This post is based on a presentation by Melissa Maker from the 2020 Maid Summit. Melissa is an expert in all things cleaning. She runs a boutique cleaning company and the hit YouTube channel, Clean My Space, with over 1.5 million subscribers. She is the author of the book ‘Clean My Space: The Secret to Cleaning Better, Faster and Loving Your Home Every Day,’ and is the founder of Maker’s Clean – a successful premium microfiber cloth and towel company. In this post, we’ll share her tips on setting boundaries for your cleaning business that will help protect your time and energy and give your maid service more space to grow.
In an industry as hands-on as the cleaning industry, it’s easy to let clients get the best of you and want to cater to every customer’s needs. Naturally, as a cleaning business owner, you want to make your customers happy to retain them and continue to grow your business.
But you can’t always give every customer what they want. Sometimes, saying no and setting smart boundaries is the only way to protect your time and energy and to successfully scale your maid service.
This all comes down to having strict boundaries that you set for yourself and your staff around what your maid service does and doesn’t do. In this post, we’ll go over how to set proper boundaries with your clients and how these boundaries can actually help you grow your business.
Standardize your offering
Cleaning is subjective and will vary in your eyes and your customer’s eyes. It’s essential to make your service as objective as possible by standardizing what you offer.
Have very clear and concise packages and checklists of what you are willing to do for your customers. Make your core business competencies non-negotiable so that everything can be standardized and improved upon.
Having an exact script about what you offer also makes it much easier for your cleaners and employees to set boundaries. You’ll be able to manage the quality of the cleanings much more efficiently, and your customers will know exactly what to expect.
By having these boundaries in place as a company policy, you can communicate to customers that certain things are not covered under your scope.
It’s okay to have some flexibility when it comes to individual items on the checklist, but be firm about the things that are non-negotiable.
Don’t be afraid to lose a customer
Does this sound familiar?
You bring on a new client, and nothing you do for them seems to be enough.
They continue asking for more and pushing past what you think is reasonable for what you are charging them.
In your head, your offering is perfect. In fact, most of your customers have no problems with your service. But for some reason, this one client is unsatisfied.
These clients tend to take up most of your time with extra requests and drama. They continue to ask for things you never agreed upon, which ends up being incredibly taxing on your resources and emotions. You don’t want them to be unhappy with you, so you go out of your way to meet their needs so you don’t lose them as a customer.
If you don’t set boundaries, then customers will continue to ask for more. In cases like this, losing these types of customers actually serves you more than catering to them.
It might not feel great to turn down customers, but you’re actually doing your business a huge favor by doing this. When you turn down a customer who isn’t a good fit for your services, you’re making space for another customer who is looking for exactly what you are offering and will be happy with your service.
Be very clear in your online messaging
Think about what your branding, website, and online booking forms say about your offerings.
Are you clear about what you offer? Do you have a specific checklist of services you include in each cleaning?
Avoid vague and nebulous promises like “We offer the best cleanings in the area.” Without any other information, statements like this can leave too much room for interpretation for your clients.
Instead, clarify in your marketing materials exactly what a customer should expect. It’s a good idea to include your entire checklist of cleaning services right on your website so that a customer can see it before they book a cleaning.
Online bookings are very helpful and convenient, but they also often mean that you’re not directly interacting with your customers. When you’re not asking your customers directly what they’re looking for, it’s hard to know what they want and tell them whether you offer it.
This means that you have to be extremely direct in your marketing and booking process to make sure that there is no room for them to wonder what you will clean.
If you can, get on a call, or send a checklist of everything you will cover and confirm that they understand your full scope of services.
Get your staff on board
When hiring and onboarding your staff, be very clear about the boundaries you’ve set for your business.
If your team understands these boundaries, it can clear up a lot of confusion around how they should handle customers asking for additional services during a cleaning.
They need to know how to say no to clients if something is out of your scope of service. When a team member agrees to do something for a client that you didn’t agree upon, it sets a bad precedent.
This client will then expect that service every time, and if you send another cleaner another time, they might not be okay with it, which creates confusion.
Without having these boundaries in place, it can put your staff under pressure to do what the customer asks out of fear of getting a bad review or making the customer unhappy.
This can put your staff members at risk of doing something dangerous or something that they are not trained to do, which can end very badly for your business.
Boundaries will help your business run more smoothly.
Stop letting clients get the best of you. You can say no to your clients, without scaring them off. Setting boundaries is one of the most powerful skills you can master – both professionally and personally.
Having rules in place will make your clients feel more comfortable and safe and let everyone know what to expect. It will also give your staff a benchmark of how to react to almost every situation.
Setting boundaries can be a real breakthrough and help towards business growth.
To learn more about setting better boundaries and attracting the right types of customers, check out Melissa’s full presentation from the 2020 Maid Summit.
The Maid Summit, hosted by ZenMaid, is designed to help cleaning business owners learn from other industry professionals and get the right tools and resources to grow their maid service. Check out over 40 presentations from industry experts, here.
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