Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Party In Pensacola

Take a look at some images from our Halloween party in Pensacola.

Everyone having some food and drinks

Start carving your pumpkins

The final masterpieces

A close up of one of the pumpkins

Scary Stories About Your Maid

In the spirit of Halloween, here's a few scary stories that might hit home with you.

1. Your cleaning lady didn't show up today. Did ghosts take her away? Did aliens abduct her? Nope. She just quit on you. Just like you're last cleaning lady.

2. Your maid service is late again. Is it because they think your house is haunted? Is it because your house is located on a creepy hollow? Nope. They just don't care about you. They're unorganized. And they're late every time.

3. Your housecleaner keeps making the same mistakes over and over again. Did your resident goblin put that dust on your nightstand? Did your maid see a ghost in the mirror? Nope. They just forgot again. Just like last week.

4. Your maid keeps leaving earlier and earlier. Is it because your kid's doll is possessed? Is it because your dog is evil? Nope. She's just gotten too comfortable with you. She's your buddy. And you're no longer her customer.

5. You keep hiring one bad housekeeper after another. Did a wicked witch cast a spell on your home? Is your house haunted and you don't know it? Nope. You just keep hiring the same person. You want your house cleaned. But you don't want to pay too much for it. After all, it's just housecleaning.

But of course, if it was only about housecleaning then you wouldn't be hiring a new maid four times a year.

Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

On Being A Snob......

How much do you charge? The question gets asked everyday. And we have a different answer almost every time.

And not for the reason that you're thinking. Yes, it's important that we know the size of your home. Yes, it's important that we know how often you'll need our service. And yes, it's important that we know what city you live in. But it's even more important that we know your history.

We need to know what has happened to you in the past. Have you recently fired your maid because she quit abruptly? Have you recently fired your maid because she stole from you? Have you recently fired you maid because her quality has slipped? Have you even fired your maid? Have you ever even hired a maid? The list could go on and on.

But the premise is simple. If you've fired your maid, then we want you as our customer. If you have never hired a maid, we don't want you. Nope. We don't want you at all. We want you to hire someone else. Then call us back. And then we'll answer your questions.

No need to explain. If you're recently fired you maid, you already know why. If you haven't, then you'll know soon enough.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

And Yet Another Bad Apple Is Discovered

You already know this, but it bears repeating. It's easy to start a domestic service company. No start up capital is required. No education is required. Nothing is required. Except you. They need you in order to start their business. And they know that they can get you by just offering ridiculously low prices. And you'll accept. Because it's cheap. But remember, there's lots of bad apples out there. And here's another example of one.....

"When an unsolicited caller offers to clean your chimney for $40 or $50, consumers may think they have little to lose. But odds are they'll feel differently once the chimney sweep arrives.

Instead of a bill for a low-cost cleaning, many consumers receive estimates for thousands of dollars worth of so-called emergency chimney repairs. The dubious sweeps pressure consumers to make decisions on the spot. Many do, without getting either an itemized bill or a second opinion to determine if the proposed work is necessary.

The questionable sweeps often offer discounts for cash. Failing that, they'll encourage consumers to bill the full amount to credit cards.

It is an important part of seasonal home maintenance. But many homeowners lose money every year to scam chimney service companies that turn discount cleanings into profitable jobs for unnecessary repairs.

They use low-cost cleanings to get their foot in the door, and then create fear by saying the chimney needs expensive repairs."

Click here for the full article.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Another Bad Apple Is Discovered

Another Bad Apple Is Discovered!

It's happens everyday. It happens because you let it happen. Do your research on these companies. Don't hire them just because they left a flyer on your door. And please don't hire them just because they're cheaper than everyone else.

It happens everyday. And it can happen to you.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Finding The Bad Apple

In 1972, Linda Darby escaped from the Indiana Women's Prison in Indianapolis by climbing over a barbed-wire fence. She had been arrested for murdering her husband. For 35 years, she was known as Linda Joe McElroy, a grandmother who baby-sat children and cleaned homes.

Even though Darby had no driver's license, authorities tracked her to Tennessee, where she was living a quiet, normal life.

"It's actually quite easy to be absorbed if they cut all ties from their previous life, which appears the case in this situation," said Brad Garrett of the FBI.

Click here for the full story.

