Guest Blog Disclaimer: This is a guest blog post by Jim DuBois of Squeegee Pros and Window Washing Wealth. The views, opinions, and positions expressed within this guest posts are those of the author.
Continuing from last month’s blog, marketing is the life-blood of any window cleaning company, whether commercial or residential. And it’s not always a leisurely walk in the park. Fact is, business building mistakes will happen and are often unavoidable, especially if you are a new aspiring window cleaning entrepreneur or a seasoned entrepreneur needing a jolt back to reality.
This is part four in a series. Read the others with these links:
Do You Make It Hard To Do Business With Your Company And Not Even Realize It?
Window cleaning business owners fail to make doing business easy and convenient for their clients and prospects. It is not uncommon for window cleaners to make it difficult for their prospects and customers to do business with them.
Remember this, when a customer makes up their mind to call and ask to schedule an appointment with you for a proposal or estimate it is because they are in effect “ready to buy.” You must be “ready to do business” when your prospects are ready to do business. When they decide to call you, it is because, at that point in time, the reason that they are calling has jumped to the forefront of their minds. You have become, in effect, the most important thing on their mind at that moment in time. Read that sentence again. Knowing and understanding is the difference between great success and mediocrity in your business.
The sooner you can schedule the estimate with your customer or prospect and get a proposal in their hands, the better your chance of getting the job. The longer you put it off, the more likely their priorities are to change or, even worse, to find another window cleaner to provide them with the services they desire. Do everything you can to make doing business with your company as easy as possible from the customer’s point of view. Even though it may be often inconvenient for you to schedule estimates at their requested times, your willingness to do so will pay high dividends.
Over the years, I’m continuously amazed at just how many new jobs my company is awarded because we were the only company that gave or showed up for the estimate or submitted a proposal on time. It is far too common in our industry to hear the horror stories from customers about how window cleaners don’t show up, or worse, never complete jobs once they have started.
Today in my residential division, 95% of our customers have an estimate in their hands either in minutes, hours, or the same day. Likewise, when a prospective customer calls wanting an estimate for their storefront, my commercial division will have that estimate in their hands within 24 hours. Our competitors rarely have a chance to secure the job. We are incredibly aggressive in getting that estimate to the customer as quickly as humanly possible, knowing that a competitor may be right behind us. In my WindowWashingWealth.com Business Fundamentals section, we break the ‘how, what, and why’ down in detail. A higher conversion of prospects to customers does two things – increases revenue and adds to the number of customers in your database you can continue to market to year after year (referred to a CLV, or Customer Lifetime Value). We also do provide information about cardboard balers, check some advantages here.
There’s an old saying that goes something like this:
“If you want to understand why John Smith buys what John Smith buys, then you have got to see the world through John Smith’s eyes”.
Have you stopped to take a look at the world through your customer’s eyes? Do you know and understand what motivates them to make a buying decision? What are their expectations of you as a window cleaning service provider? Most businesses never take the time to “walk a mile in their customer’s shoes” and realize what it is that their prospects and customers want. Why else would they make doing business with them so difficult?
Take a few minutes and ask yourself these questions:
• When a prospect or customer calls your company, are they able to receive the information that they are searching for in a cheerful, compelling, and timely manner?
• Does the staff answer the phone or immediately return their call, or does the customer have to wait until the next day to hear from your company?
• Are you and your people willing and able to help out and provide accurate information in a friendly manner, even if it may not result in an immediate sale?
• Does your office administrator know what to say to guide the prospect to the sale, or is he/she fumbling, vague, and unsure? Write a script and have the office administrator practice in front of you until it’s perfect. Make it easy for your customers.
• Do your prospects and customers have to wait longer than they would like to receive proposals and estimates from your company? Our rule is 3 days or less, or we mail them a free restaurant gift card.
• Do you consistently communicate with your customers the status of their jobs and your schedules? Our residential customers on the schedule hear from us 7 times! – including the day prior, the day of, and the day after.
• How many times does your customer have to call or email for you to fix an issue or complaint? Do you make it easy, or do you make it hard?
• When a prospective customer visits your website, what do they see, a land of confusion, or can they quickly and easily see where to fill out an estimate form or call you?
• On a side note, when they first visit your site, do they just see a logo staring them in the face with a vague website underneath, or do they see a headline that gives them a compelling reason to stay, and learns more about what makes your company different?
• Commercial or Residential: Do you accept all forms of payment, including cash, check, credit card, or billed after the service is completed? Or do you only demand cash or check at the time of service?
These are a sampling of the types of questions you must ask yourself regularly so that you can stay on top of any flaws that your customers see when they do business with you. By making it easy, simple, and enjoyable, you will attract more customers who will use your services, and who will gladly provide you with referrals.
We go as far as having our customers submit an online survey that allows them to give us feedback on how my office staff treated them and how well our technicians did at their home or business. It is incredibly invaluable to us, knowing how we are doing, and what we need to do to improve and tweak our systems and methodologies.
In review: How easy you make it for your customers to do business with you will have an impact on your company’s revenue. Start working on these points today, and see how it changes things. Call my office at 704-799- 0313 if you have any questions.
Take control and become your own business building expert or let my team help you take your company from small to big. Until next time…
Jim DuBois is founder of Squeegee Pros, Inc. out of Mooresville, NC. He is the creator of WindowWashingWealth.com, which specializes in aggressive marketing tactics, the importance of internal company systems, and how to dominate your window cleaning marketplace. All things a serial window cleaning entrepreneur should know to build a huge business. Visit the site for a Free marketing report. Feel free to send any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.