Not my fault! We’ve all thought those thoughts. But how can you reach customer satisfaction if you insist “It’s not my fault?”
As the business owner, you don’t get to shift blame, or cop an attitude for bad customer service. That will only destroy your business.
Today on Ask a House Cleaner, The House Cleaning Guru, Angela Brown shares professional tips.
Learn how to deal with a dissatisfied customer. Accept responsibility and act like a business owner. “Not my fault” is not going to cut it.
If you’ve got an angry customer who doesn’t like your work, be a Savvy Cleaner and stay in control of the situation.
Listen: Not My Fault The Customer is Mad
Watch: Not My Fault The Customer is Mad
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.
Question: Not My Fault The Customer is Mad
Today’s question comes from a house cleaner who is livid. She’s super upset because she spent 4 hours at a customer’s house.
And when she finished the customer was not happy.
The customer refused to pay because she didn’t like the way the house cleaner cleaned.
So the maid comes away, all ticked off. “It’s the customer’s fault!”
“The customer ruined my day… this that and the other.” And she’s defensive.
The question from this housekeeper is “What am I supposed to do now? Can I take her to small claims court? Because I threatened her.”
Answer: Not My Fault – Is Never A Good Answer
As a business owner, you have a lot of options. And because you chose a service business you’re going to run into a lot of unhappy customers along your journey.
I don’t know why but there are a lot of different types of customers and various personalities out there.
But a person yelling at you does not mean that you did a bad job. It’s possible that they just got in a fight with their spouse. Maybe you just walk through the room, at the wrong time, and they took it out on you.
A lot of times it doesn’t have anything to do with you whatsoever. Once the dust settles and that person is able to collect their thoughts, it might be a different scenario. They may come back and they apologize and pay you, I don’t know.
But you will have a bunch of opportunities for customer service in the house cleaning business.
Not My Fault – But It Is My Ball Game
Think of it as a ballgame. A customer is angry and they toss you a ball.
What do you do?
Do you catch the ball? Or do you step aside and let the ball fly right by you? That’s the question.
If you catch the ball you have choices. You can hold on to it and think “Okay, this customer is angry. How am I going to resolve this?”
You can toss it right back to him and say; “Hey, wait a second. I offer a satisfaction guarantee. Let me come back and make the job right.”
Or you can take the ball and you can spin it, and you can play with it, and you can walk it over to a neighbor and say “Hey I need some advice, what do I do here?”
But as long as you’ve caught that ball you’re in control.
If you step aside and you let it fly by you, that ball flies right by you and it hits the ground.
If You Ignore the Ball – You Lose Your Power
When it hits the ground you no longer have control of the situation and neither does your customer.
If somebody throws something at you, you have a choice to catch it.
I suggest you always choose to catch the ball. Because once you catch it you’re in control.
So, when you have an angry customer type of scenario catch the ball.
Okay, now what do you do with the ball once you have it?
Well, because you have the ball you’re in control.
And so, you can go back to the customer and say, “Hey listen I know you’re not happy. I don’t want to see you unhappy because I’m a business owner. I base my living, off of my reputation, and so I want you to have an excellent customer experience. What do I have to do to make this situation correct?”
When You Are In Control You Have Options
And you can give them an option. You can throw the ball back at them. You can have them help you be part of the solution.
Or if they’re not willing to talk and they’re just upset,
you can come back and say “here’s what I’m prepared to do…”
And you can offer solutions.
But you can do that as long, and only as long as you’re holding the ball.
If you’re in control of the situation you get to choose what happens next.
If you let the ball fly by you, you don’t get to choose. This is not your game anymore; the game has stopped.
And so, between you and the customer you either get fired or the customer badmouths you on social media.
Social Media Can Make or Break You
Now we live in a world where everything you say can last for infinity. Thanks to the internet and social media and screenshots and sharing and all these things.
Social media blabbing will promote you or bring you down.
So you have a choice. Always choose to catch the ball.
Okay, now let’s say that you get in a situation where both you and the customer are upset.
Stop Thinking “It’s Not My Fault”
Stop and take a deep breath. I invite you to take a big deep breath right now just to practice.
Get the oxygen flowing to your brain.
And when you are able to slow down long enough, you can start thinking through your options.
Take a couple of steps back and remove yourself from the picture. Get your emotions out of the situation.
What a Narrow World If We Are All The Same
As you look back on this scenario what do you see?
Who are you talking to? Are you talking to someone from a different culture? Because if you are, you grew up in two separate parts of the world.
You grew up with two different sets of beliefs. You group with two different sets of ideals. How on earth is it that you expect that you’re going to see eye-to-eye?
There are some common discrepancies between people. Are you speaking to someone who’s twice your age? Because if you are, you’re speaking to someone who has a whole lot more life experience than you.
And so how would you expect to see eye-to-eye if there’s a 30-year age gap?
You come from two completely different generations. Of course, there’s going to be a discrepancy.
That’s just the common law of nature, right?
Step Back And Look At The Bigger Picture
If you take a step back you might notice “Wow, wait a second, this customer is seeing something I’m not seeing.”
You can choose to say “I don’t understand what you’re telling me.
Can you explain it to me so as a business owner I can move forward with this new information?”
Because it might be that an older generation has a work ethic a younger generation doesn’t have.
And so, if your customer can explain to you what their expectations are, you can incorporate the things that they share with you.
And you can toss that ball back and stay in business. And not just toss the ball back to them, but to the other customers that are from that same generation.
Does that make sense?
Choose to Learn Rather Than To Be Right
When someone comes to you and they’re angry, this is an opportunity for you to expand your horizons.
There are so many different people in the world. So many different personalities, so many different generations and different upbringings, and different cultures. There’s so much as business owners we can learn.
Choose to learn and improve and you will set your business above your competitors.
Life’s Best Lessons Are Not Free
Now, I get the fact that you feel mistreated.
I get the fact that you didn’t get paid.
But this is like you going to college except you don’t have the college expense.
You lost whatever the price was of that house cleaning because she didn’t pay you. So that was an investment in your learning.
This is the School of Hard Knocks and so that was the fee of admission for this lesson. Most of the lessons are free, but every once in a while, you got to ante up some money. This is one of those times.
Don’t Step Aside – Step Into The Game
So, don’t look at as like “I lost the money and it’s not my fault.” Don’t do that. Because when you do you’re stepping aside and you’re letting that ball fly right by you.
And now the game is over. You’ll learn nothing, you’re not in control, and you lost your customer.
Alright, so that’s my tip for today.
I hope that helps just a little bit. Please keep me posted. Let me know how this works out because I am interested. And I do want to hear the ending to this interesting story.
Alright and until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.
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!
About the Show
Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.
Resources From This Episode
Take Responsibility For Your Life – http://amzn.to/2tmDTuh
Taking Responsibility for Your Life Participant’s Guide: Because Nobody Else Will – http://amzn.to/2tqSoxU
The Principle of the Path: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be – http://amzn.to/2tZWyJX
It’s Not My Fault: The No-Excuse Plan for Overcoming Life’s Obstacles – http://amzn.to/2s3Op62
What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do: Discouragement and Depression – http://amzn.to/2sopF7F
Changes That Heal: The Four Shifts That Make Everything Better…And That Everyone Can Do – http://amzn.to/2tr2kHG
How to Have That Difficult Conversation: Gaining the Skills for Honest and Meaningful Communication – http://amzn.to/2ukF8XS
The Maxwell Daily Reader: 365 Days of Insight to Develop the Leader Within You and Influence Those Around You – http://amzn.to/2s41lbM
Permissions To Share
Savvy Cleaner – House Cleaner Training & Certification