What are Cleaning Service Customers Looking for?
To be able to market your cleaning business services successfully you must first understand who your customers are, their mindset and what factors they will take into account when hiring a cleaner. Let’s take a look at some typical cleaning service customers and factors that will influence their decisions.
Who are your Customers?
In the residential market, your typical customer will be a middle class family with both spouses working. They will most likely have a household income of over $70,000 per year. Other likely users of a cleaning service are wealthy households, busy ‘singles’ or the elderly who are no longer physically able to clean their own homes.
In the commercial market it is not so easy to define the typical customer as all buildings require cleaning services. While a few smaller businesses will do the cleaning themselves and a few larger companies will have in-house janitorial teams, the market here is large.
It’s not just about Price
Price is one of the obvious issues when it comes to choosing a cleaning service. But let’s also consider some of the other things that a typical customer will think about when it comes to choosing a service provider to clean their property.
First Impressions Count
Customers will be judging your business from the first second that they glance at your ad or speak to you on the phone. Make a great first impression by making sure that you have someone to receive their call the first time. Always offer to do a fee quote and when you make an appointment you must show up on time. These are the basics but if they are not done right you are giving customers an excuse to look elsewhere.
Honesty and reputation are important factors for most people, as you will have access to a client’s property at times when they may not be present. They will be worried about theft and property damage so you must work hard to build up trust over time. Run your business with integrity and never let your customers down and damage your reputation.
Customers will also be worried about property damage resulting from the negligence of you or your employees. Assure them that you have insurance in place to protect them when unforeseen accidents occur. It is common for a customer to request being listed as “additional insured” on your business’ liability insurance policy. Other customers will request to be a “certificate holder”. Talk to your insurance agent about the differences between these two terms. In my own cleaning business it is more expensive to add customers as additional insured. Either way your customer would be covered in the case of damage to their property or home if caused by your company.
References and History
For some customers, particularly in the commercial cleaning sector, you will have to prove your reputation by providing references. Others may want to know how old your company is as they perceive more established companies to be more reliable. I firmly believe if you present yourself as a professional in your industry, few customers will ever ask for references. This has been the case with my own company. Also, if you are picking up new contracts because your current customers are referring your business, then it’s very likely the interested customer will not need references.
Your Advertising Message
Your advertising or your service guarantee may impress some customers while others may be drawn to your brand if it is well know and has a good reputation. If your brand encompasses unique values such as being environmentally friendly or ‘non toxic’ then your company philosophy can play a big part in winning over a prospect.
Many customers make a decision based primarily on the company representative that comes out to meet them. A good sales approach and a friendly manner come into play here but some clients are also drawn to smaller businesses, local owner-operators or like to support business people with young families.
There are many factors that customers consider when they are shopping around for cleaning services. By trying to learn more about your customers over time you can tailor your marketing and sales efforts to suit them.
Starting a cleaning business that is highly profitable can be easier than you think if you put yourself in your customers shoes and really think about what they are looking for.