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James Styles

  • Posts: 247
Loads of cancellations
« on: August 14, 2019, 10:05:40 pm »
Iíve sent my messages out this evening and had 3 say they are on holiday (fair enough) but had 5 say can they leave it this month (which Iím not happy with at all) Iíve said itís ok this time, c u next month.
I will let it slide this once but if I get it again I will be giving them an ultimatum.
I feel kind of stuck because I think some of it is down to texting customers but the problem is if I donít I know gates wonít be unlocked or they wonít be in or cancel on the spot also all these customers Iíve canvassed I have told I will always text the day before I canít just suddenly stop... kind of in a muddle now, really annoyed with these mess about customers thinking they can pick and chose which month they want them doing...
Any advice would be much appreciated, am I doing it right in giving them a pass this time then if it happens again have a stern word?
What would you do?
 ???

Cookie

  • Posts: 896
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 10:20:31 pm »
When you clean their windows next time confirm whether they're OK with a 4 weekly clean. If not suggest an 8 weekly clean at a 25% price increase.

Unfortunately you'll get a lot of this when starting up.

Gomo

  • Posts: 3518
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 10:22:50 pm »
Your problem is mainly new customers and canvassed work

I've not done much canvassing personally, but have had hundreds of customers canvassed for me via canvasing companies.

I can say without doubt, by far..that canvassing produces much more messers than any other form of marketing. Half of them didn't even want their windows cleaning...not really...they just couldn't say no and wanted you to go away.

Half or more of what you pick up will be no good within a few cleans.

So I'm not surprised what you are experiencing.

As for texting it does give an opportunity for them to say not today but it shouldn't be a major issue, yes you'll get the one taking advantage.

Having said that messers can rear their heads at any time even on established work.

I had one today turn me away on the door because it was raining...she has been dumped. I had another saying "leave it this time" without a reason given...strike 1 for her....and I had one on holiday and another forget to unlock the back gate.

4 jobs down today, which is unusual to be fair....

On the plus side I picked up another from a walk up this afternoon and because I have more work than I really need I simply got on with the next jobs on my list.

Your problem isn't so much texting as it is picking up new work, new work is always like this until it settles down.

If you are canvassing everyday and picking up work every day I would just drop them and keep moving forward. Tell them sorry but it's regular or nothing, use the 2 hours saved to canvass some more.

This game is very much a case of throwing enough mud at the wall and seeing what sticks.





KS Cleaning

  • Posts: 2326
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 10:28:22 pm »
Iíve sent my messages out this evening and had 3 say they are on holiday (fair enough) but had 5 say can they leave it this month (which Iím not happy with at all) Iíve said itís ok this time, c u next month.
I will let it slide this once but if I get it again I will be giving them an ultimatum.
I feel kind of stuck because I think some of it is down to texting customers but the problem is if I donít I know gates wonít be unlocked or they wonít be in or cancel on the spot also all these customers Iíve canvassed I have told I will always text the day before I canít just suddenly stop... kind of in a muddle now, really annoyed with these mess about customers thinking they can pick and chose which month they want them doing...
Any advice would be much appreciated, am I doing it right in giving them a pass this time then if it happens again have a stern word?
What would you do?
 ???
Text back the customers who have asked to leave it until next time explaining the price agreed was for a 4 weekly schedule, if you would rather be moved on to an 8 weekly schedule the price will be X amount.
From now on when you are quoting new work give both a 4 weekly price and an 8 weekly price ( add on approx 25% for 8 weekly ) this should eliminate a lot of the not today brigade, it also allows you to charge the 8 weekly price if they do decide to skip a 4 weekly clean as they have been made aware you charge more for an 8 weekly schedule.

James Styles

  • Posts: 247
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 10:35:43 pm »
When you clean their windows next time confirm whether they're OK with a 4 weekly clean. If not suggest an 8 weekly clean at a 25% price increase.

Unfortunately you'll get a lot of this when starting up.

4 of these that I messaged today are on 8 weekly... just seem like unreliable customers tbh, Iím gonna have to keep canvassing to get more and as Gomo says hopefully the more customers I pull in some should stick and be good customers, itís just really annoyed me today as itís took £100 out of my day  :(
Building a good round I can see is gonna be really tough but I will keep going for sure.

