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Expectations – How to Manage Cleaning Clients Wishes

Expectations are a tricky thing in house cleaning and maid service. Our clients hire us to clean their homes, but how do you manage their wishes, hopes and the projects they pay for? The House Cleaning Guru, Angela Brown, takes a look at cleaning client’s expectations. Today we learn about upselling without overpromising. Learn how to grow your cleaning business, in a way that is easy to duplicate. And be so clear that your customers can share your rules with their friends. This means more referral business for you.

Expectation management is more than meeting the client’s requests. It’s about setting realistic expectations and boundaries.

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Hi there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is the show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

how to manage customer’s expectations.

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Today’s Question: How To Manage Cleaning Client’s Expectations

Now, today’s question comes from a house cleaner who wants to know why a customer keeps asking her to do all kinds of things that are not part of the regular cleaning that she offers.

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   Overpromising expectationsAnswer: How To Manage Cleaning Client’s Expectations

Alright, so my first question to you is this; what are you advertising?

There are a whole bunch of house cleaners that when they get started in the house cleaning business, they decide that in order to get more business, they are going to serve everyone.

Right? So, they say; “Oh I do dog walking, and I water plants, and I clean out cupboards. And I defrost freezers, and I clean out attics, and garages and RV’s. And I do house cleaning.” defrost freezer expectations

Then they show up to actually just do the house cleaning and the customer says “Hey, while you’re at it, can you defrost my freezer?” “Can you clean out my bathroom cupboards?” And then the house cleaners get upset because they were expecting to do a regular routine cleaning.

When in fact, the customer assumed, and rightfully so, based on the advertising that they saw that the house cleaner was willing to do anything.

manage upselling expectationsWhat Are You Advertising?

If you’re advertising that you are a jack of all trades, you can’t get upset when a customer asks you to do a jack of all trades kind of job.

So, if you’re very specific about exactly what it is you do, and the customer knows exactly what it is that you do, they’re not going to ask you to do extra projects.

Now extra projects are a great way to make some extra money. So, if you want to do extra projects that’s fine.

You can always add that in later on. And I wouldn’t even advertise it. Because a lot of house cleaning companies do extra things.

And so, if a house cleaner, if a homeowner who hires a house cleaner wants you to do extra projects and they know you and they like you and they trust you.
They’re going to ask you to do the extra projects. It’s just kind of a next natural step.

Be Specific About What You Want To Attract manage client expectations, Savvy Cleaner

So you don’t even have to advertise it, if you just go in and say I do a bi-weekly routine cleaning, guess what you’re going to attract?
You’re going to attract bi-weekly routine cleaning customers. If you advertise that you do all sorts of things, you’re going to attract all sorts of buyers.

Alright, so it comes down to you.

The second thing is; are you clear with your customers about the process of them hiring you for extra projects? Now for me and my company, I need at least a 24-hour notice. Because if I was going to add a little extra project on that took an extra half hour of the time.
It is possible I could do that.
And so I would need to bump the other accounts that I had the following day in order to make sure I had the extra half hour of time. But guess what?

Collect for client expectations, Savvy CleanerManaging Projects & Expectations Means You Get Paid For Your Work

When you’re confirming with your clients 24 hours in advance that gives you the latitude the also bill them extra for the extra project.
So, instead of you showing up and they just have a to-do list with a bunch of stuff and they’re not expecting to pay anything extra if they call you 24 hours in advance.
And they create extra projects on your schedule that allow for more time, that’s when you give them a price. And you say; “I can do that an extra project it will only be $30 more dollars. So instead of $230 it will be $260

And you reaffirm with a customer with the new price will be so that when you arrive tomorrow, and there’s a check waiting for you on the counter that the check is made out for the proper amount.
So it’s really easy once you know what it is you’re offering. And once your customers know what it is you’re offering. Now, I’m going to go one more step and I’m going to share a secret with you so listen very carefully.

Being crystal clear about what it is you offer is not just for you and your sanity.
It’s not just about your client and keeping their sanity and having them play by your rules.
You want to be crystal clear about what you offer because and here’s the secret.

