This article is part 3 in a 4 part series in finding & retaining a great cleaning service for your home or office. I covered "5 Tips for Selecting Your Next Cleaner" in my first article and "How to Break Up with your Cleaner" in the second. My goal in this article to show you how to nurture your new cleaning relationship to build trust so you can be partners in the upkeep & cleaning of your home or office for years to come. Does that sound like a great goal? Trust me... it is. It's stability for your new cleaner and peace of mind for you.
Pay them on Time! This is the perfect place to start. The best way to build trust between you and your cleaner is for them to be reliable and for you to pay on time. Every cleaning service collects differently. Determine the most reliable way to pay them without EVER forgetting (check, cash, credit card). Tipping falls here too. You don't have to tip your cleaner. However, I will tell you from experience and from hanging around others in my industry. Tip them when the work is exemplary. Many cleaners work very hard and don't bring in a lot of money. Just like the waitress, an extra $10/$20 on a random visit or a $50/100 Christmas bonus can make their month and move you up their favorite client list!
Don't Cancel Visits! In my experience, it's reasonable to cancel 1 visit per year for a 26-visit biweekly service annually. Cleaners are flexible. You're on vacation or something comes up. We get it. Instead of canceling, try to reschedule if possible. Don't be a client who constantly postpones, changes times, or cancels. This makes scheduling a nightmare for your cleaning service and drops you down their list. Ultimately, they will replace you. Also, consider this. How would you feel if your employer told you not to come into work 1 day and didn't pay you? Would that hurt? It hurts cleaners too. Be stable in your schedule. Unfortunately, this one trust-killer is why doctor's offices and many cleaning services charge for cancellations.
Pick Up your House! Nothing communicates disrespect to your cleaning service more than this. They have other houses to clean the same day as your house. You don't have to clean before the cleaner, but at least pick up the toys, clear the counters in the bathroom & kitchen, and pick up items from the floor. This allows the cleaner to get in, clean with excellence, and get out. Otherwise, they have to spend extra time picking up before they can clean. If this happens once, no worries. If it happens more, your cleaning service will either be direct and say the price will go up or they'll be passive and do less actual cleaning. Either way, you both lose. As an aside, I have found that clutter causes stress. Cleaning before the cleaner helps you more than you think!
If the Scope Changes, Communicate! It's understandable when you have guests and the house is dirty or when you add a baby or a dog, but did you tell your cleaner? If there will be more work, did you communicate this to your cleaner so they can adjust your service and either keep the price and do less or raise the price accordingly? This is good business and moves you up the cleaner's list of best clients.
Give Feedback (Positive & Negative)! Despite what you may think. Our goal is NOT to impress you in the beginning, let off the gas, and offer a low-quality service over time. That happens because the parties involved are not communicating. If your cleaner is trustworthy, they will WANT to keep you happy. Give them feedback any time they missed something or something changed in their service. See how they respond. If they fix it, you have a great cleaning service. If they take offense, start finding a replacement. Balance this negative feedback with positive feedback. Your cleaner needs to know that you're happy and where they are doing a great job. Lastly, NEVER nit-pick! No cleaning service is perfect. Only you know exactly how you want your home. There isn't a company on the planet that can satisfy 100% of how you want your home or office cleaned. Therefore, choose the bigger and more pressing issues to bring up. Resolve those and then bring up the smaller ones once they've proven they can handle the big ones.
Next week, we'll dive into the most important aspect to building trust - COMMUNICATION. I'll dive into each of the items in this article deeper and add some other vital communication-related tips to build a strong relationship of trust between you and your cleaning service.