James Styles

  • Posts: 247
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019, 10:37:42 pm »
Iíve sent my messages out this evening and had 3 say they are on holiday (fair enough) but had 5 say can they leave it this month (which Iím not happy with at all) Iíve said itís ok this time, c u next month.
I will let it slide this once but if I get it again I will be giving them an ultimatum.
I feel kind of stuck because I think some of it is down to texting customers but the problem is if I donít I know gates wonít be unlocked or they wonít be in or cancel on the spot also all these customers Iíve canvassed I have told I will always text the day before I canít just suddenly stop... kind of in a muddle now, really annoyed with these mess about customers thinking they can pick and chose which month they want them doing...
Any advice would be much appreciated, am I doing it right in giving them a pass this time then if it happens again have a stern word?
What would you do?
 ???
Text back the customers who have asked to leave it until next time explaining the price agreed was for a 4 weekly schedule, if you would rather be moved on to an 8 weekly schedule the price will be X amount.
From now on when you are quoting new work give both a 4 weekly price and an 8 weekly price ( add on approx 25% for 8 weekly ) this should eliminate a lot of the not today brigade, it also allows you to charge the 8 weekly price if they do decide to skip a 4 weekly clean as they have been made aware you charge more for an 8 weekly schedule.

I have already messaged them back saying itís ok this one time, c u next month, some are also already 8 weekly.
What you said would of been better though to the 4 weekly. maybe I should use that if they do it again or with future messers

Lee Pryor

  • Posts: 2215
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019, 10:41:17 pm »
My ways to weed out the messer from the start

1. Offer 2 frequencies from the start, we do 6 or 12. 50% more for 12 weeks

2. Charge more for first clean, we add 50% to the first clean of a 6 weeker and 25% to a 12 weeker.

3. Insist on being paid by direct debit.

4. Keep a record of those that do mess around and drop if it happens to often.

5. Always ask for the reason they want to be missed and stand your ground if its pathetic.

6. Finally take time to explain right from the start things like this clearly or give them your terms in writting, so when you you ask why they want to be missed you can remind them of the previous conversation.

I find these steps really have sorted this problem. We clean 200 houses a day, everyone gets a text from cleaner planner (they cant text back) on average we have less than 5 a day that want to be missed, often none, and the ones that do usually have a reasonable explaination.

Takes a long time to build a decent business. Remember that.
The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Gomo

  • Posts: 3518
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2019, 10:46:43 pm »
I don't envy you starting from scratch, it's a long hard road ahead.

It drove me nuts dealing with messer after messer, first clean after first clean, non payer after non payer.

The joys of starting a business

But nothing worth doing is easy, and when you finally get to where you want to be it's a great sense of achievement and worth all the hard work.

nathankaye

  • Posts: 4554
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 12:02:16 am »
James, this isn't the first time you've mentioned this before and the answers won't change buddy.
You keep getting sound advice, stick to it and you will eventually get there, despite these annoying set backs.  Yet if you dont adapt and learnd from them, then yes this will keep happening to you.

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1NKServices.co.uk

James Styles

  • Posts: 247
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019, 12:04:35 am »
James, this isn't the first time you've mentioned this before and the answers won't change buddy.
You keep getting sound advice, stick to it and you will eventually get there, despite these annoying set backs.  Yet if you dont adapt and learnd from them, then yes this will keep happening to you.

Yeah I am sticking to it and applying the good advice, just seems itís going to be something I have to put up with for a while, no avoiding it but Iíll crack on.

James Styles

  • Posts: 247
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2019, 12:06:21 am »
I don't envy you starting from scratch, it's a long hard road ahead.

It drove me nuts dealing with messer after messer, first clean after first clean, non payer after non payer.

The joys of starting a business

But nothing worth doing is easy, and when you finally get to where you want to be it's a great sense of achievement and worth all the hard work.

In a way itís encouraging to know almost everyone had to go through this to build a good solid round.
As you say it will be all the more satisfying when I have a good reliable round, cheers for the helpful replies buddy 👍

zesty

  • Posts: 640
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2019, 07:17:24 am »
Donít text them, try and do your round without prior contact to customers, unless absolutely necessary.

