As a business owner, you deal with crises everyday.
Employee call in sick? Time to fix the schedule. Customer complaint? Better jump on that quickly or it will go public via an online review. But what do we do if the crisis had the potential to go beyond just a moment and potentially impact all current and future customers?
This is precisely what we’re all facing today as the COVID-19 virus affects every aspect of our daily lives and has the potential to impact our business in the coming weeks if not far longer.
Communication is key to mitigating the impact a crisis will have on your cleaning business.
It’s important to properly communicate to your existing and prospective customers what you are doing to address the crisis. We recommend drafting a letter directly from the business owner that details each and every process your business has in place as it relates to the crisis. Be sincere, truthful and clear with your messaging. Educate yourself and your employees. Provide links to creditable resources so your customers can educate themselves and further understand the reasoning beyond your processes. Post your information to your website and send the letter via email to every current customer. Update your message as the situation evolves and let everyone know how to receive updates (website, social media, etc.).
If you are pro-active, your customers will think of you as part of the solution rather than part of the risk.
Tips Specifically for House Cleaning Companies:
- Remember that each of your customers has invited you into their home. This is no small thing. Let this act of ultimate trust inform all of your communications.
- Share how your services can actually help homeowners follow CDC guidelines for protecting their family (think: disinfect, wash and clean!).
- Educate your staff so they can have informed conversations with customers should the opportunity arise. An informed employee is your advocate. An employee who exudes uncertainty or fear is a liability.
- If your schedule allows, invite your customers to increase the frequency of their services during this crisis – perhaps even offer a discount for temporarily shifting from monthly to weekly service, etc.
- Be patient and flexible with your customers. Considering waiving cancellation fees, etc.
- Consider hiring a registered nurse or other healthcare professional to visit (or video chat) during your next staff meeting to share best practices or even conduct additional training – AND share that you did this with your customers, on your website and via social media.
Coronavirus and COVID-19 Resources:
- Center for Disease Control (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Stanford Health Care (a consumer friendly educational resource)
Are we missing anything with our recommendations? We’d love to hear from you via the comments section below.