Learn how to please your customers while delivering the best service possible
Shampooing the carpets. Shoveling snow. Cutting the grass. Cleaning up the trash. Washing the windows.
Are these your favorite workplace tasks?
If you’re in the business of commercial cleaning, you already know that it’s a basic need for many (if not, all) large-scale businesses, corporations, hotels, and other public buildings.
You also know that corporate cleaning industry spans from office-building cleaners, trash removers, moving companies, carpet cleaners, and fire or hazardous waste clean-up crews and more, but what you might not know is that you can gain new customers using some of the same techniques—no matter what your trade is.
A commercial cleaner that provides a quality experience and maintains a great relationship with its customers is what separates a decent business from a superb one. But there is a method for how to please customers beyond solely delivering the service at hand. From gaining the customer’s trust to being innovative with your business, there are so many ways to expand your business for yourself and your clients.
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How to please customers in 5 easy steps
1. Be sincere
Come in like a neighbor. Break the ice with a joke, ask what they do for business, and befriend them. A genuine personality is key to building a relationship with clients. Coming on too strong will turn customers off from wanting to hire you again. You want to show that you have respect for them and yourself without being overly hospitable.
Once the ice is broken, you’ll feel more comfortable asking the more specific questions. If someone is vague, making you unsure about how to please them, don’t be too intimidated to ask what exactly it is that they will need. When you show that you’re sincere, customers will feel comfortable and knock on your door again in the future.
Example: If you’re asked for a quote for a new office building, but the office manager just says “we need someone to clean” without specifying anything, just ask. Come with a checklist. Do they want trash emptied? Windows cleaned? What type of cleaner should they use on the wood tables? Orange oil, or is an all-purpose cleaner fine with them? Asking questions like these will also show that you’re an expert, and will help you give them a more accurate quote.
2. Build trust
Maintain an honest line of communication between you and your clients about your business relationship. If something changed in your business plan, pricing, or availability, tell them. Even if people are displeased with what they hear, most will respect you for being truthful.
With that, it is also essential that you follow through with any promises you make to them. Going back and forth on your word would make you and your business look bad. Be accessible to show that you are there for them when they are in need of your services.
Example: If you’ve been working with a client for ten years, your prices will change. Heck, they’ll probably change a lot sooner. When this happens, let them know. If they push back, offer them a discount to show them you appreciate their business. If you have sales that could save them money, tell them. There’s nothing a customer likes more than to feel like they’re being given special treatment.
3. Be innovative
Know your competition, and then go beyond what they do. Think outside of the box without straying too far from your service. Also, be confident in your expertise. They’re hiring an expert—that’s you! Let the customers know that you’re knowledgeable in your field and are willing to take your service to the next level while being precise, punctual, and prepared.
Example: One day you might show up to offer a quote, and your potential customer says they got a cheaper quote from Mr. Guy Down the Street. In fact, it’s probably already happened to you. One way to avoid this is to dive into the details. Talk about the type of rug they have, and how it requires a certain type of product. If there’s something you can do to help them right then and there, like telling him how to get that nasty old stain out of the rug, do it. Show off your expertise, and rattle off everything you know that’s specific to the client. He’ll quickly decide that you know you’re stuff. You’re not just a cleaning service, you’re a cleaning expert.
4. Show that you’re reliable
Be consistent with everything you do. Follow-up with customers after your services are complete, and follow through with promises you made to them.
Example: If you went to a new business to offer a quote today, follow up through email with a neatly laid out quote they can review. And do it today, not tomorrow. After they hire you, give them feedback. For example, if you’ve been hired to clean an office, and there was that one nasty rug stain mentioned before, get right to it, and get it out. You said you could clean it, so do it!
5. Have patience
Make it clear that you are there for your customers. A customer may not always be right, but show that you believe in and value their opinion. As you saw in the first point, you can be respectful without being overly hospitable; the same goes for when you are displeased or upset with the customer. Always maintain a neutral level of respect and patience – no matter the situation.
Example: Let’s say a customer is consistently leaving you notes with critiques of your work. One way to approach this is to leave them a note when you leave, reciting their critiques and letting them know they’ve been corrected. For example, if you hadn’t been emptying the bathroom trashcans because it wasn’t originally stated in your agreement, let them know they’ve been emptied, and continue to do it. Internalize a list of their comments, and strive to do better every time you arrive. If it comes down to disrespect, leave the check on the table and find a new client.
Helpful Tips for Commercial Cleaning Industries
There are many other elements that fall into this category of keeping a customer satisfied. If you follow the above steps with these additional tips, knowing how to please the customers will become less stressful.
- Do not shy away from using the internet. Communicate with people on social media. Build a website. Email your customers. Online communication is common these days, but so many commercial cleaners still communicate by telephone only. Some have advanced to texting. But the reality is that so many of your customers will expect you to have a website and email, not just a phone number to call on the back of a cleaning van.
- Show kindness and respect to everyone – not just your customers. Be kind to your employees, colleagues, and even your competitors. Most people can pick up on who is genuine to everyone, and you want people to know that you are truly a sincere person.
- Always keep your reputation in mind. Sometimes, things come up that you cannot control, but you can certainly control your image. The way you carry yourself aligns with the reputation that follows you. A great reputation means more business for you. Who wouldn’t want that?
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