I wanted to get some advice on here from fellow business owners. I'm a very nice guy and willing to please the customer, but lately my clients seem to be "taking me for all I'm worth". When I send the cleaners to the client's home they have ridiculous expectations. For instance, one client expected my cleaner to scrub a door for hours that her son had taken crayon and marker and written all over. Another client wouldn't let me send a male cleaner and insulted our company several times (before we finished the job). I'm targeting those that make over $125,000 a year, and I'm starting to think its a huge mistake. At least half the clients I serve are unhappy with the overall clean or are asking my cleaners to spend an inordinate amount of time on one or two projects that prevent them from doing an adequate job on the "big picture". How should I solve this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I also find it interesting that while they do complain a lot, they never switch companies...?
P.S. I'm thinking about having a 45 minute cleaning policy....in other words, my cleaners will never spend more than 45 minutes on cleaning any one thing, if they are asked to then that item/area most likely needs to be replaced or charged extra for.
Lot of moving pieces to home cleaning. It could be a number of things. My best guess is that it's a mix of bad cleaners and you not setting expectations. The latter is easy to fix, the former takes a lot of experience to get right... you have to find really hard working people, and not only that, they need to have past experience. Training from the ground-up for home cleaning isn't worth it in my opinion-- commercial yes, any monkey can empty trash bins and push a mop, but home cleaning is an entirely different beast all together.
As far as expectations, set your pricing and time estimates on your website and make everything really simple to understand; dump the archaic quoting nonsense that everyone is doing (hiding pricing and forcing people to contact you for it is a sales tactic that in no way applies to home cleaning and never will). Also say what you won't do too.
Naturally you're still in a services industry so getting yelled at on the phone once in awhile by a client who is absolutely insane is guaranteed, but having issues every other job is your fault (bad cleaners, mismatched expectations, whatever), but you seem to be on the right path to figuring it out.