GlazenwassersCRM takes care of all the administration for window cleaners with easy to use software. Founded by brothers Eric Kloppers and Marc Kloppers, the company is now active in 4 different countries, with some big plans for the near future.
The idea behind the startup came from Marc and Eric’s own experience. “We have our own window cleaning company, which we started when we were still students”, Eric explains. “But we realized we spent a lot of time on the administrative process alone, like making appointments, a lot of phone calls and manually creating reminders to collect the money. A lot of window cleaning companies, and a lot of other smaller companies for that matter, still use excel sheets and it takes up so much extra, unnecessary and above all valuable time.”
“We decided to develop our own software to make it a little easier”, Eric continues. “And other window cleaning companies were like: “Wow, I want something like that too!”, so that’s when we decided to focus on that.”
One easy package
Eric and Marc continued to develop their software in the span of a few years and they now have a simple, intuitive set of Customer Relation Management (CRM) tools window cleaning companies can work with. Easy to maintain customer management, assigning jobs and projects with a planning tool, personnel management where you can keep track of hours, and of course administration, the backbone of every company.
“And what really sets us apart and the reason for our fast growth, is our service webshop, which we developed for our own company about 5 years ago”, Eric adds. “With our service webshop, quotes or price estimations are fully automated. Companies can have their customers fill out things like the number of windows that need cleaning, and our software will calculate the estimated price, which saves a lot of time. We can also provide statistics and GPS data, so it’s easy to keep track of who’s where or see what company processes can be improved.”
A conservative and not so transparent market
Even though things are going very well now, getting the first companies to sign on was difficult at first. “We officially launched in June 2015 and we started getting our first customers in late August and early September”, Eric explains. “It was a difficult process at first. You’re basically in a very conservative market that’s also not very transparent, because there’s a lot of moonlighting going on. So it was a lot of hard work to get to where we are now.”
Learning while doing
Despite that initial disappointment, the two brothers kept going. “I think it’s a good thing to be insecure about your own product when you launch it. If you’re not, you’ve launched it too late”, Eric continues. “That’s because there’s no such thing as perfection and if you feel totally confident, you’re not open to very valuable feedback from your customers. And insecurity is also what keeps you sharp and hungry.”
“We’ve learned so much during that time, like how much to charge for our services and what the best model would be for that, and just to tweak things the right way by talking to companies, figuring out what they really want. Your first customers are so valuable, because they allow you to test and tweak the way you do everything. So now, we have something with a very solid foundation and things are going so much better.”
A simple thank you email
One thing Eric looks back on with a lot of pride, is a simple email he got one evening. “I got a thank you email from the wife of one of our customers, saying her husband was home in the evening for the first time in a long time, because he was able to actually finish his work. That was a really cool thing to hear.”
“I’m not really in it for the money”, Eric continues. “It’s about getting emails like these, helping people to spend time with their kids, and also doing something I’m passionate about. And we’re also helping to create a more transparent market for consumers in the process, so that’s great for everyone. I just want to be able to keep doing that, get a lot of interns for our company, and inspire them to become entrepreneurs too and make a difference.”
The company is now active in the Netherlands (and Aruba since a few weeks), Belgium, Norway and Germany, but Eric and Marc have even bigger plans: “Our tools are not just great for window cleaning companies. We think a lot of people in different service industries could benefit from our CRM tools too. So we’re currently in the process of changing our product into ServiceCRM and branch out in separate industries. Window cleaning CRM would be just one of those branches. Kind of what Frank (formerly Experty) does with their different webshops.”
So what would be the ultimate goal for the coming years? “We want to be active in more countries, so I guess our goal would be to have webshops for 12 different branches of the service industry and active in 10 different countries.”