Clarity of Expectations Means More Referrals Training Clients expectations, Savvy Cleaner

If you understand what it is you do and your customer understands what it is you do and it’s easy to explain.
They can turn around to their friends and they can say; “Oh, yes Angela and her team do extra projects but you have to call 24 hours in advance to get on the schedule and then I’ll give you a new price.”
And it is duplicatable, right? I don’t know if that’s even a word, but they can duplicate that. They can replicate what you just did to their friends when they refer you.

Then when the new people call you they say “Hey, listen, I understand that you do special projects. Right now, I need a routine cleaning and I have two extra projects. Can I go ahead and get on your schedule?”
Guess what you just trained your customer. You just trained your customer to train their referrals.
Half your work is already done. Right? So, make it easy on yourself by being clear about your advertising. Be clear about how you present your offer to your client.
Be clear about the message that you sent so they can pass that along.

 know people who do what you don't - Angela Brown ObererManaging Expectations Means Saying No

If you’re offered a special project that you do not do – let’s say my cleaning company does not clean carpets.

And so if you came to us and you said: “Hey, can you do carpet cleaning for us?” Right up front, I would say “No, we do not do carpets. But I know this guy from the Chamber of Commerce and he’s an amazing. He works in this neighborhood. His name is Paul Gibson. Let me give me Paul’s phone number and I will connect the two of you.”
So what you do then is you have in your back pocket a set of window cleaners and a set of carpet cleaners. And people who do drywall repair, people who paint baseboards, and extra projects that you and your house cleaning company and do not do.

Why do you not do them? Because they’re not profitable for you to do.

Not All Services Make Financial Sense For Your Company

Be Clear about expectations, Savvy Cleaner

It just doesn’t make sense for your cleaning company. When you can make more sense just doing the routine cleaning or a few special projects like defrosting freezers. Canned responses streamline expectations - Angela Brown Oberer

So, have a list of people you can refer and recommend. But guess what? In turn, they can refer and recommend you. Because they’re also in people’s homes. They’re also doing the same kind of thing where they’re referring jobs that they don’t do.

So, you want to create these affiliations with other people that do similar work but don’t cross your Market.
And then the last thing that I might recommend is to have a series of canned responses. So, if somebody asks you do you clean carpets you don’t have to stop and try to figure it out every time. “Well, we don’t normally clean carpets. And your carpets don’t look very dirty. So, I mean, I guess I could rent a machine. And then there’s the cleaning solution…

Don’t go through that every time. Okay? That’s a waste of time. If you don’t clean carpets, you don’t clean carpets.
So, decide up front what it is you do. Decide what you don’t do. And then just have a series of canned responses.

 Create Positive expectations, Savvy CleanerCreate Positive Expectations

“It would be lovely if we clean carpets but we don’t, so let me refer you to my friend Paul.”
Right? That’s a canned response. And then text Paul and say “Hey, Paul, I’ve got these amazing customers.” Set it up for him so he has a good experience when he shows up.
And then you tell the customer. You set it up for Paul. “He’s amazing.  He’s going to do an awesome job.”
Paul doesn’t know your customer. Your customer doesn’t know Paul. But when they meet each other because you set it up, they love each other when they first meet. Right?

Because that’s the expectation you have created. Again, you have to be crystal clear about what it is you’re creating.
Then what happens, and this is beautiful.
Your customer when you come back, they’re like “Oh my goodness. Thank you so much, Paul, did an amazing job. I can’t thank you enough for recommending him.”

When You Share Referrals Everyone Wins 

And then Paul sends you a note and he’s like “oh my goodness, those people were so nice. They gave me this huge tip. We got along swimmingly. That was so nice of you. Thank you.”

So, you’re building really good rapport and good will with the people that you are crystal clear with.Sharing is like saying thanks thumbs up, Savvy Cleaner

So, in answer to your question, if the customer is asking you and expecting you to do things that you normally don’t do. I have to go back and say; “Please make sure that whatever it is you’re offering it’s crystal clear to you, to your customer and to the people they refer to you.”

Alright, that’s it for today. If you like this to please pass it along to someone who may benefit from it. And until I see you again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it. 

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