Frustrated - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
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post #1 of Old 10-26-2008, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 29

Hey guys, hope you are all well. Allow me to vent, and maybe someone can make me feel better !!
We are on the east coast of Central Florida, been in business for almost 5 years, so I know we are still rookies, but we are a completely legitimate company, license, workers comp., insurance through the roof, bonded, uniforms, etc. etc. None of this is cheap. Unfortunately, the clientele out there is, and I blame it on the lowballing, un-legit guys out there. Hey I've been there, just starting,you take what you can get, but we always had a license and insurance. I recently did a quote for a 4000 sq. ft home, the woman wanted only 2800 of it cleaned (btw- I don't like doing this, because they always end up wanting you to do that too ) one time clean- I quoted her $150, and I think that was low, but did that only because she was in a networking group with me- she looked at me like I had three heads and said that was way too high, so I stood firm. I'm sorry, but we are very thorough, we clean EVERYTHING top to bottom, crown moulding, baseboards, door frames, like so many of you, but unlike Merry Maids, or some others. I could have screamed!! The other thing I need a pep talk about is this, we recently did a move-out clean, we got this job from a chamber member who owns a moving company, this is the first time he refered us. Did the clean, everything was fine. This was 2 weeks ago, the guy from the moving company called me yesterday to say the guy we did clean for called him last week, and complained about the job, nothing specific. My question why did he not call us? And because of schedule conflicts I was on the crew that day, so I know what was done. This has really got me down , makes us look bad, and in 5 years, we have had maybe 3 other complaints. I know I need to develop tougher skin, but that bothers me- Any stories? Advice? Sorry so long guys- it seems only people who do what we do understand sometimes
Padegenis Cleaning is offline  
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post #2 of Old 11-05-2008, 12:30 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5
First off, that lady is CHEAP (not frugal). I understand your reasoning for the price and the possibility of networking but SHE IS WRONG! I charge a minimum of .10 cents/sqft on the Make-ready detail clean (and thats for a decently clean home - others are anywhere from .12-.15 cents/sqft) AND I require that of all my new clients have an initial clean before they take on the regular maintenance cleanings. Yes, I've been lucky to find the clients that do not have a problem with the cost but I also talk them into it and guarantee the service. I provide them a Residential Make-Ready Checklist (of every single thing I do) and discuss this with them before I quote them a price. I do it this way because I believe the service I provide is exceptional to the competition. The client is almost dumbfounded at the end of the meeting because of the amount of items on the list...they're overwhelmed and pretty much agree. I write down the quote and have them sign that I will be there on a specific day for that price. (of course, there is a little more to the paperwork on cancelling, etc but wont go into that)

You have just encountered a cheap person. That's how the rich stay rich! I market to the upscale clientele and very much dislike people like that. I kindly tell them they should find another service because I take pride in my work and I know it is exceptional. (I am not trying to be cocky here...I just believe in the service I provide!). I have had many come back and hire me on because when they compare my list (which I leave with them...heehee) with the other services in the area...they find out that I AM DETAILED and my cost is appropriate for what I do! The other companies skip through their home. It takes me anywhere from 8-10 hours to clean a home of that size. I schedule two half-days in a row as to not interfere with my regular customers. I hate leaving a job unfinished the first day but I revamp the home completely the next day before I leave.

My cleanings for 2800 sqft are a minimum of $280. More for dirty homes (no spring cleaning for >1 year. I Will give up to a $30 discount based on who they are, how referred, etc. All of the clients I have taken on this way (after my Initial deep clean) sign up as quick as they can to reserve a time and day for bi-monthly or weekly cleans.
Oh yea, and I make SURE they know I AM NOT A MAID...not that I have anything against that...its just not my specialty. I have them pick up their home before I come. I clean Houses!

About the move-out, I would call the guy to specifically ask what the complaint was concerning. How can we improve our business or service if we have no idea what went wrong? We all miss something sometimes! (that is why I use my checklist so I can double chk and it minimizes my mistakes...does not eliminate them though). If he cant give you anything...I would take it as that! NOTHING! Some people just complain. But then there is the referrals you could get from the Chamber. I would definately call and see how you can remedy the whatever it is, refund $15...offer the Chamber referral a discount to clean his home (so he can see what you do). I have not been in this situation before and I'm sure someday I will but I have gone to the extreme of cleaning homes for FREE for people who are HUGE in a network setting and I KNOW refer.

Not sure if this helps but I'm glad you vented. I am not a boistrous person, I just approach these clients with confidence and it has been selling. Have a great day!
justclean is offline  
post #3 of Old 11-11-2008, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 29
Thanks for your advice, and you did make me feel better!! We always provide checklists, and leave them. Your right this lady was cheap, and we have been running into quite a few of them lately, but honestly this board makes me feel so much better. I don't have any interest in working with people who want to nickel and dime, and have learned the hard way that even when you get the job, people who haggle to much about price will never be happy, and quite frankly if I wanted to make $8-$15/hour I would go work at WalMart. As far as the move-out clean, the guy won't return my phone calls, and has moved to th eother side of the state. The funny thing is he said that his landlord complained, as he had already moved at this point, but his landlord did a walk-through with us before we left. I have a funny feeling that the landlord just wanted his security back, and thought the tenant would be none the wiser. Oh well, another lesson learned, I will never do another one without the person paying me doing a walk-through.
Padegenis Cleaning is offline  

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