Today I received a call from a customer who was requesting a quotation for an exterior house wash and window cleaning for their home that they are moving into within the next couple weeks.  After spending a few minutes on the phone we were able to provide a free no-obligation, written estimate.

After opening the email, the customer phoned back asking why we were a few dollars more than the other competing bid that they had received.  They ask if we could justify our higher price which is a question we receive now and again so I figured, “why not blog about it?”

When customer’s ask about our higher prices, I usually respond with, “Where do I begin…?
So here it, in it’s full glory, a thorough explanation explaining why running a real niche service business is more expensive than your local handyman who does “this and that” on the side for some extra cash.

  1. When you call KC Power Clean Inc we almost always have some one who is able to take your call who is willing to spend some time with you answering any questions you may have.  If we don’t pick up, it’s usually because we are doing the aforementioned discussion with somebody else on the phone and will return your call within the hour.
  2. Upon your request, we will provide a free no-obligation written estimate by email (oftentimes without even coming out to see the home).  This saves you valuable time because we understand you have better things to do than meet an array of contractors at your home.  We can do this because we have skilled office personnel trained to observe the property via satellite technology on the web.  In some cases, especially for hardscape restoration projects, it’s helpful to receive a few pictures by email or text message from you before providing a written estimate, but these are the exceptions.
  3. When scheduling an appointment, we usually have an opening much sooner than our competitors.  It’s rare that our shoppers are thinking about their pressure washing/window cleaning needs weeks or even months in advance, so why do so many of our competitors try to stay booked so far out?  My guess is because business growth is difficult and expensive.  Our business tries to maintain a small lead time of 4-7 days on average, and this often requires tapping into a line of credit at the bank to pull together another work rig during the abnormally busy seasons.
  4. When you schedule an appointment with us, you can opt to receive an emailed appointment reminder via our scheduling software so that you don’t forget the cleaning appointment.
  5. Our team shows up on time! For the rare occasions that we are running more than 10 minutes late, we make a point to call you ASAP notifying you because we understand your time is limited and valuable.
  6. Our crew arrives with uniformed, respectful, and polite technicians.
  7. Our crew leaders are legally employed, English speaking citizens.  They’re also good people, the kind of people that you would want to have over for dinner.
  8. Our technicians are never subcontractors (or even subcontractors disguised as employees).  Uncle Sam gets his share and nobody is cheated.  It helps us sleep well at night.
  9. Our company is fully insured. We carry an industry leading $5,000,000 of total General Liability coverage, $1,000,000 commercial auto policies, and our worker’s compensation insurance is completely legitimate.  By legitimate, I mean they know we are working on ladders and roof tops (we don’t lie to our underwriter about our maximum working heights in order to receive a better premium/rate).  This provides the ultimate protection for you and myself as the employer should a rare accident ever occur.
  10. Our equipment is always top of the line.  Whether it’s our industrial grade ladders, Hydrotek manufactured steam cleaners/pressure washers, our stainless steel softwashing set ups, or even our Reverse Osmosis water purification carts.  You can be sure that we will not be asking to borrow the extra hose on your neighbor’s sideyard or the old ladder hidden behind your minivan.
  11. Our team follows a written safety manual
    -No we don’t lean out of windows to clean them because we have our own poles and ladders.  
    -And yes, we do wear fully body harnesses with Cal OSHA approved fall arrest gear when working on your roof.  
    We’ve seen it all… competitors “tying off” their harnesses to their work vehicles, your chimney, or even satellite dishes.  These are not approved methods and usually indicate that the service provider doesn’t take safety seriously or is just too ignorant to know the difference.
  12. Our crew leaders follow a 4 part online “task guide” further helping insure consistent customer satisfaction.  This task guide covers many topics from a safety analysis, pre-job property damage prevention analysis, quality control procedures, and customer communication issues just to name a few.
  13. Our technicians follow an actual operations manual that is service specific.  That’s right, we have written procedures for each of our services because washing a wood siding home requires a different set of detergents, pressure washing attachments, and rinse techniques than washing a stucco siding home.  We care enough to make sure that each job receives the right kind of attention.  When water comes out of a pressure washing machine, it’s doesn’t become “magic water”.  There needs to be an acquired knowledge of the chemistry and science at play in order to get the maximum allowable clean.  It’s also helpful to have a basic understanding of construction and building practices so that property damage doesn’t occur.
    – Our company’s written operation’s manuals ensure quality control each and every visit while lowering the potential property damage or personal injury that could occur.
  14. We accept a variety of different payment types, including: cash, checks, and plastic.
  15. When you call us back next year for another cleaning, we will still be here, doing this same thing (Lord willing of course).  This may sound odd, but many competitors price their services so low they work themselves to near death, and after of a year of spinning their wheels they leave to go sell insurance or something else. That leaves you back at square one looking around for a new cleaning vendor.  Even worse yet is that it leaves you with an inaccurate impression of what a real market rate for these services truly is.  
    What we do requires a lot of work in a low-barrier, highly unregulated industry.  Everyone thinks they can do it (even many of the homeowners who call us).  The question is do you want the assurance that it will be done right from a company who has the credentials and track record to make that claim and is here to stay.
  16. Our team doesn’t quit until the job is done right and you are satisfied.  That’s the bottom line.

I could go on, but I believe I’m ranting at this point…
We really do care about you, your home, and our employees.  
We want to earn your business for a lifetime and to create raving fans.

All the best,
Kris Cook
President- KC Power Clean Inc.