It’s much easier to keep a good customer than to find a new one — and more expensive, with marketing costs. They can also be your best word-of-mouth advertising. Here are some tips to keep your cleaning service business customers loyal to your company and coming back for your services.
Set Clear Expectations with Your Cleaning Service Business Clients
If clear expectations aren’t set from the initial contact, an unhappy client is inevitable. Tell them exactly what your services entail. Don’t promise extras — then when your employees go above and beyond expectations, customers will appreciate your services and feel you care about them.
Besides detailing services, make and stick to a policy if the customer is not satisfied. Guarantees inspire confidence in clients and earn their trust, even if they never have to use the policy.
Be clear on how often employees will come and a realistic estimate of the time it will take to get the job done. Commercial clients want the job done before employees come in for the day. For personal homes, they may have an important event later and don’t want to have a birthday party with the sound of vacuuming in the background. Make a schedule and stick to it. Consistency also builds trust with your clients.
Respond Promptly to Incoming Calls and Messages
Great customer service goes beyond keeping appointments and doing the job thoroughly. It starts with the very first contact with a potential customer. The first principle you should incorporate is responding promptly to messages. Chances are, your potential client is inquiring about several cleaning services and the first one to respond has the first chance to make a good impression and get their business. That’s been proven in any industry.
This can be a challenge for any business but there are several things you can do to help expedite the process and make it smoother. For emails, you can set up automatic responses letting people know you’ve received their email and you can include an estimated response time.
Setting aside time to respond to inquiries is a good practice to ensure prompt responses. Consider using tracking software, like ServiceWorks, to ensure those customer inquiries and leads don’t get lost or forgotten.
You can also use the automated scheduling feature that allows customers to quickly and easily schedule your services. If the customer feels it’s a hassle to schedule an appointment or takes too much time to hear back from you, they’ll move on to another cleaning service business.
Make Wrongs Right
No business is perfect, and everyone will have to deal with customer complaints or dissatisfaction with service at times. How you respond is just as important — if not more so — than the issue that’s causing problems.
Even if the customer is angry, respond calmly and professionally and assure them that you want to make things right. If you become angry or don’t respond at all, you can expect a negative review and worse yet, negative word-of-mouth. Your biggest advocates are often those who had a problem and were impressed with how you fixed it and went beyond their expectations.
Complaints present an opportunity to show how much you care and what great customer service you give clients.
Respond to and Incorporate Cleaning Customers’ Feedback
When a customer does leave negative feedback, it’s important to professionally respond and publicly make an offer to set things right. Most people understand that sometimes things go wrong. When they see you reaching out to correct any problems, they’ll be more likely to book your services.
Negative feedback can help you pinpoint areas in your cleaning business that need improvement. If you keep getting a particular complaint about poor service, research ways within the company you can make your service better.
You can also respond to positive reviews with a friendly note and thank you. This shows potential clients a more personal side to your cleaning business and makes a great impression. Don’t forget to ask for a review.
Always Complete Each Cleaning Job
Educate your employees and make sure they complete each job thoroughly. It doesn’t take a genius to know that careless work will create an issue with customers. There is no excuse for poorly completed or incomplete cleaning tasks. No matter how dirty the premises being cleaned are or how tired the employee is, rushing through a job is never acceptable.
Getting it right the first time prevents a lot of complaints and the additional expense of employees having to redo work they’ve already done. That can also create scheduling problems when a job needs to be rescheduled due to poor work.
Consider surprise bonuses or leaving thank you notes after each job so they’ll remember you the next time they need cleaning services.
Train Cleaning Business Customer Service Staff
No matter the size of your customer service department, training them is critical to keeping happy customers and turning disgruntled ones into a loyal client base. Consider developing scripts they can use for different situations.
You may have noted in your interactions with customer service for other businesses that representatives often say “I’m sorry for your inconvenience.” This is no accident, but likely part of the script the manager of their department developed to help calm customers and de-escalate the situation if they’re angry.
When apologizing and working to find a solution, scripts and training can be great tools to build quality customer service and an excellent reputation. Train them often, not only on company processes but any new technology that might help them do their job more efficiently and with better results.
Keep Your Cleaning Service Business Organized
If your cleaning service business is organized, you can track leads from inquiries, schedule your appointments automatically, and see when you need to follow up with clients to get repeat business. You can either send them a coupon or a special offer. You might remind them that you’re there for all the cleaning service needs.
Also, your client database should be more than a name, address, and phone number. Add their preferences and personal details. Add details about their home or office, such as the number of rooms, any allergies they have, or even names of pets!
ServiceWorks does all this, but also creates customer surveys, invoicing, and even does your payroll. You can try it for free, no credit card needed, to make your cleaning service more efficient and keep things running smoothly. Happy customers, happy business owners!