How to deal with customer requests - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By missannienow
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of Old 03-17-2017, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 42
How to deal with customer requests

I have been in this business almost 3 years now. And pretty successful. I keep running into an issue that troubles me and would love to hear how you guys see it.
Sometimes, the first one or two times I clean a home, the owner wants me to do things like wash dishes, empty dishwashers, make beds, etc. In MY mind, this is not a part of a normal, standard cleaning. Maybe I am wrong, but those things take up TIME! And often, these same people specify they want EVERYTHING done in 2-3 hours, which, IMO, isnt long enough in many cases.

One home I cleaned - I got there to find perhaps a WEEKS worth of dishes (dirty) in the kitchen sink. I base my cleaning in that sink, so the only thing I could do was wash ALL the dishes! I was annoyed, because it took half an hour, maybe a little more. The kitchen was filthy, too.

In another home, the owner and I had discussed what I would get done. But when I arrived the second time, she told me to empty the dishwasher, fold laundry - and yet did not say she would pay me more for this time. As carefully as I could, I explained that there is a difference between a "housekeeper" and a house CLEANER, and that she had agreed to house CLEANING. This home has 3 adults and a dog, and it was quite grubby the first time I cleaned it. She seemed to understand - but I need ideas on how to handle this BEFORE the first cleaning, so no hard feelings come up.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have good skills in communication, having been an RN for 34 years. But nursing is a lot different from cleaning, and I would like to know how other people handle this sort of problem.

Thank you so much!
Annie
Cricket likes this.
missannienow is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of Old 03-20-2017, 07:18 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 13
Have a list of extras and pricing that you give to customers prior to the first clean. Also state that you require notice prior to their cleaning appointment that extras are requested so that you can schedule the appropriate amount of time for the clean. There are tasks that my cleaning company just won't do and that is clearly stated at the sales call, eg.) we don't do laundry.

IMO, it's acceptable not to include certain tasks. Many cleaning services do not wash dishes, change bedding, laundry or pet issues. If you want to include more personalized service you should expect additional payment for your time as these tasks do add significant time to the clock.
Cleanexp is offline  
post #3 of Old 03-20-2017, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 42
Thank you. I agree: washing dishes is an extra, and it takes time away from the real cleaning. I think some people just dont get it. Its like moving small furniture, personal items, trash cans, etc., out of a room to clean it. It all takes TIME. I try hard to explain this to people before I begin a new cleaning job.

This lady who recently wanted me to empty her dishwasher and fold laundry: what I told her (gently) was that those are a "housekeepers" job, and that isnt what she hired me as. She seemed to "get it", but I am not sure she really does.

I tell people ahead of time that my policy on clutter is that I WILL be moving it to clean and NOT to expect it to be exactly where it was before I cleaned. In some homes, there is so much clutter, I'd need to take photographs in order to get it back in the right place! LOL! NOT going to do that. Most people understand this and are just grateful you are going to clean. A couple I have met couldnt understand this - and those people, I eventually had to let go of. I am successful enough now that I do not need to coddle difficult clients, I can pick and choose who I work for.

Cleaning is an interesting business, and not one I would have ever thought I would do! I trained as a nurse (RN) and worked in the medical field for years. I went into cleaning after a major illness/inijury which took me out of the work force for several years. As I recovered, I saw how grubby my own home had gotten, and set about trying to clean it up. Like any beginner, I made a lot of mistakes, but that's okay. I learned a lot, too, and put all of this to work for me. I really LOVE what I do now.
Annie in Florida
missannienow is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of Old 03-20-2017, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 42
One last commen. "Pet Issues": I openly advertise my LIKING pets, especially cats, and that I DONT mind pet messes. Over time, this has led to most of my customers HAVING pets, especially cats. They hire me simply because I DONT mind cleaning up pet messes! And many of them then use me to kitty sit when they go on vacation or away for a weekend. Its a win-win thing for me, anyway. I charge the same rate for cat sitting as I do for cleaning, and kitty sitting is a LOT easier!
Annie
missannienow is offline  
post #5 of Old 03-21-2017, 11:34 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Sedro Woolley WA
Posts: 12
With my air duct cleaning business I always lay out what services I provide and give it to the customer. I charge by the job but sounds like you should charge by the time. The things they want you to do sound reasonable but you need to be paid for how long it takes. I'd charge by the hour.

Eric
Air Health Services
airhealth is offline  
post #6 of Old 03-21-2017, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 42
Sometimes, what happens is that I dont find out til I have already started cleaning that the customer has "extra" wishes, such as laundry, dishes, etc. And I DO explain that these things will take extra time, which they have to pay for.

It is just annoying to me, and I needed to air it out, to fellow cleaners. I find it frustrating, when people seem to think you can perform miracles in THREE hours, and their home is pretty grubby!!! I often work with older customers, here in Florida. Many of them simply do not SEE how grubby their homes have become. The spills on counters, hair all over the bathroom, smudges on mirrors, dust in huge quantities, etc., If I were dishonest, I could take the easy way out, since I know these clients dont SEE how bad their homes have become. I could do a half- a__ job. But that isnt how I want to work.
Some just dont get it...even if they do have money. With the less wealthy people, I am willing to cut some slack. But the people who do have money - NOT!

