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Repeat clients?

Mark, I have a firm respect for what I know about you and what you write. It seems clear to me you write/speak form experience rather tha theory. So, as a result of some posts on another forum (we all read the same ones) I thought I'd ask you direct what your thought are on using OP in residetial settings and the % of those clients that become repeat clients. Further, i want your thoughts on if/when these clients do repeat, do they ask for HWE, OP or do they even care?

Please be specific. You did not get to be Botons Best by luck. did you?

Re: Repeat clients?

All my residential as well as my commercial work is done via OP. On really large jobs, I supplement these with a 24" Cimex. On a large commercial job, with one or two of the big Orbitecs (CX-20, sold elsewhere as the Brute), plus my Cimex, the work goes really fast, and the dollars-earned-per-hour really gets up there. I am not sure about the percentage of repeat business, but I know from years of experience that it is very strong and highly satisfactory. Re HWE, customers don't buy technical features, or specific technologies; they buy what they perceive to be the most benefits: quality, reliability, convenience, value. When you bring your car in for service or repairs, do you care what tools the person doing the job is using? Hardly! You care about RESULTS. Would you go to a cheaper garage if the work they did wasn't reliable or otherwise satisfactory? I doubt it.

Re: Repeat clients?

The post over on the other board was referring to HWE cleaners who switched to OP cleaning exclusively, and the retention rate of his CURRENT customers. Not quite the same as someone who starts his business using OP and doesn't switch. Or, not the same as those customers a HWE cleaner who switches to OP cleaning gets AFTER he's made the switch.

The mechanic comparison is not accurate ether, because most shops won't allow you in the service bays to watch their work, so the customer can't compare, and if they could, the mechanic is removing that alternator, or tuning up that paticular engine with the same tools and similar hands as any other mechanic.

Re: Repeat clients?

Still, reasonable people (the ones you want to cultivate as customers, as opposed to the know-it-alls
(take my know-it-all customer......PLEASE!) are concerned primarily with the RESULTS of your efforts, not the technical minutia).

Re: Repeat clients?

The original post asked this question, " who has gone from HWE to OP either exclusively or added service"?

The retention rates that were given were from your own personal experience Admiralclean. Hers your quote,
"Those statistics were my own, compiled a couple of years ago. There is a slight error factor as my bookeeping and customer records were all manual at that time, but fairly accurate and enough to give me an ability to make a decision for myself".

Here are your statistics,
"Most customers will oooh and ahhh about how good it does, but if you track your repeats, you'll find that only half of those will call you back, and of those who DO call you back for a second year of cleaning, around 15% of those will request that you use "steam cleaning."

Are you saying that you switched over to OP completely and lost 50% of your client base? I don’t blame you for not using OP. That’s an alarming statistic to someone like me that is currently using the OP cleaning process. I don’t want to use a cleaning process that is going to cause me to lose 50% of my client base or repeat business and

I'm not trying to call you out here. I’m just trying to understand your findings about the OP cleaning process. There are so many variables as to why a client wouldn’t call you back for a second cleaning. Did you call the 50% back to find out why they didn’t use you for a second cleaning? Did you track any retention statistics on first time HWE customers? If your answer is no to those questions, your findings are biased, flawed, and unscientific. The assumption would be that your retention rate is 50% regardless of what cleaning method you use.

I am not anti-HWE. In fact I will be adding that to my arsenal in the near future.


The carpet cleaning boards are a great learning tool, however you don’t want to make final judgments based on what anybody has to say on the boards. Ultimately, your judgments are going to be based on your personal experience. We will not be able to avoid making mistakes. But it’s our responsibility to know first hand about the different cleaning process and to be flexible enough to try new things. It’s our responsibility to be in tune to what our clients want and need. I’m going to Mike Fest next year to learn more about the business and get some hands on experience with all of the cleaning processes.

I’ve only been in business since September 19th, so you definitely don’t want to make any decisions based on what a have to say. But I can tell you that the clients that I have serviced are generally curious about the process and are ultimately happy with the results. I know because I call them a few days later to follow up.
I don’t info on retention rates for you cause I just started. However, if my retention rates were 50% for these clients, I would definitely want to know why. If for some reason it’s because they prefer HWE. I will offer to use HWE.

I am spending way too much time writing this thread. My daughter is in daycare right now. I should be hitting the pavement and meeting people. Later.

Re: Repeat clients?


I didn't communicate very well in my original post just what clients I was referring to. I tracked my NEW customers for a year. All, or most, of my new customers come from referrals, as I do absolutely no advertising, save a free line ad in the yellow pages.

The population that I was referring to were those customers who had their carpets cleaned by me for the first time, and I opted to use OP instead of my usual HWE. My findings were that approximately 50% of those customers failed to call me back after a year. Of those who I contacted, which were not all, they expressed a dislike for the method. Of the 50% who called me back on their own, most asked me to use "steam cleaning" on the second trip.

My findings are not typical of what yours would be because you have to keep in mind that these people called me off of referrals and were expecting something that I didn't give ... they were expecting multi-step HWE, which is really impressive after having someone like Stanley Steemer clean for them.

If all I offered was OP, and I built my client base off of what OP would bring, I'd probably have as high of a retention rate as I currently have with HWE, or maybe even better. Who knows?

Nothing wrong with OP cleaning. I'm not here to bash the method.

I mainly came over here to let you know that I'm watching you. :)

Re: Repeat clients?

Marty, you really get a round.

Re: Repeat clients?

I started cleaning carpets in 1973 using the bonnet method almost all commercial switched to residential in 1981 still using the bonnet method. I have never used a wand to clean carpet I do use a wet vac to clean furniture about 20 percent of my business. All of my business is referral or repeats I book out three to four weeks in advance. Six years ago when I went to OP I lost some customers because of the change even though the OP method is much better then bonnet. If I went to HWE I would lose about 75% of my business because of the wetness of the carpet and the noise but within a year I would be back to where I am now. Because I understand that this a relationship business and cleaning carpets and furniture is a result of the relationship that you develop with people. But remember that change is very difficult on any relationship. So I can tell you from my experience pick a method and stay with it and remember the relationship you build with your customers will make the difference.

Also remember if you want to clean carpets for a long time (I am now 64 years old cleaning for 34 years I can still clean 15 to 20 rooms of carpet a day) the OP method is the way to go. Also listen to Marty (Admiral Clean ) he is a straight shooter.