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Tiered packages or one pricing structure?

snokingkyle

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Kyle Wood
I’m new here, so thanks in advance for your help!
I currently offer square foot/per job pricing for carpet, upholstery and tile. I’ve been told I need to do 3 packages (good, better and best style) but I’m having some issues trying to put that together. One struggle is that we offer [VERY] general pricing over the phone, and it works really well for us, but doing so with packages is near impossible, and potential customers seem hesitant to book jobs that way. Instead of offering three packages, I’m thinking about just offering more straightforward “a la carte” type pricing. The main areas where people struggle with our highish pricing is that sometimes their carpet isn’t very dirty, so they don’t see the value in paying for a premium company. However, our target market is high end residential, where it’s more likely that they have cleaner carpet. So I’m thinking instead of packages that can be somewhat interpreted differently, offering our normal per job pricing, plus options for deodorizing, protectant, or faster dry times (my thought would be to ask about pets, smells, their investment in their carpet, etc, which will determine if I include these in the pricing proposal). Then to combat the need for lower pricing sometimes, I can offer a discount if we skip using a CRB machine to agitate or do obsessive spotting. Would this type of pricing be better than packages? My concern with package pricing is that people may want one level of cleaning for part of the house, another level for the other part, and then the “what if we added this room, or this chair, etc?” questions get really complicated. We like to pride ourselves in doing only what the customer needs, and not selling them a huge package that they don’t really want.
Thank you in advance for helping me not bash my head against a wall over this!
 

ACP

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I think if you have 3 levels of service it shouldnt at all be about how clean the carpet is going to get but rather level 2 for instance includes moving more furniture for a deep overhaul cleaning, and level 3 is the same but also adds protector to the carpet.

If you make different levels of cleaning for a better or basic cleaning it doesnt sit well with customers, they are calling you to get the carpet as clean as possible in the first place so your making them feel like they need to pay more to get what they want.

If its a restoration cleaning thats a different story

I dabbled with the silver/gold/platinum packages for a while then ditched it, honestly it caused more explaining than anything.

We have a pricing structure then if they want to add protector, pet treatments, etc thats just added to the bill
 

snokingkyle

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Oct 2, 2017
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Kyle Wood
I think if you have 3 levels of service it shouldnt at all be about how clean the carpet is going to get but rather level 2 for instance includes moving more furniture for a deep overhaul cleaning, and level 3 is the same but also adds protector to the carpet.

If you make different levels of cleaning for a better or basic cleaning it doesnt sit well with customers, they are calling you to get the carpet as clean as possible in the first place so your making them feel like they need to pay more to get what they want.

If its a restoration cleaning thats a different story

I dabbled with the silver/gold/platinum packages for a while then ditched it, honestly it caused more explaining than anything.

We have a pricing structure then if they want to add protector, pet treatments, etc thats just added to the bill
ACP, thank you, that’s really helpful. One thing I’m still not clear on though- say the customer wants the package that includes moving furniture for the living and dining rooms, but not the bedrooms or family room. When going through the quote options, how do you keep it from getting really complicated when presenting them with the pricing options?
 

Todd the Cleaner

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One price to do the best job possible. Then charge extra for urine treatments and red stain removal. Protector is a separate service they can choose to buy or not.

If you offer different levels of clean you will end up with unsatisfied customers who choose the cheap package and expect premium service. Sure way to bad reviews and a quick death for the business.
 

snokingkyle

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One price to do the best job possible. Then charge extra for urine treatments and red stain removal. Protector is a separate service they can choose to buy or not.

If you offer different levels of clean you will end up with unsatisfied customers who choose the cheap package and expect premium service. Sure way to bad reviews and a quick death for the business.
Todd, thanks a lot for the input. That’s basically what I’ve been doing so far. What do you do about furniture moving? Right now I basically work it into the price of the room (all areas are separate line items) but I don’t want customers to feel nickel and dimes for getting charged extra for deodorizing, protecting, moving furniture, etc., which is why I am exploring the idea of packages.
 

