Welcome to The House Cleaning Podcast and to episode #43: “No Worries, I Found Your Ex-Employees Already”.
Oh, this is going to be a good one!
Welcome to another edition of Perspective Wednesday!
A few weeks ago, it might be more than that, I posted an image on my Instagram account with the following message: “No worries, I found your ex employees already.”
That message was sent by a customer for whom we had been working for for a couple of years. And, that image, that post, on Instagram got a lot of attention. I received a lot of messages from followers asking me when that particular episode was going to be published. And, it took me a while to record it for a few reasons, but here it is.
Let me give you the context of the story and how I plan on providing you with my perspective as to how I handled the situation so that if you ever come across such a situation, you can have something prepared; although, let’s hope you never face such a situation.
So, like I said we had been cleaning this customer’s home for a couple of years, it might have been a bit more and towards our final weeks with her she had been skipping a cleaning appointment every other time. Now, when all of this happened it was around Thanksgiving when we get an enormous amount of inquiries from new customers. Since she was on our every-other-week schedule she was skipping one appointment which meant that we were really cleaning her home once every four weeks, basically once a month, for the every-other-week rate. And, not only that, but every time she skipped her appointment, she left an empty appointment slot that we could have filled with a new customer. Now, like I said, this had been going on for a few weeks, so that’s when we decided to tell her that we noticed that she was using our service once every four week at the every-other-week rate. So, we reminded her that we offered our services on a monthly basis. And, that we were going to start charging her the monthly rate because of this.
Well, let me tell you: If I say she went off when I told her this, it would be an understatement! She went off to tell me that on every visit she would “gift” our team members with certain items, snacks, articles of used clothes, etc. Which was all fine and nice of her, but we are a business. And, we could not continue to run our business, our schedule with her this way. So, I communicated this to her. And, that’s when she then went off to informing me of our imperfections as a cleaning service. She really went off at this point. Telling me how our business was really not worth it because we lacked quality (Which I was thinking to myself, if this were true, why did she wait so long to inform me of this? Why didn’t she let me know when I sent her our quarterly feedback requests? Or, why did she not just fire us, if she were truly unhappy with the quality of the service?)
Well, during the entire ordeal simply listened. I did not interrupt her or get into a shouting match with her. I listened. How long did I do this? Well, until she stopped, really, and when she got to the point of telling me that we were going to continue cleaning her house the same way we had continued; literally, giving me an order that nothing was to change at her home! Not the schedule, not the rates!
This is when I told her we would no longer clean for her. That after everything she had told me, it was clear to me that we were not the right cleaning company for her. So, I thanked her for having allowed us the opportunity to clean her home the amount of time that we did.
That’s when she said: “No worries, I found your ex-employees already.”
My response: “Happy Thanksgiving. Blessings to your and your loved ones.”
Look, I’ve mentioned this in the past and I’ll mention it again: we, as business owners, are going to face a lot of uncomfortable situations; not just with customers, but with staff or business partners. But, you have to view it as a learning experience. Never take anything a disgruntled customer tells you in the heat of the moment personally. Rather, take some time to analyze the whole situation, and learn from it. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I learned from this experience. How many procedures I created and implemented because of this; how I was able to improve my family’s cleaning business system.
Just to give you one example: we learned to notify our customers whenever they skip an appointment at the last minute the importance of giving us enough notice, enough time, so that we can know what to do with that empty time slot.
And, finally...think abundance. When the customer told me that she had already found my ex employees, I could’ve taken that in one of two ways: I could have gone into a rage because it was possible that my ex employees were reaching out to my customers; or, did what I did, and that was to think, “Hey, there’s enough for everyone.” Now, granted, there’s another lesson I learned. And, that was to have my employees sign a “non-compete agreement”; just to be on the safe side and make sure that they wouldn’t go after MY customers. But, you know what, I actually and truly wish success to everyone - and that includes my ex employees. I sincerely wish only the best to everyone!
Look, you guys, if you start to shift your mindset to gratitude, abundance, learning, then it won’t matter what kind of situation you face, you’ll face it with a positive attitude. And, that’s all I ask of you. Be positive. Don’t give up. Keep striving!
Well, that’s it for today. Let me know what you think in the comments section or send me a message on one of my social media accounts.
That’s it for today. I wish you ALL THE BEST!
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