"not what you say, but..." - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 07-03-2007, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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"not what you say, but..."

Well we lost a client yesterday after servicing them for a couple of years.

I am not going to put you to sleep with all the details. The comment came from my last conversation with this client. The call was about an invoicing issue that ended up in the contact complaining about cleaning issues ( that were never brought up b4 ), problems with our communication portal ( obviously lack of use ) , etc...

I had a fifeteen minute conversation with her expressing what I feel is the best for her & her building.

about 10 days past from this conversation & that client called me to quit. She commented that it was from our last conversation ( whic I thought made things better ). She said it wasnt what I said but how I said it.

She went on to tell me that I have a very condescending attitude

Instead of me blowing my top & telling her what I felt about her attitude I said:

Ms. Smith I guess I can understand how you may have taken it that way, I have been in the business for many years & have a pretty good idea of what works for our clients & what will not. I try not to waste my clients time & get right to the point. Some people appreciate it as professionalism, but unfrtunatly you took it another way. I do appreciate your feedback & will consider it in dealing with my current & future clients.

She went on to say that she had gone to her board & chose another service, but does consider my company a good seervice & would recommend us

anyway , I did take a lesson from this. I think in the cleaning business we try so hard to convey a professional attitude to overcome sterotypes, that we may come across as cold or "condescending".

My goal is to work on a good mix of being professional as well as personable.

I guess 11 years of this can make you a little rough around the edges.

When I get back from vacation I will be in sales mode again to get 2 to replace this one

Brian Earley
Cleaning, Floor Care, & Maintenance Service / Excalibur Clean Team
Since 1996 !
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post #2 of Old 07-03-2007, 09:58 PM
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Great observations, thanks for sharing Brian.
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post #3 of Old 08-16-2007, 02:39 AM
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Well handled!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ECBS View Post
Well we lost a client yesterday after servicing them for a couple of years.

I am not going to put you to sleep with all the details. The comment came from my last conversation with this client. The call was about an invoicing issue that ended up in the contact complaining about cleaning issues ( that were never brought up b4 ), problems with our communication portal ( obviously lack of use ) , etc...

I had a fifeteen minute conversation with her expressing what I feel is the best for her & her building.

about 10 days past from this conversation & that client called me to quit. She commented that it was from our last conversation ( whic I thought made things better ). She said it wasnt what I said but how I said it.

She went on to tell me that I have a very condescending attitude

Instead of me blowing my top & telling her what I felt about her attitude I said:

Ms. Smith I guess I can understand how you may have taken it that way, I have been in the business for many years & have a pretty good idea of what works for our clients & what will not. I try not to waste my clients time & get right to the point. Some people appreciate it as professionalism, but unfrtunatly you took it another way. I do appreciate your feedback & will consider it in dealing with my current & future clients.

She went on to say that she had gone to her board & chose another service, but does consider my company a good seervice & would recommend us

anyway , I did take a lesson from this. I think in the cleaning business we try so hard to convey a professional attitude to overcome sterotypes, that we may come across as cold or "condescending".
Sounds like you handled this incident, and the client's comments well. I wouldn't beat myselkf up over it. Perahps she mistakenly "read" your attitude as condescending. One can't please all the clients all the time.

One important thing in any service business is, I believe, to alow the clients some sapce to provide negative feedback before the issue becomes one which encourages them to quit. It is through negative feeback that we learn anything.

It would be hard to accuse someone who's always open to feedback of being condescending or aloof. Of course, not every client has a valid complaint all the time, but it's impritant to listen to what they say, and then to do whatever one can, within reason, to please them.

Murray
www.thoughtfulsystems.com

Emotional inteliignece is a better indicator of success in business than a high IQ!
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