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Technology is Transforming the Residential Cleaning Industry

Technology is Transforming the Residential Cleaning Industry

Technology is reshaping the residential cleaning industry. Traditionally one of the most protected industries from technological advances, automation and software are allowing cleaning businesses to scale operations while maintaining relatively efficient back-office operations. Traditional time-consuming tasks can be automated and replaced with high leverage activities that bring more value to the business. This article will explore how these advancements are shaping today’s residential cleaning industry.

Faced with worker shortages and higher labor costs, companies are starting to automate service sector jobs that economists once considered safe. And while the robot revolution has not reached the level that home cleaning technicians will be replaced, companies like Tesla are working to build AI-powered robots that will make that a reality someday in the not too distant future. But for now, digital transformation is still a possibility, but the focus is on customer-facing activity and time-consuming back-office processes.

If you have been out to eat recently you might have noticed the trend. Ordering a meal at a fast-food restaurant it’s obvious to notice the touchscreen ordering kiosks, but what might not be readily apparent is that the person that is taking your order at the drive-through is not actually a person. Many of these restaurants are investing in software-based solutions that use AI to take complex orders and send them off to the kitchen staff to prepare the food. And instead of paying at a window with a cashier, you pay right at the menu board.

While we don’t predict to see autonomous robots cleaning anytime soon, we do have the opportunity to put technology and software in place that can digitally transform our cleaning businesses and improve the experience for our customers and help us get the most out of the team members we do have available.

Increasing the productivity of your current workforce is a critical component of how using the right technology can help your cleaning business operate successfully in a labor-constrained marketplace.

Efficiency is simply how well you schedule your employees, and how they use their time throughout the day. Efficient schedules can be sabotaged by employees taking excessive breaks, or by having your teams drive too far between jobs. This is a 2 sided equation. Technology can actually help solve both parts of this though. The right software can help you build efficient schedules with reduced drive time and maximizing your ability to schedule cleaning hours per day. But if it is integrated into time and attendance and payroll, you can align your team members to your companies goals with pay-for-performance models that reward team members that use their time efficiently and increase the revenue they produce per day.

Productivity is a function of job costing, training your employees, and measuring and improving results every step of the way. Job costing is first. You need to sell jobs with the right amount of time associated with them so that you can complete them on budget and with profits. But for most cleaning companies, creating a bid is just a guess. But software can solve complex bidding equations. You can leverage historical data and use that to create accurate bids that your cleaning techs can execute.

Having the right training systems is also critical, much of this training can be delivered digitally, and be made available to your teams 24/7 even in the field for them to reference. Professional training systems lead to improved outcomes and are worth the ongoing investment.

You need to be measuring every job against the allowed hours you anticipated. If you are going over those hours you need to be evaluating why and if this can be improved. There are actually jobs that you might be better off not even cleaning. Technology can help you identify the most profitable jobs, and help you sell more jobs like those. It can also help you automate the process of increasing prices to customers that are underbid, and even annual price increases to all of your customers to keep up with the rapidly rising costs of doing business.

Sales is an area in the home cleaning industry that has seen a digital transformation over the past few years. Online quoting and booking has been an area that has been adopted by our industry. The technology for this is readily available even for the smallest cleaning service to adopt today. Giving customers upfront pricing and the ability to book their cleaning online is a huge competitive advantage to companies that leverage this technology. However, most of these booking systems are not integrated into the other software systems that the business uses. So while the end consumer sees the benefit, many of the companies leveraging this technology have disjointed systems that do not communicate with each other.

The answer is an integrated online booking platform that ties to a cleaning company’s real-time availability. Availability is based on actual labor available because time and attendance are integrated functions in the software. That is really the piece that makes true automation possible in the home cleaning industry. All of the critical data needs to be in one software platform. That is one of the advantages of MaidCentral. It is an end-to-end solution that improves the customer experience but also ties all the critical data that a home cleaning business needs, into one platform. Having all of the data in one place is the key to automating everything, and improving outcomes.

Back-office functions in the home cleaning industry can also be automated. Any activity that your business does daily should be considered. Billing, reminders, quality management, scheduling, dispatching, and customer service are all wide open to digital transformation. Giving your customers the tools they need to self-manage their service not only saves you time and support dollars, but it is also what customers want.

