I remember all the excitement that came with starting my cleaning business. I was all pumped up and motivated to do a good job.
All that enthusiasm showed through when I met potential customers and luckily for me I was hired pretty regularly despite my inexperience.
All I had to do now was turn my motivation to do a good job into “results” the customer could see. This meant I had quite a bit of “on the job training”. While I generally passed with flying colors sometimes my staff made a few “miss-steps” (due to my poor training in the beginning).
So today I thought it would be a good learning experience to share a few of the things I learned once I got started. I wouldn’t classify any of them as earth shattering tips but they should be helpful nonetheless. Let’s get started…
1 – Never throw anything out unless it’s in a trashcan. I would urge you to follow my advice on this one. Why? Because that piece of junk that is sitting next to the trashcan (and looks like it hasn’t worked in years) may not be trash after all and could be worth a ton of money.
Throwing out a “valuable” of some kind would probably mean you having to replace it. You don’t want that to happen right? No, I didn’t think so! The safest approach is to only throw out what is in the trashcan itself.
If the customer wants things that are not in the trash thrown out (because they don’t fit for instance) ask them to stick a sign on it that says “TRASH”. It’s always better to play it safe. No use in taking any risks if you don’t have to!
If you have people working for you make sure you convey to them the importance of this. Constantly reinforce this while you are training them and don’t be afraid to bring the topic up every now and again thereafter.
2 – Keep a customer emergency contact number with you. When you get a new job it’s a good idea to get the number of someone you can call if you have an issue. Maybe you accidently set off the alarm (or have some other issue).
I collect this information via a form I ask the customer to fill out when they hire my company. I generally bring it up by explaining to them that it would be good to have someone to call in case we find something that would need their attention.
I say something like “If we have emergency contact information we would be able to call that person if we ever found a water leak or any other issue that may need your immediate attention”. This makes them feel like you are looking out for them (you are, but you are also looking out for yourself!).
Keep in mind I usually don’t give the contact information to my staff. I ask them to call their supervisor (or me) if they have any issues that may require a call to the customer. This way someone more experienced can handle whatever situation crops up.
3 – Never walk into a job with dirty mops and rags. I know it may seem tempting to reuse mops and rags but it’s NOT something you’ll want to do. When you are done with a job take the used items and place them in a “to be washed” bag of some kind.
This is the right thing to do, besides if your customer sees you walking in with dirty mops and rags they will be INSTANLY TURNED OFF. They probably won’t say anything to you, but they will privately consider replacing you.
It’s for this reason I highly recommend throwing out any items that start to look worn. At the end of the day if the customer EVEN THINKS you are using dirty supplies to clean with it makes for an incredibly negative impression. This is easily avoided by doing things the right way.
Preventing this from being an issue also boils down to training your staff. You need to get them in the habit early on to never use mops and rags from one customer on another customers job. So make it easy for them by making sure they have more than enough mops and rags to get them through their jobs.
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