Is your cleaning company cancellation policy costing you money? Here’s how to write a policy that holds up.
Your commercial cleaning company cancellation policy might be costing you money. Worse, it might be costing you customers. How?
Believe it or not, your cleaning company cancellation policy needs to cover a lot of ground. A good policy protects both you and your customer should either of you want or need to cancel either an appointment or the entire contract.
While you can get intricately detailed and specific, the ideal is something that clearly lays out your cancellation policy without scaring off customers with extensive scenarios and legal language.
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Writing your commercial cleaning company cancellation policy
You or your client might need to cancel an appointment or contract for several reasons. That’s why a flexible cleaning company cancellation policy is so important. Let’s start with no-fault cancellations.
Due to natural or human-made disasters, it may be unsafe for your team to go out. Similarly, your client’s business may be inaccessible. Blizzards, floods, wildfires, gas leaks, declared states of emergency, or power outages are some of the possible reasons you or your client will need to cancel. These often happen with little notice and are entirely beyond anyone’s control.
It’s wise to include these in your cleaning company cancellation policy, just so there’s no confusion. However, how you handle it is probably best left to you and your client to decide. You may have a certain number of cancellations built into your contract. You can also pro-rate the monthly invoice or reschedule the service.
In your contract, that might look something like this:
If disasters, states of emergency, or other conditions make it unsafe or impossible to access the facility, the company will work with the client to determine an acceptable solution, which may include rescheduling services, pro-rating service charges, or some other agreed-upon resolution.
What if your client cancels? Or your team is unable to gain entry to the facility?
Again, you might have a certain number of these situations built into your contract. You might also consider an advanced notice clause. For example, if you’re paid on a per-service basis, you might not charge a fee if the client cancels within 72 hours of the appointment. If the cancellation is less than 48 hours, you may charge a fee of X percent or a specific dollar amount. Some residential cleaning companies charge up to full price if a client cancels within 24 hours of the scheduled appointment.
Whatever you determine is best for your company, be sure to write it in plain and specific language. For example, if your cancellation policy states that there is no charge for cancellations made at least three business days before the scheduled appointment, state explicitly what your business days are (i.e., Monday – Saturday or Monday – Friday).
Do be aware that something too extreme may turn customers away. For instance, if you require a full week’s notice of cancellation or charge the full amount of an appointment, you may get some pushback.
Here’s what this section of your cleaning company cancellation policy might look like:
There will be no charge for cancellations made 48 hours or more before a scheduled appointment. Cancellations made between 24 hours and 48 hours of an appointment may be subject to a 50% cancellation fee. Any cancellations made less than 24 hours in advance of an appointment will be charged the full appointment fee.
Of course, these all leave your client on the hook. What happens if you cancel? You can apply the same or similar parameters to your company.
If we need to cancel a scheduled appointment with you, we will provide notice at least 48 hours in advance and attempt to reschedule your service. If, for any reason, we are unable to reschedule or give you less than 48 hours’ notice, your account will be credited for the full service fee. This excludes cancellations due to inclement weather or other unsafe conditions.
Lastly, what happens if we’re talking about canceling a contract rather than just a single appointment? Generally, contracts have language written into them that addresses this issue. For example, if you and your client sign a six-month contract, there might be a phrase that allows either of you to cancel the contract at any time with a 30-day written notice.
Should you be flexible with your policy?
Your cleaning company cancellation policy is there to set boundaries for you and your clients. It lays out the expectations for what happens in the event of a cancellation. But should you be flexible?
There are a lot of factors that go into this decision. Smaller businesses that hire you might be forced to shut down due to unexpected illnesses or other emergencies. Use your discretion, of course, but this might fall under an exemption.
Similarly, you might forgo the charge if you have a good client who makes a mistake. In any case, however, it’s always a good idea to point out that you do have a cancelation policy and you’re making an exception.
If you’re ready to increase the professionalism of your cleaning operation through better organization, easy access to important data, unparalleled tracking, and more, schedule a call with JM today!