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How to Turn One-Offs into Repeat Customers

How do you turn one-offs into repeat customers? Every house cleaner and maid service wonders. One-offs can be a great way to grow your cleaning business. 

We Ask a House Cleaner tips and cleaning advice during the initial walkthrough to set realistic expectations. 

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru says one-offs come when you massage your database and ask for the sale.

A savvy cleaner will create ongoing customers from a one-time cleaning.

Today’s sponsors are My Cleaning Connection, HouseCleaning360.com and Savvy Cleaner Training for housekeepers. 

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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.

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Question: How to Turn One-Offs into Repeat Customers

One-Offs, Woman With Full Agenda at Her DeskOne-offs. What is the value of a one-off? We’re going to talk about that today.

A one-off is a customer who hires you with the intention of hiring you for ongoing cleaning. And then after that one cleaning, you never hear from them again, and they never call you back. So, the question is, how do I turn one-offs into regular ongoing customers? 

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Should the One-Offs be Repeat Customers?

One-Offs, Surprised Woman in Cleaning UniformWhere do repeat customers come from? It’s an excellent question and it is one we need to address because here’s the thing. If a customer hires you with the intention of hiring you for ongoing cleaning and they only have you come once, one of two things is happening.

Number one, they either lied. They were just trying to get a one-time cleaning. And they thought you’d do a better job or they thought that you would give them a better price if they said they wanted ongoing service. Or the second thing is, they really did want recurring cleanings and you did not live up to the expectations. So, it’s one of those two things. 

Either way, how do you turn one-offs into regular customers?

There is Always a Walkthrough 

One-Offs, Woman Thinking at Her Desk While Holding MoneyWhether you are bidding a job for a one-off or recurring service, you have to do the same walk-through. It’s the time you find out what the priorities are for your client. And then you have to come to terms and agreements and set some boundaries. 

So, once you’ve done the walkthrough, and you’ve spent time with the client, it is far easier to keep that client than to go find a new one. 

Even if they only ever wanted a one-time cleaning. 

Don’t Accept One-Offs – Convert them to a Waitlist

One-Offs, Happy Woman With Arms OutOkay, so here’s how that works. When you go to a customer’s house be clear what your intentions are. “I would love to be your regular house cleaner. Are you looking for regular housecleaning or are you looking for a one-time cleaning?” 

And, if they say, “No, this is only a one-time cleaning,” because some customers of clients will tell you that. “Great. Let’s do the best job we can for you on this one cleaning. What exactly are you looking for?” 

 

The Customer Doesn’t Want One-Offs Either

One-Offs, Happy Woman Saying No With No Hand GestureIt’s a lot of time and energy for customers to have you over to do a walkthrough as well. They too hope they found in you, the cleaning answer to their prayers. 

And they’re trying to weigh and measure, “Do I need cleaning on a regular basis and can my budget afford it?” 

They are measuring your rules and regulations against the realistic expectations you’ve set. And if you have an affordable pricing, they might decide they need regular cleaning after all. 

You Don’t Have a One-Off. You Had an Audition

One-Offs, Smiling Man Wipe Dirty CounterNow, if it is only one time, here’s how to work that. At the end of your cleaning, you’re not done. You’re never done. You just auditioned for the job. And so, at the end of your one-time cleaning or your one-off, that’s your audition. Having an audition should be a trigger to ask for the next sale. 

And now you have to ask for the sale. Oh, it’s a sales pitch. We’re always selling. Okay, so here’s how that works. At the end, say this, “I know this is only a one-time cleaning for you. But I would love to keep you posted and, in the event that I ever have a cancellation or an opening, I would like to give you first right of refusal. Would that be okay?” And most of the time they’ll say, “Yeah. I mean, who knows, I may need another cleaning.” 

Offer First Right of Refusal on Cancellations

One-Offs, Key in Lock of DoorYou offer first right of refusal, you’re not guaranteeing them anything. And they’re not guaranteeing you anything. So, most people will agree to it because there is no commitment involved.

