Satisfaction guarantee for house cleaners is one of your best marketing tools. Do you offer a satisfaction guarantee for your maid service or house cleaning business?
Today we Ask a House Cleaner is it the responsibility of maids to offer a satisfaction guarantee and if so what does it involve?
Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru gives tips in this house cleaning training on customer service.
Today’s show sponsor is https://HouseCleaning360.com.
HouseCleaning360 is a referral database where you can find your next savvy cleaner.
Listen: Satisfaction Guarantee for House Cleaning
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: Should House Cleaners Have a Satisfaction Guarantee?
I’m starting a house cleaning or maid service business and want to know, “What is a satisfaction guarantee? And why do I need one?”
Answer: Yes, House Cleaners Need a Satisfaction Guarantee
There are a lot of house cleaners that are scared of the satisfaction guarantee. Because they’re afraid that the homeowners are just trying to eek more cleaning out of them for free.
How do you set a satisfaction guarantee so that nobody’s taking advantage of anybody?
What Is a Satisfaction Guarantee?
Let’s take a look at the standard in the industry. What is a satisfaction guarantee and how does it work?
Well, if I come clean your house and then I leave and for whatever reason, you find something that I skipped or I missed. Then you have 24 hours to call me. I will come over and make that right. I will re-clean free of charge or you get your money back.
So you can offer a money-back guarantee or you can offer a cleaning guarantee to make things right. Most of the house cleaners prefer to come back and clean, so they can keep the money that pays their employees.
What’s So Important About a Satisfaction Guarantee?
An iron-clad guarantee that both you and your clients understand –will do a bunch of things for you.
It removes the risk of hiring somebody new to house cleaning. If you are just starting out and don’t have any references yet, but you guarantee your work, there’s no risk. “Sure, I’ll give your cleaning service a try.”
It adds instant credibility. Your satisfaction guarantee suggests that you are confident enough in the quality of your work, you will not have to give the money back.
It will force you to do your best work at every house. If you know that you have to give the money back if you are sloppy, you will strive to do an excellent job – every single time. And if you do excellent work, you will never have to activate a satisfaction guarantee.
Offering a satisfaction guarantee is worth a client mentioning to their friends and neighbors. It’s another reason a client will send you referrals. If they tell their friends that you do excellent work – they are endorsing you. And backing it up with your guarantee.
It lets them off the hook if you suck at cleaning. If there is no guarantee, there is no reason to recommend you. Because you might make them look bad in front of their friends.
An Example of NOT Having a Satisfaction Guarantee
A previous client of mine (we’ll call her Cheryl) – lost her job and had to cut back on expenses. One of the expenses cut was me, the cleaning lady. I was sad to see Cheryl go but we stayed in touch. When she landed a new job she called me to hire me back, but my schedule was full.
I recommended another house cleaner in the area (we’ll call her Anna).
And because of my recommendation, Cheryl hired Anna in an instant.
Word came back. “Anna doesn’t offer a satisfaction guarantee and does mediocre work. It is hurting your reputation by you referring her. Please stop referring her.”
If Anna Had Offered a Money Back Guarantee
At the first sign of dissatisfaction, Anna and Cheryl could have had a discussion. They could have talked about their mutual expectations. And they could have settled without Anna losing the account.
I know this because I know Cheryl. She’s a level-headed, low maintenance, reasonable, easy to get along with person.
Anna would have done better work in the future, and she would have been able to build on this scenario.
If one client doesn’t like the way you clean something, the next client may not either. When you fix it at Cheryl’s house, you can then fix it at all the other houses you clean. Anna did end up getting fired. And Cheryl posted a note on Nextdoor.com – a neighborhood referral app. She wrote “Housecleaning: before you hire Anna’s cleaning company, please call me. I can save you a lot of hassle.”
You Do Not Want To Be Anna
Anna didn’t like confrontation. So it was easier for her just to quit and go find a new customer rather than owning the mistake and making it right.
