The desire of every business is simple – growth. This means bringing on new clients, new employees, and expanding your operation. But there's one thing that many businesses overlook in their growth strategy; and that is leveraging their current client base.
In the cleaning industry, you have the potential to form very strong relationships with your clients. As your relationship grows, they will view you as an essential service provider. This becomes an important doorway for growing your cleaning business.
Some of you may be thinking, "If they're already my clients, how will they grow my business any further?" The answer is tied to their expansion and growth as well as your deepening relationship.
Move with Your Cleaning Clients
When a client's business grows, it often means not just in profit, but in physical scale as well. When this happens, it offers you the unique opportunity to expand the scope of the services you offer.
It goes without saying -- when there's a larger space to clean, it costs more to clean it. That's why it's imperative to move with your clients as they grow into a new space, so that your operation can grow with them.
Of course, a move can impact your growth in more ways than one. You may be asked to do the final cleaning on their old location and perform the construction cleaning on the new space.
Another way a client’s move might benefit you is with the additional, specialized services their new building will require. From additional windows to ceramic tile or granite floors, it’s important to consider the new services your clients will need at their new location, and bill them for it accordingly. In fact, submitting a yearly maintenance schedule will ensure their new assets are being properly cared for on a regular basis.
In many ways this is much easier than adding additional clients. You can maintain an already good relationship, keep staff who are familiar with the particular client they are working with, all while allowing you to profit from the additional services rendered.
Turn Your Cleaning Clients into "Unpaid" Sales Staff
With positive relationships come positive perks. One of the most powerful ways you can leverage your client base is through their references and referrals.
There's a distinct difference between a referral and a reference. A referral is when one of your satisfied clients is happy enough with your service to pass it along to an acquaintance when they hear they are looking for a cleaning service. While often extremely helpful, referrals are not as impactful as references.
With references, extremely satisfied clients may go the extra mile and actually speak to prospective customers on your behalf. In effect, they act as unpaid sales representatives, helping prospective clients realize the value your cleaning service has already provided for them, and can provide for the potential customer.
Make sure you build strong, meaningful relationships with your current clients to establish satisfaction, which will encourage them to be references for your business.
How to Build Relationships with Your Clients
Before you can use existing clients to build your cleaning business, you need to establish a strong foundation with them first. There needs to be a sense of mutual satisfaction, so that their assistance is comfortable and natural.
To establish this relationship, there's a few steps you can take. First, when talking to your client, make sure the conversations frequently touch on subjects other than cleaning. Don't just talk to them like you're paid to do so -- try and make a real connection.
Ensure that your supervisors and managers are also friendly with your clients, as they will likely be speaking with them more often. You can even implement a monetary incentive for those supervisors who are able to successfully expand their cleaning with an existing client.
Most importantly, you must offer a service your clients are impressed by. Through competitive pricing, excellent service, and comprehensive offerings, your clients will want you to grow your business with theirs.
Growing your business is not always about seeking out new clients. Often, the tools to grow your cleaning business are already there in the clients you currently service. As they grow, they'll want you to grow with them – provided a solid relationship has been established.