How to Respond to a Cleaning Complaint: Effective Strategies and Scripts

May 10, 2023 in Marketing

Last Updated on December 5, 2023 by The ZenMaid Team

WHY TRUST US? The ZenMaid team has eight current and past cleaning business owners, including our CEO and founder Amar, who know the ins and outs of the maid service industry like the back of their hands. They share their expertise with us in product development, with the customer success team, and content, which includes the article you’re about to read. We also partner with some amazing leaders in the cleaning industry, like Debbie Sardone, Angela Brown, Courtney Wisely, Chris Schwab, and more, to provide you with the latest industry insights. The tips and advice you’ll find on our blog have helped our team grow their maid services, and we’re excited to share them with you to help you grow your business too.

Customer complaints about your cleaning service- as stressful as they can be are bound to happen at some point. No matter how hard you strive to deliver top-notch service to your clients, there’s always a chance that something might not go as expected. But hey, here’s the good news: complaints about cleaning services don’t have to be a dreaded disaster.

In fact, they can be valuable tools for growth and turning dissatisfied customers into life-long fans. So, in this article, we’re diving into the realm of cleaning customer complaints. We’ll equip you with effective strategies to handle those moments of frustration and transform them into positive experiences that can boost your cleaning business.

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Reasons why you may have gotten a cleaning service complaint

#1: Rushed Cleaning

When cleaners are pressed for time because of a busy house cleaning schedule, the quality of the cleaning can suffer. Rushing through a cleaning job may result in overlooked or not thoroughly cleaned areas. Forgetting to dust baseboards and light fixtures, leaving streaks on glass and mirrors, or neglecting to vacuum under furniture. Two ways to protect against rushed cleanings are to hire a sufficient number of cleaners on your cleaning team and have a great training program set up.

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#2: Lack of Employee Background Checks

Not all cleaning companies prioritize comprehensive background checks for their cleaning technicians. This can be a liability for your cleaning company, your clients, and your business assets. It’s always worth going the extra mile to ensure that all our employees have reputable work histories and have undergone thorough background checks.

#3: Lack of Quality Control During Home Cleaning Service

Unfortunately, some companies may compromise on quality control by minimizing labor and neglecting the use of comprehensive checklists. This can result in a lack of attention to detail and subpar cleaning outcomes. Luckily, setting up a quality control program doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Head over to this article to learn how to implement and manage one in your cleaning company.

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Did you get a negative online review? Check this article out next: How to Respond to Negative Online Reviews

How do you handle cleaning complaints?

Dealing with cleaning complaints from unhappy customers requires a level-headed and professional approach. It’s important not to take it personally when someone complains about your service. Instead, focus on addressing the issue and providing the best possible solution for you and the customer.

First, listen attentively to your customer’s concerns. Allow them to express their dissatisfaction fully and show empathy towards their experience. This helps you understand the problem better and demonstrates that you genuinely care about their satisfaction.

Once you clearly understand the complaint, take immediate action to rectify or fix the situation. Whether it’s scheduling a follow-up cleaning, offering a refund, or providing additional services, tailor your response to meet the customer’s specific needs. Going above and beyond to find a resolution can turn a negative experience into a positive one.

Remember, effective communication is key throughout the process. Keep the customer informed about your steps to address their complaint and provide regular updates. This transparency helps build trust and reassures the customer that their concerns are being taken seriously.

Lastly, always follow up with the customer directly after the issue has been resolved. Check if they are satisfied with the outcome and if there’s anything else you can do to improve their customer experience.

For advice on how to respond to negative online reviews, read this article next: How to Respond to Negative Online Reviews for Your Cleaning Services.

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How to respond to an unhappy cleaning client

To help you navigate how to respond to an unhappy cleaning client, we have a collection of scripts you can use. Whether you’re facing a client unhappy about the quality of work, requesting a refund, suspecting theft, or expressing anger, these scripts will guide you in responding professionally and empathetically. Of course, these scripts are just starting points — edit and personalize them to make sense for your cleaning service.

A client who is unhappy with the quality of work

“Dear [Client’s Name],

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused. We take pride in delivering high-quality cleaning services, and it’s disheartening to hear that we fell short of your expectations. We are committed to making things right.