If your texting them before coming your giving them a reason to say no.

I just carry on no matter what, if I canít do the backs, so be it, but I would never text the customer before coming, no need to, if you do, they then have a chance to cancel that clean.

Keep going mate 👍🏼

Johnny B

  • Posts: 2308
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2019, 07:31:13 am »
Hi James, I have read all the posts on this thread and they all offer sound advice.

My experience since I relocated to Ireland 8 years ago was very similar to what you are going through now. It nearly did my head in to find people saying they wanted a regular clean, then being continually turned away when going back for the second one.

What I did to counter this was to treat every clean as a one-off unless the customer specifically asked for a frequency, then continually keep canvassing until my run was sufficiently self-sustaining to not require door knocking. IIRC I canvassed for about a year, by which time I was getting more walk ups and word of mouth recommendations, and the run began to slowly grow on its own.

Most of the early cleans proved to be one-offs, but over time more of the later ones began to stick and many have remained good, solid customers. I left my phone number with those who said they would ring me when they needed me. Many did, and many of these have since become true regulars. I offer a frequency of 6 weeks, which suits most of them, and in fact suits me better as I am now too busy to get around any sooner than that.

For the ones who are turning you away, may I suggest that you ask them to ring you when they need you, then fit them in when you're in their area next? Don't go out of your way for them, but use them to keep making money from until either they ask you for a regular clean (some may, but don't expect it) or you have built up a good run of solid, regular customers and don't need them anymore. Just expect to take two steps forward and one back for the next few years. If you keep in mind that every small step forward is a step nearer your target, in time you will reach it.

John


Being diplomatic is being able to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.

dazmond

  • Posts: 18147
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2019, 08:11:19 am »
Iíve sent my messages out this evening and had 3 say they are on holiday (fair enough) but had 5 say can they leave it this month (which Iím not happy with at all) Iíve said itís ok this time, c u next month.
I will let it slide this once but if I get it again I will be giving them an ultimatum.
I feel kind of stuck because I think some of it is down to texting customers but the problem is if I donít I know gates wonít be unlocked or they wonít be in or cancel on the spot also all these customers Iíve canvassed I have told I will always text the day before I canít just suddenly stop... kind of in a muddle now, really annoyed with these mess about customers thinking they can pick and chose which month they want them doing...
Any advice would be much appreciated, am I doing it right in giving them a pass this time then if it happens again have a stern word?
What would you do?
 ???

it must be so frustrating for you.... >:(

when i started up back in 1993 i used to get a few more messers than i do now but ive never had 5 in one day in 26 years of window cleaning!mind you back then i didnt text customers the night before,i just turned up(which is still 75% of my round to this day)......

how many jobs have you got at present james?im very surprised your getting "not todays" on 8 weekly jobs......usually these are less likely to skip.....
price higher/work harder!

Crystal-clear

  • Posts: 2807
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2019, 08:54:46 am »
James lots of sound Advice Johnny hit the nail on the head for you ..
Everything is a one-off do not get excited do not say you got 10 regular customers in your head they are all one offs .. best mindset to have
That way if they stick it's a plus just charge correctly.

Are you laddering these houses? If so you should try and charge triple bit of a niche these days not many ladder men about..
Doing a cheap one off clean on Ladders must be painful as hell when they mess you around..

If it's a £20 regular go out with the customer look at the windows tell her how dirty it is what you do it will be £60.. then 20 if you want it next time.
Yes you'll pick up less but you will get messed around less as well. do a great job and take your time for that price. You'll be surprised people will still want a one-off. But many others will be looking forward to having something half price or 3 times cheaper.

Just be realistic some of these people would have messed around another window cleaner in the first place which is probably why you picked some of them up.
Half a clean extra isn't enough you need to double or triple cleans that are visibly dirty and not been clean for over a year especially if you're on Ladders

Keep up the good work.

nathankaye

  • Posts: 4554
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2019, 11:04:06 am »
I have now started to offer eight weekly intervals, in fact I've been doing so for close to a year now.  I do this for a handful of reasons, the first is because it feels like I'm on their door step very quickly as WFP has allowed me to be quicker and take on more work than I did when on the trad tools.  With newer prices which are quite high, I started to wait for my long term customers to start skipping some cleans. This is because for the large part, I'm maintaining the clean on practically clean windows on a four weekly basis.  I tell my customers that basically on a 4 weekly schedule you won't have dirty windows again. (Yes! apart from bird poop n sand storms etc, which aren't the  norm).   
On my experience, their windows do not start to show dirt etc until around week 6 and then its minimal. 
You also have all the other benefits of offering longer duration, ie higher prices and because your not their often or the feeling your often,  like on a four weekly option. The customer actually comes, to expect you or are waiting/pleased to see you turn up.  (Lol, I know what I'm trying to convey, dont know if that comes across the  :P)

I know your in a position where you need the round to grow quickly and fetch the money in but, perhaps build your round from the start with offering 8 wkly cleans or 6 wkly cleans. You can charge more and perhaps you will have less cancellations because they can see their windows are getting dirty compared to receiving your text and thinking they dont want to pay, when their windows are still clean........its a waste of money.

Just a thought.
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1NKServices.co.uk

Simon Trapani

  • Posts: 718
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2019, 11:20:23 am »
We offer 6 or 12 weekly intervals. That way the 12 weekly jobs that are adjacent to 6 weekly ones have to wait until we clean the 6 weekly ones again. Otherwise youíre always gonna be back & forth, especially if youíre offering other frequencies as well. I couldnít be doing with that.   The 6 weeklys are your bread & butter imo. The 12 weeklys can wait. Theyíre not a priority. 

If I was a customer,  itís not top of my house budget to have my house windows cleaned every 4 weeks. I got better things to spend my money on.  Not unless someoneís gonna clean them for a fiver.  ;D Even then youíre gonna get what you pay for.

Basically, set your stall out or youíll have a round full of messers.


James Styles

  • Posts: 247
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2019, 11:48:24 am »
Donít text them, try and do your round without prior contact to customers, unless absolutely necessary.

If your texting them before coming your giving them a reason to say no.

I just carry on no matter what, if I canít do the backs, so be it, but I would never text the customer before coming, no need to, if you do, they then have a chance to cancel that clean.

Keep going mate 👍🏼

The issue I have there is when I got all these customers I have said I text the day before they are due which they was happy about, if I just donít text anymore gates will be locked, they wonít be expecting me,  they wonít be in (for ones that I need access) and if I luckily do catch them theyíll be asking why they havenít been messaged.

James Styles

  • Posts: 247
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2019, 11:50:16 am »
Iíve sent my messages out this evening and had 3 say they are on holiday (fair enough) but had 5 say can they leave it this month (which Iím not happy with at all) Iíve said itís ok this time, c u next month.
I will let it slide this once but if I get it again I will be giving them an ultimatum.
I feel kind of stuck because I think some of it is down to texting customers but the problem is if I donít I know gates wonít be unlocked or they wonít be in or cancel on the spot also all these customers Iíve canvassed I have told I will always text the day before I canít just suddenly stop... kind of in a muddle now, really annoyed with these mess about customers thinking they can pick and chose which month they want them doing...
Any advice would be much appreciated, am I doing it right in giving them a pass this time then if it happens again have a stern word?
What would you do?
 ???

it must be so frustrating for you.... >:(

when i started up back in 1993 i used to get a few more messers than i do now but ive never had 5 in one day in 26 years of window cleaning!mind you back then i didnt text customers the night before,i just turned up(which is still 75% of my round to this day)......

how many jobs have you got at present james?im very surprised your getting "not todays" on 8 weekly jobs......usually these are less likely to skip.....

I have around 80 customers now but I feel like about 30% of them are hit or miss (unreliable)

James Styles

  • Posts: 247
Re: Loads of cancellations
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2019, 11:55:58 am »
Maybe I should of went with everyone on 6 weekly, I donít know how Iíd change it now though as I think 60-70% of my round is on 8 weekly and I think it would be an issue to get them to change to 6 weekly, I think itís best I just keep it to 4 weekly and 8 weekly now or it could become a real mess but I do see peopleís point.
I had one more message this morning who is 8 weekly saying he wonít be in can I re-arrange (no side access - am trying to avoid them now)
My originally full looking day today has been destroyed, I now have just 3 houses to do today, itís almost laughable.