Todd the Cleaner

Todd Cottino
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Todd, thanks a lot for the input. That’s basically what I’ve been doing so far. What do you do about furniture moving? Right now I basically work it into the price of the room (all areas are separate line items) but I don’t want customers to feel nickel and dimes for getting charged extra for deodorizing, protecting, moving furniture, etc., which is why I am exploring the idea of packages.
I generally don't charge for furniture moving unless it's excessive. Just charge enough for the cleaning that you don't mind moving a few things. I always tell the customer up front to remove all the little things they can. I tell them if they want end tables, coffee tables, or night stands moved to clear the tops of them off so I can move them easily. It only takes a minute to slide the table over, clean under it, put it back, and block it up. I'll move a sofa and love seat or recliners around if the customer asks me to, otherwise I generally work around them. Pretty much in bedrooms I work around everything unless there is a chair or night stand or something that is easy to move.

Very rarely I will have a customer ask me to move a bed, I tell them if they will strip the bedding off that I will stand the mattresses up against the wall and clean under the bed then put the mattresses back down. 90% of the time the customer is too lazy to strip the bed so they say to just work around it. I tell them I can reach 12-18 inches under each side of the bed and that generally satisfies them.

Basically if I can spend less than 15-20 minutes moving furniture I won't charge for it. When I go into the home and the customer wants everything in the house moved I will charge a labor charge based on time spent. If I'm spending an hour moving furniture they will be paying an extra $120 in labor. The same goes for candle wax removal and paint removal. If there's just a couple spots I can remove in 5 minutes then there is no charge but if I'm spending 15 minutes or more on paint or wax removal I'm charging $120 an hour Labor.
 
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Sean M Collins

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I’m new here, so thanks in advance for your help!
I currently offer square foot/per job pricing for carpet, upholstery and tile. I’ve been told I need to do 3 packages (good, better and best style) but I’m having some issues trying to put that together. One struggle is that we offer [VERY] general pricing over the phone, and it works really well for us, but doing so with packages is near impossible, and potential customers seem hesitant to book jobs that way. Instead of offering three packages, I’m thinking about just offering more straightforward “a la carte” type pricing. The main areas where people struggle with our highish pricing is that sometimes their carpet isn’t very dirty, so they don’t see the value in paying for a premium company. However, our target market is high end residential, where it’s more likely that they have cleaner carpet. So I’m thinking instead of packages that can be somewhat interpreted differently, offering our normal per job pricing, plus options for deodorizing, protectant, or faster dry times (my thought would be to ask about pets, smells, their investment in their carpet, etc, which will determine if I include these in the pricing proposal). Then to combat the need for lower pricing sometimes, I can offer a discount if we skip using a CRB machine to agitate or do obsessive spotting. Would this type of pricing be better than packages? My concern with package pricing is that people may want one level of cleaning for part of the house, another level for the other part, and then the “what if we added this room, or this chair, etc?” questions get really complicated. We like to pride ourselves in doing only what the customer needs, and not selling them a huge package that they don’t really want.
Thank you in advance for helping me not bash my head against a wall over this!
So far most all the advice you’ve gotten is spot on .. I have sort of a rhetorical question.. what does a high end residential customer define as a premium cleaning? ... it starts with expectations they expect you to have great equipment that can clean just about anything so how soiled it is is just a pricing detail not what makes you special. They expect you to give attention to detail for example edging covering certain spots that might have a lower likelihood of coming out etc they expect your cleaning to last/not resoil. .. also with high end residential customers I wouldn’t spell out much of the minutiae of their price generally if you’ve done well over the phone setting them up for a hi side price it’s better when your on site to cover some p and q’s with them finding out most of their ‘needs’ and then give them a price that covers most or all of that... and the things you can tell are wish list things will be easier to offer to add on cause they will minor nickels and dimes ... and if they’re really hi end they won’t care for pricing details like 5-10 different line items ... hopefully that makes sense
 

ACP

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ACP, thank you, that’s really helpful. One thing I’m still not clear on though- say the customer wants the package that includes moving furniture for the living and dining rooms, but not the bedrooms or family room. When going through the quote options, how do you keep it from getting really complicated when presenting them with the pricing options?
I was just giving an example of how you could structure the tiered pricing, we only have 1 level of pricing for cleaning. What increases the bill is adding pet treatments, protector, or restoration if they really neglected their carpets.

Im honestly not the biggest fan of tiered pricing for the reasons you explain, also we like our prep email that sends out and how it helps them get ready for the cleaning. If we had different levels of service we would have to have different prep emails etc.
 

Scott W

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If your target market is high end homes, you should be doing an in-home inspection and quote rather than over the phone. A big drawback to these customers hiring a company that have not worked with before is fear of unknown. Who are they letting into their home?

