Jaden Baptista is a web developer for Compass Wave, a business that develops and manages software for cleaning services. The tools at Compass Wave help service companies give customers instant estimates, invoices, schedule appointments, charge credit cards, and more. You can reach out to Jaden on Twitter @Jadenguitarman
Is your online presence big enough?
This is tricky. The answer to this question is almost always “no” because you can always improve.
In terms of E-commerce:
- Almost 30% of all business is conducted online
- 81% of businesses saw growth after going online
These statistics pertain to all businesses, and the cleaning industry has even higher percentages than these. When you get started online, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re hoping to achieve.
Three goals to have with an online presence are:
- Grow your business – to expand, have a better reputation, and reach more people
- Make money – an obvious but critical goal to increase profits
- Customer Outreach – customers need to be communicated with more than you may think
Step One: Get a Website
In the modern market, no business can reasonably survive without a website. Try to think of a successful business that doesn’t have a website; there probably aren’t many that come to mind.
Imagine a pizzeria in your neighborhood that has great food but doesn’t have a website. Perhaps you originally noticed it while on a walk and decided to try it out. While the pizzeria may gain some customers this way, it isn’t sustainable long-term. The pizzeria would be better off if it was in the top rankings of Google.
Would you replace your pizzeria place of patronage with a competitor’s pizzeria if the competitor had online reviews and a website? Most people would.
A website is essential – that’s how the world works now.
Reach is key
A website alone doesn’t boost your business. You need to bring people in.
This is where the term “reach” becomes your best friend. You have to reach as many people as possible, especially targeted audiences.
Make sure that you are talking to the right people and as many of them as possible. What’s on the website matters but the number of people who see your website is the main factor. This is where SEO comes in.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is lingo for “getting higher” on Google search.
If you search “cleaning near me” on Google, several different businesses would pop up immediately. The top couple links receive lots of business – thanks to Google.
Fortunately, Google’s algorithm isn’t a black box. It’s not a hidden thing that you can never touch.
You can have significant control over your business’s place on Google.
Google Lighthouse – This tool measures how well you’re doing and how much you can improve. Performance, accessibility, best practices, and SEO are categories used to assess your website.
Sometimes there is nothing you can do about performance and best practices. However, accessibility and SEO are two categories that you can readily influence.
Accessibility – suppose some of your potential customers are colorblind and can’t see important buttons or links on your website. This would be an issue. You want to make sure that your website caters to these people.
Google Lighthouse scores your categories and gives you tips on how to increase those scores. Even a small bump up can give you an advantage over your competitors.
Do you need some more help improving your SEO? Check out this article for four ways to help your website appear on the first page of Google.
Step Two: Make your website pay
Once traffic to your website has increased, you need to turn that traffic into something. Websites aren’t just for information. You want visitors to your website to turn into paying customers for your business.
An average cleaning service has a 55% clientele churn rate per year. If you’re an average cleaning service, then by this time next year, about half of your client base is replaced.
The dilemma of the modern cleaning service is that you have to capture leads efficiently to keep up with that churn.
If you can capture them efficiently you can actually make up the gap and your business can grow. Efficiency is key here, especially in volatile times like these.
Using automated tools (leaving it to the experts) can boost efficiency
Compass Wave is an example of a tool that does a lot of the work for you. This software:
- generates leads
- gives those leads instant estimates
- provides quotes, invoices, and schedules
From the moment you capture a lead, you incentivize people to give you their information for an estimate. Next, you provide them with an estimate. From there you go through the whole process: you charge them, invoice them, quote them, and schedule their appointments all in one place.
The software allows you to easily manage and customize various pages of the process.
Under the sales and prospects page, you can see a complete database of all of the estimates that you’ve gotten recently.
On the “Tools” tab, you can edit widget pages (such as the forms that customers fill out to see their estimates) to change estimated prices.
Example: You set the price by square footage to 10 cents per square foot. Then, the software takes into account the overhead, number of jobs per year, profit margins, taxes, etc.
Plus, you can set up a payment process through Stripe using the Compass Wave software. You can invoice the customer, click charge on the invoice, and a customer’s credit card is automatically charged.
Step Three: Communication
This is a step that we often overlook.
What’s the point of connecting with your customers, if you don’t stay in contact with them regularly?
Remember that statistic we talked about earlier? Approximately 55% of your clientele churn every year.
To really grow your business you have to keep your customers.
Causes of customer churn to avoid:
- Bad performance
- Bad customer service
- No outreach
- Customer delays
If dissatisfaction is left to fester you could lose revenue, help your competitors, or create a permanent reputational impact.
Learn how to save up to thirty hours a week in your cleaning business right here!
Communication solutions for your maid service
Solutions to these potential problems are “preventative measures.” Successful businesses want solutions to problems before they occur.
Preventative measures you can take:
- Quality control
- Compass Wave
With quality control, internal communication is key (and you need someone in charge of it). This is often neglected as part of our online presence because it’s not facing the outside world; it’s facing inwards. We need to look at how we communicate with our co-workers, employees, and bosses.
The person who is in charge of quality control within the business should also prioritize communication with customers.
Perhaps you couldn’t get to a certain place in the house to clean it. It has to be somebody’s job to reach out to the customer and explain that. Or perhaps a section was dirtier than you expected it to be. It has to be somebody’s job to go to the customer and say “This part was dirtier than we thought it would be. We needed to charge you extra.”
A business needs to be honest about setbacks to create trust between them and the customer.
Be intentional with your outreach. No outreach at all creates problems.
Checkups are the solution to a lack of outreach. Go to where the people are! This could be through texting, emailing, Twitter, Facebook, etc. If a customer prefers communication via Twitter then make your best effort to use Twitter.
In the cleaning world, we need to prioritize friendly trust-building communication over impersonal, aloof professionalism.
- Reach out to customers to solve their problems before these problems become larger issues
Step Four: Keep it up!
Maybe this step sounds cliche but it’s essential. An effective online presence isn’t a process – it’s a cycle.
SEO doesn’t stand still, you have to continually upgrade your website to stay modern and in Google’s good graces.
Think of sites that you used ten years ago and no longer show up on Google. Those sites are probably still on the internet, but now you don’t notice them because they were never updated. Google doesn’t “like” them anymore.
Your website continually needs improvement or else it will start to slip on Google.
To wrap up
- Get a website
- Make your website pay
- Keep it going!
Now your company is on the web and leveraging it for growth. Keep moving with these steps and your business will become the leader in your area.
Your next step
If you found this article helpful for your maid service, you may also like:
- How I used Google Ads to grow my cleaning business to 4 Cities
- The 3-step formula for becoming fully staffed in 6 days
- Tips for finding the brand voice that’s right for your maid service
- The top ten reasons why employees might leave your maid service
- Watch your maid service profits balloon with an online presence
For more resources on how to grow and perfect your cleaning business, check out the replays from the 2021 Maid Summit, hosted by ZenMaid. The summit featured more than 60 presentations from other maid service owners who shared tools and strategies to help you achieve the highest levels of success in your business.
To hear Jaden Baptista’s full talk from the Maid Summit, click here.
Try ZenMaid for free!