This is the final article in my series in finding & retaining a great cleaning service for your home or office. Make sure to check out these articles when you are faced with finding a new cleaning service: "5 Tips for Selecting Your Next Cleaner", "How to Break Up with your Cleaner", "How to Build Trust with your New Cleaner". I hinted at the end of the last article that communication is so vital that it deserved it's own lesson. Here are 3 tips you can incorporate to create a professional, trusting, and corrective cleaning service that you will keep for a long time.
Communicate About Money (Payment)! This is the most sensitive topic. Do you want to break trust with your cleaner fast? The recipe is easy. Mess with payments. This was #1 on the trust-building article. It's more than paying on time. Here are some examples of issues I've either experienced or heard about. Don't EVER ask your cleaner. "Can I just pay you cash so we can avoid the sales tax?" Don't EVER pay less than the agreed amount because you don't think they did as good of a job. Instead, communicate that something was missed. Any good cleaner WILL make it right! Don't EVER pay with a bad check! Don't EVER ask your cleaner to wait to cash the hot check you just wrote. The scope of work may change with the addition of pets, children, in-laws, work-from-home, etc. Make sure to let your cleaner know so they can work up new prices for service. Don't assume to continue the same price when the scope has changed! I see this in the cleaning forums ALL the time! This list can go on and on. We understand that things change and sometimes money gets tight. Just be honest with us! We can work out a solution to skip a clean or two, reduce your scope and/or frequency to lower price. We can even pause or cancel service. This gives us the time to replace you with another client.
Communicate Schedule Updates & Changes! I can only speak from the perspective OF a cleaner and an active member in my industry. Once we set up a new client on a recurring schedule, it's automatic. We show up on time, every time (if you've selected a quality company). Some companies send out texts or emails ahead of each visit to confirm like a doctor's office. Personally, I set up each client on a Google calendar. This system alerts clients prior to each visit as a reminder. The potential issues arise when the client or cleaner needs to change the schedule. How should this be done? This is NOT an emotional topic, so a text or email will suffice. I recommend that each party give advance warning to any scheduling changes at least 1 week prior. When an emergency, storm, or sickness occurs, 1 week may not be possible. Value your cleaner enough to give them notice, so they can fill your slot with another client (if possible) so they don't lose the money. Be flexible to reschedules or extra cleaning verses cancellations. A cancellation is lost income to the cleaner. When rescheduling is possible, do it! A creative and flexible option is the B2B. It stands for back-to-back. Here's how it works. If you are on a biweekly schedule and need to cancel a particular visit, you can move it back 1 week. The moved cleaning is an opportunity for the cleaner to take care of deep cleaning items that haven't been done in a while like ceiling fans, baseboards, window sills, windows, possibly the inside of the oven or refrigerator, the finished basement, etc. The cleaner then shows up on back-to-back weeks with the second visit being the regular biweekly clean.
Communicate Feedback! Do you know how many moms and office managers are unhappy with their cleaning service, yet they say nothing to their cleaner? You may be reading this and say, "that's me"! This creates an awkwardness that deteriorates trust. Your cleaner will have no idea typically as they clean many houses or offices. They assume they're doing a good job (since nobody is complaining) and then one day... BAM! They've lost their client and have no idea why. Please, please, please, DO NOT let this happen! If your cleaner has missed something important, communicate with them. I recommend doing this face-to-face, so nothing is lost in characters. If you cannot do this in person, pick up the phone and talk it through. Please avoid the even more awkward text or email. Interestingly, I do find that personal notes on the counter work well for general feedback. Handwritten always goes further than typed.
There you go! That wraps up my 4-part series on finding and retaining a great cleaning service for your home or office. Did you find this helpful? Please follow the advice in this article and give me your feedback.