Cues and Clues that you best just walk away…

There are so many times that I can look back and tell myself, "What could I or would I have done differently to get the business to where it is today, but FASTER?"

So today, I want to reflect back on the "eager to book any job" me…the one who couldn’t say no and cringed when I hung up the phone without booking.

They say:

It’s not that bad, I just need a few things done.

What they mean:

My dog had diarrhea, and I want you to come and clean it up for me.

They say:

Could I get a quote for just the fridge?

What they mean:

I went on and extended vacation without cleaning out the fridge, and now there are maggots everywhere. I also vomited when I opened the fridge, so there is vomit all over the doors and in the fridge seal.

They say:

The home will be empty so it should be really easy.

What they mean:

I have never lifted a finger cleaning, so I think cleaning is easy, and I haven’t cleaned all year, but I'll remove my furniture and leave behind all the trash on the floor.

I mean, my house was always clean growing up, and nobody ever touched a thing! (because my mom stayed home all day and cleaned and cooked while no one was looking like a magic fairy).

They say:

What? You want to charge how much? My doctor doesn’t even make that much in an hour.

What they mean:

I have no idea what things cost and I am very delusional. I don’t realize that when I go in for a check up with the doctor that even though I am in the office for 3 hours, I only see the doctor for 2 minutes. I also have no idea what really clean is, because I really don’t know how to clean properly, but I still think that it should cost less than a trip to the nail salon.

So I'm sure that you can imagine a million other little things that people say or might say that could possibly end up in a disaster of some sorts, or at the very least – a huge headache. This is one of the many reasons that we charge more for a first-time or a one-time cleaning. We also do hourly-only for all first time cleanings.

After the Fact

How do I put this kindly, or with words that won’t get me put in the naughty corner with my language? These are just a few things that folks will say after the fact, when the cleaning is all done, to try to get you to do a number of different things such as:

  • Trying to get a discount
  • Trying to get the cleaning for FREE
  • Try to get you to pay for a missing item

Not to say that there are not legitimate times when a discount is necessary or that we don’t pay for broken items, but there are times when you hear something and are like???? WHAT???? You think we did what?

They say:

I don’t think they even cleaned the floors.

What they mean:

I want to get the service for free. You need to give me a full refund.

How we respond:

I apologize if you feel that the service did not meet your expectations. I would be more than happy to send a team along with a supervisor back to your home to ensure that your floors are cleaned to your expectations, as well as our cleaning standards.

They say:

Your cleaners tracked dog SH*T ALL OVER MY FLOORS and up my stairs.

What they mean:

There is dog poop all over my floors and up my staircase leading into the bathroom, I cannot fathom that I, or one of my family members could have done this and not cleaned it up, so I am going to blame it on the cleaners. It is the only explanation since there is no way that my husband did this.

How we respond:

(Deep breath, slow calm voice, yes I am a zen master who can and will take this blow and make it better) Ma'am, I do not know how this could have happened, our teams are very careful and I can have a supervisor to your home in under 20-minutes (she happened to be close by)…..

(client refuses and yells at me, she really thinks we did this.)

I immediately offer her a refund, knowing full well that we did not cause this, she continues to yell, and asks to be taken off of the schedule (she was a bi-weekly client). (Deep Breath)

Yes Ma'am, I understand I will take care of that right now. I had not yet charged your card for today’s cleaning and I will mark your invoice with a zero balance. Again I apologize that this has happened (still not taking blame, but apologizing nonetheless).

PING: New Yelp Review

With client in all caps….screaming online about the dog sh*t that we tracked all over her house.

Panic mode: staff meeting….

What do we do??? My response…nothing, look at the review she sounds crazy.

Fast forward 48 hours later…the review is gone, and I don’t mean filtered. She removed the review. Thus confirming that I was right. It WAS her husband…She should have called and offered to pay for the service and apologized, but I am not here for moral judgement, and we didn’t like to service her anyway. Sometimes you just have to cut your loses and cut out the crazies.

Here's a final example. A broken basketball hoop. It was 10+ years old, and rusted…so when we bumped into it on the way out of the driveway it split in half. It was one of those that usually have the sand in the base, but they had put some cement in the ground and made it more permanent. The client wanted it replaced with a stadium-sized, adjustable height, professionally installed model to the tune of $7,000…I flat-out refused and told her we would not charge for her cleaning and that our handyman would replace the hoop with the same make and model that was currently installed, or else we give her $75 towards the new hoop. She refused. I said ok…I will go ahead and start a claim with our insurance company…what is the the best number to reach you on? Great. You should hear from them within 48 hours to get the details.

There are so many scenarios that you can walk into in this line of business. Its never to late to take the clues to heart, and walk away. If your gut is telling you not to service these folks in the first place, you are likely right, they will be trouble down the line. They will end up costing you more money than they are worth, and even worse, they will haunt you in your nightmares (and your online reviews).