As usual, let’s get right to it.
What are these windows of vulnerability, and why do I need to know how to survive them?
Ok, let’s say the cleaning person you have assigned to one of your best accounts for a long time has just left to retire.
Or, let’s say, at another one of your buildings, your customer has assigned the office manager to work with you, because the contact you normally deal with has been eliminated.
Or, let’s say, you’ve promoted the site manager who has been supervising one of your accounts for years to another bigger account.
Or, let’s say, your customer calls to let you know some ‘things’ have been coming up missing around the office. They’re not saying it’s your people.. but they just wanted to let you know…
Or, let’s say, while trying to get your customer ready for some VIP’s coming in for a meeting, your floor crew accidentally knocked an ornamental keepsake off of one of the big bosses’ desks. And, yes, it broke.
Ok, I’ll stop.
These are ‘windows of vulnerability’ I’m talking about.
You can say, in nearly every one of the cases, it’s either no one’s fault, for example when people are
moved, promoted or retired or, at least you could say, no one did it intentionally.
You might like to just think of it that way, and get back to business as usual.
Better think again.
When a ‘window of vulnerability’ appears in your cleaning business, it’s best to treat things as, anything but, business as usual!
You see, it doesn’t matter if it was your fault or not. And, it doesn’t matter if the reason for it happening had anything to do with you at all.
The reason why these things happen doesn’t matter.
The reality is, they did happen, and you’d better realize what your customer may start thinking and feeling.
And what is that?
Well, let’s take a quick look, shall we….
The cleaning lady they’ve known and trusted for years is leaving to retire – that’s CHANGE. And that change, may make them feel nervous about who you’re planning to put at their building to replace that person with.
The new person, of course, will be a “stranger’ to them at first, as any new person is. And it doesn’t matter if it makes any sense or not, the fact is, it’s CHANGE… and it makes them feel uneasy!
And, here’s a hint, you don’t want your customers feeling uneasy, at least not about you and not for long!
Again, it’s not necessarily logical.
It doesn’t matter.
It’s change. And sometimes, many times, any change at all, can send up “red flags” for your customers, along with their radar to watch the cleaning!
Let’s look some more…
When the office manager takes over the job of your former contact, it may have absolutely nothing to do with cleaning. But, the old saying a ‘new broom sweeps clean’ can have some truth to it – as you hear that the ‘new guy’ in charge is looking to ‘shake things up’ and make some CHANGES.
You promote a site supervisor, and you begin to hear your contact say little things like.. “I don’t know, we sure hated to lose Rose, things just don’t look the same around here since you moved her!”
And you may start to hear this after only a couple days of you making the personnel move…as your customer begins to miss the way it was and complain about how it is now.
It isn’t blame that we’re worried about here. It’s mind set.
And you want to keep your customers mind set POSITIVE about you and your cleaning company.
Well, here’s a few tips to survive your ‘windows of vulnerability’:
First, always keep in touch with your customers, but stay in even closer contact when you face a “window of vulnerability”.
Second, listen to your customer. Be sure to listen for what they’re feeling… when these changes happen.
Third, reassure you customer not only that you understand their concerns, but that you have a plan to make sure things work out smoothly for them.
Fourth, continue to stay closely “on top” of the situation and in touch with your customer, until you, and your customer, are convinced things are ‘well in hand’ again.
Sure, you want to have systems in place to avoid as many of the common mistakes cleaning companies can make as possible. That’s a given.
But as much as you prepare and plan, you’ll still at times be faced with these ‘windows of vulnerability’.
If you recognize them when you see them, and act proactively to deal with them, you’ll not only survive these ‘windows’, but may actually have the chance to show a level of personal commitment to your customer they won’t soon forget.
You Can Do This, You Really Can,