This was unfortunate for Anna. Her name and her cleaning service company were forever tagged in that neighborhood app. And the only person that can delete that is Cheryl.
If she’s going to fix her reputation, she has to have a talk with Cheryl and fix things. Isn’t it better to do that now before you lose her as a client?
You DON’T want to be Anna. I stopped recommending her to my clients and their friends. She lost a lot of business from me – and I wasn’t even the one who was hiring her – I was the person recommending her.
People Do Talk – Will It Be Good or Bad?
People will talk about you if you’re bad. The good news is they will talk about you if you’re good too.
But you want to be the one who controls that conversation.
You can do that with a strong work ethic, consistency, and reliability. You can also do this with an iron-clad satisfaction guarantee.
Everybody these days is on social media. All the platforms link together through productivity apps. These apps are like Buffer, Hootsuite, Social Jukebox, Edgar, etc.
So say a disgruntled client rants about your terrible service. They didn’t get their money back. They are mad. Once this is on their social media, they can post it to ALL their followers on ALL their social media platforms.
BAM! There goes your reputation. Now it is not just an isolated incident. You now have their entire network of followers hating on you. You might even have some of your existing customers hating on you too.
How Do We Know Who Is Right?
Okay, so that’s the standard satisfaction guarantee but here’s the question. But it’s the house cleaner’s word against the home owner’s word.
Who’s right? Because the house cleaners say, “Well, I already cleaned that. I know I already cleaned that.”
Now, the homeowner came home and they say I didn’t clean it. But maybe someone came in after me and they messed up the house.
Use a Worksheet
One of the ways that we resolve this inside our company and a way that I’m a huge fan of is to use a worksheet.
Now, if you don’t have a worksheet, I’ve got one for free. You can edit it and make it your own.
Your Worksheet Activates the Satisfaction Guarantee
The worksheet has all the different tasks that we do on a regular house cleaning.
It’s things like emptying the trash, cleaning the blinds, wiping off the countertops, etc. And it’s broken down by room. This is because every house and every day is going to be a little bit different.
If you promise you are going to clean everything in the house, you are insane! Because sometimes the house is going to be messier than others. And you only have a certain amount of time.
You are going to check off the things that you did. These are the things that you are including in your satisfaction guarantee.
How the Worksheet Protects You
So let’s say that there are three things that you did not get to today because the house was super extra messy. And the client knows it was super extra messy.
They can’t call you and say, “Hey, these three things did not get done. You get on back here and clean it for free.”
If it’s checked off, we guarantee it. If it’s not checked off, we didn’t do it. We didn’t get around to doing it because the house was extra messy or whatever.
So what you checked off is what you’re guaranteeing. You do a final inspection and you check stuff off.
You are saying, “Yes, I know for a fact this is 100% up to my standard of excellence. I will guarantee this particular part of your house.”
Honoring Your Guarantee
When the customer calls and they say, “Hey, there’s something that got missed,”
Is it on that list? If it’s on that list, I am coming right back because yes, I know for a fact I cleaned it.
But What If Someone Comes in After You?
All right. What happens when there’s someone that comes in after you?
This is notorious for houses that have teenagers. Or maybe there are seniors that live in the house.
And then, the homeowner is at work all day and somebody comes in and makes a sandwich. They leave bread crumbs all over the house. There are breadcrumbs in the toaster and there’s stuff in the sink and it’s just a mess.
Then, the homeowner comes home and they’re like, “Holy crap. My house is a mess. It’s not clean at all.”
Use the Worksheet to Support You
By having that on your worksheet, that allows the customer to know that you did, in fact, do it before you left.
But if they repeat call you for your satisfaction guarantee, you may want to take pictures of the rooms you just cleaned. Then text those to the homeowner when you leave the house.
“Hey, by the way, Cheri, I’m leaving your house right now. I just wanted to let you know that there are three teenagers there right now. I wanted to show you the rooms of your house.”
