Running a successful cleaning service business presents unique challenges. As customers welcome you into their workplace or household, they hold your business to the highest of standards. Customers expect your staff and crew to provide exceptional service, while treating their business/household as if it was your own. As if meeting customer expectations wasn’t pressuring enough, competitive forces present yet another challenge. Competition seemingly multiplies overnight. And with low barriers of entry into the market, many newcomers are attracted to start cleaning services business, due to the limited risk and upstart investment. We find that holding true to a few basic principles will help ensure your business is consistently keeping customers happy, while fending off the competition.
First impressions count
Remember, the customer experience starts well before your crew ever arrives on the job. First impressions will play a large role in the perception of your business, and the companies who are perceived to be the easiest to work with, win more business. Ensure your back-office operations are running like a well-oiled machine. Make sure your staff has been properly trained to handle inbound calls, and is capable of helping customers resolve issues. Aim for your employees to answer customer calls in less than three rings. Avoid aggravation by placing customers on lengthy holds. Regiment your workforce to proactively send reminders and communicate schedule changes to your customers in advance. Customers should feel that speaking with your staff is always a productive and enjoyable experience, moreover, that your staff is adequately equipped to answer their questions/resolve their issues in a timely manner.
Treat every service like it’s the first
Complacency is a dangerous thing. Whether it is your crew’s very first time visiting a location, or it’s their tenth, treat every cleaning as if it were the first servicing for a new client. By virtue, this methodology will improve the overall quality of your service. Every homeowner and business has made a conscious decision to allow your staff into their personal space. Every time your crew steps foot on the job, that customer has, again, entrusted you in their world. As such, customers expect your crew will clean their property as if it was their own. One lapse in service may just be enough to have your customer evaluate other providers. Imagine it’s your company’s first time cleaning a property every time they arrive and leave all locations. This will help ensure your crew is always at their highest performance. Employ the use of crew scorecards and customer service reports to routinely assess your team’s performance. Capturing customer feedback and performing self assessments not only work wonders for quality assurance but can also help identify at risk customers.
Invest in your workforce
Employees are the lifeblood of your success. The quality and efficiency of their work is what determines whether or not your customers will be satisfied with your services. Be sure to invest in your workforce. Train workers thoroughly, educate them on industry best practices, and schedule time during onboarding for job shadowing - allowing new hires to see how experienced staff members navigate their workday. Be sure to offer career advancement opportunities and comparable employee benefits to attract and retain your star employees. Create a positive company culture, fostering a healthy working environment. Reward employees for exemplary performance and always aim to provide a proper work-life balance, giving employees flexibility and the ability to enjoy life outside of the workplace. Always remember, happy employees make happy customers.
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