We all have them — high quality customers who have you clean for them on a regular, scheduled basis and listen to your advice. They stick with you for years and years and provide you with valuable referrals.
We all have them — those crazy customers who call you sporadically, usually when they are in desperate need because the in-laws are coming over or they have a party tomorrow. But next time, they toss you under the bus with glee because another deal came their way.
We always talk about the former. It’s the latter that I want to talk about this month.
In conversations with cleaners all over the country recently, I was asking about some of the crazy things customers do that can be really irritating to business owners and their techs.
For me, one that really stood out was a customer who used oven cleaner to remove some spots from the carpet. Yes, the spot came out. So did the carpet, the padding and some of the subfloor, I think.
What about you? Do you have crazy customers?
Rick Smith, Hurricane Cleaners in Skowhegan, ME cleans a local Pizza Hut that also likes to use oven cleaner, even on the walls of the restaurant. You would think a commercial setting would know better, right?
Chuck Martin, owner of Martin Professional Cleaning & Restoration in Pittsburg, KS had a customer inform him she uses meat tenderizer to remove blood spots from her carpet. Maybe she ran out of paper towels and peroxide, I don’t know.
Andrew Somers with Inside-Out Cleaning Services in Blockhouse, Nova Scotia has to wonder about one of his customers who uses cleaning products made from crushed sea shells, not to mention the one who was removing spots with Windex as he arrived for the job.
Finally, a few cleaners commented about how many of their customers get out anything with bleach, because “Bleach makes things bright and clean.”
Now, here’s a business building tip. When these things happen, we have to watch our reaction. We might be tempted to exclaim, “You did WHAT?” when we should just listen to them and then calmly explain a better process.
We are the professionals. We know how to get the job done right. Your customers? They need to stand back and let you do your work.
But convincing them of this… that’s a different challenge altogether.
That’s my rant for the month. Get busy, have fun and remember that Cleanfax is always here for you.