Is the customer always right? In this episode of Ask a House Cleaner, the customer sets some buyer rules. Excellent customer service is about providing the best customer experience. And that’s easy once client – customer boundaries exist.
Customer satisfaction starts with the homeowner being clear about their expectations.
If you’re just starting a cleaning business, these five tips will help you keep the customers you close. Grow your cleaning business or maid service by doing what other house cleaners won’t.
Listen: Is the Customer Always Right?
Watch: Is the Customer Always Right?
Hey there. I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a housecleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.
Today’s Question: Is the Customer Always Right?
This question comes from a woman who was watching her house cleaner on a home security camera and the girl sat down and was visiting on the phone for an hour and a half, while she was being paid by the hour.
And the homeowner wanted to know: “What are the rules and regulations behind that? If someone is charging me by the hour, don’t I have the right as the person paying the money to demand that they work during that time?”
Answer: Is the Customer Always Right? No. But They Are The Boss
Well, that is an honest and a very fair question. And the answer is yes you do. If you’re the one that’s paying the money, then yes, it is in your power and it is your right
to declare your own rules.
Now, every homeowner is going to have a different set of rules and every housecleaner is going to have a different set of rules. So, when you hire a house cleaner to come to your house, or a maid, or a housekeeper, or whatever the term is that you use. You need to be very specific about the rules that you create.
No Talking or Texting While On The Job
One of the rules that I would recommend upfront, and they’re probably five or six rules that are really important that you clarify upfront.
These are things that are important to you.
One of them is no talking while cleaning.
“I understand that you run a business. And so, if you’re running a business and you’re working in my home you either need to turn off the phone while you’re at my house or you need to have the little setting that sends the quick message that says “sorry I can’t talk right now.” So, you can respond really quickly and then after you get off the job and you’re back in your car, you can return the phone calls to your regular customers.”
But if you’re my customer and you’re at my house and I’m paying you right now for a service, I expect a full 100% of your attention. I think that’s fair what do you say?” (Is the customer always right? They are if this is their rule.) I think that’s fair.
No Eating While On The Job – Smoothies Are Okay
The next rule that I would suggest is no eating on the job.
There are numerous reports that I have heard where a house cleaner will come and they may work for an hour and then they stop and take a half hour lunch break.
Okay, they’re at your house cleaning. Right? They’re at your house cleaning and while they’re cleaning your house, they should be working.
That’s just common sense. So, I would make a rule that when a housecleaner comes to your house that they do not talk on the telephone while they’re there and that they do not eat while they’re on the job.
No Smoking or Smoking Breaks
The next thing I would recommend and strongly suggest is that you have a rule of no smoking. There are lots of house cleaners who smoke.
And what you don’t need in the middle of a two-hour cleaning that you’re paying for or a four-hour cleaning that you’re paying for, is two or three 15 minutes smoking breaks. Where a housecleaner leaves the job, and goes outside and takes a smoking break. What is that?
“Smoke before you arrive or smoke when you leave. But don’t smoke when you’re at my house cleaning.” right?
I think that’s a fair rule that you as a homeowner have the right to make.
And so I would have at least those three.
No Leaving While On The Job
The other one that I might recommend (and this sounds very peculiar and you’re going to ask why I even bring it up) but this happens so many times, is no leaving while you’re on the job.
No leaving while you’re on the job. Do you know how many house cleaners check into a customer’s house? They type in the alarm code, and they start cleaning.
“Oh, I think I forgot something I’ll run to the store and go pick it up.”
And they leave. Don’t lock up the house because they don’t want to trigger the alarm that they’re not there. They just leave and they’re gone for an hour or two hours.
“While I’m at the store I’ll just do my regular grocery shopping and then I’ll come back.”
Then they come back to the house and lo and behold, “Well, my time is up.” So, they tidy up a few things and then run a few vacuum lines over the front of the carpet and then they leave.
So it looks like they’ve been there. Your alarm security code says that they’ve been there but they’ve been gone half the time there was supposed to be there.
So, my other rule is I would recommend, that you recommend them not leaving while they’re on the job. That’s just sort of common sense.
No Help That Is Not Bonded and Insured
Another rule I might suggest is that if your housecleaner has a friend that’s in from out of town unless that friend is actually bonded and insured with the company that your housecleaner works for, they should not be able to bring their friends over.
No friends, no family members that are not specifically bonded and insured from the company that you work for.
The reason for that is this. Even with the best of intentions, a person that you bring along with you to help clean a house that’s not insured and not bonded,
they can use the wrong chemicals on an appliance that you have. Or on the top of your desk, or the top of your fancy china cabinet or whatever and they could ruin it.
And because they’re not insured by that cleaning company it’s going to be on you to pay that.
Or also if that person steals something from your house and that house cleaner is not, they are not bonded through that housecleaner, that’s not going to be covered.
Is The Customer Always Right? – Even If YOU Trust Your Friend?
Now, this person might trust their friend. But you don’t know their friend. For example, my Mom came to town one time. And I love my Mom. She’s the greatest house cleaner in the world… (well maybe besides me. Ha ha)
Anyway, she came to town and she says “Oh, you’ve got houses to clean today. Why don’t I come help you?” and I said “Mom, I would love to have you come help me clean house. And there’s nobody that’s probably more qualified to clean houses than you.
But unfortunately, you’re not insured or bonded with my company so you’re going to have to stay home and watch TV or read a book while I go clean some houses because I can’t take you with me.”
And she’s like “I’m really good. I am trustworthy.”
“I trust you, Mom. I know you’re qualified to do it. I know you’ve been trained properly. My clients don’t know that. They don’t know you and they don’t they don’t know that.”
And so, I had to leave my Mom at home. (She loved the day off, I mean don’t get me wrong.) But you can’t bring people with you that are not licensed and bonded through your company.
Is the Customer Always Right? They Are If They’ve Set These Rules in Advance
So if you’re a homeowner and you’re looking to hire a house cleaner I would make those rules.
- I would say no telephone while you’re on the job.
- No eating while you’re on the job.
- Do not smoke or take smoking breaks while you’re on the job.
- No leaving while on the job.
- And no bringing people with you that are not licensed and bonded with your company. Or insured and bonded with your company.
Help A House Cleaner Out – Share These Rules
And that’s it for today. If you found it helpful please pass it along to somebody who may benefit from it.
And until I see you again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.
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