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The importance of maintaining high standards in a cleaning business
Hygiene and cleanliness have never been so important to us all, but it was the pandemic that highlighted the growing awareness we have for the need to keep our indoor environments clean.
In fact, the rise in demand for high-quality cleaning brands over the past decade has been huge, with one in three households in the UK now employing a cleaner. Meanwhile, expectations for cleaning service providers have increased dramatically, with 96% of us now saying that the service we receive is an important factor in our choice of loyalty to a brand.
Considering these points, it has never been more important for cleaning brands to not only deliver on their services, but to make sure those who use cleaning services have a 'spick and span' experience with their provider of choice.
Here, Chris Wootton, managing director of domestic home cleaning brand Poppies - which through its membership of the Domestic Cleaning Alliance is represented on the British Cleaning Council - gives his top tips on how home-cleaning brands can ensure that they are providing great, consistent customer service. (Ed: a great deal of this also applies to those cleaning 'away from home' facilities - and I don't just mean washrooms but anywhere that cleaners come into contact with the client and the client's clients)
Service with a smile
The golden rule for cleaning companies is to never forget that, fundamentally, the end goal of what we do is to improve the lives of our clients. And as we all know, service with a smile goes a long way. This should start from the moment the service begins. Covid has reminded us all that our homes truly are our sanctuaries, and being entrusted with cleaning a customer's home should be seen as a privilege. In customer-facing roles, taking opportunities to show that you care deeply about what you do is vital for customers to enjoy a positive experience. Keeping a smile on your face, being attentive and maintaining great energy actively shows a customer that your role is not just a job and that making people happy, in turn, motivates you to continue delivering your services at consistently high standards.
Deliver on promises
It may seem like an obvious one, but customers have never been more attentive to the cleanliness of their homes, and as such, they can tell when corners have been cut. Operating in this industry naturally places a lot of responsibility on our shoulders, with our services being required for a whole range of needs. Ensuring that your staff are well trained, show positive attitudes towards their work and believe in your brand's values and ethos are all important factors in meeting the bare minimum of what you promise as a cleaning brand.
Leverage customer feedback
Feedback from our clients is one of the primary sources that moves our industry forward. Having well-trained staff is vital, but it is important to remember that it is only half the battle. Our customers' needs and feelings towards their experience with cleaning providers play a huge role in maintaining high expectations with how services should be delivered. Feedback allows us to monitor our performance and alerts us to important changes we need to make, and negative feedback in particular should never be discounted. What is more, with the immediacy of social media, it has never been more important to have an online presence for customers to see that you have acted upon their feedback, whether it be in the operations of the wider business or adding that little extra touch to your cleaning service that is guaranteed to make customers happier. Often, positive actions made by a cleaning company following negative feedback can bring a customer back.
We all know the importance of being responsive and not reactive. This attitude should be projected across your whole business, especially in a customer-facing role that entails employees entering clients' homes. Having highly trained staff who can respond quickly to customers' individual needs not only shows off the quality of their training, but demonstrates the value of that individual customer's experience with your brand.
Clients who take advantage of high-quality home cleaning services need our expertise for a diversity of reasons. And after two years of such limited contact with people from outside our households, it is understandable that consumers are now actively seeking empathy and real relationships from those who provide all-important services to them. These real human relationships are how we show compassion as service providers, which ultimately leads to trust. When those who use our services trust us, their experiences naturally become more enjoyable and their overall relationship with the brand is solidified. Not only providing service with a smile, but going that extra mile and being prepared to have a chat and get to know a someone on a human level goes an incredibly long way for the reputation of the brand and, most importantly, the customer.
To summarise: The domestic cleaning industry has never been more in demand, and it's an incredibly exciting time to be providing high-quality cleaning services to our customers. We have learnt that the positive human touch remains ever-present and is the most important attribute we can provide to customers who need our expertise. We've all been limited in our contact with people over the last couple of years, so we should be enjoying this time and relishing in the chance we now have to show customers that we are proud of what we do for them. With Summer around the corner, it's the perfect time to make sure your customer service is gleaming and truly reflects the high-quality service you provide."
Chris Wootton has two decades of personal experience in both the cleaning and franchise industries. Launched in 1980, Poppies is believed to have been the UK's first ever cleaning franchise. Today, the 23-strong network turns over more than £5million annually. Having taking ownership of the brand in 2018, Chris is leading the business into a new phase of expansion and growth and has just launched the next generation of the Poppies franchise opportunity.
5th May 2022