Addressing customer complaints as soon as they arise is important for all businesses—good customer service is all about responding to customers in a timely fashion, right? While a business should ensure that their customers are happy with their product or service, it shouldn’t have to happen after the customers have complained. A proactive approach to customer service by your cleaning company can reduce or eliminate those uncomfortable (and sometimes downright unpleasant) complaint calls you have to make. It’s about anticipating your needs and meeting them, ensuring that you, the customer, are satisfied with the service you receive.
Proactive Customer Service vs. Reactive Customer Service
Proactive cleaning companies ensure that their customers’ needs are met before the customers are even aware of them. Reactive cleaning companies scramble to address those needs after receiving a complaint call, email, or text. No matter how quickly they resolve the problem, the fact remains that the customer had to take the time to alert their service provider to the issue. As a customer, which approach would you prefer? If you’re like most people, the proactive company would probably get your business.
Reactive customer service puts more of the burden on you. Whether you are questioning one of their practices, making a complaint, be it small or large, you are the one alerting cleaning company management to the issue. They’ve put themselves in the position of trying to keep your business, all because they weren’t sufficiently proactive.
For a cleaning company, a complaint call is bad enough; but they dread the “last straw” call even more—that’s the call they get from an enraged customer who just can’t put up with the service for another minute. The scariest type of “last straw” call comes when it’s not expected. When a manager gets a call from a customer saying that the service has been consistently sub-par, but this is the first the manager has heard of it, that’s a sign that they’re not paying close attention to what’s going on in the building. This is typically a sign that the company needs to implement a systematic quality control process to monitor the cleaning.
Example of Proactive Customer Service Procedures
Have you ever had to make a call about a small issue, but you’ve had to make it so many times the issue feels larger than it really is? Say, for example, you’re calling to tell your cleaning company that the soap dispenser is empty in the ladies room—again. While this isn’t a big deal, the fact that you have to make the same call on a monthly basis has really started to wear on you. Sure, the cleaning company apologizes, and sends someone out to fill it right away, but are you left feeling happy with their customer service? No. You’re tired of having to call them every time the soap dispensers are empty.
How should a cleaning company address an issue like this? A conversation with their employees to keep more careful track of the soap dispensers isn’t going to solve the problem. Chances are, they’ve had the talk before, and the workers have forgotten it time and time again. Or, there’s been turnover among the staff, and the new folks haven’t heard the speech about keeping the soap filled. Instead of putting the responsibility on the employees, managers should look at their training procedures and checklists. If checking the soap on a daily basis isn’t part of the system, they should add it to the list and re-train the employees so that it becomes part of their routine.
Our Proactive Approach to Customer Service
It’s our belief that taking a proactive approach is preferable when it comes to customer service; solving problems before they even arise will ensure that our customers are consistently satisfied. While no cleaning company can guarantee they’ll never have a complaint, here are our processes for being proactive when we serve our customers.
- Quality Control. We utilize a high-tech quality control system known as CSG Auditing Platform or CAP™. This system is utilized by everyone in the company, and, unlike other companies who simply assign written checklists to supervisors, it ensures that every team member is accountable for their actions, meaning that problems are resolved before the customers are aware they exist.
- Training Evaluation. When there is a call or complaint from a customer, our management team evaluates the issue to determine if it’s a training failure or a systems failure. If it’s a training failure, they re-train the employee and follow up until they feel confident the issue is resolved. If they decide that the failure lies in the system, the team meets with supervisors to discuss revising their systems to resolve the issue once and for all.
- Solicit Employee Feedback. We frequently request feedback and ideas from our field technicians, testing the best ideas to see if they work in the real world. If the solution passes our test, we immediately implement it into our processes throughout the organization. This sets us apart from our larger competitors; innovation is often bogged down by layers of management and bureaucracy, making change slow and painful. Our streamlined and efficient processes ensure that we’re able to implement new ideas with ease.
- Solicit Client Feedback. In addition to learning from our employees, we want to know what our clients feel we can do better. We don’t just ask, “How’s the cleaning going?” We know the answer to that! The purpose of our discussion is to determine if there are any changes happening that we should know about; is there an upcoming executive visit we can help you prepare for? Do we see a need for a change in service frequency because we’ve noticed an area that should be serviced more often or an area that we don’t need to service as frequently? We want to include our clients in our process as much as possible, so we always know if their needs have changed.
Are you interested in using a cleaning company with a proactive approach toward customer service? CSG is committed to proactivity, ensuring that issues are resolved before their customers are even aware there was a problem. Contact us today for more information!