Episode 160 – Scope Creep on Cleaning Services is Killing Your Business
Episode 160 Jeff Norris Simply Clean Janitorial What is “scope creep” and how does it cost cleaning services money? Mike talks with Jeff Norris owner of Simply Clean Janitorial about how to kill scope creep AND make your cleaning services customers MORE profitable all at the same time. BONUS LOVIN: Jeff is a return guest and you can check out his first appearance on the show on how to market your cleaning company HERE Since his last appearance, Jeff has increased focus on outstanding customer service and referral business. This has created issues with not knowing where good customer service ends and customers taking advantage way too much free service begins. Mike encourages Jeff that it doesn’t make sense to spend a bunch of time and money getting new customers if you don’t have a profitable working business model that keeps customers happy in place already. KEY POINT: If your cleaning services customers are just sticking around because they are too lazy to switch, fix that problem before you chase more customers So while you are focusing on making your customers fall in love with you, how do you make sure you don’t get taken advantage of by giving away the farm with free service? Does any of this sound familiar?? Would you mind changing these light bulbs? Would it be ok if you cleaned extra well for this event we have? Can you do any handy man work or light painting? Can you just clean out that microwave every couple of months? Requests like this can put you in a tricky spot. You definitely want to deepen your relationship with your customer. It is a good sign when they depend on you for more and more. This makes it more painful to leave and they tend to want you and your cleaning services more often. The risk you run is losing focus and doing a poor job. This can end up with you losing your cleaning services work because you made a mistake on a “freebie” you offered that is not in your area of expertise KEY POINT: The most expensive “free” Work is the work that gets you fired! Be crystal clear on what business you are and aren’t in. So many owners of cleaning companies overestimate what they can do well. Be crystal clear on what business you are in. Just as important- what businesses you are NOT in… Once you are clear on what you do and don’t do, it’s time to add surprise and delight to your cleaning services- without giving away the farm. The key to this is customer perception. To really understand the power of perception, imagine getting two very different referrals. The first sounds like this… “You have to call Jeff, he’s so cheap, I think I’m taking advantage of him” The second… “Jeff is amazing! I pay him a little more than I have paid in the past, but I always had headaches and this guy handles everything!! One of those is going to take a lot of work to convert into a good customer, the other is a slam dunk! See how the positioning makes all the difference? KEY POINT: You can control how you position you and your cleaning services right from the start. If you start by not clearly defining the scope of work and always “throwing things in” for free, you devalue your company and the work that you do in the eyes of your customer. When you are clear and set it up right from the beginning, the relationship is much more profitable. Mike also explains how to increase customer value by offering different levels of service at different price points. Some percentage of the population are always going to opt for the most expensive option. It’s just who they are. Make sure you offer the the opportunity to spend more with you. Have you ever dealt with a prospect whose needs should cost $2,500/ mo, but they only have a $1500 budget? It can feel like you have to give away your cleaning services or lose the job. Instead of trying to cut all of the profit out of the job, offer two bids. One that meets his budget and only includes the basic level of service. A second price that will do everything he wants but is higher than his budget. In addition to closing more bids, you position yourself in such a way to avoid scope creep. When they come asking for those extra features in the future, you just tell them you would be happy to upgrade them to the $2,500 plan you offered in the beginning. Either they upgrade (win) or they decide that the extra work isn’t worth it and you don’t do it for free (win). Once you are clear on exactly what your cleaning services do and do not include, AND charge fair prices for them- you can add in some surprise and delight! KEY POINT: Surprise and delight allows you to under promise and over deliver on your cleaning services every time You might leave a hand written note, a candy jar that you refill every time you clean, a special scent. The key is to be creative and create a system that ensures every customer feels special and appreciated. HINT- the more you charge, the more budget you have to blow them away with your cleaning services. Of course no podcast/ blog/ video would be complete without a trip to the…
Best advice you’ve received either personally or professionally?
Being true to myself and my family.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the cleaning business we can all learn from?
In the beginning doing EVERYTHING and ANYTHING…nothing was done well it was just done.
Can you share one idea people can use to improve their lives or businesses TODAY?
Schedule your jobs and your life and be true to it.