To ensure your complete satisfaction, we would like to schedule a time for our team to revisit your property and address the specific areas of concern. Please let us know a convenient date and time, and we will prioritize your request. Our goal is to exceed your expectations and restore your confidence in our services.

Thank you for your understanding and giving us the opportunity to rectify the situation.

Best regards,

[Your Name]”

A client who wants their money back

“Dear [Client’s Name],

We appreciate you reaching out to us with your concerns. We understand that you are dissatisfied with the service provided, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused.

We would like to make it right for you. As a gesture of our commitment to your satisfaction, we are happy to offer you a refund for the cleaning service. Please allow [number of days] for the refund to be processed, and it will be credited back to your account.

Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to address your concerns or assist you further. We value your feedback and strive to continually improve our services.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,

[Your Name]”

A client who believes something was stolen:

“Dear [Client’s Name],

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We take any allegations of theft very seriously, and we understand your concerns.

We want to assure you that we prioritize the security and trust of our clients. Our team members undergo thorough background checks, and we maintain strict protocols to ensure the safety of your property. We will conduct a thorough internal investigation to address your concerns promptly.

In the meantime, we kindly request your assistance in providing us with any additional details or information regarding the alleged incident. This will help us in our investigation and take appropriate action.

Please be assured that we will handle this matter with utmost professionalism and urgency. Our primary goal is to resolve this issue to your satisfaction.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Best regards,

[Your Name]”

A client who is angry

“Dear [Client’s Name],

We understand that you are feeling upset and frustrated, and we sincerely apologize for any negative experience you may have had. We appreciate your feedback and want to address your concerns promptly.

Our team is currently reviewing the details of your complaint to gain a full understanding of the situation. We want to assure you that we take your feedback seriously and are committed to resolving the issue to your satisfaction.

We value your business and appreciate the opportunity to make things right. We will be in touch with you shortly to discuss the matter further and find a suitable solution.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Best regards,

[Your Name]”

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Tips for Turning Customer Complaints Into Positives

#1: Take prompt action: Address complaints quickly to show your commitment to exceptional service and resolve issues efficiently.

#2: Practice active listening: Show genuine empathy by actively listening to customer concerns and underlying issues, making them feel heard and valued.

#3: Offer sincere apologies: Express heartfelt apologies to acknowledge customer frustration and demonstrate dedication to their satisfaction.

#4: Give thorough investigation and resolution: Investigate complaints thoroughly, assigning them the responsibility to a dedicated team member and taking immediate steps to rectify the problem.

#5: Communicate regularly: Keep customers informed about complaint progress, providing updates and ensuring transparency.

#6: Learn from feedback: View complaints as opportunities for growth, using them to enhance your cleaning services and prevent future issues.

#7: Follow up with the customer: Check-in after resolving the complaint to ensure satisfaction and offer additional assistance if needed.

#8: Document and track complaints: Maintain records to identify patterns, track improvements, and ensure consistency in addressing similar complaints.

#9: Offer a fair resolution: Strive for a resolution that is fair to both parties, such as a refund, discount, or additional cleaning.

#10: Train staff on complaint resolution: Provide training to empower your team to handle complaints professionally and empathetically.

#11: Use negative feedback to improve: Analyze common complaints to identify areas for improvement or additional training.

#12: Monitor customer satisfaction: Seek regular feedback to address concerns early and prevent complaints from escalating.

#13: Stay calm and professional: Respond to upset customers calmly and professionally, avoiding defensive or confrontational language.

#14: Go the extra mile: Exceed expectations by offering a gesture of goodwill to rebuild trust and leave a positive impression.

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Wrapping Up

Even though they can feel scary at first, customer complaints are an opportunity for growth and improvement. We hope the tips, scripts, and insights in this article help you feel confident handling the next complaint that comes your way. Remember to always listen, empathize, and take swift action to resolve issues — you’ve got this!


Amar is the founder and CEO of ZenMaid Software, Inc. He started and ran Fast Friendly Spotless, a maid service in Orange County, CA. With the help of customized software to automate work he successfully operated the service in under 30 minutes per day. He created ZenMaid scheduling software to help other maid service owners do the same.

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