Business Communication with House Cleaning Service Clients
A Small Investment That Pays Big Dividends
Customer communication is how clients and prospective clients perceive a house cleaning service. People hire home cleaning services in Auckland to make their lives easier. As a residential cleaning contractor, you not only need to provide an excellent service, but you also need frequent communication with your client to ensure that both parties understand their responsibilities and that there are no misunderstandings.
The cleaning lady can clean a home, but a well-managed house cleaning service can ensure that it is squeaky clean.
What Is New Zealanders’ Communication Style?
The Cultural Atlas has something to say about communication style. Mind you, they are an Aussie crowd- but it seems they may have done some research. Word is that Kiwis:
- Are relatively indirect and avoid confrontational conversations. They are always polite, but speak honestly and make sure they get their message heard.
- Don’t do direct requests. “I was just wondering if maybe you would please mind doing…” is quite common.
- Apologise for interrupting even people who just ramble on. Is “Sorry, can I please just say something?” familiar?
- Are often self-deprecating, sometimes even when it’s just a joke.
- Insist on direct eye contact but no body contact, preferring to keep at least an arms-length between them and the person they are talking to. And men need more space than women.
A little “Say what you mean and mean what you say” every now and then may help to make for better relationships and better understanding, but certainly- almost everyone appreciates the polite and honourable way the average Kiwi interacts with his fellow beings. It’s just sometimes not clear what is meant, especially when communicating with clients.
What is New Zealand business communication etiquette?
New Zealanders tend to be quite formal in business communication, preferring formal attire and classic styles. In business, there are a few business rules that are considered to be the gold standard, and successful home cleaning services are well-advised to stick to them:
- Be on time always. Being late is never fashionable.
- Honesty is always the best policy. Maintaining a good reputation and a credible brand is the easiest way to grow your business.
- Keep a polite demeanour, and follow the lead of the customer. As they relax, you can follow suit, but never cross the line into being overly familiar.
- Be respectful, and observe their time constraints. Be flexible enough to fit in where they have the time to see you.
- The eye-contact thing is a big deal to Kiwis. Maintain eye contact, without seeming like you’re trying to stare them down.
- Address customers using their titles, such as Mr., Mrs., or Miss followed by the full name.
- Address mistakes and problems as soon as they happen. Own up to shortcomings, and propose ways to fix gaps or do better in the future.
- Always maintain an open customer communication line. Share tips, ask questions, and address concerns.
- Ensure that the cleaners on the job are properly trained and understand their cleaning schedules.
What Are The Main Consumer Law Acts in NZ?
In Auckland, most people understand that they are protected by consumer protection laws- and will remind you of your duties from time to time. Read up on what your obligations are and understand that the spirit of the law is just as important as what it says. Being committed to great customer service reduces negative customer feedback.
The laws and rules to study up on to keep squeaky clean are:
- Consumer Guarantees Act 1993
- Fair Trading Act 1986
- The Consumer Protection Section of the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment
Good Communication with your Residential Clients is Key
Before taking on a new client, it is essential to specify what services are included in their cleaning service. A few tips to make the process smoother:
- As you walk through the home with the client discussing the specifications list of what will be cleaned, be sure to ask plenty of clarifying questions. For example, “so you DON’T want us to dust the curio cabinet?”
- Do a written specifications list, so they know what is covered in their routine cleaning. The list may include the additional services you can provide such as carpet cleaning or window washing, the fees for those services, and how much advance notice you need before taking on any additional tasks.
- Explain to your clients your crew’s schedules as they may clean several homes in a day. Remind them that added services must be requested in advance. This not only ensures that your team can spend the additional time needed to clean, but that they will have the right supplies for the job.
- Excellent customer communication is vital in the case of accidents, mishaps, or broken items. Instruct your employees to leave a note whenever a problem or accident occurs, and to contact you immediately, so you are aware of the situation. It is handy to have a pre-printed form that contains a check-off list (broken item, a stain that would not come out, cracked window, etc.) to leave at the home and contact information for your cleaning company.
- Your cleaning crew can also leave notes if they notice additional tasks that need to be done. Is it springtime and the windows need washing? Are the carpets looking soiled and need cleaning? This not only shows the client that you care about their home but can also lead to additional services you can provide and charge for.
- Outline your cancellation policy in your customer contract and discuss it with your customer so they are fully aware of your policy. Conversely, if your employees miss an appointment, you need to have a system in place that will keep the customer happy – perhaps a discount on the next service.
Don’t let simple misunderstandings of the services you provide escalate into losing a client. Keep a good line of business communication open to help ensure your success. Make sure your cleaners leave notes and check-ups with follow-up phone calls to keep your clients happy and your profits flowing!