It's easy to start a cleaning business. You don't need a lot of money. You don't need to be smart. You don't need much of anything. All you really need is a customer. And to get a customer, all you need to be is cheap. After all, it's just housecleaning. Anybody can do it. And anyone does do it.

You better be careful. The cleaning industry is ripe with bad apples. You can hire the cheap maid from down the road and cross your fingers, or you can hire the more expensive professional cleaning company and rest easy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Survey Says.....

A recent survey was conducted on our customer base to determine what the number one concern was when selecting a maid service. The results ranged from affordability to dependability.

Now we like to tout our strengths pretty loudly here. We like to tell people that you should select us because we'll show up on time every time. We like to tell people that you should select us because of our pay for performance plan. Basically, we like to tell people that you should select us because we care more about making you happy than any other cleaning company.

And that's all fine and good. But that's not what most of you really want. All you really want is consistency. So that raises an interesting question.

How can we better provide a more consistent cleaning? The challenges are obvious. We employ people and people aren't consistent in nature. Of course, doctors are consistent. Even a fast food restaurant is relatively consistent (that's why you go to them). And each of these industries employ people. People just like our people.

In my mind, it all boils down to this...consistency is the result of superb training and constant motivation.

So our job is create a better training program. Of course, this is easier said than done. Your house is a challenge. It's big. It's different every time. And it contains hundreds of little areas for us to screw up in. We already have an adequate training program. But maybe it needs to be refurbished. We'll be working on that in the coming months. And when we're finished, we'll detail our plan here.

The second tool that we can use to create consistency is employee motivation. Three words: pay for performance. We think that our pay for performance plan speaks for itself. You get paid based on your work ethic in our company. Our customers' satisfaction level ultimately determines our employees' compensation level. We're the pioneers in this field. We started it and now people are following our lead. It works. And it's obvious why. Money talks.

So, our job is to better train our employees. Stay tuned for our plan....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Dissatisfied Maid Service Customer

You've hired the wrong maid. Here's one of the reasons that you're unhappy.

1. Safety Issues
No, you're not concerned about your physical safety. But you are concerned about your stuff being broken on a regular basis. You can accept mistakes. But over and over again? You're tired of this mess.

2. Theft Issues
You've just noticed that your favorite ring is gone. And you know that the only other person that has been in your house today is your maid. You're tired of this mess.

3. Quality Issues
It really started out great. Your house looked wonderful after her first visit. But it steadily got worse over time. It's gotten so bad that you have to clean when you get home now. But it's hard to complain. After all, you know how much your maid needs her job. You know this because she's become your friend over these last several months. You're tired of this mess.

4. Reliability Issues
You're sitting there again. Waiting on your maid. She's late again. Just like last week. You're tired of this mess.

5. Affordability Issues
You know that your neighbor pays less for her home to be cleaned. You also know that your house is the same size as her house. What gives? You're tired of this mess.

We know this because you tell us everyday. We're the last refuge for many dissatisfied maid service customers. And that's fine with us because we want you to be educated. You need to know that hiring a maid has little to do with housecleaning. Once you know this, call us.

Friday, October 12, 2007

On Being Cheaper....

Seth Godin says it best......

Here's what I think: Cheaper is the last refuge of the person who's not a very good marketer. Cheaper is easy and cheaper is fast and cheaper is linear and cheaper is easy to do properly, at least at first. But cheaper doesn't spread the word.

Cheaper is a short term hit, not a long term advantage. Cheaper doesn't create loyalty, because the other guy can always figure out how to be cheaper still, at least in the short run.

Even free isn't cheap enough to win in the long run. Not if other people can figure out how to match what you've got.

So, if you can't be cheaper, be better.

And that's exactly what we're trying to prove to you. We're better. No, we're not the perfect housecleaner. We make mistakes every day. We're better because we care more than your last maid. We prove it with our pay for performance plan. We prove it by begging for your feedback every day. Our claim to fame is customer service. That's what your paying for. Not the perfect cleaning. But the perfect customer service.

If you want that, we've got it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

If You've Never Hired A Maid Before.....

Then you think that the work is simple and brainless. And you'd be right. The work doesn't require a high level of education. The work doesn't require any special technical expertise. The work requires sweat. Lots of sweat. Five days a week. Three times a day. Think about that for a minute. Think about cleaning your own house three times a day for five consecutive days.

