What do you do when customers try to get free cleaning? I’m trying to grow my cleaning company, and I get complaints – and I have a satisfaction guarantee. I can’t tell if this is a scam – customers try to get free cleaning or if it’s legitimate.
Some customers try to get free cleaning and its theft of services. How you market your cleaning business will help you weed out those trying to get a free cleaning from those stealing services.
Listen: What Do You Do When Customers Try to Get a Free Cleaning?
Watch: What Do You Do When Customers Try to Get a Free 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. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
What Do You Do When People Try to Get Free Cleanings from You
What do you do about people who try to get free cleaning from you? I don’t like this question at all because it suggests that there are people out there that would do that.
And I like to believe in the kindness of humanity and that everybody’s good and kind and has everyone else’s best interest in mind. I know, I live in Utopia.
But the truth of the matter is, believe it or not, there are some people that are going to try to get something for nothing. Is the customer lying to you? Are they being sneaky? What is this all about, right? Because I hear it all the time like, “Oh, they’re just trying to get free cleaning out of me.”
Explain Your Business in Your Walkthrough
All right. The very first thing you have to think about is how did you explain your business in your walkthrough? Go back to you, because you don’t have control over the customer. But you do have control over you, and so, go back to the walkthrough.
Did you explain what your company does when you were with your customers face to face? Because there are a lot of times that housecleaning business owners will say, “Well, I’m a house cleaner. They should know what I do.”
No, they don’t, unless you specified what you do. When we come to your house and we bid a job, we’re customizing your order. It’s a made-to-order order. So what is it that you’re getting? You have to specify.
Some Clients Will Make Up Lies
Now, there’s a house cleaner that called me and she’s in tears. She’s irate. She did an amazing job at a customer’s house. The customer called her up and said, “I can’t find anything in my kitchen. I want a refund. You didn’t put stuff back where it was supposed to go.”
So the house cleaner is beside herself because she doesn’t open cupboards and put anything away. But she failed to mention that to a customer, so the customer expects that that was going to be done.
Then when she couldn’t find anything, it wasn’t because she herself misplaced it or someone in the house misplaced it. She immediately blamed the house cleaner, and then she wanted a refund.
You Have to Clarify Your Guarantee and Refund Policy
So then I had to ask the house cleaner, “What is your guarantee policy and your refund policy?” which she had not clarified either.
Okay, so this is where we get into trouble. Is the customer trying to eke something out of us for free? Oftentimes the answer is no.
Oftentimes the customer doesn’t know where our boundaries are. They don’t know what we’ve promised, and they don’t know what we’ve delivered.
Use a Checklist to Avoid Clients Trying to Get Free Cleanings
And so I asked this particular house cleaner, I said, “Did you use a checklist?” And she said, “Oh, no. There’s a lot of stuff on there I’m not going to get around to, and I don’t want it to look like I left a whole bunch of stuff off. Then they wouldn’t want to pay me.”
Okay, but the customer doesn’t know what you did anyway. And because you didn’t check anything off and there was no checklist, and you weren’t very clear about the terms of what you did.
And you’re not very clear about the terms of your refund or your guarantee. So, your customer is not trying to get something out of you for free. Your customer is trying to find and establish some boundaries. They’re super confused right now.
Go Back and Redo Walkthroughs with Clients Who Try to Get Free Cleanings
So, you have to go back to the customer’s house, and you need to redo your walkthrough. You can go back and say, “My bad, I didn’t explain it very clearly. When I clean houses, I don’t do any dishes, and so if there’s stuff in your dishwasher, I don’t even put it away.
So, if there’s something that’s misplaced in your kitchen, it had to be someone in your house because I didn’t put anything away.”
Then you need to say, “It has come to my attention that people would like more clarity on what it is I’m doing, so here’s my new checklist. “
Give Them a New Checklist
When you do a walkthrough with a customer, you give them a checklist. And you yourself have a checklist. So, as you walk through the house, there are things that will trigger a conversation.
If you’re in the kitchen, then you can tell the customer right there. You can stop at the kitchen sink and say, “Hey, listen, there are no dishes in the sink today, and I just want to know if it’s always going to be this way when I arrive. And just to make sure you understand, my company does not do dishes. And so if I arrive and the sink is full of dishes. I’m going to work around them and I’m going to leave them in the sink for you because I don’t want to be responsible for your dishes.
That’s a daily chore, and it’s not part of the weekly maintenance that you’re paying me to do.” And so you need to have that conversation.
Some Clients Aren’t Trying to Get Free Cleanings
If you don’t have that conversation and the customer leaves dishes in the sink. Then you go home, and you left the dishes in the sink but you didn’t tell them you were going to do that, then they’re like, “Oh, you didn’t clean my house. I came home and there were dishes in my sink. I want my money back.”
Oh, no. They’re not trying to get something for you for free. They thought that that was included. So the checklist says we did this, this, this, and this. Now everything that you’re guaranteeing is checked off.
If your house was super messy and we didn’t get around to it, we had to skip some things. And so on the Walkthrough ask about their priorities.
And they say, “Well, you can skip the blinds. That’s not a priority to me, or you can skip the baseboards.” They will give you things that are not their priorities, and then you can skip those things because you made notes on your initial walkthrough.
Explaining Your Checklist Stops Clients Trying to Get Free Cleanings
Now, if it’s clear to the customer what you offer. Then it’s going to remove a whole bunch of this weird, “Oh, you need to come back and give me a refund for the money that I paid,”
You say, “For this amount of money, we will do these things, and in the event that something has to be skipped, we are going to skip these things and we will pick them up next week when we do a rotation. Is that fair?” And the customer says, “Well, yeah, that’s fair.”
And the reason it’s fair is that you explained it to the customer that everything is on this list. Then they’re going to look at it and go, “Wow, there’s some things that are missed, but they didn’t check that off. So … I should clean up before they come next time.“
*** Resources From This Episode ***
Scams – Scam – Scam.com – https://amzn.to/2wCU5r9
The Ponzi Factor: The Simple Truth About Investment Profits – https://amzn.to/2LUNrBZ
Con Artistry: How to Spot and Deal with a Con Artist to Avoid the Different Types of Scams – https://amzn.to/2oIDTBb
Rossen to the Rescue: Secrets to Avoiding Scams, Everyday Dangers, and Major Catastrophes – https://amzn.to/2LTJoWL
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