How to turn complaints into opportunities

UGH!  You just got an email after hours and before even opening it up, your stomach is already in knots. You recognize the name – you cleaned for this Client just today – what’s wrong now?? You don’t want to open it but you can’t stop yourself – and there it is – another complaint.  Now what?

My suggestion is CELEBRATE! Be thankful for this opportunity to improve your business. It’s negative feedback that makes you better – if you let it. It doesn’t have to be personal, it can be just business.

How does the IPhone keep getting better, clearer, and smarter? Not because Apple listens to what is great, but because they listen to every complaint. They don’t judge the validity of the complaints, just the quantity. They listen with an open mind and to how many people are complaining about the same things – and those are the things they change.

Track and pay attention to your feedback? Did someone do a paper towel test and complain that their floor wasn’t perfect? Is it the only time anyone has ever complained about your floors?  If so, is it the start of a trend or just a problem with this one house? What was different about this house? If it isn’t the first complaint, maybe that’s an opportunity for you to be logical instead of emotional – and make a change for the better. Opportunities tend to be disguised as problems.

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, a partner in Cleaning Business Builders, creator of the HiPEP employee development system and a charter member of Cleaning For A Reason.

Being Reactive: Common Complaints & Service Recovery

This class, delivered by American Maid founder/owner Liz Trotter, reviews the basic elements of an apology to make it easier for owners/managers to quickly and easily de-esclatate angry customers and then turn them into happy and even more loyal fans of your service.


Every client has his/her own way of doing things, and the same goes for the technicians you hire. No matter how good your training and management, technicians will miss things and clients will complain. How you respond to the immediate emotion of your client as well as your system for correcting the problem is directly related to your ability to “save the client.”

Class Agenda

  • – Who are you?
  • – Handling Unmet Expectations (customer complaints)
  • – The Formula for Apologizing
  • – Thanking Your Client
  • – Service Recovery Options (how not to lose the client)
  • – Public and Private Responses to Online Reviews
  • – Recommended Reading

Download Contents

  1. – Class Video (duration 52:13)
  2. – Class PPT Slides
  3. – AMCLLC (Liz Trotter’s) Apology Tools
  4. – AMCLLC (Liz Trotter’s) Service Excellence Program: instructions, forms, and tracking calculator
  5. – AMCLLC (Liz Trotter’s) Service Recovery Tools
  6. – CKINC (Tom Stewart’s) Inspection and Discipline Forms

This class (or business topic) was originally presented live as one piece of the comprehensive Foundations of Success program. Business coaches/consultants Derek Christian, Tom Stewart and Liz Trotter are now making all 22 classes of the program available through Foundations Fast Track. purchase the full program (all 22 classes at once) for only $2549!