Hello and welcome to another edition of Ask T Squeegee, where I answer the tough questions like “what’s the best soap to use for window cleaning?” To which I give poignant answers like “whatever floats your boat.”
Travis McGhee asks: “How do others address needed vehicle repairs and mechanical issues that interfere with the work schedule? Do others keep an additional vehicle to use, rent a vehicle, or show up in your vehicle? Just curious how others handle this issue.”
Well, Travis, I think this is a great question. I try to fit oil changes in early on Saturday mornings and routine maintenance in the evenings like brake jobs and the like. However, there are those occasions where the unexpected happens, and your vehicle may be out of commission. My business is a family owned and operated company which my daughter Laney and I do the work. I have my original service vehicle and my new truck at my disposal. In the 18 years in business, I’ve not had anything that set us back, vehicle-wise, more than an evening in the garage because we only use Ford trucks and don’t have to worry about breakdowns like Chevy, Dodge, and Toyota owners. But in all seriousness, before I bought the new truck, I had thrown a rod bearing in my service truck and had to clean windows for a week out of my grandmother’s car. I explained the situation to the customers, and they were happy that I still showed up and completed our task. Customer perception of you and your business is important, but life happens. Just make sure they get what they are paying for, and all should be well. I hope that helps Travis.
Tony Zuniga asks: “Let me know if this is common within the “professional window cleaners” community. So I just had a customer request me to stop doing their windows because she had another local company come and do them inside and out for $8.00. How does anyone stay in business doing storefront work for $8.00?”
Well, Tony, to answer your question, yes. Yes, it is very common for people to do storefront work at extremely low prices. In fact, one large company in our industry thrives on dirt-cheap prices and sub-par under trained labor. I will say to you that’s not your customer. You are looking for someone who wants a quality service done at a fair price and on time. You want a customer you can build a good working relationship with. Someone that understands business and what it takes to run one legitimately. Not a customer will bail on you the minute a lower price comes along. They were never your customer, to begin with. Maintain your prices and your work ethic and hand them a card and let them know if they’re ever in need of a window cleaner in the future; you’d be glad to service them again. Thank her, and be on your way. For every customer like her, two others won’t do that. I hope that helps, and Squeegee on!
That about does it for me this month. Be sure to tune in every Wednesday at 8 pm EST for The Squeegee Life Podcast live on youtube.com/tsqueegee; join in on the live discussion, and make sure to subscribe too! All episodes are also available in audio form wherever podcasts can be found. And you can Email your questions to [email protected], and I will feature them here in the best magazine on the planet, American Window Cleaner Magazine!