Your job as a professional commercial cleaner doesn’t end as soon as you’ve packed up your gear and left the client’s premises. In fact, if you want your customers to repeatedly avail your services, you need to be able to provide a quality experience even when you’re not cleaning.
This is why after-service or after-sales support should be an integral part of your overall marketing strategy. By keeping your customers happy and engaged, you can cultivate lasting business relationships that in turn help drive growth.
Some of the biggest benefits of after-service support include:
- Customer satisfaction. Consumers nowadays are more discerning than ever with regard to the companies they support. Apart from quality products and services, they’re also looking for an organisation that listens to them and provides solutions to their unique problems. In fact, there are even those who put more value on the latter.
Ultimately, it won’t matter if you have the best offers in the market if you don’t provide good after-service support.
- Word-of-mouth marketing. There are some companies, like Apple, that are known not just for their products, but also for their stellar after-sales customer support. This is why Apple users are more than happy to recommend the brand to others.
If you provide stellar after-service care to your customers, you can count on them to let other people know about your company.
- Retention. Perhaps the most valuable effect having a solid after-service care programme is customer retention. When people are happy with your service before, during, and after a cleaning job—and know that you welcome their feedback—they’re more likely to be loyal customers.
It’s also much more challenging and costly to acquire new clients than to retain them. Moreover, loyal customers are more willing to try new products. All in all, investing in good after-sales programmes is good for business.
That being said, here are some tips for your improving your cleaning company’s own after-service care:
Send a Follow-up Email
Aside from wanting to feel appreciated, customers also want to know that they’re receiving customised services. Remember: different customers have different unique needs, so you can’t get away with generic, one size fits all services.
Fortunately, you can cover both of these bases by sending a follow-up email a day or so after completing your services to the client. Express your thanks for their patronage, making sure to personalise it with the correct name.
Then, at the bottom, add a link to a feedback form and way to rate your services. This will help you determine what you can do better in future jobs with that specific client. If you want, you can also give a small discount in the form of discount vouchers or even referral codes.
Establish a Dedicated After-Service Hotline
There should always be a way for your customers to get in touch with you for any reason. That being said, using the same telephone number for inquiries, bookings, and after-sales can clog up your network.
The best thing to do is to set-up a dedicated hotline for after-service concerns. You may also want to have a separate email address for this purpose. This way, you can immediately address such concerns and you can be sure that nothing will fall through the cracks.
Offer a Money-Back Guarantee or Some Equivalent
When you offer a money-back guarantee, it’s a sign that you’re confident in the quality of your work. It also signals to the customer that you’re open to feedback, even if it’s negative.
Of course, this kind of programme can be challenging to implement because some properties are trickier to clean than others; the policy itself can also be prone to abuse. To protect yourself and the integrity of the programme, discuss the terms and conditions with the client before starting the job.
That being said, you should also be as objective as possible with regard to your customers’ assessment of your services. If they indeed aren’t satisfied and you aren’t able to meet expectations, own up to it and offer the promised compensation.
Come Up With a Loyalty Programme
Because it’s necessary to keep one’s environment clean for health and safety reasons, it’s all but assured that your customers are going to need cleaning services multiple times a year. However, you can’t be too sure that your clients will want to work with you again. This is where a loyalty programme can prove to be helpful.
This retention strategy involves rewarding your customers for their repeated patronage. Think about Starbucks and how each purchase earns you “Stars”, which you can use to avail more rewards.
For a cleaning business, a loyalty programme can come in the from of free services (e.g., carpet cleaning) after a set number of bookings. You can also offer gradually increasing discounts per services booked, or free cleaning products from your partners.
The bottom line here is that it’s important for any business to work towards retaining existing customers as much or even more than acquiring new ones. Through a robust after-service care programme, cleaning companies can keep their customers happy and more likely to stay loyal.