If you do the in-home inspection first, they can meet you and feel more comfortable and trusting with hiring you. The percentage of closed deals will greatly increase.

One price that includes all the cleaning they need.

But I do like package deals. McDonald's never offers a cheaper burger without the ketchup. But they do package extra like the fries and beverage. Same idea.

Complete cleaning but a package may include protector, wiping the baseboards and walls behind the furniture you move before you put the furniture back, a fragrance added to the rinse, use of air movers to speed dry the carpet or even a 6 month call back warranty if they get spills.
 

Mr.Steamer

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I struggled with the same thing starting out. I just offer basic packages and add on as needed. Some people just need a freshening up and the pricing works fine, while others need some help with stains, smells etc. I tell everyone over the phone what the basic package works on and IF they have any additional issues, we'd discuss the pricing in person before the cleaning starts. Everyone agrees to it and very rarely do I have anything complaints about it, as we discussed it prior on the phone. I agree with most of what was said above, but I haven't tried every pricing option, just my own, which I believe is fair and keeps the customers happy.
 

PistolPete

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If your target market is high end homes, you should be doing an in-home inspection and quote rather than over the phone. A big drawback to these customers hiring a company that have not worked with before is fear of unknown. Who are they letting into their home?

If you do the in-home inspection first, they can meet you and feel more comfortable and trusting with hiring you. The percentage of closed deals will greatly increase.

One price that includes all the cleaning they need.

But I do like package deals. McDonald's never offers a cheaper burger without the ketchup. But they do package extra like the fries and beverage. Same idea.

Complete cleaning but a package may include protector, wiping the baseboards and walls behind the furniture you move before you put the furniture back, a fragrance added to the rinse, use of air movers to speed dry the carpet or even a 6 month call back warranty if they get spills.
I do hard surfaces, high end only and always start with an in home estimate. My close rate is 8 out 10, usually based on price.
Usually it's Mrs Homemaker that makes the decision, but a good qualifying question is "Is there anyone else who needs to be there while I do the estimate?"
I have had to explain the process again to the hubby either over the phone or go back and do it in person.
People really do buy from someone they trust, and honestly within reason price becomes less important.
 
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Sean M Collins

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I do hard surfaces, high end only and always start with an in home estimate. My close rate is 8 out 10, usually based on price.
Usually it's Mrs Homemaker that makes the decision, but a good qualifying question is "Is there anyone else who needs to be there while I do the estimate?"
I have had to explain the process again to the hubby either over the phone or go back and do it in person.
People really do buy from someone they trust, and honestly within reason price becomes less important.
Spot on I would add that price matters less n less the more you can explain why you’re service is worth paying for ... that they’re getting more /better
 

PistolPete

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Spot on I would add that price matters less n less the more you can explain why you’re service is worth paying for ... that they’re getting more /better
And being busy helps, your confidence level is way higher and the take it or leave it air about pricing makes you credible. Not in an arrogant way, but it is what it is.
 

Sean M Collins

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Sean Collins
If your target market is high end homes, you should be doing an in-home inspection and quote rather than over the phone. A big drawback to these customers hiring a company that have not worked with before is fear of unknown. Who are they letting into their home?

If you do the in-home inspection first, they can meet you and feel more comfortable and trusting with hiring you. The percentage of closed deals will greatly increase.

One price that includes all the cleaning they need.

But I do like package deals. McDonald's never offers a cheaper burger without the ketchup. But they do package extra like the fries and beverage. Same idea.

Complete cleaning but a package may include protector, wiping the baseboards and walls behind the furniture you move before you put the furniture back, a fragrance added to the rinse, use of air movers to speed dry the carpet or even a 6 month call back warranty if they get spills.
I’ve contemplated a protector/warranty like you just mentioned any suggestions as to implementing that ?
 

