It can be overwhelming and yet exciting to meet a potential customer for your residential maid service business. What you want to be clear about are the do’s and the don’ts for the first house cleaning customer meeting. Here’s how your initial meeting can make or break a cleaning agreement.
When you get the call from your prospective customer, it is important to remember that they do not know, like, nor trust you. Not yet. So, the first house cleaning walk through is crucial.
There’s basic etiquette that I’m sure you may know when you meet for the first time. Like shaking their hand when meeting, greeting them with a smile, and silencing your phone. In fact, please put your phone away.
Nothing at that moment is more important than being in-tune with this person/people.
Before going to meet the customer for the first time, have some type of form for “customer profile template”. Or, a “customer intake form”.
It is best to be as prepared as possible before you show up.
Use a customer profile intake form for your residential maid service company
This form should have space to write the contact information including pet names, sitter’s name and phone number, children’s names and ages, doorman name, entry instructions and as well as parking space number as appropriate.
You should be able to specify cleaning details listed per room such as, “only clean floors in here”, or “always change table linen”, or, “never touch the glass over there”.
We have the perfect Residential Customer Profile Worksheets to use on your next house cleaning walk-through.
This FREE CLEANING PRINTABLE will also allow you to record the square footage of each room so that you could provide additional cleaning maintenance services like detail floor cleaning for vinyl flooring or wall and door cleaning care.
There are many digital apps available for free and for purchase. They’re fine to use in my opinion, but can become a little tricky to handle while trying to remain focused on the customer’s needs during your conversation. And when you’re starting a professional house cleaning business, it’s most important to give your new cleaning customer your undivided attention.
And if you’re savvy enough to use an app, perhaps take notes on paper during the meeting, and then transfer the data to a digital source at another time. Again, just my opinion.
Do’s and don’ts for the first house cleaning customer meeting
DO Listen closely to the cleaning customer’s needs.
Take special interest in what they are conveying as their top priority. Rather it’s the dust on surfaces, bathroom care, or floor care. Really pay attention and ask questions if you are not sure. It is also good to ask if they want certain cleaning products used in their home as you go perform the walk-through.
DON’T Tell the customer what you will do unless they ask your opinion about cleaning.
Most customers want to know the basics of your cleaning maintenance package. They want to know what you do. But, what they really want to know is if those packages are catered to fit their needs. So, don’t assume, ask first.
DO Take special note of the surfaces to clean throughout the home.
If there is a copper kitchen sink, you will need the proper cleaning agents to disinfect as well as polish. If there is a unsealed stone bath counter top, you need to know not to use acidic products because it will stain and etch the surface. Also, not all stainless steel is the same, so take note of that. Look at all the surfaces in question and search out the proper method for cleaning and polishing.
DON’T Assume the mix of water with a splash of dish detergent and rubbing alcohol will be fine to apply to every surface.
Some surfaces need an oil-based product. Some should not. First ask the customer what they prefer. If they don’t have any recommendations, then proceed with yours, cautiously.
*** If you’re ever unsure how a chemical will perform on a surface. Just read the label first. Then test in an inconspicuous area, preferably not at the customer’s house. Try your own home – if you don’t rent. Just try to find a similar surface.
DO be conscientious to also write down any areas or tasks that the customer may not mention in regards to cleaning maintenance.
This gives you the opportunity to present a more comprehensive cleaning package. Perhaps a second proposal.
For instance: Once you have outlined all your customer’s requests and presented a price to them, follow up with a larger amount that includes more detailed cleaning tasks. Some additional tasks can be removing ash from the fireplace, cleaning inside the fridge and oven, cleaning tilt vinyl windows, inside and out, and the list could go on and on.
DON’T Give your cleaning or time for FREE!
While it is fine to discount here and there, especially as an incentive for a referral, it is never good to give cleaning for free. Most professional maid services do this as a way to “hold on” to a customer or to have more competitive pricing. It will never work for you or your cleaning business.
You’re at this first meeting with a house cleaning customer to sell your cleaning services NOT sell a cheap price. Please understand the words you are about to read….. SOME WILL BUY, SOME WON’T, BUT… SOME WILL. (Not my quote, but very fitting).
Sell your cleaning services, not a cheap price. It will eat at your profit margin every time.
So, what I have learned to do recently with these blog posts is to leave you a little homework assignment. I don’t want you to just read this article and click away without something to do. Because, seriously, why would you do that.. Lol.
This was a hard lesson my husband and business partner and I had to learn several times. Now, we pass this advice to you.
Homework: If you are still at the beginning stages of your professional maid service, get prepared for the initial walk through with the Customer Profile Worksheets for Residential Cleaning. It outlines the basics of what you need to write down at the first meeting. It will give your company more value and set you a part as a one-stop shop for your customer’s cleaning maintenance.
And remember, you want to present yourself in the best possible light and be as prepared as you can. Your entire purpose for being there: To gain another profitable customer and to present the most comprehensive and desired need for cleaning maintenance.
Conclusion of the Do’s and Don’ts
When going to the first house cleaning customer meeting DO remember to listen well, take accurate notes of special instructions, requested cleaning products, and observe the surfaces you are being asked to maintain. Take notes especially of deeper cleaning opportunities to make a second proposal. DON’T assume anything. Ask what they want – what they prefer with everything. Do not, repeat… do not through in this or that at the ready and ‘give your time/cleaning’ away for free. It will cost you in the end.
“You do not get what you want. You get what you negotiate.” –Harvey Mackay
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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