Managing And Maintaining Smaller Accounts
When most entrepreneurs start in the cleaning business, they pick up one or more small accounts with the dream of acquiring larger office buildings and other sites over time. If they persist at satisfying these first customers, over time they can network and market their way into larger business requiring different skill sets.
Managing small accounts (insurance office, barber shop, small auto dealership, law firm, banks) are an art in themselves since they can be more demanding than a larger impersonal contracts. Although someone getting started wants to look at any business, they need to take into account the location, distance required and of course, tasks necessary to keep the business.
Consider the following suggestions:
• Try to consolidate small accounts in a reasonable geographic area (radius of 3-5 miles) so that travel time is minimized.
• Respond to complaints/requests promptly and make sure the customer is satisfied with your response.
• Make sure to personalize the service you provide by knowing the key POC’s (Point of Contact) that may be the owner or office manager.
• Find creative ways of doing the little things that send the message that you consider them to be your most important customer (which may be more true than you are willing to admit at the time).
• Always look for mutual gain by understanding what their goals and needs are beyond the contracted services.
• Look for additional service that you can provide. For instance, if carpet cleaning or stripping/recoating is not included in the contract, offer a discounted service based on referrals provided by the customer.
• Look for opportunities to refer business to these other small businesses who will appreciate your support in many ways.
Although all of the suggestions apply to any size account, it is important in starting out that one establish a customer focused culture that will grow as the business grows. Managing customer expectations is a learned skill set that can have tremendous benefits to future growth in a highly competitive business environment.
Your comments and questions are important. 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.