Ask a House Cleaner, Talking While Cleaning, Savvy Cleaner

Talking While Cleaning – House Cleaners On Their Phones

Talking while cleaning – it’s a concern for everyone. House cleaners and maids need to keep their phones with them for emergencies from the boss and the client. And homeowners don’t want to pay somebody who is cleaning while chatting. Where do you draw the line? Should you take incoming calls while on the clock? Or should you route them to voicemail? The House Cleaning Guru, Angela Brown shares some tips and strategies to grow your cleaning business while being respectful of the client’s time. 

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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.

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Today’s Question: I’m On The Phone Talking While Cleaning – Is That Cool?

Now, today’s question comes from a house cleaner who says “Angela, I have to take the phone calls when they come in, I don’t have the luxury of waiting until I get off the job, yet I don’t want to be at a customer’s house talking on the telephone while another call is coming in. I should give respect to the customer that’s there. What do I do?”

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 Man talking on phone at computer in call centerToday’s Answer: NoTalking While Cleaning – Use Answering Service

Well, that’s a great question. And my answer for you is this. If you are a small business, you may want to consider using a voice mail service that can answer the telephone calls while you are not able to answer the phone.

Because I do agree with you that you should not be talking on the telephone while you’re servicing another customer.

You want to show that customer that you’re with that you’re giving 100% of your attention to them and their home. That is what they paid you for.

Change Your Voice Mail

maid changes voice mail to serve clientsNow, if you are really small and not even in a position to hire a service, there are lots of different services out there, and we’ll link to them in the show notes. So that you can find one that’s a good fit for you.

You can change your voicemail message. And so, you can say “Hey this is Angela, and I would love to give you the same attention that I’m giving another client right now. Will you please leave your name and telephone number and I will call you back just as soon as I finish cleaning this house?”

So that lets them know that number one, yes, you are the right person that they called. You are a house cleaner.

Number two, you value the current customer’s time. Which sends a message to them that lets them know that when you’re at their house, you’re going to value their time as well.

So, you want to make sure that you have a voicemail message conducive to the reason why you’re not taking their call right now.

Auto Text “Sorry, I Can’t Talk Right Now”

maid texting, sorry I can't talk right nowI don’t know about the Androids, but I do know that the iPhones have a little app thing that’s built into the phone where if you can’t talk, there’s an option to choose where you say “sorry, I can’t talk right now.”

And with just one click, you click that button and it sends them that message.

And so, if you are in a position where let’s say that you’re cleaning and you’re trying to hurry and finish, and the phone rings and it’s another customer, you can do that “Sorry, I can’t talk right now” and it will save their phone number in your messages. So that when you get out to your car after you’ve finished cleaning this customers house, that you can return that phone call immediately.

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Never Miss A Call – Even When You Have to Miss The Call

So, the first thing I recommend is a voice mail service. So that you are not missing telephone calls that come in. Especially if you’re running advertising. I don’t want you to miss those calls. Because we do live in an era of instant gratification. And customers want to call somebody and get someone on the other end of the line.

In the event that you don’t hire a service, make sure that you change your voicemails so that number one, it is professional and number two, it lets them know that you will call the customer right back.

The third thing that I would recommend is the little “sorry, I can’t talk right now” button that is in that app.

So that it sends them a quick text to say “hey, I respect you, I can’t talk right now, I’ll be back to you as soon as possible.”

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What if it’s An Emergency?

house cleaner on phone talking while cleaningOkay, so my fourth thing is this. If you find yourself in a position where you must answer your telephone. And let’s say that it’s an incoming call from a family member or you have an elderly parent. There could be valid reasons why you need to answer your telephone while you’re on the clock at a customer’s house.

So, my suggestion to you would be to keep it to ten seconds. Don’t get in the habit of answering family calls and talking while cleaning. And let your family and friends know you can’t chat while you’re working. If they have to call you on the job, have them give you one bullet point messages.

Answer your phone with a quick reminder: “Hey, this is Angela, I can’t talk right now, can I call you back in 45 minutes?”

They can give you a one sentence answer. “Oh, the cat died.” Okay.  now you know what this is about. Right? When you call them back, you’ll have had a chance to think about what to do about the cat.

If You Do Need To Take The Call

House Cleaner Talking While CleaningWhat happens if, in fact, you need to stop and go take that call? If it’s an urgent matter, you may have to stop and take the call, even against your best efforts to prevent it. Which brings me to my fifth point.

My fifth point is if you take time away from a customer and you’re going to be on the telephone talking while cleaning for whatever reason, you need to make that time up with the customer.

If you’re unable to talk at the same time that you’re cleaning, you need to give that time back to the customer. Whether it’s adding on an extra minute and a half, or two minutes or five minutes, or whatever.

You don’t’ want to speak to someone for an hour and a half on the telephone while you’re housecleaning.

Because while you may be in a mental zone where you can clean and talk on the phone at the same time, you can’t pay as close attention to the details of the home if you’re chatting. And talking while cleaning is just not professional.

 maid-shows-respect-not-talking-while-cleaningBe Professional. Show Your Customers You Care

So, my suggestion to you is don’t talk on the telephone while you’re cleaning a customer’s house.
And if you’ll use these tips to help streamline that process, it will keep you on a more professional and more focused level.

Alright, that’s it for today.

And if you have any questions, head on over to or you can leave comments right in the section below.


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Alrighty, until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it. 

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