A cleaning business owner wrote the following in response to a Tip of the Week article called "Do You Dread Cleaning Customer Phone Calls?"
We have a little over 100 customers in our company and I dread those complaint calls. We fortunately get very few and there is a reason for this. We deal with the same employee problems and quality problems as other companies.
While this info may not be profound it may help some of you. Here's what we do to prevent these calls:
1. We start with good training.
2. New employees require a lot of initial supervision until they are capable of working on their own. Additionally, a supervisor just visiting a site, unannounced, while the employee is working, tells the employee that a supervisor is liable to stop by any night at any time. This goes a long way in not only "keeping them on their toes" but also letting them know we care about them and are available as support for them at any time.
3. We use a checklist/communication log at every site. The employee puts her initials next to every task performed on the list. There is also a communications section for the employee to leave messages for the client and, more importantly, for the client to communicate with the employee and our supervisors. Many minor issues are addressed and resolved right here before they become complaints.
4. Our office Administrator calls our clients on a regular basis, usually about once per month, and solicits their feedback. The most important question we ask our clients is "Are we meeting your expectations?". We also make ourselves available for walk-through evaluations with our clients at their request or convenience.
5. Of course, our supervisors perform periodic written evaluations on each site as well. Typically, once per month. Each site is different; some require more evaluating than others.
6. All feedback is documented and discrepancies are addressed. Discrepancies are addressed IMMEDIATELY, not the next time we service the client; even if it means going to the site immediately.
7. Quarterly we send and email survey of our performance to each client. Again, the most important question on the survey is "Are we meeting your expectations?".
What do YOU do to deal with customer complaints? Post your comments by clicking on the Comments link below.