This house cleaners amazing surprise could ruin her business, how is that possible? Sometimes in an effort to make clients happy, house cleaners can end up costing their business. Today we’ll cover exactly why this happens and how to prevent it!
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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. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
A House Cleaner’s Amazing Surprise Ruins Her Business
A house cleaner’s amazing surprise ruins her business without her even knowing about it. I belong to a private Facebook group that is for cleaning business owners only. And what happens in the private Facebook group stays in the private Facebook group.
But I’m going to share with you one incident today because I need house cleaners and homeowners to listen up. This one’s for you.
This is a True Story That Happened
This happened. This is a true story. I’m going to change the names to protect the innocent and the guilty. So there’s a business owner, a cleaning business owner I’m going to call Mary. Mary, because her business is growing and she’s super busy, hires an outside house cleaner from a different company. We’re going to call that girl Sharice. So Sharice is going to clean Mary’s house. Now, Mary, as she’s walking through the house, says, ‘Oh, don’t worry about the master bedroom and the master bathroom because they’re super messy. My business is busy.”
As they’re walking through the laundry room, she makes a comment like, “Oh, I’ve been working on laundry all weekend and I haven’t made a dent in it.” And it’s a passing comment. She’s not paying for the laundry to be done. What she did in the walkthrough was she removed the master bedroom, the master bathroom, and the laundry.
The Walkthrough Created a Set of Expectations
So what they did is they created a set of expectations. Then Mary leaves and she goes and does her business. While she’s there Sharice stays, and she’s going to clean the house and she’s going to do an amazing job.
She makes everything look amazing. And she’s also a cleaning business owner, so she knows what Mary’s going through. So out of the kindness of her heart, she says, “I’m going to do something very special for Mary.” So she goes above and beyond. She cleans the entire house and she cleans the master bedroom and the master bathroom.
Oh wow, won’t Mary be impressed? Along with that, she does Mary’s laundry. So it’s the laundry for the kids, it’s the bedsheets and it’s the business laundry, which are the cleaning cloths and the mop heads for Mary’s business.
This Leads to a Moment of Mad Elation
So when Mary comes home, she’s like, “Oh my goodness, this is amazing! I am so impressed. Look at the house. It shines. It gleams.” She’s super excited. Right? She has this moment of mad elation.
So she gets the reward from the house being clean. Sharice seeing how happy she is and how pleased And delighted. And yes, she gets the reward from having done all this extra work that was not on the schedule, was not paid for, and she was told to not worry about it today. So that’s where we are right now. There’s this moment of mad elation for both parties. Yay.
Sharice Set Herself Up for Unlucky Expectations
All right. Here’s what happened. Sharice in an attempt to make Mary’s day, which she did, set herself up for a series of unlucky expectations in the future. She can never live up to those expectations again.
In the cleaning business, we make money when we get paid for the services we provide, not just a few of them.
The risk here is if Sharice has business employees and they go out on a job and did what she did to Mary, she would lose money in her business.
Time is a Cleaner’s Biggest Resource
If you spend extra hours doing rooms that are not on the schedule for the day, that’s going to eat up a lot of precious resources. And in a house cleaning business, the resources are time and your physical energy.
Because if you have to go to another house but you already spent two hours of energy working on rooms that were not part of today’s job, you don’t have that to give to the next customer. So you put the next customer in jeopardy.
Sharice Gave Mary Unrealistic Expectations
Along with that, the expectations that you have created with Mary are unconscious. Mary was super excited for that moment. But it’s like a drug. How do you get back to that feeling? And when you come back again to clean and now you’re doing what’s on the schedule at the price you agreed on. Then there’s going to be this unconscious disappointment.
I don’t feel the mad elation. I’m not super excited that you’re here today. Everything looks nice and clean and you did a great job, but where are my freebies? No one comes out and says this, but in the back of our minds at an unconscious level, there are these expectations that weren’t met.
You go and you start checking the laundry. Like, oh, all my dirty laundry is still there. I don’t understand. Last time she did my laundry, right?
Don’t Set Expectations That You Can’t Meet
So these expectations that were so far above and beyond cannot be met. What happens is every single time that you go above and beyond and you give away freebies, your company loses money and you set up unrealistic expectations.
I Do Believe in Mulligans in My Business
All right. Now at Savvy Cleaner, which is the company that I run, I do believe in mulligans. And the mulligan is doing a little something extra for the customer at every clean. So instead of giving hours of time cleaning two rooms, major rooms that were messy that were not on the agenda for the day, and doing the laundry. Instead of going that far, the mulligan for the day would be cleaning the toothpaste off the bathroom mirror.
Did not clean the bathroom, but I got the toothpaste off the mirror. Next time the customer goes to brush their teeth they’re going to go, whoa, check it out. My mirror is clean.
The mad elation happens. Then over the one thing that got cleaned, that was a huge surprise, right? It took one minute to clean the bathroom mirror. That is the mulligan. Not all the extra stuff that can’t be duplicated again. Does that make sense?
You Have to Follow Instructions in House Cleaning
So I love the fact that Sharice made Mary’s day. And I love the fact that Mary was so appreciative of the extra work and the energy and everything that Sharice put in. But I want to stop for a second and draw a fine line in the sand.
If you are a business owner, you cannot hire people that can’t follow instructions, right? It doesn’t work that way. If you have employees and the directives are, don’t clean these rooms for the day, the answer to that is we don’t clean those rooms for the day. That is not the priority for the day. Those were removed from the schedule.
Be Very Clear About the Job You’re Doing
We have to be very clear about the jobs that we’re being paid for. And if a customer is not willing to pay for something or they say, “Oh, don’t worry about it.” They’re not paying us. We’re not going to give those freebies away. You do not get profitable in your business giving away resources, which are time, money, and energy.
So I want us to be very crystal clear, and this is not about charity work. That’s something totally separate. I want us to be very clear about what just happened and why it will ruin her business if she continues down this path. Does that make sense?
The Empowered Empath: A Simple Guide on Setting Boundaries – https://amzn.to/3xSx2r3
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life – https://amzn.to/3b8kCBu
Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself – https://amzn.to/2RAEINK
Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind – https://amzn.to/3uq03rS
Never Go Back: 10 Things You’ll Never Do Again – https://amzn.to/33o6WhI
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