Client Happiness Starts ‘At Home’

By Jonathan Lorbacher, Vice President of Town & Country Cleaning

Retaining a client long term is perhaps the most straightforward way to keep your company growing. Customer happiness is one of the most important factors in retaining a client long term. There’s nothing controversial about those sentences at all. Most of you are reading this so far and saying…. “Well, duh!” A company with shoddy customer service is not long for this world. But HOW are you keeping your customers happy? Do you even know what they care about?

The Disconnect

Many of us think we know what customers want to be happy. They want a quality service, at a fair price, delivered by a professional. While those are things that a client wants, they are NOT the things that keep them happy. Rather, those are expectations they will have of any service provider. In short, they are not going to use the services of a company that cannot meet that bare minimum. Fall short in any of those areas and they will leave you. They are simply the basics of maintaining a contract with anyone. So how do you deliver something as elusive as happiness?

What Makes A Customer Happy?

A customer needs to feel “something” in relation to any purchasing decision they make. If they hate something they aren’t going to purchase it. If they feel indifferent, they might purchase it but will likely be settling against some perceived shortcoming that they sense. Eventually, they will move on. But if they are happy with it, not only will they stick by it, but they will also begin to identify with it. You can see this in the automotive world, with people who become devoted to their favorite manufacturer. Or, as a musician myself, I can tell you that other musicians often become raving fans of their favorite instrument. They feel connected to it. They talk to others about it. They measure others against what they have, and usually walk away more committed to what they have.

Sure, this might work for something tangible like a car, a guitar, or a pair of shoes. Can we create this, however, as a cleaning service or other type of business involved in the cleaning industry? In short, YES!

Alright, But How?

Most cleaning professionals approach this problem from the technician side of the equation. They either want to provide the best possible cleaning from a technical standpoint, or they want to offer such a low price that no one can look away. Both are WRONG. If you are trying to compete purely on cleaning quality, there is always a competitor willing to go broke who can devote more time to a job than you can. And if you are trying to do so on price, you will always get undercut by a newbie with no overhead. I’ve seen both situations play out time and again. What else are you bringing to the table?

Are you giving them peace of mind? How so? In my own business I discovered that an overlooked ingredient was my field technicians. During the early throes of the pandemic in 2020, like many of you, we watched half of our business evaporate overnight. People were afraid to have people in their homes. And yet, during that time, around 75 of those clients kept paying for service that they had no intention of receiving because they wanted to make sure THEIR cleaner made it to the other side of the pandemic. Some of those clients did so for more than a year! The most devoted of our clients were rabidly devoted to their regular technicians. This can sound scary to some companies that worry about those same technicians going rogue. But it does not have to be.

Cleaning is a highly relational business. Clients are inviting us into the inner sanctums of their homes and businesses. There is an immense level of trust that must be established and protected. Take care of your technicians! If you take care of your technicians and make sure they enjoy their jobs and want to protect them, they — in turn — will take care of your clients. If they take care of your clients, your clients won’t be led astray by the winds of cheaper services that are constantly popping up and disappearing again. Retaining a client long term dramatically increases their lifetime value, bringing you a much larger return on investment to your marketing efforts.

The ‘Too Long; Didn’t Read’ Wrap Up

We can say so much more here. There are many angles to explore, all of which will bring you closer to the desired goal of a devoted client. Many business gurus out there can tell you all manner of ways to widen the front door to your business. I’m not dismissing them. There are many great ideas on the subject, some of which might be tailor-made for your business. Yet, if you want longevity, you need to close the back door first. Start with your technicians. Client happiness starts with your team’s happiness. Want to build a portfolio of happy clients? You are going to need a team of happy, devoted technicians and administration.

Jonathan Lorbacher is Vice President of Town & Country Cleaning, located in Pittsboro, NC. Outside of business, he enjoys time with his wife and nine children and making music.

Town & Country Cleaning has been providing clean homes and businesses in central North Carolina since 1991. Additionally, T&C is heavily involved in educating cleaners around the world through the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification).

Share on Socials!

Related Articles

Related Articles

Comparing Lithium Batteries: Considering A Lithium Battery For Your Cleaning Machine? Here’s Some Facts You Need To Know

By Dan Sanchez, DS Media LLC Over the past decade, there has been a push in the battery industry to be the first to have a ...
Read More

Ozone Generation And Hydroxyl Air Treatment Provide Green And Effective Options For Bad Odor Removal In AFH Facilities

Newaire™ HO3 - 2500 Air & Surface Treatment System (Photo courtesy of Queenaire Technologies) Name the away-from-home (AFH) facility and chances are poor air quality and ...
Read More

Editor’s Note – June 2024

Harrell Kerkhoff The June 2024 issue of Maintenance Sales News Magazine includes the publication’s inaugural “New Products Award Entries.” Our subscribers will soon vote on these ...
Read More