Adopting a customer portal is one area that makes a great deal of sense in terms of leveraging technology to reduce back-office work. Allowing customers to update their credit card, pay open invoices, make scheduling requests for upcoming service dates are just the tip of the iceberg. Eventually, technology will allow your customers to complete nearly every customer service activity without any necessary human override in the process. Clients will be able to manage their service end to end themselves, from the first booking to making complex scheduling requests that would otherwise not be possible without AI and rule-based software helping to create a seamless experience.

Giving better technology to your field service staff will also help to increase the efficiency of your business. The ability for service technicians to access real-time data on-site will allow them to not only be more efficient, but it will also provide you with better insight into their activity and performance. Locking down these kinds of solutions requires integrated technology that can do just that: integrate across multiple systems including scheduling, quality management, time and attendance, payroll, and more. And beyond giving your techs the information they need to do their job, technology can help automate HR functions such as requests off, and even sick calls. When an employee calls out sick in the morning, software can remove them from the schedule, notify the office, and even let the employee know if they are subject to any disciplinary action based on time and attendance rules being tracked in teh software.

When your office and technicians are using the same data in real-time, you can improve results for your customers and increase their lifetime value. Technology is not just about reducing costs, it should always be focused on the customer experience and how it can be improved. Automation can give you warnings if you are not meeting a customer’s preferences. Perhaps they have requested a particular time of day for their cleaning, or a particular cleaning tech that they like, automation can tell you if you are not meeting those requests, and give you suggestions on how you can optimize your current schedule to create profitable routes that also take into account clients wants and needs.

Digital Transformation is coming to the home cleaning industry. The companies that can adapt to the coming change are going to thrive. They will be able to create higher-paying and more satisfying jobs for their employees; Happier customers that will gladly pay more for a better cleaning experience; And increased success and profits for the business ownership team.

Find out how you can leverage all of these technologies in your home cleaning business today.

 

Objective Measurements To Hire & Retain Your Team Members

Objective Measurements To Hire & Retain Your Team Members

 

 

We had the honor of having Kevin Kunkel as a guest on Smart Business Moves this week. You are going to want to watch this one from start to finish. I was loaded with actionable advice on how to evaluate talent, how to lead your team, how to use behavior-based interview questions to help predict success, and how to use objective measurements of your team members to evaluate, motivate, and reward them.

What are some of the objective metrics you can track for your team members? Attendance, including excused, unexcused, tardies, total requests off, and create a composite attendance score based on that data. You can evaluate how they use PTO and Sick hours. Do they use it as soon as they get it, or do they save it for when they need it? Quality scores from customer surveys and what percentage of their clients take the time to score them is an important objective measure. How much revenue do they produce for your company? How much do they earn for your company for every hour that they work? What is their productivity? And what is their efficiency?

These are objective measures that maid service software MaidCentral can give you to help you identify your top performers. Often times we are surprised to find that the employees we like the best, are not objectively the employees that are most valuable to your organization. We can be blinded by our own biases or personal feelings. This is a critical mistake that most businesses make, and it is mostly because they lack the data and tools.

Kevin dives deep into some systems you can use to create objective measurements for your team members, including many of the KPI and employee stats that are being tracked in MaidCentral. Maid service software should help you do more than just schedule jobs, you should be measuring critical employee data that can help you evaluate, engage, and reward top cleaning talent.

We wrapped the show up talking about how to overcome the current challenges we are facing in hiring. We also talked about systems for attracting and evaluating top cleaning talent for your residential cleaning business. We talked about the importance of assessments for some objective measurements. And we discussed using behavior-based interview questions to get your interviews to open up and share how they have handled past situations. The questions call for specific instances of how they behaved and interacted during previous circumstances.

Grab some great downloads from this show including examples of great behavioral based interview questions you can put to use right away. Plus an interview scorecard to help you objectively assess your applicants.

Adapting to Cleaning Customers Who Want To Book Online

Adapting to Cleaning Customers Who Want To Book Online

If your residential cleaning business is not adapting to the way customers want to do business, you will struggle to grow. Online booking has become one of the major trends over the past few years. Adapting to cleaning customers who want to book online is going to be critical to grow your cleaning business in the future. Your maid service software should have this feature. One out of every two bookings we receive for my company Better Life Maids are from customers who either booked online without ever having talked to us or clicked a button in an email after talking on the phone with one of our representatives. In this blog post I am going to share some tips for how you can adapt your company’s processes and technology so that you can take advantage of this trend!