Then you think that pricing is the only real difference. After all, you already know that anybody can do the work. But of course, that's the problem. If anybody can do it, anybody will do it. Being cheap is easy. Just as easy as starting a cleaning company.

Then you think that a professional cleaning company cleans better than you do. And why not? Your accountant knows more about money management than you do. Your attorney knows more about the law than you do. Professionals are supposed to be better than you. And we are. But we're also human. And we make mistakes. Of course, that's where the professionalism comes into play. When we make mistakes, we correct them. Fast.

Then you think that your maid is going to show up when she says she is going to show up. And she might just do that. But if she's like most in our industry, she won't. The reason is simple. This isn't a business to her. You're not a customer to her. You're just a quick and easy way to make a few extra bucks. She doesn't care if you fire her. She doesn't care because she knows that she can get another customer in a second. Because she's cheap. Remember why you hired her in the first place?

The you think that your cleaning company needs to be bonded. Of course, it doesn't hurt. But it doesn't really mean anything either. Being bonded means that you're not going to get reimbursed anything unless you can prove that your cleaner stole something from you. A bond only pays if a conviction occurs. Plain and simple. (FYI: A bond costs less than $100)

Then you think that hiring a maid is easy. And it is easy. It's easy because there are hundreds to select from. You can pick up the yellow pages. You can search the local classified ads. You can ask your neighbors. There's a bunch of us out there. And that's what makes it so hard. It's a crowded marketplace. And there's some rogue participants mixed among the crowd. It only takes one wrong hire to figure out what I'm talking about.

Monday, October 08, 2007

When Your Individual Maid Goes Corporate

You've worked for the cleaning company. And you know two important things.

1. You know that customers want the same people every time.
2. You know that customers don't want to pay a whole bunch of money for your services.

You also know that you can accomplish both of these things if you start your own cleaning business. So you start one. And why not, you can get started for less than $100. And all you need is just a few willing people to schedule you on a regular basis. Which leads you back to the two things you already know.

So you charge less than the professional cleaning companies. And you perform all the work yourself. Everybody's happy.

Case in point #1......

“She’s a very hard worker,” the customer said. “She’s a quiet, unassuming lady. She’s always responsible and punctual, which are important qualities. And she charges a lot less than the corporate cleaning services. I think she’ll really build up the business.”

But then something happens. You want to make more money. And you want to stop cleaning everyday. So you hire an employee. Then another one. And then all of sudden, you've become a company.

Which means that you have to start charging more for your services. And which also means that you have to start sending different people.

And most importantly, it means that you've lost your market advantage.

So if you're a customer, know that it won't last forever. Know that your individual maid will quit one day. And know that she's quitting for the same reason that you hired her in the first place.

She'll quit because she doesn't want to clean your toilet anymore.

Case in point #2....

Rice serves most of her customers on a bi-weekly basis. She currently has nine regulars. She can handle 20 regular customers on her own, she said. After that she plans on hiring employees. “My goal is to build up the business,” Rice said. “It’s been going really well. I started out going into neighborhoods and putting fliers on the doors. That’s how I got my first customers. I’ve just started advertising. I’m hoping that will build up my clientele.”

Click here for the perfect illustration of how an individual maid starts out small, gets your business, and then gains your trust. And the whole time, she's striving to quit.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Meet April

We have an employee named April Bolding. She's been with our company longer than any other single employee. She's a star. Listen to what one of her recent customers said about her......

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank Two Maids and a Mop and specifically your employee, April Bolding, for the outstanding work that she has done for us over the past year. House cleaning can be a hard and thankless job that few aspire to do and do well. April has broken that mold and has impressed us with her determination and perseverance in cleaning our house. She listens well, and gets it right every time. Not only does April complete the basic tasks of housecleaning, but she also notices items that need attention and makes sure that they are also addressed. Upon arrival at our house April briefs her assistant so that they have a clear understanding of the tasks, thereby relieving us of the requirement to brief the team at every visit. April is the best that we have experienced from all your staff. Through her hard work and determination, April Bolding has brought great credit upon Two Maids and a Mop and herself personally. Our thanks for the great work. "

April works in Pensacola. When you see her next time, go to sleep. You can go to sleep because you have nothing to worry about. April will take care of everything. She always does.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Life Cycle Of A Customer

The First Stage
You've done the work before. You know it's not rocket science. You know that anybody can do it. So you hire the cheapest person. And that's all you care about right now. Because you think everyone is the same. The only difference is price.

