Is That a Good Cleaning Customer?

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“The customer’s always right.” You’ve heard that one many times before – but is it always true?

Yes, you do have to do everything possible to make a customer happy. But if you’ve been in business a while, you’ve known that most customers are fair while a small number have constant, frivolous requests.

In business, including the cleaning business, it’s all about relationships. What you often don’t hear is that the relationship has to be win/win for both parties. If the scale tips too far in favor of you or your client, one of you is going to get unhappy.

And that’s when the problems start. If you’re not providing quality service, the customer complains more. If your customer starts to complain too much, then you start losing patience and eventually, profitability.

How to Work Your Way Through Tough Client Situations

Every client’s going to make requests from time-to-time. But how do you know whether they’re requesting too much?

That’s pretty easy. Figure out what margin you need to make with each customer, while staying in line with prices within your market. Track all the time and costs that go into a certain customer for at least a month, and up to 3 months for a precise gauge.

If you’re falling drastically short of where you need to be to deliver a quality service, it’s time to have a discussion with your client.

All you have to do is have a written record of your costs and their requests, and then present the data to the client. Then, you have clear, logical grounds for increasing your prices. If they agree, then you’re in good shape.

But some will balk and ask to terminate their service. As long as you have a logical reason for increasing prices, then many clients will actually agree. If a client leaves instead, then you’re free to pursue better ones.

A Graceful Way to Let Go of Clients

Of course, whenever you part ways, you want to do so on good terms, if possible. Didn’t Warren Buffet say a business’s reputation is the most important thing it has?

Whenever you decide to let go of a client, make sure you discuss a win-win way of doing so. Let them voice their concerns, and also explain to them your side of the situation and what you need to make the relationship fair.

If they’re unwilling to make any changes going forward, let them out of their contract early. Refer them to a business that fits their needs better. Ask them what terms they feel would be reasonable for an amicable departure.

Finally, you can’t make everyone happy – no matter how hard you try. But do your best to do so – your business’s livelihood depends on it.

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