Customer Service Matters!
Customer service is important in the cleaning business, as it is in any service business. It will not only help you to retain your existing customers but it may help you to pick up new business via referrals.
When you work out how much you have to spend on advertising and time to pick up a new client it can add up to a lot more than you think. Due to these high customer acquisition costs it makes sense to put a little time into focusing on how to keep your clients happy.
While customer service is important in all market sectors it is particularly important with the residential cleaning market where more personalized service is generally required.
Here are some tips for delivering first class cleaning business customer service.
1) It is important that you get to know your customers individually and that you don’t treat them all the same. Some will have specific requirements that differ from the others and you should make a note of these so that you and your staff always remember to do things the way that they prefer.
2) Some customers, if at home will like to have a chat for five minutes before you get started and others prefer just a quick hello. Judge situations carefully and don’t overstep the mark. Be polite and chat when the situation calls for it but if you are on a tight schedule you must excuse yourself after several minutes.
3) Minimize disputes over payments by giving clients flexibility with payment methods. Asking them to set up a direct debit from their bank account for weekly services is one idea.
4) Ensure that you have clear lines of communication with your customers. Try to have calls redirected to your mobile phone and if you are unable to answer immediately make sure that you call them back within 20 minutes. Some customers will happily use email but only if you are checking several times a day and can offer a prompt reply.
5) Let them know that you appreciate their business. At Christmas, when you gain a new customer and even when you lose one, a polite note wishing them well and thanking them for their business is always a worthwhile gesture.
6) Always make sure that everything is left where it was so that the customer doesn’t lose things. Minimize property damage such as scratches on furniture and if it does happen just be open and apologetic with customers and offer to repair the damage or compensate them.
7) Ensure that your employees are friendly, professional, polite and appropriately dressed at all times.
8) Go over your services with the customer before you sign an agreement so that they know exactly what to expect and won’t be disappointed in any way.
9) Always go the extra mile to offer good service. Surprise your customers by doing a little more than you had promised rather than promising the earth and failing to deliver.
10) Don’t hesitate to dump customers who constantly complain. You should be spending your time on the customers that you value instead of following up on the endless complaints of one or two clients. There are people out there who will never be satisfied.
If you work out the annual income that each client represents to your cleaning company you will appreciate the need to provide top-notch service that keeps them happy. Focusing on a high level of customer service with your cleaning business is a wise move that will set you up for success.