How much money do you shell out each month or year, in re-cleans, service discounts, and freebies offered to your existing (residential or commercial) clients?

And what’s the long term “trickle” effect this has on your relationship with – and retention of, your customers?

Think about how much more money you’d be making if you still had every customer who ever hired you……………………..

What could you do with the time, money and effort you spend looking for new clients, if you were able to keep them loyal (and happy) 2 or 3 times longer than you currently do?

Read this question I got from one of my Success Academy members just last week:

“I got a (text) complaint from a new weekly client today saying that her kitchen floor tiles were not done to completion. My cleaner, (who is very highly rated) told me it’s the result of the tiles discolored due to some breakage (she recognized it because she has the same in her own kitchen at home). When I shared this with my client, she stated that my worker does not do my cleaning company justice.

Should I phone the client saying “I’m sorry you feel this way. ________ has been highly rated by other customers, and so I’d love the opportunity to give it another shot – I can organize a re-clean of your kitchen tiles (we can come in the next 2 days) as per our policy. Alternatively, (or perhaps additionally) I can personally do a walk-through with you at the end of your next clean to verify it’s up to par.”

So, the short answer is “YES”. Offer a re-clean and follow up to make sure she’s happy.

We’ve all heard the hype about turning our customer into “raving fans”

But maybe you’re wondering what you can do (without spending a ton of time or money) to set yourself apart from others who (say) they offer the same solution.

And even better, what if you could reduce/prevent complaints before they ever even happen?

Maybe you want to make sure your clients see you as an integral of the team that takes care of them in their office or at home

Here’s an effective idea, that I’ve been using in my company with great results………

Encourage your contractors (or employees) to be proactive by leaving notification for the client regarding anything that they weren’t able to clean satisfactorily, and/or problems that affect the overall quality of the finished service.

Because what I’ve learned is that when you discuss problems in advance that may negatively affect your results (like maintenance issues) it’s considered “education”. When you discuss it after a complaint, it’s perceived as “making excuses”. It’s the exact same information, but WHEN it’s delivered is key.

So if you bring the problem to the attention of your customer, you’ve now become their “partner” in maintaining the facility or home. If you wait to explain or respond to their question or complaint, it looks like you’re being defensive (even when you aren’t).

Equip your workers and facilities with a “Maintenance Request Log” and make sure you document it in your client’s electronic file as well. It can be done with paper, text, or email and helps you CYA as well. It’s a small thing, but it’s just another one of the many small ways you can distinguish yourself from the “also rans” who are competing for the best customers in your target market.

This type of proactive customer service is the kind of thing that makes the difference between just surviving and having a cleaning service business that provides you with all the clients, income and free time you deserve.