Wednesday, June 07, 2006

How To Lose A Customer

Here's the situation.

Suzie hires a cleaning service to clean her home. Suzie isn't happy after her home is cleaned. Overall, it's ok...but it's far from a thorough cleaning. After all, the cleaning service did promise to "deep clean" her home. Suzie calls the cleaning service and speaks to the owner. The owner promises that the next visit will be better. He documents the mistakes and reduces the rate of the next cleaning. The owner sends two of his best people to Suzie's home the following week. You guessed it. Suzie still isn't happy. Suzie contacts the owner and the owner comes out to see for himself. It's true, Suzie's home is still dirty. The owner apologizes and refuses any money. Meanwhile, Suzie's had it. She's lost her patience and she's finished.

That company is Two Maids & A Mop. The self-proclaimed "most customer friendly housecleaning company in the world". That owner is me. The self-proclaimed "czar of the cleaning world".

What should happen next. Should I dig a hole and hide? Should I cut my losses and chalk it up to experience? Or, should I work even harder to prove to Suzie that we are different?

I think you know the answer. Suzie isn't paying for another housecleaning for at least six weeks. That's right. Suzie owes us nothing. She's already paid us by giving us another opportunity to prove ourselves. After six weeks, Suzie will understand that we are different. Right now, we just seem desperate. Maybe we are. But I'm embarrassed and I hate being grouped in with other cleaning companies.

Mistakes happen. We're not perfect all the time. I accept that fact. But I still don't have to like it. My pride means a lot more to me than my money.

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