Please don’t lose a customer because of inconsistent cleaning! We did. We stopped giving them what they expected.
Well, let me just share with you a time, in fact there were many, that we didn’t always focus on the customers and their needs. The things that mattered to them the most, the detailed cleaning that they asked for at the very beginning.
We would take our eye off of providing that quality cleaning that they had got used to and expected. We put more focus on sales and marketing to get more customers and were failing to satisfy the ones that we had. (I’m hoping that you can’t relate and you’re just reading for pure entertainment. But, if you can, please continue).
This is what makes cleaning customers happy, but we just wasn’t delivering that. At least not consistently.
While, in fact, both duties of sales and marketing and quality cleaning ought to be carried out efficiently, it is easy, so very easy, to get off track and miss the boat.
Sure we had cleaning check lists for our commercial sites and our residential sites which should have ensured that all tasks were performed on every cleaning. Somehow we fell off because we weren’t using the check lists as we should have been. As a result, we lost customers because of inconsistent cleaning. We had become so caught up with systematizing our marketing techniques that we forgot to keep our thoughts on the actual service that we provided.
We weren’t giving our customers what they deserve
Our customers deserved consistent quality cleaning. No matter what else was happening.
While it was very important to set goals, strategize our growth plan, and make sure that our profit margin was stable, the cleaning should have been consistent. It was what our customers expected. (In all honesty, it should have improved over time).
This lesson reminded me about the courtship between me and my husband.
When my husband (and business partner) and I started dating, he never let me forget that I was always on his mind. He would call me first thing in the morning, then again about mid day and of course we would talk for hours in the evening. I don’t think that a single month went by that I didn’t get a card or flowers, or a “just because” gift from him. Even on Mother’s Day, he got me a card and said that it was for “Woman’s Day” because I wasn’t a mom yet! So sweet right? I mean this guy meant business. He wanted me to know that I was cared for and thought of. He wanted to assure me that he was making conscious efforts to show how much he cared.
I was definitely convinced. I felt cared for and thought of and important. So after about a year of this it wasn’t hard to say YES when he proposed to me. This courtship ended exactly how we both wanted it to. Our deal was sealed in marriage. Now of course, since we had got engaged, then married, the flowers and mid day calls and “just because” gifts couldn’t stop. Oh no, he had to continue these things because it was what I expected. Since it was how he cared for me at the beginning of our relationship, I expected it to continue.
The deal to seal with a prospective client is a contract also. Right?
You see, initially, it wasn’t very hard to woo a client. Oh we would use coupons, then discounts for referrals and of course their first cleaning was the best “deep cleaning” they had ever received. We cleaned everything we promised according to their customized customer profile worksheet.
But then, after a while, we put our interest elsewhere and soon that was evident in the cleaning services. We had stopped being considerate or showing how much we cared about our customers.
Little things weren’t being done anymore. Like maybe the baseboard in the bathrooms weren’t being wiped like promised at the beginning. Maybe the windowsills were only being dusted and not wiped like what happened in the very beginning. Even worst, the service days were always changing way too often by our choice and not by the client’s request. Don’t do this. Don’t lose a customer to inconsistent cleaning.
Has your cleaning service done the same?
Has your service experienced this at all?
Ask yourself these questions,
- Have you shown special care when servicing your clients beyond the first cleaning?
- Have you continued to give your clients special care after a few months of service?
- Are you still cleaning the same clients after a year? If not, did it have anything to do with the cleaning?
Consider these tactics for keeping customers happy.
- Periodically, ask your customer. Leave a “how can we improve” card.
- Leave an “additional cleanings sheet” for them to check off requesting extras. By the way, this is a great way to increase revenue.
- Here’s the woo again…. Instead of a coupon, just send hand written thank you notes. Twice a year should suffice.
- Another way to show how much you care is a holiday or special event gift . Something small like a tin of popcorn or holiday cookies. It just says that we’re thinking of you and that we care.
“The customer is the most important visitor to our premises. He is dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.” Mahatma Gandhi
Until next time,
Creator of A Janitor’s Story®. I started my office cleaning side hustle at 20 years old. Years later, with the partnership of my husband and our amazing staff, my business grew to mid-six figures and fulfilled my wildest dreams! Now, 27 years STRONG, I’ve retired, and I help aspiring entrepreneurs to START and GROW their house and office cleaning service businesses to achieve their biggest dreams. I’d like to help you do the same.
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