Ask a House Cleaner, Customer is Always Right, Savvy Cleaner

The Customer is Always Right (House Cleaner Drama)

The customer is always right claims the narcissistic customer. “And if you think the customer is always right it’s time for us to talk about family drama and toxic people”, says Angela Brown.

We Ask a House Cleaner about customers fighting, wanting our validation to their yelling and arguments. 

House cleaning boundaries will keep peace with “The customer is always right” philosophy while you do your housework. Don’t take sides or get sucked into family feuds, screaming, and negativity.

Today’s sponsors are Savvy Cleaner (Maid service training.) HouseCleaning360 (A hub connecting house cleaners with homeowners.) And MyCleaningConnection.com (a hub for cool cleaning stuff.)

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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: The Customer is Always Right

Customer is Always Right, Angry Couple Yelling at Each OtherThe customer is always right. And sometimes they’re going to try to make you prove that. 

A house cleaner called me the other day about a customer who always has family feuds while she is there cleaning. 

Her husband or her son are at home sometimes when the house cleaner gets there. And this particular woman gets in fights with her family. There is yelling and screaming and then she turns to the house cleaner and she wants validation because “the customer is always right.”

The house cleaner is like “Man, I’m getting sucked into all this drama that I don’t want to be in. I just showed up to clean. How am I supposed to honor my customer and stay out of her household fights?”

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Answer: The Customer Is Always Right in Their Mind

Customer is Always Right, Cleaning Woman Looking at KitchenThis is a tough situation because the house cleaner wants to do right by the customer who is paying her. And she’s aware that when she sides with the customer it creates problems with other family members.

From day one you have to take an oath that no matter what happens inside a customer’s home you are not taking sides. And I’m serious about this because you will run into couples that are getting divorced. You will find parents that have parenting issues with their kids. And if you know the kids they want to know “Are you on my side or are you on my mom’s side?” 

And when Mom is paying your check, you can’t exactly side with the kid – even though that may be where your heart is.

The Customer is Always Right – But You Can’t Take Sides

Customer is Always Right, Woman Covering Her MouthThere are times that a fight will tear at your heartstrings and you have to take an oath of not taking sides. 

What you might say is, “I’m here to clean. I’m not here to take sides and I’m not at liberty to have an opinion here. As a house cleaner, my job is just to clean. I’m not a licensed therapist. I don’t get to take sides. I don’t have the luxury of doing that.” 

Now they might say, 

“What do you think?” 

“I’m not at liberty to give my opinion. I appreciate the situation that you’re in but I don’t get to have a voice. This is not my household. Not my situation. I don’t get to have a voice.” 

The Customer is Always Right – And You Can’t Comment

Customer is Always Right, Angry Woman Pointing Her FingerBe clear about the “no comments rule.”  Because no matter what happens, if you take someone’s side you are going to build an enemy. And then when you come back to clean again, you have an enemy inside that household. 

Whether it’s the other spouse or whether it’s one of their kids or whether it’s the person that hired you. You don’t get to take sides and you’ve got to be crystal clear about that. Because it is easy to get sucked into another people’s drama.

You Can’t Have an Opinion – Even if You Have Experience

 Customer is Always Right, Women in Kitchen ChattingNow, when you’re cleaning and you’re inside someone’s home and you hear people, it’s easy to have an opinion. You may even know a whole lot about the topic. 

And it would be easy to try to build rapport with your customer. “Hey, you know what, I overheard you talking and my teenager is pulling some of the same shenanigans.” 

Don’t do that. Your personal life is your personal life. They’re personal life is their personal life. And while it’s easy to build rapport, we build a rapport on the initial walk through.

Getting Sucked into Family Drama Doesn’t Build Rapport

When you get to the customer’s house, you don’t chat. You don’t gossip and you don’t build rapport. You are there because they hired you to do a job. Go do the job. 

Be Friendly, Be Polite, Be Professional

Customer is Always Right, House Cleaner Holding Arms OutYou’ve got 60 seconds when you arrive to say, “Hello,” and, “How are you doing,” and say hi to the animals and then get to work. You don’t get to get into their family problems and you don’t get to have an opinion. 

An oath of no comment it will make your life a whole lot easier. This way you don’t have to take sides. You don’t have to make somebody right and somebody wrong. It’s not necessary or wise for you to get involved in the rackets of other families.

It’s not your job to prove the customer is always right or wrong.

The Exception to The Customer is Right is When There’s Danger

Customer is Always Right, Angry Man Yelling at Woman and ChildAs a house cleaner or maid, you know far more about the families you work for than maybe anyone else. If you run into a problem where someone in the home is in danger and can’t help them self, you need to get help.

It may be the social services, it may be the authorities, it may be the church or an outreach center. And this is not a common occurrence. In the 25 years of me being in the field, I had to call outside services twice. 

Both involved guns and drug deals that went south in the homes I was cleaning. 

Be careful when you make the call – you can really screw up somebody’s life if you’re wrong. You can also save a life if you’re right. You have to be sure before you get involved. 

This is one of the reasons – for the most part – we don’t get involved. 

Once You Call for Help

Customer is Always Right, Woman With Clipboard Asking Man QuestionsYou now have people that come in that do in home inspections. And they do a series of interviews with that family. Based on the information they uncover, they may remove members of the family. 

It’s possible there will be mandatory drug tests or required therapy sessions. 

Let the professionals with qualifications and credentials do their jobs. Don’t talk with the family about calling for help and don’t try to solve the problem on your own. Situations that need outside help need a team of professionals to resolve the issues. 

But if you suspect that someone is in danger and can’t help them self, then you do need to make a call.

Other than that, no comment, because you’re there to clean. You’re not there to solve their family problems or take sides or prove the customer is always right. 

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Moving the Needle: Get Clear, Get Free, and Get Going in Your Career, Business, and Life! – http://amzn.to/2AgIr95

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