Late. Absent. Running Behind Schedule – My Maid is Late Again!

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Late. Absent. Running behind schedule. Cleaning customers lament that their house cleaners and maids are unreliable. What ever happened to punctuality, consistency, and dependability? Homeowners have places to go. But if the house cleaner is constantly a no show – why would give them a key and more trust for their homes? In today’s episode of Ask a House Cleaner, we look at the cost of being tardy or postponing your client’s cleaning. 

Customer service is all about being precise, early or showing up right on time.

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Listen: House Cleaner is Always Late

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Watch: House Cleaner is Always Late


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

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Today’s Question: Why is My House Cleaner Always Late?

Now, today’s question comes from a woman who is really frustrated. She says her house cleaner never shows up on time. And she’s really concerned. What should she do? Should she fire her and find somebody new? Because the lady does a really great job cleaning, she’s just always late.

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Answer: Late or Tardy House Cleaners and Maids Lose Trust

girl in front of clock freaking out because she's lateWell, first of all, and here’s why that’s a problem.
(And I need homeowners and I need house cleaners to listen to this,) If a homeowner stays home in order to let the house cleaner in and the housecleaner is late it inconveniences the customer.

T homeowner is not able to run their errands, or to go to work, or whatever it is they were going to do because they’re staying at home to let the housecleaner in.
Now, most people work from schedules. We don’t just fly by the seat of our pants and endlessly run through the day and do whatever we got to do. We’re on a schedule we all have places to go and things to do.
If a housecleaner is supposed to be at your house at 8 o’clock and they don’t show up in till noon you just spent the entire morning at your house waiting for your housecleaner.

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Being Late Inconveniences the Customer Which is Bad Customer Service woman working from home on computer upset house cleaner is late

And that is a huge problem because unless the housecleaner contacted you and let you know they were going to be late so that you could readjust your schedule,
you may have pushed your activities out further in the day. And you may have missed some work as a result of it because you weren’t where you needed to be. Because you stayed home to let the house cleaner in.

It’s a really big concern for a variety of reasons. So, if you’re the homeowner, and your housecleaner is perpetually late, my suggestion to you would be to have a conversation with your housecleaner and find out why.

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 woman working from home on computer with upset baby in armsListen With Compassion – Find Out Why They Are Late

Listen with compassion and find out what is going on here.

Because there are a lot of house cleaners that are single moms. And maybe they have a sick kid that’s at home. Maybe they have some tragedy going on in their family. Maybe their parent is ill or they’re in the hospital, or there is something that you don’t know about.

So, listen with compassion because there may be a very valid reason why they’re late.

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Compassion is Not Tolerance woman receives text that house cleaner is running late

If they’re continually late though, that throws up red flags. And I would certainly have a conversation and say; “Listen, I am the homeowner. I am the one that gives you the money, and I have a certain set of expectations. One of those expectations is when you give me an arrival time, I expect you to be here at that arrival time. If you’re not going to be here for whatever reason if you’re two minutes late I need a phone call or a text.”

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 Man gives house cleaner a house keySet Boundaries and Rules About Showing Up Late 

Now for me, this is my rule in my particular company. If you are going to be two minutes late you better be on the phone calling somebody letting them know, because if you don’t let them know, like I said, you screw up their schedule for the rest of the day.
And there are things that come up through the course of the day. Maybe the homeowner is working on a project for their boss and they’re working out of their home that day then they discover; “Oh my goodness, I don’t have all the information I need. I need to run across town and pick up some supplies or something else.”

But now they can’t leave because they’re waiting here to open the door for you because they don’t trust you enough to give you an alarm code and a key.

And why should they trust you? Because you can’t even show up on time. Right?

Prove Your Reliability and Dependability By Showing Up On Time – Every Time

street signs read yes, no, maybe - house cleaner is late againAs a house cleaner or maid, take more steps to prove your reliability and your consistency and your trustworthiness. Show up on the nose, exactly on time. This helps build confidence in the customer enough to give you a key and to let you work at their house when they’re not going to be there. 

So, if you have a housecleaner or maid that’s always late that needs to be brought up. Let’s not let’s not forget about that. Let’s not pretend like that it’s no big deal because being chronically late is a huge deal.

As a house cleaner myself, I need to mention to the homeowners out there – there are times we are cleaning a house when we run a little bit late.

Some houses are a little messier than we were expecting. And in order for us to finish the house we’re cleaning, it means we are going to be late getting to your house. And so, if that is the case, and I’m going to request this of all house cleaners, please send a quick text to your client letting them know you’re going to run a couple of minutes late. Manage your customer’s expectations.

That way there are no surprises. Because nobody likes surprises (except maybe on your birthday.) Right?
Let’s not surprise our customers by being late and irresponsible.  And if you are the homeowner and you are dealing with this particular problem, it’s time to have a face-to-face with your housecleaner.

Don’t Fire Your House Cleaner or Maid for Being Late house cleaner texts client running late

Because if you have a really good house cleaner who is thorough and diligent and does a great job, it would be sad to lose them over something as silly as them being late every time. But you need to attach consequences to that. “Two more times that you’re late to my house and I will find a new housecleaner.”

And you have to stick to it. Because if you make those promises and then you don’t keep them as a homeowner, you are undoing the boundaries that you have just created.

And we all know that having boundaries on both sides, from the housecleaner side, and the homeowner side, helps everybody work better together. Follow your own boundaries,  don’t tolerate being late just because they’re a good house cleaner. And just because you don’t want to go through the hassle of finding someone new. If you give them an ultimatum you need to stick with it.

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Alright, that’s my tip for today. If you found this helpful please share it with a friend.

If you have a question, you can leave it in the show notes below. Or you can head over to
Until I see you again, and I do hope I see you again. Leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.

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During the shows we recommend services, sites, and products to help you improve your cleaning and grow your cleaning business. We have partnerships with these companies to provide you with discounts, and savings. By clicking on and buying from the links in the show notes, we may receive a commission which helps pay for the production costs of the show.

Support the show so we can continue to bring you free tips to improve your cleaning and help you grow your cleaning business.  THANK YOU!

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