Category: Customer Service

Category: Customer Service

Why You Need to Listen to Your Customer’s Complaints

Being in the cleaning industry, dealing with customer complaints is part of the job. In fact, the same can be said of any service based business. Some clients habitually complain. Some clients are more reasonable than others. But often, client complaints are valid. Nobody likes hearing criticism, but perhaps we are simply looking at it the wrong way?

I recently listened to an interview with actor Mandy Patinkin. If you don’t know him, then you are not addicted to the Showtime program Homeland like I am. Or perhaps you haven’t seen Princess Bride where he was Inigo Montoya in 1987’s The Princess Bride, in which he delivers the iconic line, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Anyway, I heard the passionate Patinkin talk about his appreciation of criticism and how it can make us better.  That statement got me thinking about how a paradigm shift in regards to customer complaints just might do us some good.

An article in The Guardian outlines some of the benefits of criticism like this;

Criticism is a form of communication – If someone has a criticism it means they want to give you feedback on what you’re doing for them – that means an opportunity to learn more about the person who you’re working for and how to convert them into a satisfied customer.

Feedback helps make your product/service stronger – Use that information to change your performance, service or event – sometimes it will make for uncomfortable listening but it can make your offering stronger.

It forces you to think about how you work – Constructive criticism can guide you away from bad practices and towards good ones. Try to be objective and look at what you’re providing as though it’s not yours.

The right kind of criticism can give you an advantage – If you can get a customer to tell you how to give them the perfect product or service, that’s information you’ve got that no one else has. That puts you at an advantage over anyone else in your sector and can be used again in the future to get things right, even faster.

Use positive language, elicit a solution – Try to avoid getting into an argument. Instead, turn the exchange into a discussion about how to resolve the problem. This way you’re still in a position to get paid and you’ll waste less time guessing how to put things right.

So next time you get a complaint, don’t take it personally. Instead, listen and then thank that customer for helping you improve the way you do business.

“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” ~Aristotle

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown commercial cleaning company and authorized dealer for Ceiling Pro International. Our services include Ceiling Cleaning, Commercial Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Hard Surface/Tile Restoration, Rapid Disinfecting and Quality Assurance Inspections. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or by requesting a cleaning quote/demo.

Educating Customers for Success

We recently started a new contract in an office building with a wide variety of tenants. Already having experience in these type of buildings, we know what’s coming . . . a whole bunch of people with different opinions and thoughts on how their offices should be cleaned.

In addition to the task of building and executing an effective cleaning program for these clients, a good portion of our efforts also goes into managing their expectations. How do we do this? EDUCATION.  As a sales person in the cleaning industry, it is my responsibility to work with our customers and help educate them on what they can expect from their cleaning services and why.

Here are is some of what can be done in the sales/education process:

Start by Being a Partner: It doesn’t matter what you sell, or to who, position yourself from the get-go as a knowledgeable partner and a resource of information and opportunities to help solve your customers’ problems.

Tasks = Time = CostWork loading is a method cleaners use to calculate how much time every task within a cleaning program will take based on a specified space. Having such calculations to show customers allows them to understand the costs involved with what they are looking to purchase.

Get a Budget Or Scope, Not Both: We’ll sometimes get asked to bid on a cleaning contract where the customer will provide us not only the budget, but what he or she wants for that budget. Don’t bite on that one! To save everyone time and effort, it has to be made clear that the customer can provide you with one, but not both of those variables. If they want to stick to a budget, we will recommend what they can get for that. If they tell us specifics of what they want in their program, we tell them how much it will cost. Simple as that.

Follow-up and Follow-through: Winning the business is great, but it doesn’t stop there. Continual customer service and support is key. We’re the first to admit . . . we are not perfect and the business of cleaning is not perfect. Therefore, we continually strive to hit our marks and even if we don’t, we react quickly and effectively to find solutions that keep our customers satisfied. In any business (which is every business) that is prone to making “mistakes” from time to time, it’s the follow up and follow-through that makes the difference.

With experience comes intelligence. Passing on both of these things to new and existing clients will ensure for a much smoother and more successful business relationship for all.

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include Commercial Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Ceiling Cleaning & Restoration, Hard Surface Restoration, Quality Assurance Inspections and Efficiency Consulting. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.

Your Customer’s Complaints Can Make You Stronger

Being in the cleaning industry, customer complaints are a common part of the job. In fact, the same can be said of any service based business. Some clients dole out complaints more than others. Some complaints are more reasonable than others. Nevertheless, criticism is something that comes with the territory. We may not like it, but could it help us?

I recently listened to an interview on CBC’s Q with Jian Ghomeshi with Mandy Patinkin. If you don’t know Mandy Patinkin, then you are not addicted to the Showtime program Homeland like I am. Or perhaps you haven’t seen Princess Bride where he was Inigo Montoya in 1987’s The Princess Bride, with the iconic line, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Anyway, I heard the passionate Patinkin talk about his appreciation of criticism and how it can make us better.  That statement got me thinking about how a paradigm shift in regards to customer complaints just might do us some good.

An article in The Guardian outlines some of the benefits of criticism like this;

Criticism is a form of communication – If someone has a criticism it means they want to give you feedback on what you’re doing for them – that means an opportunity to learn more about the person who you’re working for and how to convert them into a satisfied customer.

Feedback helps make your product stronger – Use that information to change your performance, service, exhibition or event – sometimes it will make for uncomfortable listening but it can make your product stronger as a result.

It forces you to think about how you work – Constructive criticism can guide you away from bad practices and towards good ones. Try to be objective and look at what you’re providing as though it’s not yours.

The right kind of criticism can give you an advantage – If you can get a customer to tell you how to give them the perfect product or service, that’s information you’ve got that no one else has. That puts you at an advantage over anyone else in your sector and can be used again in the future to get things right, even faster.

Use positive language, elicit a solution– Try to avoid getting into an argument. Instead, turn the exchange into a discussion about how to resolve the problem. This way you’re still in a position to get paid and you’ll waste less time guessing how to put things right.

So next time you get a complaint, don’t take it personally. Instead, listen and then thank that customer for helping you do your job better.

“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” ~Aristotle

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include Commercial Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Ceiling Cleaning & Restoration, Hard Surface Restoration, Quality Assurance Inspections and Efficiency Consulting. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.