Scott W

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I’ve contemplated a protector/warranty like you just mentioned any suggestions as to implementing that ?
Here are the basics of the plan I suggest. You may want to modify to suit your situation.
  • You can introduce the idea of protector at several points such as when making the original quote. If they have not already agreed to protector, I like to find an area, usually near the end of the job where I can show the customer a contrast between clean and not yet cleaned carpet. I'll say something like, "Mrs Smith, it looks like your carpet is responding well to the cleaning. Wouldn't it be nice if it could stay so clean?"
  • Have two protectors available. I suggest Advanced with Teflon and Maxim Advanced.
  • "We can apply a protector that will resist both water and oil based staining and more importantly for the life of the carpet, resists gritty, abrasive dry soils making your vacuum more efficient so more soil is removed each time you vacuum." This additional service is available for $xx per sq. ft. (This should be just under half your cleaning price, maybe 15 cents or so.)
  • "We also have a premium protector that comes with a one year warranty. With our warranty plan, we provide you a bottle of spotting solution you can use whenever there is a spill. This will remove 95% of common household spots and stains. But for those times when something won't come out, you can call us (up to once per month). We will arrange to come back and clean the spot. If it still doesn't come out, we will refund what you paid for the protection in that room." This is an additional 5 cents per sq. ft.
  • I do a protector demo at some point.
  • You can have this warranty renewed each year when you have us back to clean your carpets again."

We have carpet swatches to demonstrate how well the products work, marketing literature of various kinds, a warranty form you can get in 2 part paper or print yourself and make a copy.

I suggest you provide all customers a custom labeled bottle of Home Pro spotter. I give them that after they make the decision, no matter which option they choose or no protector at all.

Historically, less than 3 out 100 every call back at all. For those who do call back, you often have a chance to provide additional services when you are back in the home.

Look at the numbers:
If you do 2 jobs per day and average 1000 sq. ft. at each home -
Mention and demo protector, you will sell 50% to 80% of the jobs, usually fewer at first but more as you get comfortable making the offer.

  • 5 jobs out of 10 = 5,000 sq. ft per week treated with protector at 15 cents that is $750 per week additional income or $39,000+ per year.
  • 8 jobs out of 10 = 8,000 sq. ft. per week @ 15 cents = $1200 per week or $62,400 per year.
  • Add the warranty for 5 cents per sq. ft. on 2 jobs per week for 2,000 sq. ft. under warranty @5 cents = $100 per week or $5200 per year on top of the protector income listed above. Put half that money, $2600 in the bank to pay yourself when you have to go back.
  • You will have about 3 callbacks per year. You could pay yourself over $800 for each callback do clean one spot or you could start a fund for kid's college or a new car or whatever toy you have been wanting.

Email Nancy nstoker@interlinksupply.com and ask for some samples of treated / untreated carpet, some marketing materials for protector and a sample of the warranty.
 

B14

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I do hard surfaces, high end only and always start with an in home estimate. My close rate is 8 out 10, usually based on price.
Usually it's Mrs Homemaker that makes the decision, but a good qualifying question is "Is there anyone else who needs to be there while I do the estimate?"
I have had to explain the process again to the hubby either over the phone or go back and do it in person.
People really do buy from someone they trust, and honestly within reason price becomes less important.
How do you get people to agree over the phone to allow the time for you to come over and do an in home estimate?

Most people just want the price over the phone in my area.
 

PistolPete

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How do you get people to agree over the phone to allow the time for you to come over and do an in home estimate?

Most people just want the price over the phone in my area.
I do hard surfaces so I just tell them I can't give pricing over the phone. Every job is different. If they insist or are a long drive I give them per sq ft.
 

B14

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I do hard surfaces so I just tell them I can't give pricing over the phone. Every job is different. If they insist or are a long drive I give them per sq ft.
Yea I do the same exact thing. People just always insist on the price and as soon as I say the words "per square foot" they just freak out.
 

PistolPete

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Yea I do the same exact thing. People just always insist on the price and as soon as I say the words "per square foot" they just freak out.
I say I always start with a hassle free inspection and test clean a couple of spots. If they really press then I blow it up with price and that's the end of the call.
I find that price shoppers are not my customer base.
Another thing I say is I guarantee you I'm the highest price and there's a reason for that.
 

B14

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If your target market is high end homes, you should be doing an in-home inspection and quote rather than over the phone. A big drawback to these customers hiring a company that have not worked with before is fear of unknown. Who are they letting into their home?

If you do the in-home inspection first, they can meet you and feel more comfortable and trusting with hiring you. The percentage of closed deals will greatly increase.

One price that includes all the cleaning they need.

But I do like package deals. McDonald's never offers a cheaper burger without the ketchup. But they do package extra like the fries and beverage. Same idea.

Complete cleaning but a package may include protector, wiping the baseboards and walls behind the furniture you move before you put the furniture back, a fragrance added to the rinse, use of air movers to speed dry the carpet or even a 6 month call back warranty if they get spills.
do you prefer package deals over upfront pricing/upsell combo?
 

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