You walk into your customers home loaded with cleaning supplies and equipment. You head to the kitchen to collect payment and it’s not there. Annoyed, you check other spots in their home where they might have left payment and nothing, nada, zilch. You call or text your customer at their work number and say, “I can’t find the payment for today’s cleaning”. They reply, “Oh I totally forgot about today’s cleaning! Sorry.”
At that point one of three things can happen:
➤ They ask you to clean anyway and they will send you a check by mail in a couple of days. You say yes and wait a week or more to get paid. You are even more annoyed and anxious waiting to get paid for your work. If you don’t have a payment policy in your Service Agreement, this can happen a lot.
➤ The customer offers to leave work and drop off a check to you within thirty minutes. This is pretty rare, plus it is a pain for you and your customer. If they work close enough to home to do this, it breaks up their day and puts you behind schedule for your next cleaning.
➤ You remind the customer about your payment policy. That policy is when no payment is present at the start of cleaning, you reschedule the cleaning and tack on a 50% trip fee. Then you say, “we will have to reschedule this cleaning”. They are unhappy and you are unhappy. They owe you half of the cleaning fee (with no cleaning) and you have to reschedule someone in an already busy week. Sure, you can just go to the next home on your schedule, but it is still a loss for both the customer and you.
COVID-19 Note: If your customer is working from home, walk to their office and say “I can’t find payment for today’s cleaning”. If they are busy and say “I will pay before you leave”, just wait. When they finally come to you with a check or cash payment, thank them. Then remind them that it might be easier for them and you if the payment was on the kitchen counter (or by card if you are set up to accept cards) before you arrive next time. That way you would not have to interrupt them when they are busy. Always stress the benefits to your customer of paying you before you start cleaning.
You can also avoid these dramas with one simple habit:
send your customer a reminder the day before you clean.
A simple reminder sent to your customer the day before a scheduled cleaning can reduce confusion. When your customer gets a reminder from you, they put you on their mental to do list. They know to write a check, make sure the hidden key is in place and pick up the clutter in their home. If they pre-pay by credit or debit card, they can do that the night or morning before you come.
Your reminder lets your customer focus on what is important in their life, because you (the cleaning professional) have the weekly or bi-weekly cleaning part handled. No mental stress or confusion needed on their part. Whew!
Ensure Prompt Payment
Your habit of reminding your customers also helps you get paid on time. Your reminder the day before you clean puts your cleaning service and payment at the top of your customers list. The day before is just enough time for your customer to prepare for your visit without being squeezed for time before you come or having time to forget you are coming.
Your most organized customers will write a check or pay by card the night before you come. The disorganized ones will still have the next morning to make a payment. Either way, the payment is done before you start. That leaves you able to clean their home as soon as you walk in the door without “where is my payment” drama.
If you have a website with a payments page or automated software that handles payments on your smartphone, link to it in your reminder. That way they can pay for your service directly from their smartphone or computer. Your customer does not have to overthink paying you, they can just get it done.
Your habit of sending customer reminders saves you hours of wasted time. Your customer has time to pick up the dishes, papers, toys and clothes laying around their home. They get to clear the kitchen countertops and sink. The customer has time to wash a load of towels or at least put them in the dirty clothes hamper out of your way. That way you don’t have to walk into a home and do an hour or two of basic pickup before you can start cleaning.
Your customers also save time and money, not to mention trip fees for non-payment. For you that means no more chasing down payments, no more lost hours, no more broken schedules and no more excuses. Most importantly, your customers hold up their end of the agreement they made with you in the beginning: you get paid and they stroll into a clean home later that day.
Your customer reminder habit marks you as a professional. Your reminder call, email or text also lets your customer know you are organized and have not forgotten your word to them. Your call shows you value their time and yours. There is no guessing or wondering on your customer’s part. Your reminder sets you apart as a reliable and trusted part of their lives.
Those are great benefits from a habit of simple customer reminders the day before cleaning. Start this habit today and see what is does for you.
A simple customer reminder you can use for calls, emails and texts:
Hi [Customer’s Name],
This is [Your Name] reminding you that I will be out to clean your home tomorrow.
[Your Phone Number]
[Link to Your Payment Page, Pay Button or Payment Software]
Share your stories of cleaning day chaos when you or the customer “forgot” about a cleaning in the comments below. ⬇︎