A customer walk-through is a vital part of customer service for your janitorial clients. It’s also one of your best chances to market your service.
Winning a commercial cleaning bid starts well before meeting your customers in person. How you respond to their calls or emails, how easy it is for them to schedule with you, and the professional look of your website and social media pages all play a role in how your future customers perceive your business. But it’s the customer walk-through where you have a chance to “wow” them and win that bid.
Understandably, most of your prospects won’t know much about the cleaning industry. What they do know is that they want someone to make the place clean and tidy. In addition, they want someone who will show up on time, is trustworthy, and will do the job right.
Additionally, they don’t know the fine details, like how much floor cleaner it takes to clean 4,000 square feet of hardwood floors. They also may not know there’s a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. And they may not realize that a dirty HVAC filter in one room can hurt the air quality in other areas of the building.
These are just some reasons why a customer walk-through is an essential part of the bidding process. It gives you a chance to make it clear to the client what you do, what they’re paying for, and what kind of value they get (because we all know that cheaper isn’t always better). A walk-through is your opportunity to show off your customer service, your attention to detail, and discuss your team’s professionalism. So let’s look at some ways to take advantage of this opportunity.
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Find out how to make your customer walk-through one of your most robust marketing tools
There’s a lot you can and should learn during your customer walk-through. First, you want to find out what their expectations are, why they’re looking for a new commercial cleaning partner, and what concerns they may have.
At the same time, you need to assess factors like floor space, what kind of cleaning supplies you’ll need, what hazards your team might face, and the payroll hours required to get the job done.
What does this look like when you put it all together?
It’s helpful to have a customer walk-through checklist you can share and take notes. Things like the actual square footage, type of floor material (carpet, tile, etc.), the number of bathrooms, light fixtures, and so on.
As you go through the checklist and talk with your prospect, the two of you may come across items they neither want nor need. There may also be things that come up that your prospect has failed to consider. For example, all that dust that piles up underneath the snack machine needs to get swept and disposed of.
Everything you can point out – mold along the caulk in a bathroom or crumbs stuck in the gasket of the breakroom refrigerator door – promote your status as the commercial cleaning business that pays close attention and will do the job right. Pro tip, though: Don’t make them feel bad about these things. It can be embarrassing to have mold or old crumbs. Instead, mention that almost everybody has a similar situation, and you’re specifically trained to look for these things.
If you use Janitorial Manager, you could even do your customer walk-through and perform an inspection on JM Connect, so you can show in real-time how you can provide quality results.
In short, the walk-through is your opportunity to help the client feel comfortable and at ease about the prospect of working with you. As you discuss their needs and the details of their facility, you’re also displaying your excellent customer service, professionalism, and knowledge.
Don’t miss these 5 quick bonus tips
- Arrive on time for your scheduled meeting.
- Dress professionally and appropriately. For example, you may want to dress up for a walk-through with a medical facility or large office park, while jeans and a company polo shirt may be appropriate for a retail contract or restaurant.
- Silence your cell phone and return calls and texts later. Make your prospect the focus of your attention.
- Never downplay the prospect’s concerns.
- Don’t inquire about their budget. The simple fact is that you know what you need to charge to turn a profit. Lowering that number just to meet someone’s budget will only hurt you in the long run as you get clients who care more about price than quality. Alternatively, you don’t want to overcharge just because they have a higher budget. Practices like that will eventually earn you a bad reputation.
A commercial cleaning customer walk-through is your chance to shine! Make sure you get as much from it as you can.
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