you do have to touch up some windows, then you’ll earn a loyal customer and they’ll call you back for sure.

I read on this forum of a 48 hour “No Rain” guarantee. I was going to implement that myself. But I would say that the 7 day “Rain Check” is cool too. Its good to give your customer that peace of mind. 7-10 days though, I would say, would be the max that I could, and would, return for a touch up.

I have to deal with this all the time here in coastal Oz. Like you said, most people don’t wan’t their windows cleaned if it’s raining. You are providing a luxury service and people are paying good money for your expertise. If I can feel that the customer is kind of put off by the rain or an approaching storm, I always keep the weekends open and make up any rainy jobs on the weekend. I book out at least 3 weeks in advance and it would be impossible to reschedule everybody to fit them in the next day. This has worked almost perfectly for me for the last 7 years. The only problem is if it rains on the weekend as well your hooped. Good luck

At some point you’ll just be to busy to reschedule everybody because somebody thought it was going to rain. There is only one Saturday a week. If you start rescheduling everybody you’ll end up looking like the bad guy who can’t keep their appointments. Blowing people off when they’ve had an appointment on their calendar for weeks really pisses them off. That’s simply bad service, really bad service. JMO

Only idea that really works in my experience. Alex and I clean windows in the Northeast where rain is frequently in the forecast twice a week.

Show up when you scheduled them, at the minimum get the inside done. The outside is easier to reschedule because it takes less time than a full job and no one has to be home to complete it (unless screens need to be put back in from inside). What happens if you reschedule due to rain and then it rains again next time?

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“What happens if you reschedule due to rain and then it rains again next time?” Bingo

PS: I usually point that out to them. Also a reschedule puts them at the end of a six week waiting list.

This is a great thread. I tell my clients that if it doesn’t rain this week it will rain next week. I wear a rain suit and work in the rain all the time. We average 5 feet of rain a year in Louisiana. I tell my clients that if they notice any spots on the glass I will touch up any window within a couple days free of charge. Works great!!! Never had someone call for a touch up.
My clients understand that I can’t control the weather.

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I think there is a little bit of salesmanship in how we go about delivering the message they don’t really want to hear. Upbeat…positive…reassuring…

I agree with you Mike. Building trust goes a long way with clients. They will let you work in the rain. You just have to let them know that they are in good hands. You will gladly touch up any windows in a few days at no charge. They have nothing to work about. “I will take care of you.”

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It was supposed to rain for the first half of the day and then thunderstorms in the afternoon. That was the forecast at 7am. It rained all the way to the first job but stopped when we got there and didnt rain again till 8pm. Still got in a full days work. My customer and helper both asked me to reschedule. To be honest I really thought that I was only going to be able to get the inside done. Gotta make it happen!

I know a guy who cleans solo and when it’s going to be a bad week of rain he’ll call a couple customers and ask if he can come and do the insides so he doesn’t fall behind.

Well put Chad. There is always time for a touch-up if needed…since its rarely needed. The customer just needs to feel cozy knowing that its an option.

I actually followed the advice of doing the insides at least on rain days this week before i even got a chance to read these posts! Call it a premonition! lol Just yesterday they called for thunder showers and a few customers got antzy again about rescheduling. So I told them I would be by to do the insides at least so I didn’t have to mess with their work schedule and them scheduling around me. It rained for an hour before I left…and the rest of the day turned out to be 25 degrees and sunny!!(thats celcius…not ferinheight so was a nice day! Tshirt weather is back!!!) I like the idea of telling the customer that if the weather causes issues to their windows that I will touch them up…but obviously have to put a time limit on when they call or they’ll be calling 2 weeks later saying the rain caused a bird to relieve himself on their windows…come touch it up! lol