Constructive Criticism is a skill you’ll need if you have a house cleaning staff. The feedback you get from customers may offend you. But you get to reposition words into constructive criticism for your team.
Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru says good communication is a big part of maid service training. Constructive criticism is confrontation made pleasant.
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Listen: Constructive Criticism for House Cleaners
Watch: Constructive Criticism for House Cleaners
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.
Question: Constructive Criticism for House Cleaners
“Hi Angela, it’s Janice Weaver in Ottawa, Canada. Big fan of listening to all your podcasts and information that you provide. Question about when we get feedback from a client, and there are some things they’re not pleased with.
How do I share that information with the cleaning staff team, so that they take it as constructive information, and don’t take it personally? Just would like your feedback on that. Thanks very much.”
Constructive Criticism is Never Fun
All right Janice, that is a tough question. But as a business owner, you have the opportunity to reposition words so that they are less offensive to the people you hire.
Getting constructive criticism and feedback from our customers is tough. We put so much heart and soul into the job, to please the customer. So, when a customer finds something that’s not right, it feels like “Oh. You didn’t do a good job. Shame on you.”
Well, the reality is, it’s not “shame on you”, it’s just them making tiny changes so that we can make the job better.
So, if you step away from the comment, and know it’s not about you, you might learn something.
Constructive Criticism is Better Than Getting Fired
Customers don’t like confrontation. They would rather just text you that, “Hey, we want to suspend our service.” Or, “Hey, you’re fired.” Because they never had the courage to come to you and say, “I’m dissatisfied with this series of things. If you just fixed these things, then I would be happy.”
Now today, I was dissatisfied with the company that I have hired to do some work for my business. I want to fire them, and I don’t like confrontation either. I don’t want to say, “Hey, you guys are doing a lousy job. You haven’t returned my calls in five days.” But instead I contacted the owner, and I said, “Is there perhaps a better person in your business that is a good fit for me? May I please be reassigned?”
So, I gave them some feedback, and they shot back and said, “Oh my goodness, we’re so sorry. We don’t know what happened but we have reassigned your account. Here’s a new person that’s dedicated to solving your issues.”
So, if a customer comes to you and they have some feedback, that’s gold.
Constructive Criticism is Gold – They Want to Keep You
I didn’t fire the company. I was able to get somebody new because the person I was working with wasn’t working out for me.
Now, if it is one of your employees that the customer is having a problem with, you can address that as well.
There may be a way that you can reassign someone else to that client. If there is a personality conflict, you will need to discuss this with the employee.
Now, if it’s the employees work that is sloppy, then you need to come in as the head coach and give your best pep talk.
The Head Coach (Boss) Must Give Constructive Criticism
“Guys, we’ve had a couple of complaints that we’re missing the area behind the toilets.
So, this week, we’re going to focus on getting the area behind the toilets, so that none of our customers ever again bring this up to us. Starting today, our team is spectacular at getting the areas behind the toilets.”
And then people go, “Okay, yeah. Make a note to self. Get the areas behind the toilets.”
So, there’s a way to encourage your people with whatever the complaint was, without highlighting or shaming the customer.
Don’t Shame the Customer You Have to Work with Them Again
Don’t talk smack about your customer and call them by name because they are your paycheck. And you don’t want to change the way your employees feel about your clients. They have to go back and clean at that house again. Please send only positive vibes.
All you want your team to know is that every bathroom they go in to clean they should think: “Oh yes. The area behind the toilet, because as a company, we are spectacular at cleaning the areas behind the toilet.”
There are ways of reframing constructive criticism to create a positive bookmark in your employee’s minds. I recommend these two books Power Talking, and 2600 Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews. Both books will help you with those ugly conversations that you can’t avoid.
The customer doesn’t want to have these conversations with you. And you don’t want to get fired over a job because something went wrong and somebody didn’t communicate what the problem was.
Constructive Criticism Takes Courage and Skill
When a customer is willing to come and say, “Hey, I am not happy.” That takes courage. And if you appreciate the customers who have the courage to tell you how you can improve – you’ll have customers for life.
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Resources For This Episode
Power Talking by George R. Walther – https://amzn.to/2suCvV0
2600 Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews: Ready-to-Use Words and Phrases That Really Get Results – https://amzn.to/2LXBLQ8
Principles: Life and Work – https://amzn.to/2LWHuWt
Why Talk is Cheap: Employee Engagement and the Bottom Line – https://amzn.to/2JspPaQ
Leading the Unleadable: How to Manage Mavericks, Cynics, Divas, and Other Difficult People – https://amzn.to/2Lj1TUu
The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever – https://amzn.to/2JtGydL
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