The Second Stage
You've grown sick of your current housecleaner. You wonder if you've hired the wrong person. You still recognize that the work isn't rocket science. But you're really getting sick and tired of waiting and waiting on the maid to arrive. Not to mention the lack of consistency in her work. So you decide to hire another maid. You just picked the wrong one the first time.

The Third Stage
Ok, now this isn't funny anymore. How can you keep hiring the same old maid every time? This maid shows up late too. This maid keeps getting worse and worse over time. And this maid isn't much different than your last maid. So you reach a fork in the road.

The Fork In The Road
This is the place where you decide to either pay a little more for your housecleaning, or just go back to doing the work yourself. Some of you don't have the time. Some of you don't have the physical capabilities. And then some of you just don't want to do it any longer. For you, the choice is obvious. You're not going to do the work. You're going to hire someone dependable.

The Fourth Stage
You've already hired the cheap, individual maid. And you've discovered that getting your house cleaned has little to do with housecleaning. You've got to worry about punctuality. You've got to worry about dependability. You've got to worry about consistency. And you've got to worry about professionalism. So you hire a professional cleaning company.

So you start calling all the professionals. And you start hearing lots of great things. Things like we'll send the same person every time. Things like we'll guarantee our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Sounds good to you. So you hire the cheapest cleaning company you can find. Because they all sound the same.

The Fifth Stage
Are you kidding me? You're still waiting on the maid to arrive. You're still complaining about the same mistakes. You're getting different people all the time. And now you're paying more than ever. You're wondering if anyone does this thing right. Do you live with the mistakes? Or do you try to find yet another maid service company?

The Final Stage
This is the only stage where we want to earn your business. We don't want you anywhere else. We don't want your business anywhere else because you think housecleaning is about dusting and vacuuming. You think housecleaning is easy. You think anybody can do it. After all, you've been doing it all your life. And quite good if you must say so...

This is the stage where our pay for performance plan sounds good. This is the stage where our commitment to customer feedback sounds good. This is the stage where our guaranteed on-time arrival sounds good. This is the stage where you decide that you get what you pay for. And this is the only stage that will make you appreciate us as a business.

If you hire us anywhere else in the life cycle, you're just going to think we're too expensive. Because you're going to think anybody can do it. And more than likely, you're going to fire us down the road.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Pay For Performance Plan - Explained

If you are one of our customers, then you get this little reminder every time we clean your home. But you're probably not one of our customers. That's why you're reading this in the first place. So why not read this and then maybe you'll understand why someone would decide to hire us.......

One of the most common questions that we receive is the question, “Why do you think you’re better than all the other cleaning services in town?” It’s a valid question because the fact is most cleaning companies say that they are better than everybody else. What makes Two Maids & A Mop so different?

It all boils down to three little words: pay for performance. That’s what makes us different. We pay our employees based on our customers feedback. The happier our employees make you; the more money they’re able to make with our company. It’s a simple concept. But the funny thing is that we’re still the only cleaning company around that does business in this manner.

Most cleaning companies pay their employees on a commission basis. A commission is defined as payment received as a result of a sale. The more sales you make; the more money you make. So what does that tell you about most of the cleaning industry? It’s in the employees best interest to clean as many homes as possible so that they can earn more money. Now there’s nothing wrong with that idea. People should want to earn more money.

The problem is that the speed of the cleaning directly affects the quality of the cleaning. Our employees get paid like every other job. They clock in for their day’s work in the morning and they clock out when they are finished for the day. However, our employees hourly rate is determined by you - the customer. You rate each cleaning on a scale from 1-10. The rating that you provide is applied to a pay scale. And that’s how our employees get paid.

Just think of it this way. The pace of our cleaning doesn’t really matter. It’s the quality of our cleaning that matters the most. Now get ready to get impressed by our professionalism. You’ve never encountered another cleaning service like Two Maids & Mop.

That’s why we get to call ourselves “The Most Customer Friendly Housecleaning Company In The World”. And that’s why we think that we’re better than any other cleaning service in town.