How to Set Rules and Regulations
The phone rings. On the other end is a lady looking for a house cleaner. And the questions begin. It’s a series of twenty questions… and she wants to know in a brief interview if I am the right house cleaning lady for her. How I answer those questions is the beginning of a long term relationship. I create on that first phone call rapport. I share with her the confidence I have in myself, and I transfer that confidence to her to let her know that I know what I am doing. I am setting boundaries. I show her in this first phone call that I respect my time and value hers. And how I respond to those questions will determine if I make the sale.
In house cleaning this is not a one time sale – you are selling yourself and your services to someone who may invite you back week after week for several years.
As a cleaning service provider, it is critical that you are clear about your answers to these questions. From the very first phone call your prospective customer will know if you are firm about your rules, or if they can push you around.
Do you clean houses on holidays and if so, do you charge more to work a holiday?
Do you accept credit cards for your business or cash only? You get to decide.
The key is to have an answer for all of the following questions. There are no right or wrong answers, but you need to decide in advance how your small business operates, so when the phone starts ringing with people who need a house cleaner, you have answers. You get to call all the shots. If you run flyers today or tomorrow – the phone is going to start ringing and these are the questions they are going to ask.
If you stumble, and you’re not sure of your policies, people won’t take you seriously. They will think you have never cleaned houses before and you have no idea what you’re doing. People don’t want to hire house cleaners who have no idea what they are doing.
Think about the following questions and come up with some answers that work for you.
- Do you work by the hour?
- Do you work by the job?
- Do you only do house cleaning?
- Do you set up for parties or clean up after parties?
- Do you do moving (moving in or moving out) cleans?
- Do you charge more money or the same money for a moving clean?
- Do you do random cleanings or do you only have weekly and bi weekly clients?
- If my regular cleaning falls on a holiday will you be working?
- Do you charge more to work on holidays?
- What hours do you work?
- Do you work weekends?
- How long have you been in business?
- Is there any special training you’ve gone through to learn how to house clean?
- Are you OSHA trained and certified?
- Have you ever been fired from a house and why?
- Do you have references?
- Do you do laundry?
- Do you do dishes or empty the dishwasher?
- Do you do pet sitting on the side?
- Is it okay if my pets hang out in the same room as you cleaning?
- Is it okay if my kids are in the same room as you cleaning?
- Are you bonded and insured?
- Are you licensed to house clean?
- Do you clean windows?
- Do you only clean houses or do you also clean offices?
- Do you detail cars?
- Do you defrost freezers or clean out the fridge?
- What type of cleaning chemicals do you use on hardwood floors?
- Do you have your own vacuum?
- Do you bring your own cleaning supplies?
- Do you do miscellaneous projects?
- If I refer my friend, do I get a referral fee or discounted cleaning?
- Am I supposed to tip you for your service?
- Do you clean out the hot tub?
- What happens if you get sick?
- Do you cancel or reschedule on me or do you just show up sick?
- Do you charge a rescheduling fee if I have something come up and have to cancel?
- Am I supposed to give you a key so you can get in my house or do you need an alarm code? Or both?
- How do you protect my privacy with that key or code?
- Do you have a safe place to keep a key or a code?
- Do I need to be home when you come to clean or can I be at work?
- Are you the person that is coming to clean my house?
- Is it just you cleaning or are you bringing a team of people with you?
- Are the people you bring with you bonded and insured?
- What is your screening policy for people you hire?
- Do you do background checks or drug checks on the people you bring with you?
- Can I do a background and a drug check on you?
- How do you prefer to be contacted? Email, phone or text?
- What happens if you break something while you are at my house?
- Are you going to tell my neighbors about me, my home, my habits and how messy my house is?
- Do you set times to come back so I know when you are coming or is it random?
- Do you always come the same time on the same day?
- Do you show up on time?
- Do you clean the same stuff each time or do you rotate chores through the house?
- Do you use environmentally free chemicals?
- How do you know what type of chemicals to use on different surfaces? How did you learn?
- Do I pay you under the table or do you pay taxes? I’d like to take house cleaning as a deductible expense for my home based business.
- I work from the house, will it bother you if I’m home the whole time?
- If I’m working from home, are you going to chat the whole time or will you allow me to get my work done?
- Do you accept credit cards?
- Do you offer a guarantee on your work?
- If I forget to leave you a check, do you still do the work and let me pay you later or do you skip the cleaning?
- Do you water indoor plants?
There are more questions but these are the most commonly asked. You need to know the answers, and rehearse them so that when a prospective client calls about house cleaning, you are confident and know how your business operates.
If you decide to create a website, you can answer these questions on your “FAQ” page and it will let prospective clients know how you operate so you don’t play 60 questions when you arrive to bid a job.
Everyone will answer these questions differently- the key is to know the answers before the phone rings.
We have an upcoming webinar on best practices for “Rules and Regulations” based on 24 years experience. Stay in the loop for the next one.