photo by @vanswindowcleaning1991
Why is window cleaning so expensive?
“Why is window cleaning so expensive,” customers may ask. Well, window cleaners know that it’s expensive because it’s valuable to have a beautiful, clean, and sanitary space to live or work in, and challenging for the average person to do it. However, customers don’t always see it this way.
When customers challenge or question a window cleaner’s price point, it can be discouraging. But don’t let their viewpoint upset you. See it instead as an opportunity to educate them. It might be frustrating to have to defend your price, but to the window cleaners hearing this, choose to feel flattered. When customers expect your services to be cheaper, they’re implying that window cleaners make their jobs look easy, which is quite the compliment, considering the amount of hard work you do to get to that point.
As you may know, customers often misunderstand the hard work that goes into becoming a professional window cleaner. Professional window cleaners make working look so smooth and simple because of their years of experience doing it. Then there is also the consideration of the expenses you have to pay for, such as special equipment, labor, and insurance, setting you apart from folks who don’t take it seriously and won’t do the service well (i.e., “Bucket Bobs”). One would think that all these aspects of being a professional would comfort a customer, but some clients simply don’t want to spend money. If they’re looking to hire their neighbor’s 16-year-old, maybe they’ll be able to pay what they want, but a professional window cleaner won’t come in and leave drips all over their fresh carpets and floors, streaks on their glass, or worse yet, scratches or other damages from poor use of the equipment.
Furthermore, window cleaning isn’t “just a luxury,” as many people may think. Hiring a professional means attaining a hygienic clean that improves the health of the air, eliminates allergens in the home or business, and creates a clean atmosphere, preventing illness and the spread of disease. Window cleaning also takes immense skill to perform and can be dangerous. Not everyone can climb a ladder or reach certain angles. Plus, it takes lots of practice and the right tools to do it properly and get the desired results.
So, don’t let the customers’ misunderstanding of the trade get you down. For this week’s article, Window Cleaner University will discuss why window cleaning is expensive and how to educate your customer.
Experience and Skill
Window cleaners are not just laborers but are skilled craftspeople. If a customer’s primary goal is to get the cheapest labor possible, then they cannot expect it to be a job well done. A rebuttal to a customer concerned about a price in regards to experience level can be:
“Would you rather hire someone who markets themself as cheap? Or, would you instead hire someone who proves themself as experienced?”
This rebuttal can be phrased differently depending on who you’re speaking to. But, it will bring forth the idea that in this life, more times than not, you get what you pay for. You can inform them that it isn’t worth hiring an inexperienced cleaner because it will more likely cost them more in repairs than the service itself. Not to mention, it’s dangerous to put an inexperienced person up on a ladder to clean windows on second or even third stories. Furthermore, inexperienced window cleaners can leave bent screens after removing them improperly, scratch the glass from using inappropriate tools, scratch their home by using a ladder without end protectors, and leave windows with dried-on streaks. Experienced window cleaners who perform beautiful work that the customer would not be able to do themself should earn higher pay for the experience and skills they gained over time and for promising a safe, efficient, and thorough clean.
Knowing how to properly and safely use the tools needed for washing glass properly goes a long way. There are tons of special pieces of equipment in the window cleaning industry that take effort, skill, and practice to learn how to use, especially if a fast pace is what you’re looking to gain. As mentioned earlier, window cleaners must be careful not to hurt themselves on ladders, know the proper techniques for using extension and water fed poles, the processes behind using purification systems and pumps, and the accessories accompanying them. In addition, many window cleaners perform tasks that involve caustic chemicals. Knowing how to use these chemicals safely is vital to the well-being of both the customer and the window cleaner. This specialty equipment is an investment made to service customers correctly and get the fastest, most effective clean in the shortest timeframe possible. Remember, professional window cleaners don’t want to linger at the business or home they’re working on, but move forward to the next location on their route, all while providing A+ service.
If a customer doesn’t feel comfortable with the price you’ve provided, you can tell them:
“I take great care in the work I do, which is why I’ve invested in the special equipment I use. Not only is it top-of-the-line, but I’ve had
experience using it. These are the safest and most effective tools on the market, tailor-made to clean windows, screens, and frames without the risks of damage.”
This will most likely inform and bring ease to the customer. The window cleaner can also explain the processes behind the tools if they find it to be useful for the customer to know. If this doesn’t work, don’t fret! Be confident in your expertise and move onto the next client.
When the work gets to be too much for an individual business owner to bear, they reach out and hire other folks to help them carry the load. In order to cover labor costs, their prices must increase, too. If customers are not comfortable with a price increase due to adding employees, you can say:
“We believe that our employees are our best asset. The cost of labor to keep great technicians coming to work on your windows has gone up this year. We need to charge a little more to ensure we can send you the highest skilled and most experienced technicians.”
If a customer is still uncomfortable with this, then do not fret, as your business has grown, and gaining new customers at your new price plan will not require any explanation of a higher price, as it will be the first time they see it.
Liability insurance is one of the most important things that professional window cleaners buy. Insurance is an absolute necessity when it comes to working on people’s homes and businesses, and window cleaning companies have to be prepared for the potential financial impact from a wide range of risks. The type of work done can be dangerous and can cause accidents for the cleaner, the customer, or a patron of their business. If a customer is worried about a price point, something you can say is:
“I am fully insured and understand the complexities of the job at hand. Although extremely unlikely, if any accident occurs, everyone involved in the interaction is covered.”
Telling them that you are insured will show you are serious about your business and their property. This isn’t something you take lightly, and you wish to provide the utmost care for them and their windows.
The Bottom Line
Window cleaning is expensive because it is extremely valuable. Not only is it a great skill that takes time to learn and years to perfect, but it improves the health of those who use this essential service for their homes and businesses. However, people must understand that good window cleaners are not cheap, and cheap window cleaners are not good. Once this fact is accepted, the customer will most likely have your trust and have you return for business again and again.
Still Have Questions?
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