Handling Hard-To-Please Customers
A reader writes: “We have a customer that is never satisfied with our work. Any suggestions?”
Upon investigation, it turns out that this is a tenant in the building and is not actually your customer. The property manager is the one that should have direct dealings with them since it appears there is a history in this account and you are simply one of the pawns in a bigger game. The tenant is “not happy” because they want a friend who has a competing cleaning service to get this account. Although there is the possibility of a conflict of interest, the greater challenge for you is to do your best to stay out of the line of fire while this feud brews.
First of all, I conducted two unannounced inspections of just your area after it was cleaned and noted some minor points that needed to be corrected in order to fulfill the specifications. I also noted that your crew is actually providing some services outside the specifications in a vain attempt to satisfy this tenant. The danger in such a practice is that it can easily become an entitlement with other tenants wanting the same level of service but not having to pay for it. You were quick to correct me that the floor was damaged when the tenant’s friend applied a couple of coats of finish to a floor that does not accept finish. The tenant then complained that the floor did not look “clean” and in your attempt to remove the finish, the high pH stripper may have damaged the floor as well as the synthetic caulk/grout. Since you did the work, you may be on the hook for this unless you can conclusively demonstrate that the tenant’s contractor did the actual damage by using the wrong product. Good luck.
From this point forward, you need to stick by the specifications and document, document, document. I believe that the facts are on your side and hope it all works out for a win/win outcome.
Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…
Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.