Make Your Cleaning Service Indispensable!
Wouldn’t it be cool if you didn’t have to constantly worry about losing customers? Or work so hard to find new ones? We all know that it’s better to keep your existing cleaning service customers than to lose and replace them. However, what if you had customers coming to you? What if your services were in such high demand that you had a waitlist? What if your biggest problem was having to continually expand to meet demand?
You may be thinking this is unrealistic, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. It’s not a perfect world and there are so many variables, many out of your control. However, it’s not as far-fetched as you might think. There are many organizations all over the world that are so good at what they do that we will stand in line for hours and spend mad money just to get what they sell. (Heck, some people are even willing to pay someone else to stand in line for them!)
Make it your goal to be that company. Do what they do!
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Make Your Cleaning Service Indispensable
Think about your life. What are the things you can’t imagine living without? Your car? Your coffee maker? Your laptop? Your iPhone? Some things make life easier, more efficient, less stressful, and just better!
That’s the status you want for your cleaning service – indispensable! You want your customers to break into a cold sweat when they think about losing you. You want them to fear having to operate without you. You want to be a critical part of the success of their business!
So how do you accomplish this insurmountable task?
It is absolutely all about the service. Everything is about service. The service is what you sold them, after all; it’s what they’re paying for.
What qualifies as customer service? It’s not just your phone etiquette or how much knowledge you have to share. Service isn’t just being polite and responsive. It’s absolutely everything you do. Your business is customer service!
Set high expectations for your cleaning service and then exceed them.
Hire Well And Train Like Crazy
Your people might as well be you because they represent you. Their performance makes or breaks your company. Why in heaven’s name would you allow some untrained, unmotivated, and angry strangers to represent you? Sure, you needed someone right away, but you can’t make “warm body” your only criteria and expect to succeed!
It takes time to hire well. It takes time to train well. Companies that commit the time to train well are successful. Those who don’t easily lose customers.
Create a system to maintain a constant flow of interviews, hiring, orientation, and training so that you always have people ready to go.
Create an environment where employees are valued, empowered and trusted. Make your organization a place where people want to work not just because they need a job, but because they have heard the rumors about the way you treat employees.
Good employees are hard to find, but so are good employers. Be the employer that people can’t wait to work for and don’t ever want to leave.
Know Your Stuff
Be the expert: read, study, practice.
There are too many con-artists in the world today. They mislead about what they are offering and talk in circles to sell just about anything. They don’t really know what they are talking about, they just know how to manipulate.
Don’t be like them. Instead, be the one who knows the industry, knows the process and understands what the customer needs. They will see it. They will value you as a resource. Rather than going to Google with a question, they will call you because you are the one that knows what’s going on.
There is always the pressure to cut corners, to take a short cut, and to just get it done. You can’t give the very best service if you’re rushing. You’re not going to make it easy for your clients to keep your cleaning service if you are not willing to consistently put in the time to do it right.
Clean like it’s your house. I used to use this phrase when training employees assuming that everyone cleaned their houses like I clean mine. This was apparently a wildly overly optimistic view on my part. So maybe I should say, clean like it’s my house and I’m doing the cleaning!
Quality doesn’t happen in a hurry. It requires methodical, intentional and systematic attention to detail.
A solid, proven, repeatable system is essential if you want to take your cleaning service to the next level. You may provide a great service. You may be reliable. You may be the best cleaner around. However, without a system in place, you can’t easily replicate what you do. You won’t be able to train others and hold them to a measurable standard.
You need written cleaning policies so everyone knows what to expect. A detailed, clear manual for your employees and thorough training program will work wonders. Document everything.
Why do you need these things? I can’t tell you how many great organizations I’ve seen fail because the owner, who was an expert, didn’t make his or her knowledge and expertise available to the employees. As the company grows, the owner becomes overwhelmed trying to do it all, employee frustration grows and their performance falters. When the founder leaves the company, the company dies.
The health, performance, profitability, and longevity of an organization are dependant on leadership’s ability to communicate. This includes not only the vision and mission of the company but also the processes, procedures, standards, and expectations that are required for success.
There are plenty of tools available to help you create and maintain operational systems. Find a software tool that helps you facilitate and implement your system.
Take the time to create a system, and it will pay off.
Treat your customers as valuable human beings and not just a paycheck. Look them in the eye. Greet them with a smile. Demonstrate a genuine concern for them and their company. Listen to their concerns and be honest about your willingness and capability to address them. Continually look for ways to make the relationship between you and your point of contact something pleasant.
A simple act of kindness can put you ahead of your competition, or at least amaze your customers.
Make It Easy
You may not accomplish everything right away, but you can increasingly amaze your customers by giving them excellent customer service. Clients who love you and your work are much more likely to forgive you for any mishap. They are also far less likely to consider switching their cleaning service company. Follow these steps and make your cleaning service easy to keep!