Welcome to The House Cleaning Podcast and to episode #66!
In this episode, as in every Perspective Wednesday episode - I will provide you with my point of view; in this particular show, I will be giving you my opinion when it comes to offering discounts.
Now, right off the bat, let me tell you that I am completely in favor of you offering discounts - if you’re in the beginning stages of your house cleaning business.
You might be thinking, “What if I am further along in my business?” What if I have a pretty-well established customer database? Well, if that is the case, then I am of the opinion that you shouldn't offer any discounts.
Allow me to explain.
First of all, if you’re in the beginning stages of your house cleaning business, I believe that it is essential for you to offer discounts. Why? Well, to begin, you’re starting off and it is very likely that your company is not known very well throughout your community and or service area. This was actually the realization I had when I joined my family’s cleaning business. Even though our company had a few years under its belt, we didn’t have a growth strategy. So, that was how I came to the conclusion that a growth strategy was needed.
You see, when you’re starting out, one customer can lead to many. The obstacle, however, might be the “how.”
How can I grow my customer database? How can I offer my current customers an incentive to help me grow my business? How can I offer potential customers a discount so they can try my service and give me a chance?
So, what we did, was to offer our current customers a 50% off discount on one cleaning appointment for every two paying referrals. What does this mean? Well, it meant that if a current customer referred five friends, but of those 5 only 1 ended up hiring our cleaning service, then they had referred one paying customer. Believe it or not, this was also something we had to learn in the beginning. I laugh now because when we offered this incentive years ago, we had many current customers referring dozens of their friends and family members, and we were just caught off guard! I mean we had to change the wording on our offer. We had calls from our current customers telling me, “Okay, I referred you 4 of my friends. Does that mean I get one free service?”
So, like I said, we had to make it clear that the discount would be applicable when they referred “paying” customers. And, what this meant was that if the referred customer hired us only for an Initial Cleaning, then that was all that mattered.
But, you see. That was all we wanted. We wanted that potential customer to try out our service. To see give us a chance and to see that we would more than meet his or her expectations when it came to house cleaning. And, just as importantly, the customer referral incentive would apply to them - the new customer - if they decided to hire our service for routine visits!
Now, another discount-offer method that I am in favor of is to straight out offer discounts to first-time customers who visit your website, for example. I recall placing an ad on our own website years ago, stating that we had a discount for “first-time customers” and that that discount was to be applied to their “first-time cleaning”. Many consumers know that it has now become normal for cleaning companies to charge more on the first visit, so getting a discount on the initial cleaning can translate to a few dollars in savings.
And, again, what you want - particularly in the beginning stages of your house cleaning business - is the opportunity to demonstrate that your service will meet the potential customer’s cleaning requirements and standards. And, what better way to attract new customers than offering a discount?
Now, what if you have had a business for a few months or years and you’re satisfied with the amount of customers you have? Is it suitable to offer discounts at this stage?
In my opinion, no. It is isn’t.
Look, if you have a customers who is extremely nice - or someone who might be going through a difficult time in their life, then you can consider the possibility of offering him or her a discount. Or, perhaps, you might want to do something nice for that very-nice client or for the customer going through a hardship.
I mean, getting off track for a minute here, think about it. If a customer is really nice, you can rest assured that he or she will appreciate you more if you do something nice in return than offering a monetary discount. I recall a few years ago, we used to clean the home of a very elderly lady who was just the nicest to our team. So, I would offer her help around the house. Now, keep in mind that this lady was very independent, but was getting to an age where she needed a walker to move around. So, I would tell her, if you ever need any help around the house, just give me a call and let me know, and I’ll do my best to come on over and help out. Well, she did take me on my word one day when she needed help changing a lightbulb in her bathroom. Turns out it was early winter, when it gets dark early and she realized her bathroom light bulb had blown. So, she called me and I did go that evening to change the light bulb. She felt better knowing her bathroom light would work now and I felt amazing being able to return the favor of her being so nice to my team.
Now, you think a discount would’ve made her feel as good as she did that day? Or, made me experience the feelings I did? Nope. I don’t think so.
But, again, going back to the topic. There are little things you can do to show appreciation to your current customers if you’ve been in business for a while. I just don’t believe the discounts should be one of them.
Here’s why. And, now, I’m going to be talking about mindset.
You know that I am of the belief that we should constantly be working towards the improvement of ourselves and our business. So, when you have a business that provides excellent customer service, excellent quality service, then you should expect premium rates, as well. “You get what you pay for.” And, if you’re the best of the best in your field, in your area of service, then you shouldn’t find yourself having to offer discounts.
Look, when you go to a fancy restaurant, you know you’re going to expect top-of-the-line plates. Would you even think of asking for a discount on their main course? No, you wouldn’t. Why? Because you know you will be getting the best of the best.
And, that is the mindset you need to adopt in your house cleaning business, as well.
Be the fancy restaurant. Be the luxury car - it’s funny, but I never see any ads offering discounts on Ferraris, Lamborghinis, or Porsches.
Be the best of the best.
Being the best means you do not offer discounts. Why? Because you deliver the best.
Well, that’s it for today. Let me know what you thought about today’s episode in the show notes section or send me a message on any of my social media accounts.
Do you offer discounts? Do you do random acts of kindness for your super-nice customers? If so, I’d LOVE to find out! Share with me and my audience!
I wish you all the best! And, I’ll catch you on the next episode!
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One more thing!
Danny Partida is the creator and host of