Episode 282 – Managing Customer Expectations
How to Set Proper Client Expectations with a Cleaning Service Agreement
Today, we’re chatting with Derek Hart!
Derek brought up something that is very common in Cleaning Nation.
That is the concept of how can you set the proper tone and expectations with your clients so that they are incredibly happy with your service. The most obvious way is through setting up a signed contract that both parties agree to.
Instead of calling it a contract though, I prefer to call it a service agreement you give every new customer. These service agreements basically perform 3 functions for your business:
- Expectations of what you will and won’t do
Let’s tackle the first purpose it fulfills.
To be honest, you really don’t need contracts in MOST situations when it comes to residential and even commercial clients. The facts are if that client doesn’t want to pay you, you’ll stop cleaning for them. If you stop cleaning for them, they’ll probably stop paying you. There is no amount of legalese you can really craft here where that won’t be the case.
Resource Alert: Service Agreements and Why They Can Improve Your Accounts https://oldsite.growmycleaningcompany.comcleaning-service-agreements/
The one time that a legal sounding service agreement will work in your favor is if it is for a very LARGE client (talking at least six-figures annually) where you may need to hire additional employees specifically for this contract and have upfront investment costs in purchasing new equipment for the job.
In these cases, they can still get rid of you and stop paying you. So your best bet is to always have an exit clause of some kind where they quit your service within an allowed timeframe as long as they’re willing to pay what your “at-costs” investment was on purchasing the new equipment or hiring the new employees.
Now, the second part of a cleaning service agreement is all about what you will and won’t do.
Most people when they write these are only writing what they WILL do and forget what they WON’T do. The second part is the most important part, so make sure to include what you’re unwilling to do.
I actually prefer telling my clients that I WILL do something that I don’t want part of the original agreement if they’re willing to pay extra for that service. This gives me room to upsell them and to ultimately turn clients into higher ticket revenue for the company. This could be upsells like a deep oven cleaning or window washing services.
Instead of charging little one-offs for these upsells, you should position it instead as recurring cleaning packages that are more premium than your basic packages. Recurring revenue is always king!
Resource Alert: Winning Government Cleaning Contracts! https://oldsite.growmycleaningcompany.comgovernment-cleaning-contracts/
These packages might have a higher monthly price and include things like quarterly deep cleanings, changing out burnt out light bulbs, replacing air conditioner filters etc. All things that people usually forget about anyhow and pleasantly surprised you will do on their behalf making their lives way easier and less complicated.
The cool thing about these upsells is that they often don’t take that much time to perform and can easily raise the lifetime value of every client you get, so I highly recommend this.
Finally, the third thing that a good service agreement does is play into your marketing and sales process.
I’m a BIG fan of nurturing leads through email marketing. If you are teaching your leads exactly what to look for in a cleaning company, such as a cleaning company that advises you on best practices to keep pets out of the way of cleaners, then you should also include these same points in your service agreement.
You’re alerting them to possible pains in the email nurturing sequence, and in the service agreement, you are reaffirming their decision they made the right choice when they read that agreement and see again all the problems they want solved that you’re taking care of for them.
Remember, when you write out these documents don’t write them in the legalese boring way that no one is going to read.
Instead, make it fun and make it friendly.
Rather than saying, “We require all clients to put their dogs in a kennel when our cleaners come”, you can word it like “We really don’t want to disturb your loving dog and we would be super sad if your dog got out while we were there making your home beautiful for you. That is why we recommend putting the dog in a kennel or in an out of the way spot in the house before our cleaners arrive.”
Turn your service agreement into an easy to read and consumable document no longer than five pages. Create great graphics, designs, and eye-popping colors on it with short paragraphs so your clients actually read the document too.
Doing all of this will help you master setting proper expectations for your clients and make your job FAR easier.
Alright, all that being said let’s dive into the Lightning Round!
How to create a list of written expectations for clients you bring on
Best advice you’ve received either personally or professionally?
Always be learning and you can learn something from anyone.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the cleaning business we can all learn from?
Hiring from a position of desperation too quickly.
What’s one idea cleaning nation can put into practice to improve their business or their lives immediately?
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.