Saturday, July 30, 2005

Are You a Hero?

A hero has many faces. He can be tall or short. He can be dead or alive. He can be a she. Everyone has their own definition of a hero. You are the judge.

My goal in life is to make a difference in someone else's life. Be different. Be remarkable. I want to be a hero.

I came up with this ridiculous goal because I have many heroes. My heroes have all contributed in some way to my development as a person. Some of my heroes are famous, others are just people I know. Everyone knows Warren Buffet and Sam Walton. But, I doubt that many people know my parents or my wife. I'd be a different person if I had not followed in my heroes footsteps.

Aspiring to be a hero means that you have to be accountable. You lead by example. Your actions and your words motivate someone else. That's powerful stuff.

Move over Superman, here comes Ron.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

C'mon, It's Just Housecleaning

I've heard it a million times....You charge what?

Our rates are sky high. Our rates are higher than anyone from Destin to Pensacola. Our rates are high because of two reasons:

1. Our employees are worth it
2. Our service is worth it

Let's get one thing straight. Our employees are not unskilled labor. They are professional housecleaners and they work hard to satisfy your needs. They're not perfect, but their goal is to make you happy. Most cleaning companies have a hard time dealing with turnover. Turnover is extremely high for our industry. I've been told that the industry average is just over 600%. That means the average cleaning company is changing its entire staff six times per year. Ouch! Honestly, I understand why the turnover level is so high. Combine hard, dirty work with low wages and you have a recipe for failure. I wouldn't perform this job for a low wage.

We still have turnover, but we're different. Our employees can make a good living if they work for us. They are paid a high salary, assuming that they satisfy your needs. They are offered health and dental insurance. They like working for us because they know that we value their efforts. In fact, they probably get sick of hearing the words "customer service". It's engrained into their heads as soon as they're hired. Our employees are professionals!

We're paid to clean your home. But, is that all we do? Anybody can clean your floor. Anybody can clean your counters. But, can anyone measure your level of satisfaction after every housecleaning? Can anyone answer the telephone every time it rings? Can anyone care more about your happiness than us? We prove that we care by letting you tell us what to pay our employees.

A professional housecleaning service provides two things: housecleaning and service. The problem is that most cleaning companies forget about the latter part of the transaction. In my opinion, providing top-notch customer service is just as important as physically cleaning your house.

So, don't call us if you want to hire unskilled labor. We're not for you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

It's a Way of Life

Drum roll..............

Habit #7 - Customer service is a way of life. Your neighborhood Customer Service Addict (CSA) gets it. Your neighborhood CSA doesn't let an unhappy customer just walk away. He doesn't let a customer leave more than one voicemail message. He doesn't let his employees forget that customer service is the most important part of their job.

But wait, we're a cleaning company. Shouldn't dusting, vacuuming, and sanitizing be more important than customer service? Shouldn't we be working to be the best cleaning service in the world?

I'll let you in on a little secret. We're not the best cleaning service in the world. We make just as many mistakes as the next guy. In fact, all cleaning companies are the same. Why? Because we hire real, live human beings to conduct the work in your home. People make mistakes, people forget things, and people are people. I'm the owner of this crazy business and I make silly mistakes everyday.

Sure, we train our employees. We coach our employees. We critique our employees. And we bust our tails to provide you with the perfect housecleaning. It's yet to happen.

We're the most customer friendly housecleaning company in the world. Our customers know it because they see it first-hand. Our employee's compensation is 100% determined by customer feedback. We answer the phone everytime that it rings during business hours. We actually return phone messages. We show up when we say that we are going to show up. We smile when we meet you for the first time. We listen when you speak. We tell you the truth even when it hurts. We're loyal to you. We care about making you happy. And, we're most happy when we fix a problem that turns your unhappiness into happiness.

Customer service is a way of life for Two Maids & A Mop. The customer-business relationship doesn't end when we leave with your money. It's just beginning.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Need a Date?

I knew that most businesses had become commodities, but people too??

Check out this website.....

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Your Problem is Solved

Habit #6 - Your neighborhood Customer Service Addict (CSA) likes to fix problems. A day without a problem is a boring day for your CSA.

A gambler can never win enough to make him happy. A gambler keeps on gambling because he needs that rush of adrenaline to keep going. Your neighborhood CSA needs problems in order to keep going. Solving that emergency for you makes him feel good.

Why in the world would anyone enjoy problems? Problems are bad, problems are stressful, and problems are...well...problems. The difference between a normal person and a CSA is that a CSA craves stress. Handling stress makes him feel productive. And trust me, a CSA needs to feel productive.

It's not easy being around an addict. Your neighborhood CSA is no different. He's always worried, he's always ready for action, and he's always thinking. He's an addict.

