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Replacing another cleaner

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Replacing another cleaner

Post by milspec6 on Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:43 pm

I was out today providing an estimate to clean another bank when I was approached by an attorney asking if I could take a look at his office for a bid? It was very nice set of offices, firm had 4 attorneys and 3 secretaries....a total of 6 offices, a copy room, a legal reference room, conference room and large break room in the basement.

When I looked at the break room, there were several magnetic business cards of the local franchise cleaner / disaster company on the refrigerator. They told me that they have been cleaning the offices twice per year for the last 4 years and wanted to get a jump on the Spring before it become too difficult to schedule. Seems that their normal cleaner always required booking at least 3 weeks out and they were looking for greater convenience.

When I gave them my estimate and card, they gave me the competition's card and invited me to throw it away when I left. I don't know if my bid was that much lower or if they just didn't like having to wait 3 weeks, but I always wonder how a company that has been taking care of their customer for years can end up being so disliked? My price was actually pretty high, but they didn't hesitate at all.

I have never lost a long-time customer except when there was a change in ownership....at least not yet. I wonder if I have a few feeling like these attorneys?
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by Mo on Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:19 pm

I hate that feeling when you think they just chose you because you were cheaper. Im sure there's more to the story.

As far as what you charged, as long as the job meets your profit margins who cares what the other company charged
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by milspec6 on Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:40 pm

I am not upset over the price, it really is on the high side for commercial around here, but it just made me wonder how often that is happening to me with my long-time customers?

I am also surprised that some companies can get what they do per sqft....especially on commercial. Maybe it is different in other markets, but I have always been very happy to get half of residential price when doing commercial, but some seem to be able to get the same rate regardless of it being commercial.
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by Mo on Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:31 pm

Same as residential. I guess in seconds on the size of the office? Good job getting the biz. Youre on fire when it comes to closing the business
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by dp1 on Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:25 pm

Yeah, I'm sure price might be ONE of few reasons why they chose you, however if I were the customer, I wouldn't based on my decisions to ask you to throw your competitor's cards away, they must be doing something wrong, like, not appreciating their business, inconsistent results, etc. AND you must be presenting yourself like a true professional and those things add up to you sealing the deal.
Even if your price is higher, the convenience of flexible scheduling alone is worth a lot to those business people.
I usually give discounts for commercial but the discounts depend on how big the job is and how frequent they need it done, currently the cheapest one is just a little more than 40% discount, they have me do it monthly and it's well over 5000 sq ft, plus some area rugs ( no discounts on area rugs ), and all of their upholsteries once every other month ( 32.5 % discount ).
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by dp1 on Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:38 pm

Oh I almost forgot, we got to a customer's home earlier today and the customer arrived after we got there as Danny was knocking the door, he got out of his car and asked Danny, so you guys got your sh!t together ? I was like oh great, I usually pull the hoses while he measure the areas and give an exact estimate, I decided not to and just wait until they are done, so what happened yesterday was there was another cleaner tried to bait and switch him and he kicked them out, we got the job, our total is more than the other company but he was happy to pay, he just hates being tricked.
So sometimes it's not about price at all, it's about your van and equipment in my case earlier, he said before we started that he is confident that we will do a good job because our van and equipment are clean, I haven't even scrub the inside of my van in a while, that actually prompted me to do just that after we were done, I ended up spending almost 3 hours scrubbing the inside and the side ( front of machine ), man those craps from waste water drips are nasty, I got them out by scrubbing them with scrub pad and Ajax.
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by milspec6 on Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:51 pm

I think that is a very big deal as well....van, equipment, and persons must look and act professional all the time. My van still looks good, but is showing some rot below my sliding door. I spray it with undercoating to keep it less obvious, but that is the best that I can do for now.

I do scrub my hoses often with the "hoser" tool and will soak them in a kiddie pool with bleach after urine jobs....well not in the winter, but warm months I do.

You can get away with a beater truck, unshaven, shorts and tee when doing late night commercial cleaning, but you sure can't during the day or on residential.

