The person keeping you in the field might be you. Use this 6-step process to turn the cleaning over to your technicians.
Good for you, you’re ready to get out of the field and turn the cleaning over to your technicians!  But what about your clients?  They only want you.  Nobody cleans as well as you do, nobody cares about them or their home as much as you do, and nobody knows them as well as you do.  Now what?  Follow these six simple steps to a quick, easy transition.  Remember that everybody is looking out for their own best interests and that includes your clients.  

1) Figure out what the client will gain by having one of your fabulously trained cleaning technicians.
Have you been overworked and not able to give the one on one attention you really pride yourself on providing?  Will your techs be able to do this?  Will there be more communication between you?  Will they never have to worry about changes to their schedules due to errors from your not being in the office? Will billing errors disappear?  Will you be able to expand your service offerings with a larger work force?  Understand from the client’s perspective how this change will benefit everyone involved so that you can speak confidently about why it is the best choice for all involved.  

2) Have the technicians introduce and announce themselves every time they clean.
Rather than you introducing them, make it part of your best practices that everyone is responsible for introducing themselves. Try this line for the initial introduction.  “Hi Mrs. Johnson, I’m [tech’s name]. I’m happy to meet you. [The owner] has told me so much about you. I’ll be cleaning your [rooms] today, is there anything other than [hot spot] that you’d like me to focus on?” Make sure to prep your technician for this conversation BEFORE the first visit. This subtle shift in responsibility prepares your clients without them ever even noticing. After the initial introduction, have your tech enter the home first and greet the client before you.  

3) Train them both.  
You will need to train both the client and your tech to believe that she does an excellent job and knows this client very well.  Start by pointing out to the new tech all of Mrs. Johnson’s hot spots (those things you know she always looks at) – make sure you do this within ear shot of Mrs. Johnson.  It should sound something like this “Sue, when you’re cleaning the kitchen, make sure to wipe down the wall behind the trash can; she loves that to be really clean.”  Train your tech how to answer.  Instead of “okay,” try “Will do; I love a clean wall too!”  Let your client hear some enthusiasm and pride in your tech’s voice so she is trained to believe that your tech does an excellent job. If you need to correct your tech, make sure you are clear and relaxed about the SMALL correction. Any large corrections should be made outside and well away from the client.

4) Let the tech run the cleaning.  
The 3rd clean out for the tech, have them run the clean.  Let the client hear them running the job.  They should tell you where to clean, remind you of the hotspots, and generally work with you to make the client’s house perfect.  Remember, they both need to have confidence that the tech can and will do the best possible job.  Check your ego at the door; it is hard to be replaced, but if you truly want to get out of the field, you must turn over the entire relationship.

5) Check-in after the tech has been cleaning by herself for at least half the entire visit next time.  
Even if you need to just sit in the car and do paperwork, do not clean.  DO check in and ask “How are things going?  Do you need any help?”  If you did a good job in steps 3 and 4, the answer will be “No” and you can spend your time doing quality assurance.

6) Follow up with the client after cleaning,
Follow up with the client, beginning on the 1st day that you take the tech with you.   Get the client used to the idea of follow up calls or emails.  It should sound like “Hi, Mrs. Johnson, we are starting quality assurance checks for our best clients.  How did everything look yesterday?  Is there anything that you’d like us to know for next time?”  Use the word US to refer to your company so you can continue to use it when you are no longer cleaning in the home.  

Any objections you meet can be addressed by your work in step #1.   If you follow this plan, you will rarely need them.  You will find that the value in step #1 was in shoring up your own resolution, which is ultimately the main thing that is holding you back from this exciting step.

Liz Trotter is founder of American Maid Cleaning as well as an entrepreneur and leadership trainer.  She is a former ARCSI baord member, a partner in Cleaning Business Builders, creator of the HiPEP employee development system and a charter member of Cleaning For A Reason.