If you're his friend, start coordinating the intervention. If you're his customer, start telling him your problems.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A Customer Service Addict Cares

Most marriages fail because one of the spouses quits caring about making the other spouse happy. Lethargy takes over and the once promising romance evolves into outright hatred between the spouses. It sounds odd, but a marriage is very similar to a business relationship.

Habit #5- A Customer Service Addict (CSA) cares about his customers. Can you tell when your pharmacist cares about your illness? Can you tell when your mechanic cares about repairing your car? I bet you can. No one needs to say, "I care". You know it because his face shows that he cares. It's hard to put into words, but we all know when someone cares for us.

I purchased a few items from a local department store recently. The check-out clerk had a big, ugly frown on her face. Yet, a weird looking smile came across her face when she gave me the receipt. She had been programmed to smile at that particular moment. I knew it was fake. It meant nothing to me because I knew that she could care less about me.

Your neighborhood CSA takes pride in caring. He didn't read a book on caring and he didn't attend a seminar on how to care for a customer. He's always cared and that's why he's good at providing unbelievable customer service.

I would imagine that many of you reading this already have an image of someone in your life that cares about you. It could be a family member, friend, co-worker, or a business associate. The point is that people remember people that care about them. Caring is a two-way street. Every ounce of care that you put into a relationship comes back to you in the same amount.

The Sky Didn't Fall

We're baaaack......

We took our punches from Dennis and we're still standing. We lost power for about four days, so we didn't get to service many of our customers last week. Most of our customers and employees had minimal damage, but a few people lost a lot during the storm. Our hearts go out to the ones that had damage to their homes.

This is the last hurricane post. It's back to business from this point forward. Get ready to be re-introduced to your neighborhood Customer Service Addict.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Sky's Falling

Hurricane Dennis is approaching and its packing a butt load of trouble. Power will probably be out for a while and we won't be able to provide our services for a few days, maybe weeks! Ivan taught us that anything is possible. We've taken all of the preventive measures and we're ready for the blackout and destruction. We just pray that our actions seem useless a few days from now. Time will tell....

In the meantime, this stupid storm has caused me to lose my focus. My game was off today. I guess a Nobel Peace prize winner even has his moments, but I was ashamed of myself today. I made excuses, I argued with clients, and I made mistakes. I'm embarrassed and I wish that I could take it back. I felt sorry for myself for most of the day until I realized that I wasn't the only one that was afraid of this storm. Unfortunately, I didn't realize this until too late. Lessons are sometimes hard to learn.

Emotion is a bad thing in business. I gets you in trouble whether you're in a good mood or a bad mood. I thought that I knew this until my actions proved otherwise today. A level head and a humble attitude is a necessity for your business' long-term health.

I apologize to my awesome employees. Today was a tough day, yet we only had one absence among thirty-seven employees. Our employees shined today, while I glimmered in the distance.

Today was a lesson. I learned that you must stand high no matter what the circumstances present. If I call myself a leader, then I better be a leader.

Due to Dennis the Menace, my blog may be slow for a while. Don't fret, I'll be back. (Emotion-free, of course)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A Customer Service Addict is Loyal to His Friends

A recent news headline stated that a company was being sued by one of its customers for selling the customer's email address to a third party. I wonder how much money this company made by selling its soul? Greed is alive and well and loyalty is on life support.

Habit #4 - Your neighborhood Customer Service Addict (CSA) is loyal. Plain and simple. He will not exploit you and he will not use you for personal or professional gain. He is loyal to you because he values you. He worked his butt off to gain your trust and he's not about to lose that trust.

Most big lottery winners don't utilize their newly found money wisely. Instead, they purchase grand homes, exotic vacations, or expensive cars. However, money that is earned is typically spent wisely and reinvested for future appreciation. Why? Because the earner worked her tail off for that money and she values it more than the lottery winner. That's customer service in a nutshell.

Your neighborhood CSA wants your business for a lifetime. The amount of loyalty that he provides you is directly proportional to the amount of business that you provide him.

Monday, July 04, 2005

A Customer Service Addict Tells The Truth

Habit #3 - Honesty is the best policy, but it is also the most difficult policy. Honesty is hard to find in today's corporate culture. Deception ranges from Wall Street to the White House because today's leaders think short term. Telling the truth can hurt sometimes. It can upset a client and it could hurt someone's feelings. But, your neighborhood Customer Service Addict (CSA) knows that honesty is the only policy in order for a healthy customer relationship to prosper.

Your neighborhood CSA does what he says he'll do. He doesn't make excuses and he doesn't hide from mistakes. He tells the truth over the telephone, on his website, and in your home. The truth doesn't always make for great brochures, but your neighborhood CSA knows that honesty secures the trust required for a life-long relationship.

Honesty is the basic foundation for any business owner. Without honesty, you have nothing to build upon. Your business will fail if you are not fully devoted to telling the truth. Your wasting time if your not honest with your customers.

Trust me, I'm not lying.