How to Raise Cleaning Prices Without Losing Clients

Published on February 8, 2016

Eventually, you will have to raise cleaning prices.

Usually, it’s for one of two reasons… 

The job was priced too low in the first place, or… Your business costs go up - like gas, taxes, insurance, and etc… 

There’s a right way to increase your prices… and a whole lot of wrong ways. 

Let’s talk about the best way to raise your cleaning prices.

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Will You Lose Clients if You Raise Cleaning Prices?

Especially as you grow your cleaning business, you will see some clients leave you. No business in the world keeps all of their clients. 

But when you raise your cleaning prices, there are a number of ways you can reduce the chances of losing your clients.

Funny enough, when you do it right, you might actually get a few responses that look like this:

“You do such wonderful things for us! We will be HAPPY to pay you more!” 

… Believe it or not, that’s a real response I saw after a price increase.

Do not be afraid to increase your prices.

With the numbers on your side, you can confidently tell your clients that your costs are going up, and you need to raise the prices.

Remember, this is your business. You are doing this to make money, not to give away your time.

How Much Should You Raise Your Cleaning Prices?

The industry standard is to increase your prices by about 3-5% every year.

So, if you haven’t increased prices in two years, you can increase by 6-10% without risking your clients’ anger. 

But please don’t just increase your prices blindly. Before you do anything, make sure you price your cleaning services for profit.

Otherwise, you might increase your prices… and find out that you still aren’t making any money from some clients. 

Increasing your prices can be dangerous when you do it wrong.

Use these 7 risk-free strategies, and you will keep more clients… while turning a healthier profit.

Here are 7 risk-free ways to increase your cleaning prices:

1. Tell Your Cleaning Clients!

I’ve seen a number of “cleaning experts” who claim that a price increase goes smoother if you simply don’t tell your clients about it.

How is that fair to your clients?

Do not listen to them. You must be honest and tell your clients.

Ask yourself: How would you want to be treated? Do you want your plumber to “sneak in an extra charge?”

No! So, be fair to your clients. Be honest, and make sure you send them a letter or an email before you increase their prices.

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2. Don’t Start With Your “Sinking Ship” Clients

You should try to avoid raising prices on clients who’ve had a bad recent experience:

  • If you’ve been getting complaints
  • If you broke something recently

Fix the problems, then focus on giving them a high quality service.

After a couple of months, you can think about increasing the cleaning price.

3. Act with Authority

When you announce your price increase, don’t try to “soften the blow” by letting your clients think they’ll be able to negotiate your prices down.

And, most importantly... DO NOT APOLOGIZE.

  • Some clients will think you’re being insincere
  • Some will think that YOU think you’re not worth the higher rates

You are running a great cleaning business.

Rate increases are a fact of your high value. Own it.

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4. Educate Your Cleaning Clients

Remember how clueless you were when you first started your business?

Your customers are even more in the dark than you were.

They don’t know ANYTHING about cleaning (except maybe how to push a mop, but a lot of them get that wrong, too).

You’re the professional – that’s why they trust you. So earn their trust.

Tell your customers why you have to raise your prices – explain how you do your job.

Don’t be scared to “lift up the hood” and show them the costs that are required to keep your business at the peak of quality:

Prove that you are the authority, and your clients will gladly accept your new prices.

5. Thank Your Clients for Understanding

Thank your customers for being loyal, for taking a risk with you, and sticking with you.

Who doesn’t love to be thanked?

It’s important that your clients feel appreciated by you so that they become more invested in your cleaning business.

By becoming more invested in your cleaning business, they’ll be way less likely to leave you for your competitors.

6. Test from the Bottom Up

If you have 100 clients, would you increase all of their prices all at once?

I hope not. 

Start with the least profitable clients first.

Send your price increase to them first, and see how they react.

They’ll tell you all of their objections, so you can prepare for the next round.

This gives you a much better chance at keeping those VIP clients.

7. On Your Next Visit… Over Deliver!

For the first few visits after you’ve raised your prices, you need to show them that you’re worth the extra money

Don’t tell them you’re going to over-deliver, just make sure that you put in those nice finishing touches to remind them that, “Hey, this company is definitely worth the price.”

Also, don’t forget about leave-behinds! They’re another great way to reinforce this idea too.

Steal This: Price Increase Letter Template

Here’s an example of a price increase letter. Modify this for your own business, and make it fit your company culture.

Your clients will:

  • Feel informed
  • Know you care about them
  • Understand the value of your work
  • The best practice is to send a price increase letter about a month before you increase your prices. 

This gives your clients time to react, without making them feel like you’re rushing them to make a decision (which can often end in cancellation). 

Here’s your price increase letter:

Raise Cleaning Prices to Start Maximizing Your Profits

Have confidence in your value.

Raising your cleaning prices can seem intimidating and maybe even a little scary… but, it comes with the territory.

As a cleaning business owner, you’ll have to raise cleaning prices from time to time.

If you follow these few tips, you’ll find that your clients will be much more understanding of your case. 

Be confident, and good luck!

Related: 3 Easy Steps to Price Your Cleaning Services Right

Originally published Feb 8, 2016 11:00 AM, updated Dec 1, 2020 12:46 PM

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Lisa Marino

Lisa Marino is the Sr. Marketing Director for Service Autopilot. She uses her 17+ years in direct marketing, sales, and product development to push entrepreneurs beyond their limits. She's passionate about helping others grow their businesses through time-tested marketing techniques. When not writing, you can find her belting out a mean Stevie Nicks at a local karaoke night.


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