Florida is a low pay state. Bad benefits, bad pay. As a nurse, up North, in 1997, I was making $40 an hour. I move to Florida and am offered $15 an hour. Period. Plus the benefits were terrible. I charge $15 an hour for cleaning, although many of my clients willingly pay me $20/hour simply because they dont want to LOSE me! This is reality here, and I cant change that. I have to work within a flawed system.

A few new clients seem to consider me some sort of "maid", there to do their beck and calling. I dont see myself that way at all: you are paying me to CLEAN your home, make it fresh and sparkling clean, and smelling lovely. I am NOT a maid or a hand-servant. Every extra request adds TIME onto their bill. MY problem is learning how to communicate this in a fair, pleasant, non-confrontational way. Any help there would be appreciated.
Annie, in Florida
missannienow is offline  
post #7 of Old 03-24-2017, 01:07 PM
Member
 
CareForStone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleanexp View Post
Have a list of extras and pricing that you give to customers prior to the first clean.
This sounds like a great idea. In fact, it may be wise to have a summary sheet that describes what is included and what is not. And when you give it to your customer stress that this document is the reference and to keep it for easy review. You can have the "List of Extras" with it so that the two documents together define the scope of the work to be done.

Kitchen Counter Care Products - Lustro Italiano
Products for the Stone Industry - Tenax USA
CareForStone is offline  
post #8 of Old 03-24-2017, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 42
Good advice. Washing dishes, laundry....now, what else would you guys call extras? I really want to know. Thanks!
Annie
missannienow is offline  
post #9 of Old 05-03-2017, 09:47 PM
Junior Member
 
PhoenixResidential's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 1
Hello!

Within my cleaning biz, myself, staff, and my business partner actually add in bed sheets, dishes, etc. upon clients' request; it is on our standard checklist. Over time, we felt like it honestly allowed us to stand out against ALL of the competition. However, we do charge by the hour, so, we aren't losing time and energy for nothing. And to be honest, overtime with recurring customers, all those things are capable to do within the allotted time as you get comfortable with their home.

Extras I think should be charged at an addition price would be: fridge interior, oven interior, etc.

As long as you are getting paid by the hour, I think what I have mentioned above is all fine & dandy! Your customers will be happy to have these small extras completed - adds an extra special touch.
PhoenixResidential is offline  
post #10 of Old 05-04-2017, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 42
Thank you for the thoughtful reply! Yes, I do charge by the hour. I havent made up a check list - yet - because I am the only employee. I go over all this stuff with each client, and explain that add ons will cost them more. I know I DO need a check list - just have not gotten around to it.
I really like your thinking - that sometimes doing small add ons is a great way to show you are better than other cleaning people/companies. This is something I do automatically. For example, one of my regular clients has a plastic step stool in her kitchen. I always wipe it down for her. A lot of people hire me simply because I am NOT a cleaning company. Many have had bad experiences with some of the larger cleaning companies in this area. And I do mention this is my online listings.
missannienow is offline  
post #11 of Old 05-10-2017, 06:25 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: 1509 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Posts: 2
Great advise provided by all members.. I am agree with you guys. Thanks!
dupontcirclecarpetcleanin is offline  
post #12 of Old 05-12-2017, 05:16 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: 829 Park Ave 405, New York, NY 10021
Posts: 10
Excellent advise provided by all participants.. I'm trust you guys.

Professional carpet cleaning NYC services with special offers and discount.
http://topcarpetcarenyc.com/
TopCarpetCareNyc is offline  
post #13 of Old 05-23-2017, 12:18 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 8
Starting of this conversation here is good and not only for the person who asking advise but for all member to clear all the doubt.
Thanks Missannienow for sharing your experience and i think you got some good advise.
justinarnot is offline  
post #14 of Old 05-23-2017, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 42
I would like to hear more ideas from other people here.

Another example: "thorough" cleaning of baseboards. Is this something you guys normally do? And I DO mean thorough - dusting, vacuuming, wiping down, etc.

Another issue I have that comes up all the time is moving object in a room to cleaning. Some houses are so full of "stuff" it would take MUCH longer to move everything. Even the very best vacuum cannot get completely under/around furniture! How you do guys approach this? Do you actually move everything? Or just stuff that is small enough to safely move?
Annie
missannienow is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Does anyone deal with this? Jagski General Discussion 20 02-03-2017 06:45 AM
How to deal with inquisitive customers ceelin Residential Cleaning 3 07-15-2014 01:49 AM
$99 a good deal for a website? acleanerbusiness Websites, Software, and Computers 11 01-28-2013 08:13 PM
Deal or no deal GoodGuy Business 3 09-06-2011 08:56 PM
How do you deal with dust resettling? Green Valley Cleaning Residential Cleaning 3 05-02-2011 11:36 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome