Underbid a client...now how to raise rates? - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 03-13-2015, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Underbid a client...now how to raise rates?

When starting out I seriously underbid a client. I am still 'new' in the business but I learned not to make that mistake again. Ironically, this is the only client that has questioned several times if they are getting their 'value' and that really, really bothers me (besides the fact that I am not making enough at this house).

My question is: who else has been in my position, and how did you resolve it? It's ridiculous that this is such an issue and I *hate* that I made this mistake. I also feel like BECAUSE I made the mistake, I have to live with it although it's lost revenue. I don't feel like I can bring their rates up to what they should be without harming the relationship, esp if I don't feel valued now.

Would love insight.
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post #2 of Old 03-14-2015, 11:51 AM
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As long as you are a single cleaner, never feel like you HAVE to do anything.

Before I go on, I can tell you how this is going to end... and hopefully the sooner, the better. She is a complainer and thinks cleaning people are lower than her. She thinks that she does things perfect and that everyone else in the world should be perfect like she is. And since this will never happen, she will move on to the next lower class citizen (in her mind) to clean for her.

The best thing that you can do is find someone to replace her and move on. Or, you can be a hard head and go on being a slave to her and not be happy. Which will sometimes cause family problems at home.

The second best thing you could do is tell her TODAY that you are raising her rates because she isn't in line with your other customers.... you realize you are not being fair to your other customers.... right? How about telling your other customers the price you charge her... how would they feel? And if she wants to quit because of the price hike.... go celebrate!

Customers are a dime a dozen!
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post #3 of Old 03-14-2015, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you a ton, sprint. That is exactly right. Yes, I thought about this yesterday a lot, and of course did think how it's not fair to my other current clients and not fair to me only with this house, but I can't pursue the neighbors of this client even!

I have learned my lesson!

Last edited by clean14; 03-14-2015 at 08:02 PM.
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post #4 of Old 03-17-2015, 10:25 AM
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Customers are everything. I don't agree they are a dime a dozen. Important to make customers feel like Kings and Queens. You want to keep these folks singing your praises. Pissed off customers can cause you havoc. My suggestion is to tell them the truth. You started out setting a price, saw how things went, realized you are losing money, love them as clients and want to do right by them. Tell them you have reset your rates to market value but because they are important early customers you want to give them something extra. Then give them something you can afford to....maybe an 11th cleaning for every 10 or a free window cleaning once a year or....

Julia
All City Cleaning Services Lakewood, WA
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post #5 of Old 03-17-2015, 12:57 PM
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I'm sorry if you don't think customers are a dime a dozen. Maybe you're not doing something right. We passed out 600 flyers this morning, got 2 customers already from those 600 and another lady said she would call but at the time was sitting on her porch on an important phone call. And most people haven't even got home to get their flyer yet as it is only 1pm here. Last week we averaged 11 calls per thousand. Although I was giving an old saying some play (a dime a dozen), it is damn near on the money.

And by the way..... giving work away for free is just CRAZY!! The only thing you ever give away for free is advice. Advice doesn't involve work.

Last edited by sprintcar93; 03-17-2015 at 01:00 PM.
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post #6 of Old 03-20-2015, 02:23 PM
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This situation can be little awkward for sure. You probably don't want to tell your client you need to charge more, or that you want to let her go.
I would suggest doing either one of those as soon as possible. I would recommend trying to charge more at first, then if no good comes from it, let her go.
Doing this will at least see if she is interested in paying anymore, and if not, you can simply let her go and explain why (Your Expenses don't add up for this job.)

Remember to always sound nice, and make it at least seem like you are interested in the clients feelings. In sales, you want to always serve your services to people who truly need and qualify for them, if they don't and you just sell them on it just to gain a client, you are truly doing the client a disservice.

Hopefully that was of some help. Overall, try for more or let her go. It will save a ton of time and troubles down the road.
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post #7 of Old 05-24-2015, 11:25 PM
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Raising prices can suck. When I started out, I initially set my prices higher than pretty much every other cleaning company in my area. Then, after sucking so much at converting my website traffic to leads, I guessed I wasn't getting converting enough due to my relatively high price. Stupidly, I then set my prices way lower which sort of worked in getting people to book with my company, but I was losing too much money. I like to pay my cleaners what they deserve, and I also have to pay for advertising as I'm still working hard on SEO to boost my organic traffic. But all I really had to do was work on my website more and increase the trust flow on there like adding a video testimonial, written testimonials, not pushing people to book as soon as they landed on my site, adding live chat to show visitors that REAL people are running the website, etc. Then the calls starting flowing in even when I lowered my advertising budget and raised my prices again!

We provide professional and affordable house cleaning service in NJ. At MaidComfy, we believe that a cleaner home is a happier home!
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post #8 of Old 05-27-2015, 08:05 AM
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I agree with RealClean. But whatever you decide to do - be nice.
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post #9 of Old 06-04-2015, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therain View Post
Raising prices can suck. When I started out, I initially set my prices higher than pretty much every other cleaning company in my area. Then, after sucking so much at converting my website traffic to leads, I guessed I wasn't getting converting enough due to my relatively high price. Stupidly, I then set my prices way lower which sort of worked in getting people to book with my company, but I was losing too much money. I like to pay my cleaners what they deserve, and I also have to pay for advertising as I'm still working hard on SEO to boost my organic traffic. But all I really had to do was work on my website more and increase the trust flow on there like adding a video testimonial, written testimonials, not pushing people to book as soon as they landed on my site, adding live chat to show visitors that REAL people are running the website, etc. Then the calls starting flowing in even when I lowered my advertising budget and raised my prices again!
Hi.

Aside from SEO, do you think it's wise to invest in phone answering service that will complement the former? Just a thought. I'm thinking of opening my own cleaning biz as well. Thanks a bunch!
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post #10 of Old 06-05-2015, 10:08 AM
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If money is no object to you go ahead and do it if that is how you want your phone answered. It's all about your business budget and business plan. I guess the question to you would be.... how many calls a day do you have coming in?
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