All you’re saying is, “if I have a cancellation, I will give you the courtesy of you saying yes or no. And, if you want that time slot, you’ve already seen my work. 

You’ve already paid me for today and you’re happy with today’s work. Now I don’t have to do that walk-through again. 

So, when I come back to your house, we pick up right where we left off and you don’t even have to be here. You can just tell me where the key is. I’ll come and I’ll do exactly what we did today, and bingo, you’re good to go.” 

Your One-Off Just Became a No-Brainer

One-Offs, Woman Cleaning an OvenAnd then they think in their head, “Wow. I just got an amazing cleaning at an amazing price. I can’t afford that every week or every other week. But, yeah, if there’s a cancellation and it’s every couple of months, I would love to have you give me a call.” 

And so, you then put that person in your database and you follow up with them.    

Now, there will be cancellations. It’s part of the job. 

Everybody everywhere at some time has a cancellation. So, then you have this waiting list, of people that are one-off customers. 

Work Your Waitlist of One-Offs

One Offs, Smiling, Questioning Man With Broom Holding Finger UpWhen you do have a cancellation, contact the first person on the list. And then go down the list offering your available time slot until someone says yes. 

Usually, within a few minutes, you’ll have booked the time slot with somebody who knows you. They’ve seen your work, they like you and they trust you, and they know the quality work you provide. 

Ask for Future Business

One-Offs, Woman in Cleaning Attire Holding Up One FingerSo that is how you turn a one-off into an ongoing customer. Now, you can always ask them at the end. “I know that you said today was only a one-time cleaning but I want to ask. If you decide at any point to go with regular cleaning, will you consider our service before you choose someone else?”

 And, if they say, “No, I would never call you again,” that’s great information.

You’ve already got your money for today. You’ve already cleaned their house for today. You don’t have the customer, so it’s not like you have anything to lose. 

Ask for Feedback on Today’s Cleaning

One-Offs, Customer FeedbackAsk them “What is it I could do differently to improve my cleaning so that I don’t run into this again? Cause’ there are people that won’t tell me but you seem like the kind of person that’s honest and upfront, and you want me to succeed. Will you share with me what I can change so that I can improve my business?” 

And a lot of times when the customer gives you feedback, they’re investing in your business, right? When somebody gives you their data, they are investing in you. Now they have more of an invested interest in the outcome of what you just requested. 

And so, when you do call them with a cancellation then what happens is they say, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.” 

And they think in the back of their mind, “I helped her become a better business person. Sure. I want to see what she can do to work those new changes at my house.”

Follow Up – You’ve Got Nothing to Lose

One-Offs, Happy Woman Talking on Phone at Her DeskIf you don’t ask for the sale and you walk away, that one-off is nothing more than a one-off. They’re gone. You spent all that time doing the walk-through. And you’ve spent all the time doing the cleaning. You got your money, your time is gone, your money is gone. You’ve got nothing. You have to start the whole entire cycle all over again. But, if you have a list of 20 or 30 or 50 callbacks. And this happens, because as your business grows, the longer you’ve been in business the longer that list gets. When you have a list of 50 people that are one-offs and now they become two-offs and ten-offs. 

And we’ve had lots of customers that are random customers and they never get a call except when we have a cancellation. And then sometimes they’ll call us. “Hey, I haven’t heard from you in a while but my house needs cleaning, can you come over and do another cleaning?”

Grease the Wheel, Don’t Reinvent It                          

And so, instead of us going through the whole sales cycle all over again, learn to massage your waitlist.

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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources For This Episode

Connected Customers Are Repeat Customers: Customer Service Principles and Strategies That Create an Excellent Customer Experience – http://amzn.to/2GWLHGb

The Endangered Customer: 8 Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business – http://amzn.to/2t8DX1R

Evergreen: Cultivate the Enduring Customer Loyalty That Keeps Your Business Thriving – http://amzn.to/2FHMGLh

The Customer Loyalty Loop – http://amzn.to/2oHCBG4

What is Upselling – http://amzn.to/2CQ0JeE

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