This post is based on a presentation given by Martha Woodward at the 2020 Maid Summit hosted by ZenMaid. Martha is the Co-Founder of Quality Driven Software, a customer feedback system that lets business owners track employee performance and client feedback. By creating a quality management program using the software, business owners can troubleshoot issues and maintain high-quality standards that will allow them to run their business and retain clients on autopilot.
How to Implement a Quality Management Program for your Maid Service
Quality management is a critical factor for the growth and scaling of your maid service. You want to have as much information as possible from your customers to continue improving your services and gain more repeat cleaning clients.
Generally, businesses that send out quality assurance surveys receive a 30% response rate on average. On the other hand, Martha Woodward’s maid service gets a whopping 82% response rate from her cleaning customers. 98% of whom rate their experiences as excellent.
And did we mention that she has a fully remote team and manages them from one state away?
In this post, we’ll go over Martha’s strategy to guarantee a high response rate from her customers and how you can implement a quality management program into your own cleaning business.
Send surveys after every cleaning
Initially, when you start consistently sending quality surveys, your response rate might not be very high. This is to be expected, and the main reason you need to send a survey after every single cleaning once you start your quality management program.
It will take some time and quite a bit of work to achieve higher response rates, but eventually your customers will come to expect that this is part of your process.
It might seem like overkill at first to ask for feedback after every cleaning. But whether or not you ask for feedback, your clients will always have an opinion on your service quality. By asking them directly, every time, it allows them to give you feedback that you can incorporate into your business.
It also gives them a private outlet to share their thoughts, making it less likely that they’ll publicly leave you a bad review. Some clients might not leave negative reviews after a bad experience, but they won’t return as repeat customers.
Create employee buy-in
One crucial element of your quality management program is getting buy-in from your employees. This means creating incentives so that your employees are encouraged to send out surveys and collect feedback. You can implement pay-per-performance programs to encourage your cleaners to be persistent about getting high scores on all of their cleanings.
Awarding your cleaners for the positive feedback and higher response rates will help you retain your cleaners longer and create a growth-oriented environment within your maid service. You’ll also boost morale by showing your team that their work is making an impact, and the client is happy.
Establish a feedback loop
When you start sending surveys regularly, you might be overwhelmed with the amount of feedback you receive. This is why it’s essential to have some sort of feedback loop in place. Once you’re able to get your response rates high enough, you need to put in work to improve your systems to make sure that you’re not only getting consistent responses, but high ratings from customers.
Make sure that you allocate resources to improve the aspects of your business that customers are rating negatively. Whether that means providing additional training to your cleaners or investing in new materials to improve your outcomes, make sure you address the issues posed in the survey responses.
Avoid random quality checks
Before you establish a quality management program, you might find yourself doing random quality checks as a way to gather feedback from customers. While this is an excellent place to start, it’s not a great way to collect usable data.
When you do random checks, you don’t end up with enough consistent data points to identify where there are issues or find patterns in the feedback you receive. The only way to gather data that creates benchmarks and identifiable patterns in your quality is to conduct surveys after every cleaning.
Use the right tools
When you’re getting started with quality surveying, it’s fine to use a simple survey tool like Customer Thermometer. If you’re using ZenMaid, you’ll notice that it has a built-in survey tool, as do some CRMs if you’re already using one.
Quality Driven Software is a tool specifically created as a powerful customer feedback tool to boost your customer satisfaction rate. We love the user-friendly dashboard that makes it easy for any maid service owner to see what areas of your business can use improvement and where customers are most satisfied.
One thing to remember is that you want to make the survey as simple as possible. It’s tempting to want to gather all of the information you can, but remember that you want to be able to quickly analyze the responses in a way that makes sense and is easy for your employees and offer workers to understand.
This is where using the right tool can make a huge difference. With QDS, you get access to forms and surveys that are simple and straightforward for your employees to send and for your customers to fill out.
The software also allows you to track your employee’s performance better to know which teams or cleaners need more training.
Analyze your response data
Whichever way you choose to send out surveys, you need to look closely at the response data and analyze what it means.
Here are a few things to keep a close eye on overtime that will help you improve your survey response rates and incorporate better quality control practices within your business
The service with the lowest scores
Take a look at which of your services regularly receives the most complaints. For example, you might notice that the highest rate of complaints is for your deep cleans. This usually means that there is room for improvement either within that process, or your cleaners who are doing these services need further training.
It could also mean that you haven’t set adequate expectations with your cleaning clients. When you’ve let your customers know what to expect, and fulfill those specific criteria, they are less likely to have complaints.
One way to raise those scores is to incentivize your employees with higher pay if they can increase scores and get surveys back from clients purchasing those services.
Teams with the lowest scores
Zero in on the teams or employees with the lowest scores to see what additional training you can offer them to help them improve their scores and encourage higher response rates.
It can be beneficial to make all of your survey data available to all of your employees. This promotes transparency within your business and highlights the fact that you take these surveys very seriously.
Publicizing the survey results within your company can also be a morale booster for cleaners who get excellent responses and encourage other employees to improve their own response rates and feedback scores.
Customers with unusually low response rates
You want your response rates to be as high as possible, especially if you invest in a quality management program. If one customer’s response rates are much lower than others, you need to find out why. Check with your office manager, or the employee responsible for sending the surveys, to check that they are following your guidelines for sending and following up.
If they are sending the surveys and following up according to your protocol, then it might be time to give the client a call directly. Sometimes customers will avoid filling out a survey if they are afraid to give a bad review or want to protect the cleaner’s feelings.
So calling them directly, rather than having them complete the survey, might make them feel more comfortable sharing their experience.
Client score drops
When you send a survey after every cleaning, it becomes easier to notice when a customer’s experience changes. Even if it goes from “excellent” to “okay,” this tells you that something about your service has declined. Noticing these small drops in scores allows you to course-correct before the ratings fall any further.
Clients who stopped responding
If clients stop responding altogether, it’s a good idea to give them a call and check-in to make sure you still have the right information on file or field any concerns they might have. As we mentioned before, sometimes, a client will be hesitant to put negative feedback in a survey to spare someone’s feelings.
As an owner, you still want this feedback and to know what your audience is thinking. Giving your customers a call is a great way to be proactive and show that you care about their experience.
Even though it’s not bad that they’re not responding, it just shows you care and can give you more insight into their experience.
Once your customers buy into the idea of providing feedback, and your employees buy into your quality management program, you’ll begin to notice your business change for the better. Your office will receive fewer complaints and fewer public negative reviews because customers are encouraged to share their feedback with you immediately. Your cleaners will get valuable feedback that will make them better at their jobs. And you’ll never have to guess how a client feels about your service because they will tell you after every single cleaning.
We understand that it might take some time and resources to implement a quality management program. This is why we recommend using software that will minimize the learning curve and time it takes to set it up. Using a tool like Quality Driven Software can help you get your quality management program up and running in less time, so you can have more time focusing on improving your customer experience.
Watch Martha’s talk here:
The 2020 Maid Summit, hosted by ZenMaid, features over 40 talks by maid service owners and industry professionals who want to help you grow and improve your cleaning business. Check out the full replays of these talks at MaidSummit.com.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: