Monday, December 19, 2005

It Starts Out Good, But

I hear it every day. "My old cleaning service started out great, but it got worse and worse over time. I complained, but things never got better. "

I know why this happens. The ugly head of employee turnover rears its head after about four cleanings (sometimes less). It goes a little something like this.

You're a new customer. You want to schedule the service once per week. The cleaning service manager knows that your first cleaning is crucial in order to secure future cleanings. So, she sends out her best team of cleaners. You're extremely happy, so you agree to weekly service. A new cleaning team arrives for your next cleaning. The cleaning is not terrible, but not nearly as good as the previous week. Mistakes happen, so you chalk it up to people being people. The third visit isn't so great. Mistakes are obvious, so you contact the office to voice your concern. They listen and they offer to correct the mistakes. The mistakes are corrected, but the fourth cleaning doesn't get any better. You contact the office again and you don't receive a return phone call. You give up and call Two Maids & A Mop.

That's how you see it. This is how the cleaning service manager sees it.

You're the priority that first day. It's her job to make you happy. She's got a handful of people that she really trusts. She sends them and they make you extremely happy. A week passes and its your turn to be cleaned again. Four people don't show up for work that day. She's overbooked now because she doesn't have enough qualified people. She can either cancel an appointment or she can send out unqualified people. She needs the business, so she's sends out the unqualified people. This same problem repeats itself every day, not just your cleaning day. Running a cleaning business is all about survival from one day to the next day.

That's the ugly truth. Turnover in the cleaning industry makes it impossible to create customer satisfaction. For most people.

The key to a successful cleaning business is employee turnover control. There's lots of ways to make this happen. For us, it's the pay for performance plan. An employee of TwoMaids can make more than $10 per hour if the employee makes a lot of customers happy. Customer satisfaction means employee satisfaction. Employee satisfaction means low turnover.

Low turnover means that it starts out good, and stays good.

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