Homeowners not leaving!! - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
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post #1 of Old 11-17-2006, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Homeowners not leaving!!

Hey all, just curious, what do you do when the homeowners decide to be home when your there or they schedule other services to be there when you are?

We have several clients who are home often. When we start for them we allways ask, when is the best time to be there? we prefer no one be there. It allways starts well, but eventually they start hanging out more and more, and get in our way more and more. Problems seem to start after the first couple of years, I guess they get comfortable with us there.

Im considering charging more if the customer plans on being there and charge more if they gain more animals. Am I too picky here? perhaps I just need to start overcharging to begin with, knowing these things will happen eventually.

Last edited by User430; 01-27-2011 at 09:05 AM.
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post #2 of Old 11-17-2006, 11:50 AM
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Problems seem to start after the first couple of years, I guess they get comfortable with us there.
Life and schedules have a habit of changing as time goes by, maybe you could try to change their days and see if that would make a difference?

Unlike most, I personally never have had a problem with clients being home during any of our cleanings. Not to bust your Chops JP, but a lot of the people that I hear complaining about the clients being home do so because they feel that they "have to slow their work down" so that the customer feels that they are not being over charged.

I say that if a customer feels over charged and is counting the minutes that you spend cleaning and comparing them to the amount that you charge then you have much larger problems and it is called - "Your Value factor". (ie- you have exceeded yours, if you get my drift)

If the complaint about customers being home is based on the customer who tend to be constantly in your way while cleaning, then I say stand your ground, be professional and explain that you need to work freely of distractions in order to provide quality results.

Here is a clause from my service agreement. I am not afraid to re-address this clause with my clients as deemed necessary, nor should you be.

We need to be able to work freely and without distractions. Every effort is made to work safely and cautiously, but we cannot assume liability for the safety of others. This includes children and pets. Be advised that if we are subject to distractions that affect our ability to work we reserve the right to charge for our extra time spent in the home.
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post #3 of Old 11-17-2006, 11:52 AM
 
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It doesn't bother me when they're home...as long as they keep their children out of our supplies...and they're not underfoot....
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post #4 of Old 11-17-2006, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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We need to be able to work freely and without distractions. Every effort is made to work safely and cautiously, but we cannot assume liability for the safety of others. This includes children and pets. Be advised that if we are subject to distractions that affect our ability to work we reserve the right to charge for our extra time spent in the home.

Nice clause, I think I will use it. In my opinion though, I just see it as respect issue. One client has a 12,000 sq ft home and 3 small children 2-7yrs old. 12000 sq ft!! take your kids downstairs, or to the 1000sq ft toy room!!! while the cleaners are there. Its just common sense. She dissapears and lets the kids run wild, the little girl "OH MY!! is she loud, screaming children isnt my cup of tea.
Anyway, I really have no problem with say 1or 2 respectful adults being around, what Im talking about is families and friends all over the place. Any new clients will get the Clause above!!! Especially the wealthy customers, I much prefer middle class customers"They actually work"
By the way, no Im not worried about overcharging, I would classify it more as undercharging.

Later, JP
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post #5 of Old 11-17-2006, 12:25 PM
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In my opinion though, I just see it as respect issue.
This may be the case. If it is then it is your right to demand the respect that is due to you as a professional!

Too, often people who clean allow themselves to be walked upon because they don't see themselves as professionals. Put that attitude on and it is amazing how the respect follows
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post #6 of Old 11-19-2006, 08:43 PM
 
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Respect and common courtecy

I think this issue has to do with the lack of respect and common courtecy. It seems to be worse with clients that are veterans in the cleaning biz.
I find it to be easy to recondition clients who can see the value, and quality of my service. To all my clients I decsribe our cleaning routine as a train that does not stop or back up. Example If the home owner or any family members are occupying any part of the home when are cleaning we will omit that area or room. We are up front with our action when we are done. We do not discount the price.

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post #7 of Old 11-19-2006, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Martin, I will add your clause in my service agreement. I currently do skip areas when they are impossible to get in, but many times I find myself coming back to them later. And no I dont give a refund either.

I would agree, the customer will soon see the advantages of leaving the home when we are there, when they notice areas uncleaned. Do you contact the customer when something was left undone or just let them figure it out for themself?

And T.P, yes thats my biggest weakness, I think Im too nice problem with the job I was describing, is that client is huge $1,290 per week including their business and my brother is employed by them. So I really dont want to make waves. Im planning on gaining more customers and either make our service agreement clear to them or just faze that job out if they cant get out of the way.

