Everyone wants the same house cleaner. The client wants to know and trust who is in their home. The house cleaner prefers to go to places she is familiar with and clean homes that she has developed a routine. The office prefers it too because it is easier to get a maid to a home she has already been to rather than a new location. Also, consistent relationships tend to produce happier clients which is the goal of a house cleaning company. So why is it so hard for some clients to get the same maid every time?
Sometimes, we are able to deliver the same maid consistently from the first cleaning on and everyone is happy. These clients were lucky enough to get paired with a maid who loved our job and made it a career. Unfortunately, most people don’t love being a maid. Sometimes, the very same maids who loved their job a few months ago burn out or realize the job does not make them happy. When this happens, we have to replace all of that maid’s clients with new maids. For some, the next maid we send makes them happy and we can be consistent. For others, the process repeats until we finally succeed in matching a maid to their home or they leave us.
Scheduling house cleaning is really a balancing act. Everything you do can affect everything else. When scheduling, you have to take into consideration the clients schedule and preferences and match that with a house cleaner’s residence, schedule and cleaning location. This always results in conflicting demands. To determine who gets what, we weigh every client based upon the volume of business and length of time using our service. We want to be sure that our biggest, most loyal clients are taken care of first.
If all goes well, a house cleaner’s schedule eventually fills with established clients. When this happens, that maid would no longer be able to accept new clients.
The big problems with cleaning schedules are they are fragile and interconnected. One house cleaner calling off or one client canceling can cause a chain reaction that changes multiple maid and client schedules. The house cleaning company should have backup maids that cover when maids call off. Without this system in place, it would be very difficult to handle last minute scheduling challenges. Even with a cover maids, the company has to consider the location of the maid in relation to the location of the home that needs to be cleaned.
Ideally, a service would clean all the homes in one neighborhood on one day and then move to the next area. This would be so much more efficient and probably lower the cost of cleaning services. But that’s not the real world.
Clients want the cleaning on the day and time they select. This causes a huge problem for the house cleaning company schedulers because they have to figure out how to get your maid to your area around your schedule. It is really not that hard with just a few maids but start scheduling for 10 or 20 maids and the complexities compound.
To service one of my Sewickley clients, I pay a requested maid to travel from out past Beaver for 25 miles/45 minutes just to get to the Sewickley cleaning. I then pay her again when she leaves to travel back out to Chippewa. The client probably has no idea that I spend almost $50 to get that particular maid to Sewickley on that particular day. It kills my bottom line and makes the cleaning marginally better than break even. If you factor in my hidden liability it is a losing proposition.
The only reason I agree to this arrangement is I made the mistake of sending her in the first place to cover for a different maid. I introduced the relationship. If there is that substantial a difference between her cleaning and the other maids that is my companies fault. All maids should perform consistent, high-quality cleanings. If this is not occurring, I need to be accountable.
I must add that we will do things for our long, term loyal clients that we could not afford to do for everyone. This client has been with us for over 7 years. If she cancels she pays the full cleaning price even though we don’t ask for it and she has referred us to numerous customers through her church. Also, it was upsetting for everyone when she was not satisfied and I appreciate her sticking with us through the rough spots. Frankly, we are just glad to have found a resolution.
The funny thing is the same maid requested by the client above just got a complaint and was asked not to go back to a different client’s home. It is the same girl doing the same work but one loves her and another hates her. I can’t figure it out. All we can do is train our maids to be the best. We then listen to the client and adapt to their unique needs until we make them happy.
Ultimately, everyone involved wants consistency of maids. It is easier for the company because the maid knows where to go and is more familiar and comfortable and the client tends to be happier with better cleanings in these consistent arrangements too.
Unfortunately, even very stable relationships can suddenly be disrupted by illness, injury or job changes. It can be hard to get everything worked out in the beginning or after a transition so that all the variables routinely fall into place.
In our business, we understand how difficult scheduling becomes when everyone, from everywhere is requesting particular maids. To make our lives easier, we offer a discount to clients who agree to allow us to send any maid we choose. We have another discount if they agree to be flexible with the day and time. This makes our scheduler’s life so much easier. Even for clients who agree to the discounts, we strive for consistency of staff and schedule. It is just nice to know that if we need to change something we can. We certainly appreciate the stress relief.