I have that bank manager to clean for Friday and I need to do a lot primping tomorrow to be ready for it. His family got a new puppy for Christmas, so there is some urine work to be done and that means I get to uncase that fancy UV detection light and put on the floor show. Very Happy
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by dp1 on Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:51 am

Primping ? Is that a real word ? Lol.
You're better than I do, the only time I wash my hoses is when that urine job is the last job, if they happen to be in the middle of the day or even better, the first one of the day, I let all of the other jobs wash them out, ha..ha..ha....
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by Mo on Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:17 am

I feel.like a slop  compared  to you guys as far as van cleanliness. The only time I clean my hoses is when i get dirt or mud on them. I bet the inside of them.smell like shit. Bit at least indont wear a dirty t shirt

Luckily my charm and good looks makes for that lol
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by milspec6 on Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:30 pm

Do you guys run a rag through the hoses after every job? It is a habit I got into a few years ago when I sucked up a terry towel by accident. Just soak the rag in some deodorizer and drop into the suction hose and let the blower do the work!

I just wash the outsides so much because I hate when they smell like urine or grease on the outside. Most of my customers are not around when I clean, but I hate smelling it on me when I am done.
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by dp1 on Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:30 pm

Oh the outside of the hoses get cleaned when it's dirty, I also hate when the dirt sticks to my shorts, but the rag thing is a pretty good idea, gotta try that one of these days, thanks Bob.
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by milspec6 on Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:45 pm

The rag trick is my favorite, I think that I do it just for the show sometimes. When you have 300 feet of hose coiled up after wanding for 7 hours straight, watching that rascal run through the hoses is a riot.

It looks like a Bugs Bunny cartoon when you do it!
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by ACE Services on Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:37 am

I have of the rag trick before, it also keeps the hose clean and not sticky on the inside. You don't think about it. But it helps with better air flow, less drag. Also for the guys that are using a hot fogger, after you clean out the waste tank. Take about a cup of it oil based sol for the hot fogger and slowly pour into the vac hose it helps to deodorize your machine. Cherry always seemed to work. As it goes though the hose in atomizes and coats the lining of lines and the inside all the tank. Then the smell goes through the blower and the rest of the unit making it all smell good.
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by dp1 on Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:11 pm

What if the rag got stuck in the middle of the vac hose ?
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by milspec6 on Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:16 pm

@dp1 wrote:What if the rag got stuck in the middle of the vac hose ?

When you try it, you will have your answer.....no way could it get stuck. My hoses will be a giant nest when I send that rag through and it only takes about a second to fly through a couple hundred feet of hose.

Of course, you do need to make sure you have a filter to catch it.
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by dp1 on Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:23 pm

I have 2 filters, and I thought of that already, I'll try it one of these days, I know I'll probably be nervous at first, lol.
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by ACE Services on Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:27 pm

@dp1 wrote:What if the rag got stuck in the middle of the vac hose ?
Then it's time for a new blower.
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by milspec6 on Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:47 pm

@ACE Services wrote:
@dp1 wrote:What if the rag got stuck in the middle of the vac hose ?
Then it's time for a new blower.

Very well played, sir.....laughing my ass off.  Seriously, Dp, you could shove a football in there and it will probably go through.  Just soak a terry detailing towel in your favorite deodorizer and drop it in.  I am willing to bet you will be smiling and you will send a second one through just for kicks.

Then you will do it at the end of every week if not every day.
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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by AndrewMcNamaraUtah on Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:55 am

@milspec6 wrote:I was out today providing an estimate to clean another bank when I was approached by an attorney asking if I could take a look at his office for a bid?  It was very nice set of offices, firm had 4 attorneys and 3 secretaries....a total of 6 offices, a copy room, a legal reference room, conference room and large break room in the basement.

When I looked at the break room, there were several magnetic business cards of the local franchise cleaner / disaster company on the refrigerator.  They told me that they have been cleaning the offices twice per year for the last 4 years and wanted to get a jump on the Spring before it become too difficult to schedule.  Seems that their normal cleaner always required booking at least 3 weeks out and they were looking for greater convenience.

When I gave them my estimate and card, they gave me the competition's card and invited me to throw it away when I left.  I don't know if my bid was that much lower or if they just didn't like having to wait 3 weeks, but I always wonder how a company that has been taking care of their customer for years can end up being so disliked?  My price was actually pretty high, but they didn't hesitate at all.  

I have never lost a long-time customer except when there was a change in ownership....at least not yet.  I wonder if I have a few feeling like these attorneys?

That's the reason right there, no one want's to wait 3 weeks. They probably had enough and took the opportunity when it presented - changed the service provider.

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Re: Replacing another cleaner

Post by dp1 on Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:32 am

Now that I think about it, I also haven't lose a repeat customers yet, not that I know of anyway ! One big commercial client I lost was because management change.
People that clean their carpets regularly know good cleaning when they see it ! Not only it looks clean but it should also stays clean longer when they vacuum regularly.
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