Thank! JP
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post #8 of Old 11-19-2006, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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P.S, I hope this client never reads this forum! LOL or maybe I do!!

Later!
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post #9 of Old 11-20-2006, 11:07 PM
 
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Weighing the benefits?

JP


It may be bad business practice, but I am very selective with the clients that I take on. I base my client relations on three key elements respect, courtesy and good communication. I have dropped clients that did not respect me or my time. I always try to salvage the relationship.
In the past Iíve tried to ignore client issues due to the amount of money they were paying me, and regretted it. In the end I am no ones door mat. To promote my key elements I am always up front with my clients. If a room is occupied during our cleaning routine I will let them know after we are done that is was omitted and why. I do this to avoid a call back and to establish respect for my time. I think if you communicate the problem with the client that will be a good start.

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post #10 of Old 11-20-2006, 11:51 PM
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It may be bad business practice, but I am very selective with the clients that I take on.
In my opinion, it is bad business not to
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post #11 of Old 01-03-2007, 01:43 PM
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I clean for quite a few seniors and for the most part they know the drill and stay out of my way.

I am a super organized worker and waste no time and when I am cleaning their home I am not thinking about them as I work. A few times I've come close to running over them and they figure out they need to look out for me, not the other way around. I will also think nothing of starting a vacuum if they are on the phone in the same room. It's all in the conditioning of the client. If they start to become a problem, bring in a pet or make any changes to their home that effects my times, they will end up paying more or be looking for a new cleaner. Not that I'm a hard ass, I just flat out refuse to let the customer run my business. There are plenty of houses to clean in Bowie, MD and I have a few people that I clean for off and on who are on my waiting list. There are alot of cleaning companies in my area but they are not my competion.
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post #12 of Old 01-03-2007, 05:30 PM
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Hey Manmaid,Nice to see you over here. Welcome to cleaningtalk.com. it is nice to be able to put a face to your posts

I agree with your thoughts on conditioning the clients to your way of working, you have to take control and make sure that you are able to stay of task.
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post #13 of Old 02-03-2007, 09:24 PM
 
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For me...it depends on who my clients are that affects how much it bothers me if they are home or not. I'm an efficient cleaner, but am also a social person with a simple lifestyle, so am not bothered if I stay a few minutes over. Not only that, I'm very political and find no problem in the least chatting politics with my clients, since, lol...they are ALL in the same party I am. (all of them are connected to each other either by friendship, or by being in the same profession.

Clients should be able to converse with their cleaner, but at the same time, I respect the work-at-home clients (I have four of them), and only talk with them generally when they initiate conversation.

Last edited by extremecleaner; 02-03-2007 at 09:28 PM. Reason: omitted a couple words.
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post #14 of Old 02-03-2007, 09:30 PM
 
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I really like this post:
"This may be the case. If it is then it is your right to demand the respect that is due to you as a professional!

Too, often people who clean allow themselves to be walked upon because they don't see themselves as professionals. Put that attitude on and it is amazing how the respect follows"
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post #15 of Old 02-04-2007, 07:05 AM
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Some quick chit chat is ok but it's known to the client that I never talk religion or politics!
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post #16 of Old 02-04-2007, 02:13 PM
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Some quick chit chat is ok but it's known to the client that I never talk religion or politics!
Or their family

I sometimes get clients who want to discuss their problems with their marriage and I have to sweetly tell them that I am not the person to talk to about that.
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post #17 of Old 02-13-2007, 07:42 PM
 
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I work alone and like Extremecleaner, my clients are all connected and all my jobs were obtained from word of mouth. I enjoy getting to know my clients and they like getting to know me. Trust is established this way. I feel fortunate to have such great clients. I'm new and can't figure out how to post on the introductions!
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post #18 of Old 02-13-2007, 07:47 PM
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post #19 of Old 06-24-2007, 09:50 PM
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As far as custys "counting minutes" when your cleaning to make sure they are getting their $$ worth. I wouldnt slow down. Do your usual high quality and as fast as possible. If they bring up the issue tell them you dont charge them more when you have to spend more time than usual then tell them to go inspect the house to see if they are getting their moneys worth. I don't make apologies for being fast.
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post #20 of Old 08-05-2008, 09:22 AM
 
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I take time out for general chit chat. NO POLITICS OR RELIGION! I always stop and talk to their children and pets if they are there. But, if they get a new pet after the estimate and I find it is more work to clean up after I have it stated in my service agreement and I won't be shy about going up a few bucks! I wouldn't go up on their price due to the economy but, I would politly tell them that in order for you to perform the work you need to be free of distractions.
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