International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association

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Customer Service Is The Life Bread Of Your Cleaning Company

29 Mar 2019 2:43 PM | Thomas Wilkinson

The support offered to a customer that maintains a working relationship with that customer– Customer Service! Sounds simple enough doesn’t it?

The working relationship between the client and your business is the life bread of your company. We must strive to provide good customer service. So, what does that mean?

Every client is every person and every person a client, and in some form or fashion you too are a client to someone. Maybe we can learn from that, what is it that you expect as a client?  As a client that is spending money with a business that makes you satisfied?

So, what is that “I” expect as the customer?  Well I want to feel special, I want to think I am getting a deal, I want to believe that the business I am working with cares, I want to know that I am being heard and I want to know when I have an issue someone is going to correct it. Sound about right for most of you? I just put myself in the shoes of the customer

Always place yourself in the client’s shoes and you may just hit the mark on customer service. The secret to customer service is the ability to understand where your client’s thoughts are coming from. The client wants to be “special” just like you want to feel.

I have four stages to customer service:  before the sale, during the sale, work performed, and post work performed.

Before the sale:

Customers for the most part do their research and they are looking for an established service. So when hiring a janitorial service customers are likely to look for businesses that are establishing themselves within the industry and may end up choosing a service from an online listing such as:

With this what the client is expecting to find is a professional service thus aligning your business with an industry support group much like can be considered the first step toward customer service. So even before the first sales pitch you are setting a precedence of professionalism.

 Say the client contacts you and wants to meet and discuss what can you do next before you have even met with the client?  Research the client’s business, know how long they have been in business where they do business and what they do. When you can walk into that first meeting and tell the client about their business you have shown a willingness to provide great customer service. It shows you care!

During the sale:

First meeting, and all subsequent meetings, it is important to listen, make eye contact, smile and bring up some of those things your research has provided you about their company. You are making friends here and you want to show you do care. Get to know them as a person, if you cannot identify with the client, then you may not have a client. Then ask good pointed questions about the level of cleaning expected and what the overall outcome that is to be expected. It all about communicating

Should there be anything in what the client wants that you do not wish to provide or vice-versa then maybe a working relationship won’t be good for either of you and this needs to be discussed. Not every meeting is going to be a client and it is important to get this right.

Listen to what the customer wants, try to ask questions for them just like you are the customer, there maybe things they have never thought of, you are in this business so help your new friend out with some hard questions for yourself.

During work performed:

Hopefully the sales person listened and has communicated back to the co-works performing the tasks. While during the work it will be important to provide all the items that have been discussed and contracted with the client. Once you know all that has been accomplished let’s look outside of the written word and see what else can be performed to make this clients day. Let’s say you see a spill outside of the normal contracted areas, go ahead and clean it up. Or the windows get cleaned quarterly but one of them has dirt and grit built up and it is noticeable go ahead and clean it or there happens to be a pile of uniforms in a change area but uniforms aren’t picked up normally till Friday, go head and pick them up.

Your team or you should always be looking for that quick little item that can be handled in 5 minutes that may be outside of the normal service provided. If you or your team are at the facility with the client during normal working hours and not the middle of the night, always check in with the primary stakeholder let them know you are there, and when you have finished and then ask if there is anything else that can be performed while onsite.

Post work performed:

Have a regular follow-up with your clients to makes sure expectancies are being met, some clients will let you know if they are not satisfied right away and right away you need to please them. But some clients won’t say anything to you at all until it is too late. Set up a regular quarterly schedule to communicate with the clients to make sure the needs are being met, maybe even a survey once a year to judge performance. Create regular sales campaigns that also include your current clientele, as a client nothing frustrates me more than when I see a service offering deals to “new clients” kind of makes me think they only care about new business.  

While, understandably, there are break downs in the relationships between client and business what needs to be addressed is why it happened. 

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