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What Do You Think About This Online Price Calculator?

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Are you with or against an online price calculator?

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What Do You Think About This Online Price Calculator?

Post by cleanservice on Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:47 am

What do you think about having an online price calculator on a cleaning company website. We created a Cleaning Price Calculator but not sure if it is a good idea.

Pros, it provides automated filtering for clients who just want their cleaning to be as cheap as possible. It could also work as a competitive advantage as most commercial cleaning companies don't have prices on their websites. Most office managers don't like to wait for a few days and interview several cleaners, they just want to know how much it will cost ASAP.

Cons, it might create confusing or misunderstanding when the final price quoted is not the same as the online estimate.

I find office cleaning automated quotes impossible to achieve. However, the correlation between the area of the office, frequency and the quoted price, can't be ignored and want to provide some indication about the price ranges to our potential clients.

Are you with or against and why?
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Re: What Do You Think About This Online Price Calculator?

Post by milspec6 on Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:03 pm

Great question and I am a bit torn on the topic.

On the one hand, there are a couple of large franchises in my area that have a very good online calculator (think S. Steamer) that seems to work well for them.

On the other hand, it invites the customer to think solely on the price or at least predominantly on price instead of things like quality and customer service. That will invite price shopping right off the bat and draw those that are in the same mind-set to your site.

That franchise does very well with their calculator, but they are also known to target the low end cleaning jobs (apartments, rentals, etc) so it probably goes hand-in-hand.

You are correct about commercial cleaning, the office managers are normally focused on price and just want the bid void of a sales pitch, but that is where you can stand out too by emphasizing "availability", "reliability", and "dry times".

When they are comparing bids, prices are often very close to each other...a couple of cents normally. It is the company that emphasized the extra aspects which will prevent headaches that normally get the job.

Remember too that they will often throw out the highest and lowest bids, so it will be the middle priced that make it past the first round. I have never seen the difference be more than 2 cents per square foot, so it will be the company that promises reliability, availability, and dry times that will win the job.

In short, I like to emphasis the service instead of the price at all times....website included. If they skip your site because the price isn't listed, they would not be a good contract anyway as they will drop you as soon as a cheaper one comes along.
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Re: What Do You Think About This Online Price Calculator?

Post by Devon07 on Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:36 pm

Good point Rob....focus shouldn't be on price....in all fairness though, the site should push the quality efforts along with the price BUT that calculator doesn't fit all scenarios...price can and should fluctuate to some degree based on several factors.

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Re: What Do You Think About This Online Price Calculator?

Post by ACpower1 on Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:50 pm

I like it,   gave me some ideas on how we will build ours.  

these days in big cities everyone is all about ez scheduling and simple pricing,   the more streamlined the process the better.    

Everyone loves their smartphones and will be more likely to spend money with you if they can easily view your site on a mobile device,    and even better if they can get a basic soft quote without having to call.    

The absolute last thing they want to do is to call no answer,    voicemail,    then call back and they are busy at the time,    then email tag etc...  or re-schedules etc     they just want a great job done and with minimal headache...     which is why many people opt for the big companies.


Our pricing is so simple these days and it makes life so easy on us and the customers.

I still really appreciate the customers who really want us for the job and are willing to wait and want to go through everything very thoroughly on the phone but people are busy these days and most want it done without having to think about it too much.  


They have proven that fast simple service with great customer service will cause people to spend more with you and use you more.       Its why people pay $7 for coffee at starbucks knowing there is small stands with better product but they keep coming back,     they know its fast,    easy,   no headache,   and consistent
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Re: What Do You Think About This Online Price Calculator?

Post by milspec6 on Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:17 pm

I get your point AC and maybe that will the be the future here as well, but not yet. I want customers that will call me instead of texting or by email. I want them to find out about what I do and what it will cost. I want to actually hear a voice.

I do offer flat pricing, so it isn't a long conversation in regards to price and I reward those that are not afraid to talk with a live person. Automation only equals misunderstandings and poor products.

There is actually a vending machine that makes pizza now. They say that it will revolutionize the vending machine industry, but I would rather buy a slice from the pizza joint down the street where real people make it, serve it, and say hello.

I am probably holding onto an antiquated view on this. Judging by my severe drop in business right now, I am probably the last guy to offer advice on anything, but I still hold onto the belief that you make your best customers by making a friend first. After that, you can have bad equipment, rusted up vans, and flip flops and it will not matter to them. You will have a customer for life and that starts with the introduction.
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Re: What Do You Think About This Online Price Calculator?

Post by Mo on Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:17 am

The more modes of communication that offer the public to contact your company the better.

This particular calculator is not detailed enough for a carpet cleaning quote.

I think on line calculators should require a contact phone number to give the company an option to contact the person requesting the quote. That requirement tends to eliminate the person who basing their decision soley on price
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Re: What Do You Think About This Online Price Calculator?

Post by Devon07 on Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:39 pm

Rob, you will suffer a great deal with that mindset...I totally understand too. I like to take a traditional call and do the schedule selection and discuss incidentals prior to us going out BUT, they, like AC says, want simplicity and ease...smartphone mentality. Does that make it better...NOPE! but it does to them...embrace it to some degree, I did and do! I still admire your door to door approach, it shows good work ethics to me.

Reminds me of texting and thinking how that was the stupidest thing I ever seen....then I seen the real benefit and use it daily now....guess Im stupid...lol

I like the calculator but wont rely on my site to sell...they can use my site as an area for contact, that's all I really need in my area.

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Re: What Do You Think About This Online Price Calculator?

Post by milspec6 on Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:52 pm

I know that I missing out on a large share of the market with my old mindset, but I can't help but hold onto the fact that convenience gives you volume, but not always very loyal customers.

There is no denying that drive thru burger joints pull in a ton of business, but that customer will just as likely go to the competitor's drive thru as well as yours the next time.....not loyal to the business at all.

People that walk into a restaurant and enjoy the product / service will more likely return to it the next time.

True, the drive thru joints are probably making more money and definitely pulling more business, but I really prefer dealing with loyal customers than a rotating door of new people.

Is it working out great? Not really, I sure admit that one. Business is way down from previous years, but I have also received more hand shakes, hugs, family introductions, and even an invite to a lake party from my loyal base than probably most companies around here get from their customers.

I think it will just take more time for my approach to work, but I will not say that it is the way to run a business. It is more of way to run a life-style with enough income to pay the bills.....at least hopefully.
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Re: What Do You Think About This Online Price Calculator?

Post by ACpower1 on Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:35 pm

you still can be very personable and always try to relate to customers, that is what builds the bond.

its just streamlining the ordering of the service, they will still rely on reviews to know whos coming and what kind of job they do. They will also keep coming back because many have tried other companies before.

The biggest thing is taking them off the market which is why I think using good software is so important.

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Re: What Do You Think About This Online Price Calculator?

Post by milspec6 on Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:48 pm

Sure, you can win some over, but you will not be started off with the right customer in my view. Like you say, people just want to get the job done and they are also the kind that don't care for any connection either....often leave while you clean.

The ones that do call me (often the older crowd) do so because they want to know if they can trust the person that will be coming to their home more than the details and costs of the job. Those customers don't leave, they bring you a drink and tell you all about their families while you are there. I have even been invited to cook-outs as well as given the key to lake cabin by one couple to use if I wanted.....a price shopper isn't going to do that.

I will never be successful in the way that most businesses strive to be, I know that. I have just spent more than enough years working for people where I was just an employee number and I much prefer to be treated like a neighbor by what customers that I do get.

I think that I need to focus more on my commercial accounts and let what residential comes my way be as icing on the cake.
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