One veteran cleaning business owner learned the hard way the importance of using a scheduling program!
I’d been in business about three years when I learned the lesson of calling clients right way if anything unusual happens in their home – and also the importance of a scheduling program.
We used to clean for Mr. and Mrs. Stewart bi-weekly on Tuesdays. On this Tuesday morning, there were two of us like usual, and neither one of us was feeling all that great — probably too much rain. We got to Mrs. Stewart’s about fifteen minutes late and went directly into the master bedroom and stripped the bed. I ran the dirty linens downstairs while Tonya put fresh linens on. On my way back up to start cleaning I remembered that we had actually just been there one week earlier! CRUD! Our real job was all the way across town and now we were really going to be running late! We raced out of the house and onto our next job laughing at ourselves the whole time. I made a mental note to call the Stewarts later that day to apologize – then I promptly forgot that note!
I did, however, remember on Friday afternoon. I called and got Peg on the first ring. I told her how sorry I was for coming in on an unscheduled day and changing the linens and that we would make sure never to let that happen again.
She burst out laughing! She kept saying things like ‘Oh my gosh,’ ‘Oh no,’ ‘Wow,’ ‘Oh no, I can’t believe it’ – amidst her laughter. I had absolutely no clue why we were both chuckling until she said that Bob had been staying in a motel since Tuesday night when they got off work after she confronted him about what he was doing at home in the middle of the day. When he denied it, she promptly showed him the clean sheets and told him to explain THAT! Apparently all his protests had fallen on deaf ears, and he was sent packing!
She was more than a little relieved to hear about our mistake, and we all had a little giggle at poor Bob’s expense.
Cleaning without getting paid? – $26.78. Learning the lesson – PRICELESS!
Liz Trotter is founder of American Maid Cleaning as well as an entrepreneur and leadership trainer based in Olympia, Washington. She is also a former ARCSI board member, creator of the Culture Circus employee development system and a charter member of Cleaning For A Reason. For more information about her business, American Maid Cleaning, click here.