Click those and send those to her. That way, she can see how clean the house looked when you left. Because then, she can’t call you back and say, “No, the house was a mess. It didn’t pass. Come on back.”
No Questions Asked Money-Back Guarantee
If you are offering a “no questions asked policy”, I’m going to suggest that you stop. The reason is this. If you have a customer that calls you to come back, you need to be able to ask questions about why they called you back.
You should ask these questions.
- Is this something you’ve been missing on a regular basis?
- Is this something they just noticed?
- If they could change one thing about your cleaning, what would it be?
This is a perfect opportunity for you to do a little bit of reconnaissance. And find out if the customer is satisfied with your work.
They’re not right now in this moment because they called you back for the guarantee.
Get the Customer Involved
But if you get the opportunity to go back and the customer’s there, “Come on in and watch me work. Come on in and point it out to me. Show me what I can do to improve,” and get them involved.
When you get them involved, now, they are taking ownership of the problem.
If they know they’re going to have to get involved, a lot of times, it’s not even worth their hassle. But by offering a satisfaction guarantee, what you’re removing all the risk.
Satisfaction Guarantee – Nothing to Lose
I know there are a lot of house cleaners that have these books and portfolios of before and after pictures. They try to sell the customer on the great work that they do.
The greatest work you’re ever going to do is right there at the customer’s house.
So if a customer calls me and says, “I need my house cleaned.”
You just say, “Hey, I’ve got an opening Monday from 8:00 until 12:00. Why don’t I come over to your house and I will clean your house at that time? I offer a satisfaction money-back guarantee. So if you’re not satisfied for whatever reason, you won’t owe me for that cleaning. If you do like my cleaning, let’s go ahead and pull out our calendars and we will book you in as a regular customer. How does that sound?” and they’re like, “Well, yeah. I need my house cleaned. Sure enough.”
Then, you go over and you audition for the job. There’s nothing to lose. If you’re a brand new startup house cleaner, it’s a beautiful way to get your practice on house cleaning. Get your foot in the door, meet a new customer, show them what you’re worth and walk away with a job. It’s awesome.
Should You Have a Satisfaction Guarantee?
I recommend it. And I recommend that you put tabs on it by having a worksheet that you check off as you go. Then you know what you’ve cleaned and your customer knows what you’ve cleaned.
This is better than the homeowner coming home and looking around and not being sure. “Hmm, what did my house cleaner do today? I’m a little bit confused.”
So if you’re thinking about offering a satisfaction guarantee, my suggestion is, yes. All your competitors are offering one. And you want to make sure that you are up to standard with everyone else in the industry.
Your satisfaction guarantee is part of your sales close. It’s part of your marketing, and it should be the driving force behind every single cleaning job you do.
All righty, so that’s my two cents for today and until we meet again. Leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.
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Resources For This Episode
Nextdoor – http://nextdoor.com/
MyNeighborhood – http://myneighborhood.com/
SocialJukebox – http://socialjukebox.com
HootSuite – https://hootsuite.com/
Buffer – http://buffer.com
MeetEdgar – http://meetedgar.com
Extra Mile: 500 Customer Service Tips for Success: Tools to Attract, Satisfy, & Retain Even the Most Difficult Customer – http://amzn.to/2hkSJxt
Powerful Phrases for Effective Customer Service: Over 700 Ready-to-Use Phrases and Scripts That Really Get Results – http://amzn.to/2ho3Ndc
Customer Service Training 101: Quick and Easy Techniques That Get Great Results – http://amzn.to/2hfnhNm
The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service – http://amzn.to/2zvChPM
Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People: Over 325 Ready-to-Use Words and Phrases for Working with Challenging Personalities – http://amzn.to/2AuHs2l
Dealing with Difficult People: Get to Know the Different Types of Difficult People in the Workplace and Learn How to Deal with Them – http://amzn.to/2AvmMaA
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Savvy Cleaner – House Cleaner Training & Certification