You are so excited! A brand new customer signed a Service Agreement. They made arrangements to let you in each time or gave you a key and the alarm code. You scheduled a first cleaning in their home. You really want to add that “wow factor” to your first cleaning. Here are five simple things you can do.
Five Ways To Make A Fabulous Impression
1. Confirm The Cleaning
The day before your first cleaning in a customer’s home, send them a reminder call, email or text message. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just these words:
Hi [New Customer’s Name],
This is [Your Name] reminding you that I will be out to clean your home tomorrow.
[Your Phone Number]
2. Show Up!
The next day, show up at the time you promised you would and be ready to work. If you get stuck in traffic or have a morning mishap, call ahead to let your customer know you are running late, but still on your way.
When you get to your customer’s home, introduce yourself to any family members or pets in the home, if you have not met them yet. Try to avoid long chats. Be friendly, but remain focused on starting your first cleaning
3. Welcome Your New Customer
On the kitchen counter, leave a Welcome Letter in a manila folder with the original service agreement (keep a copy for your records, in paper or digital form). To me, this is one of the rare times when giving your customer paper documents is better than digital. The original Service Agreement, the Welcome letter and the manila folder are all real, not digital. They help reinforce the idea that you are a real person and your services are from one human to another human.
4. Concentrate On The Wet Rooms
For my customers, the wet rooms (bathrooms and kitchen) get the most attention during the first cleaning. During the second cleaning I maintain the wet rooms and go very deep in the dry rooms such as the bedrooms, living room, dining room, hallways, den and office. In some homes, it can take up to four cleanings to get every room up to the level of maintenance cleaning. Just be aware the first cleaning generally takes twice as long as maintenance cleaning.
5. Follow Up
Call, text or email the new customer a few days later to find out how the first cleaning went. Ask them if anything was missed or should have been done differently. Take notes and thank your customer for their feedback. During the next cleaning, pay special attention to the areas your customer mentioned in the feedback. This is also a good time to tell your customer what areas you will focus on next. If they are happy with your first cleaning, ask them to rate and review your work on Google My Business, Yelp, Biz Votes or your review site of choice.
Make The First Cleaning Work For You, Too…
Take Care Of Money Matters First
If you are paid by check, collect the payment. If you are paid by credit or debit card, make sure they send payment (or at least a deposit) before you leave your home or office to clean. A lot of house cleaners accept payment only after the job is done, but I’ve found it a good idea to require payment before cleaning. Prepayment can be one of those policies that form your “work fence”. The first cleaning is a good time to start using your business policies.
Before and After
There is no better time to take before and after pictures than the first cleaning. You will find the most grime and clutter during the first cleaning. The difference between how you found the home and the hard work of your cleaning will never be greater than that first time in your customers home. Be sure to take the photos from the same angle so that the “before” and “after” are one to one comparisons.
It is very important to respect your customers privacy in the pictures. Avoid having things in the photos that identifies the customer and members of the household. That means covering or turning down family pictures, diplomas or anything with their names or images. Treat your customers like you would like to be treated.
Things work out best for me if I schedule the first cleaning on a day with no other customers scheduled. I usually reserve Mondays for the first cleaning. I am more rested and ready to tackle a long day of detailed cleaning. Mondays can also be used for special projects like cleaning inside refrigerators. You can also use the day to purchase supplies, work on marketing your business, sales calls or updating your financial records for taxes.
With these five simple things, you set a professional tone with your new customer. You sent them a reminder message to help them prepare for your first cleaning. You showed up and made it clear you are serious about your company policies. Your Welcome Letter sets you up as a partner with the customer in keeping their home at its best. You cleaned the most important rooms first. Wet rooms (bathrooms and the kitchen) can be a source of the most complaints or praise from customers.
Finally, you reached out to your customer to follow up on your cleaning. Your call shows you are willing and able to communicate with your customer and improve your service. Showing attention to detail and keeping the lines of communication open puts you far above and beyond some house cleaners who don’t make those efforts at the beginning—or ever—in their relationship with their customers. You have added the “Wow Factor” and then some to your customer’s first cleaning experience.
You can rock those first cleanings. Use these five simple tips to make first cleanings the beginning of a long and profitable relationship with your customers.
How do you make your customers first cleaning day fabulous? Share your tips in the comments below.⬇︎