In the old world, in the old days, how it used to be, in the old ways, just where did window cleaning change to the less and less frequent visits to a particular client on the schedule each year?
Growing up window cleaning and coming from a generational window cleaning family, we did things a great deal differently than these days. The “old ways” found us stopping by residential clients more frequently than the newer generations are used to, one side or the other in all of this, the cleaner and/or the client. It has all made a dramatic turn, which in my opinion has affected the way many schedule or limit their schedule each year.
A typical client these days consider a service per year just to get things cleaned up after a long winter.
Heading into spring with cleaning on the mind is an easy target to get scheduled. Some like to get a spring and fall service, another easy sell & schedule. That “spring cleaning” itch every homeowner gets, desiring to get their home opened up, fresh, clean air entering to cut into the stale winter air left inside, refreshing, energizing, awakening their home, and their spirit. Then as the weather rolls out of summer and they start to feel the chill of winter, the time come to get the house all “closed up” and ready for the coming cold. Desiring a nice fresh cleaning of the glass, something they hope will last into the deep cold of winter, and give them the sparkle and shine they desire until they see the sun pop in next spring.
A one-time per year or a spring/fall service are nice but many of these clients are willing to go further and schedule more through-out the year. There are so many ideas and suggestions, so many holidays and events, so many ways to plan a schedule per client that finds a cleaner with this client monthly, even bi-weekly, dare I say weekly! Yup, this is the way it used to be, we used to and still do book our clients the “old ways”. We have so many that go monthly, even bi-weekly. From time to time we get over to some residential clients many weeks in a row. We all know store-fronts are a different beast.
When we grow with our clients we grow with them as a family grows, they have children who will grow up and have “moments” in time, Birthdays, Graduations, Weddings, etc. So many events that can find a window cleaner adding a service to their schedule for this client. Home renovations and home maintenance are a great opportunity to add another service, anything from remodels, new carpeting, new air systems, house painting, landscaping, and pest control. These home renovations and maintenance can be messy and when your client knows that they can count on you to add that extra sparkle to their newly renovated spaces it helps to grow the relationship. Just a simple reminder that you can provide this service at that time of need; it also serves to remind the client that they can also break the current mold they find themselves in, the one or two times per year scheduling we typically see.
The more children they have, the more events they are likely to have, and the more opportunity for the cleaner to schedule work!
Holidays are excellent dates to consider on a schedule! We are booked solid in our region for the 4th of July as our town has a very large, all day celebration. Many clients here desire clean windows for the celebrations at their homes. Our clients that are not already booked on the schedule year after year for this holiday take whatever spots we have available. We are booked out 6 weeks prior just for this holiday alone and we have a wait-list for closer dates to the holiday with the names of existing clients desiring a push up on the schedule.
Thanksgiving and Christmas find us booked solid every year indefinitely, just like the 4th of July, so many holiday parties and gatherings, so much a desire to get the windows cleaned for these parties and gatherings. One of the most requested services we get is for the common areas of the homes. Especially where the Christmas Tree is placed; which is usually a beautiful bay window where the entire outside world can see the glorious magnificence this client has put into their tree. This is something many take deep pride in where we are from and that bay window just serves to set off the beauty of that decorated tree, especially when it has been freshly and professionally cleaned just prior.
During the months when all is quiet, in between holidays and events, we approach our residential like we approach store-front services, but we also know that the different regions each window cleaner comes from present different variables. We base this upon 4 seasons and the idea that each cleaner decides their own “minimum charge” to come out for service. We are lucky to live and work in the same region, and we have a dense population as we live right outside of a major city.
We like to offer clients small-package services like outside only and common areas only. We set our minimum pricing for that specific client and we design a schedule based on their flow, needs, and desires.
In some cases they did not know how affordable it could be for us to come monthly.
Once we design their flow, which windows get cleaned, when, and why; we set a price for the entire yearly package. This is done without even discussing discounts. In pretty much all cases they start to realize they can design their schedule, discuss, and shape their service plan based on ideas and suggestions they may not have thought of. In the end, in most cases we sign up at least 4-6 services per year per client, many monthly residential accounts, bi-weekly, and as I stated, some even call on a weekly basis depending on needs and such, just because they know they can! When you offer suggestions and flexibility to your clients it helps to strengthen the relationship and business loyalty because they know they can count on their window cleaner.
-By Craig Hendzel