It never fails; some people will always wait until the last minute to get a service done, no matter what advertising you use. And those people are always angry when you say, “Of course, I can’t get you done tomorrow.” But is there an easy way to get jobs done that are last minute without sacrificing the customers you have that were awesome enough to book in advance? Well, there are a few things we can do to make room and get people handled.
First, my all-time favorite efficiency system is The Float Board.
Not every customer needs to be home for the service they are getting. No one needs to be home if they are getting gutters done or just outsides cleaned. AND as long as it’s within normal business hours, it can really be done at any time. Having a whiteboard with names, projects, and prices allows you to throw them on anytime you need to fill a spot. And this comes into play WEEKLY. Think of it. Every time the crews come back earlier, or someone reschedules, or heck, even that 10-minute rain blast gets people to postpone a cleaning, you will have a backup plan.
By adding a simple float board, you can help keep 8 hours of work getting done the whole year, and when someone calls and can’t get on your schedule for simple outs, throw them on. Let them know you will put them on the float board, which will get them done as soon as possible, and you will call to let them know you are on your way as soon as they are up. Now remember this can only work for outs that don’t have screens like crank outs.
Another way is to do a Boosted Schedule.
A boosted schedule involves working one Saturday a month, allowing your employees to get time and a half. To do a boosted schedule, set aside one Saturday a month to book either a half day or full day, and charge a customer a premium for the slot. Charging a premium price allows you to make sure your employees are covered and you’re not losing money. Let the customer know that you are booked up for six weeks, BUT you have a premium spot available this Saturday. It will cost about 10% more (or whatever your premium price is), and allows the customer to make the choice to get their windows cleaned sooner. All of a sudden, people who wait till the last minute can get it done but now know they are paying more for it. It also allows them to be ok with the 6-week wait or whatever you are at. They know it will be less for them to wait.
This only works if you have staff that is interested in overtime. And to be honest, I would lean more toward the employees if you implicate this than catering to the customer’s needs. I wouldn’t push the issue if no one wants to pull overtime. But that is up to you!
Lastly, sub work to another cleaner.
Subbing work to another cleaner is a way to free up your schedule for those last-minute customers. This is the messiest way to handle last-minute customers, and I’m not a huge fan, but as I always say, you want to make sure you are friends, not foes, with your competition. If you know a cleaner you trust and can find out what their schedule looks like, you can send them the gig. If you haven’t subbed out work, you will make 10-20% to send them the work. They do it on their time, and you are basically giving your customer’s info to a competitor, so make sure they are trustworthy. You would also be surprised that as you grow, you will think everyone is as busy as you. It’s just not true. With a great partnership with your competitors, you may find someone who wants to rock out a few more jobs and may be free.
Whichever way you choose, make sure to hit the dentist close hard! You want to make sure that customers, who are notorious last-minute bookers, are booked in advance. You are always trying to improve your schedule and tighten it up! All these can help with it!
Like this? Check out WCR Nation, a window-cleaning podcast. New episodes every week anywhere podcasts are found. And check Jersey out on his Youtube at @wcr_nation. I want to be your account specialist here at WCR! ~Jersey 862.312.2026