Skipped some chores is among a house cleaner big goofs. But how many times will the customer keep you if the maid forgot to clean a room?
Today on Ask a House Cleaner a distracted cleaning technician skipped some chores. (Or rather, didn’t know a room was there and skipped the bedroom and the attached bathroom.)
When the client called – the maid wants to bail. She feels the customer is suggesting she was skipping chores on purpose. Or ran out of time, or was doing sloppy work.
Now she wants to bail on the customer because she doesn’t like confrontation.
Listen: Skipped Some Chores – House Cleaner Big Goofs
Watch: Skipped Some Chores – House Cleaner Big Goofs
Question: I Skipped Some Chores – So What?
Today’s question comes from a maid who bid a job over the telephone. She never did an initial walk through with a customer. So, when she got to the house she was cleaning the house, as she had bid.
And she walked past what she thought was a closet. She never opened the door, and she ended up skipping a bedroom that had a bathroom inside.
So, when the customer got home, obviously she was upset, and she calls this housecleaner and says “You forgot a bedroom and a bathroom.”
And the maid who does not like confrontation was like “Oh well, you know if you’re going to nitpick my work, you know I’m never coming back.”
And so, her question to me was “Is it my responsibility? Do I have to call her back? Or can I just leave her and walk away, because I don’t want to deal with a high-maintenance customer.”
Answer: Maid Skipped Some Chores – This Can Be Fixed.
Okay, so here is my answer.
It is possible to bid a job over the telephone and never do an initial walkthrough. We’ve done that for the last 15 years in my business we don’t do any initial walkthrough, in advance of the cleaning.
When we show up to clean for the first time, we then do the initial walk through with a customer. Okay?
So, we do give a bid over the telephone, we give an estimate.
We’ve done this so many times that based on what we know we can come really pretty close. Okay? When you get there you still have to do a walk-through with a customer because you don’t know how that customer lives.
And so, whatever they told you on the telephone that’s good information but you need them to physically walk you through and show you all the bedrooms and let you know who stays in that room.
Details Will Be Skipped if You Don’t’ Do A Walk Through
Because on your check sheet you’re going to be writing “Justin’s room” and then you’re going to fill out what you did in Justin’s room.
If you don’t know which room is Justin’s, you’re not going to be able to ever know
which rooms belong to whom.
So, we don’t even know what rooms were talking about, so it is important that you do an initial walkthrough. Even If you bid the job on the telephone.
And so, if the customer is upset that you skipped something, your satisfaction guarantee can kick in. If you bid a job for say, four bedrooms and you only clean three.
That will set off an alarm that says “hey I’m missing a bedroom somewhere.”
If Something Got Skipped – Default Mode is Your Satisfaction Guarantee – Use It.
Now if you’re vacuuming the floor and your vacuuming inside the closet you would have opened that door and you would have said “Oh look! Well, there’s a whole bedroom here.”
And then you would have noticed and discovered that there was, in fact, another bathroom.
The customer is your paycheck and so the customer has every right to say “hey I asked you for this, you quoted me on this, you delivered something else. The customer is completely in the right to say “Whoa! Something happened here.”
Okay, so now having discovered that you’re an adult, right? You own a business and so you can say.
“Silly me I can’t believe I skipped a whole bedroom in a bathroom. I’ll tell you what. Let me come over right now or let me come over after my next house. And I will specifically clean that bedroom in that bathroom. I am so sorry it was an oversight.
Now I know that it’s there, I will never miss it again.”
And you can own up to your mistakes very quickly because here’s the thing.
Conflict and Resolution Are Part of Every Successful Business
If you skip and you decide that you don’t like high-maintenance customers and you’re not ever coming back again.
What that’s going to do is that going to put you into a cycle of spending a lot of money every month reinventing the wheel. And reinventing your business because you can’t keep customers, or you refuse to keep customers that you have a conflict with.
Now I don’t promote conflict in this business. I’d really rather there was no conflict.
You Can Schedule Some Conflict Like Clockwork (Shh, Don’t Tell)
But as long as I’ve been in the business there’s conflict. There’s conflict because we’re dealing with humans.
And so, somebody is irritated one day. It’s possible they are upset because they have PMS.
It’s possible that they are upset because you are sloppy in your work.
There are a variety of reasons why people are upset.
But if you can hone in on what those reasons are, then you can say “Oh listen, Vanessa is upset every single month at this time. So, I’ve got 3 good weeks of cleaning where I can do no wrong, and then I have one week of misery.”
And so knowing that. On that week or she’s going to be miserable you can just show up and go “Okay, she’s going to bite my head off today because she’s having PMS.” And it has nothing to do with you that’s just who she is.
But when you skip something that’s your responsibility to go back and make that right.
Problems Don’t Resolve Themselves in House Cleaning – They Only Get Bigger
So, there are a couple weird things that happened on this scenario but my suggestion is that you don’t walk away and that you don’t ignore this scenario.
Because if you do it doesn’t get any better.
And whoever this customer is, she can then go on social media and say “you’re not going to believe what happened to me.”
And she can share her honest experience with your company, and it’s not going to promote you or help you in any way.
So, just own up to it say “hey I made a mistake, I completely thought that was a closet and I just vacuumed right on by. I didn’t realize there was a bedroom there I’m so sorry. Let me come back and make it right.”
There are a lot of house cleaners that don’t like conflict, and because they don’t like conflict they don’t like to deal with the problems when the problems arise.
Bad Customer Service and Unresolved Conflict Will Cost You LOTS of Money
I know a house cleaner who has been in the business twenty years.
And she spends about $2,000 a month in advertising. She has to keep reinventing her marketplace because she walks away from every conflicting situation.
Eye contact – she doesn’t have it, she won’t look a customer in the eye.
She won’t own up to her mistakes, she won’t anything. And so as a result of that, she has no referrals.
20 years in business, she has no referrals and her schedule is constantly empty and she’s steadily looking for new business.
After about six months in the business, you should never need to advertise again because you have all of the business you can possibly handle due to referrals.
And you only get referrals by owning up to your mistakes and by fixing things that are incorrect.
Now, this is an honest mistake, so there’s no reason to get upset about it. And there’s no reason to walk away, and there’s no reason to never call the customer back.
Just Own up to It and Go Back and Clean the House
For future reference when you bid a job on the phone. Make sure you also have the customer walk you through, and show you every little thing that is important to them when you get there.
Because every customer has their own sensibilities, and so you want to make sure that you highlight those. They’re not going to tell you this on the phone, like “I’m really super sensitive to dust on the ridges of my stairway or on the window sills.”
They may not tell you that on the initial phone call when you get to their house and they say these are my sensitivities, you want to make sure that no matter what you skip, that you hit those hot spots.”
And so that’s my tip for today until we meet again leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.
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