Episode #42 — How Do You Deal With Cleaning Clients Who Always Ask For More?

Do you have cleaning clients that are always asking for more? Most cleaning companies do. We want to make our clients happy so often times we give away these “extras” for free because we feel uncomfortable telling them it will cost them more to receive that service.

Don’t keep giving away your time for free! Learn how to handle clients that expect more without having to pay for it.
The Janitorial Store


Episode #42 – Video Transcription

Most of the time we love our clients. After all, they’re the ones paying our bills! But once in a while we get a client who always seems to ask for more. “Can you take that pile of boxes out to the trash? Can you water the plants for me? Can you wipe down my lawn furniture when you come to clean? ” It’s always something! The thing is, you can do certainly do ALL of these things! But the question is, will you be PAID for your extra time and effort?

I often talk to cleaning business owners that are doing these extras and spending way too much time on tasks that they never agreed to do. Pretty soon, they realize that keeping the client happy is becoming a time-consuming thing and they’re actually starting to lose money on the deal! Ten minutes here and there may not SEEM like a lot of time spent on an extra task, but if you do the math and multiply it out over a year’s time, it can cost you thousands of dollars in extra expense!

For most clients, it’s probably going to be a simple, one-time request that will take maybe five minutes — no problem. But you know who we’re talking about — those clients that seem to have a constant stream of requests that make you cringe when they ask for that extra service. And some of these requests may require substantial time and possibly specialized equipment such as a carpet spotting extractor, if they’re asking you to remove a spot from the carpet.

In these cases, you must make sure your customer understands that this is outside the scope of your cleaning specifications and they will be charged for the additional service. And you must do it in a way that doesn’t make them feel as if you’re nickel and diming them. In a commercial cleaning situation, be sure you have a signed agreement that outlines your cleaning specifications. Also include prices for additional services such as carpet spotting, carpet cleaning and window washing. You should also include an hourly rate that you will use for any other services requested that are not covered in the agreement. That way you can say to the client, “Absolutely! I can do that for you. Per our agreement, it will be $30 per hour for that service.”

For the residential client that asks for additional services, say something like, ìI’m so sorry, I don’t usually have time left over for extra requests, so I’m not able to do that today. But – I’m happy to accommodate you in the future with just a little advance notice.  If you’d like, I can schedule an extra 30 minutes next time for this task and I’d be happy quote a price for you.”  This is a nice way to get the message across to the client that they will have to pay for always asking for more service.  They’ll get the message and will either ask you to quote a price or they’ll stop asking for additional “free” services!

So what I want you to do is to take a stand on how much service you’re going to give away for free. Then make a policy on what types of things are acceptable to do for free, and what your clients should be paying for. And then make sure you have a meeting with your employees so they’re aware of the boundaries, and know how to handle the situation when a client asks THEM to do an extra service.

Now I’d like to hear from YOU on this topic. Do you have clients that are taking advantage of your time by asking for additional services that are not on your list of specifications? Let me know how you’re handling it by posting your comments below the video at CleaningBiz.tv.

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