MaidCentral has a powerful online quoting and booking process that is tied to real time availability for your cleaning business. When a customer interacts with your website, they are creating a lead and quote inside of MaidCentral. They are receiving up to date pricing based on the factors you have set.

MaidCentral makes it easy for your customers to get a price from you while collecting valuable leads, because not every customer will sign up the first time they interact with your business. You can automate the follow up process through text messages, emails, and reminders for your sales team. Your website powered by MaidCentral becomes an automated sales and marketing machine working for you 24/7.

Adapting to Cleaning Customers Who Want To Book Online

If your website visitors are ready to book with you, they can pick from real time availability on your calendar. Only customers in areas you serve are allowed to book. And your new customers can customize their cleaning by selecting add on services, allowing them to give detailed instruction on pets, access, directions, and more. They can also give preferences on time for their cleanings. As MaidCentral’s advanced booking engine evolves, you will be able to further customize and refine the booking process, even allowing for variable rate booking based on factors such as flexibility on dates and times, urgency of the cleaning request, and just about anything you can think of.

Another great feature is that if an existing or past customer books with you through MaidCentral the system will match them by phone number and email to current accounts.

Even if you quoted a potential customer over the phone and they didn’t book right away, the powerful marketing automation of MaidCentral can help close the sale for you. You can send them a detailed quote outlining your companies cleaning services. And right from that email your customers can click book now, and their quote will be populated on your website with all of their details. They won’t need to input anything other than their credit card, and select a date to finish their booking process.

Adapting to Cleaning Customers Who Want To Book Online is critical to your success in todays busy world.

MaidCentral makes it incredibly easy for your customers to book online. And that is really what the future of customer service and sales looks like for our industry. We need to give our customers a seamless experience, with great technology as the backbone of our services.

If you have questions about how MaidCentral can help your residential cleaning business adapt, reach out and we’ll be happy to set up a time for a demo of our software.

Maid Central Campaigns: Automate Your Cleaning Business Sales & Follow Up Marketing

Maid Central Campaigns: Automate Your Cleaning Business Sales & Follow Up Marketing

MaidCentral’s marketing and sales automation toolset can be a powerful weapon in your business arsenal. With the ability to segment lists based on customer history, send automatic follow-ups for leads and quotes, target past customers with personalized communications, and much more–MaidCentral campaigns is a powerful tool. It is just one of the many features built into the most robust house cleaning software solution available. The ability to automate your cleaning business sales and marketing can save you hundreds of back office hours each month, but more importantly it can help you close the sales cycle quicker and with less effort allowing you to grow your cleaning business reliably month after month.

One of the most powerful features of MaidCentral campaigns is the segmented sales and marketing follow up. When a potential customer visits your website and requests more information , or fills out a quote request form, you can set up automated follow-ups. You will receive a notification in MaidCentral for every new lead. MaidCentral will automatically follow up with the lead or you can set notifications for follow up calls.

In addition if a lead is given a quote, either on your website if you are using MaidCentral’s online booking engine, or by phone, you can customize the follow up that these quoted potential customers receive. For example you could send out a follow up email that just says “Quick Question”, this is a really powerful yet simple hack to engage your customers with a question and give them a call to action in the email, something like “If you are still looking to get your home cleaned, just give me a quick reply”. This feels very authentic and not automated. The flexibility is endless in what you can create.

You can even follow up with powerful and automated text messages. You can send a text message to your leads and quotes and do it in an engaging way that helps drive response. Marketing research shows that nearly 98% of text messages are read, versus 6% of emails. It is a really great feature to lead off with a text message right after a lead comes in. “Hi {customer first name}, I just got your request for a quote. Do you have 5 minutes that I can help finalize your price and cleaning detail?” Again. Notice it is a question. That almost demands engagement, and the response rate is very high. It feels very personal even though this is all automated with MaidCentral’s cleaning business software.

You can also set up long term nurture emails if you are not able to close the sale during the first couple of weeks after you receive a new lead, or quote a potential customer. Nurture emails make sure that you are reaching out to potential clients at a regular cadence.

You can also create marketing campaigns for existing and past customers with MaidCentral. You can segment your customers based on a number of factors including date, service type, frequency, amount spent, last visit date, customer satisfaction ratings, and much more. You can increase your revenue per job significantly when you market to your existing customers and help them by selling them additional services that you offer. Think of all the ways you could add value to their existing cleanings, and how profitable that is since you are already there for your regular cleaning services.

The possibilities are endless when you combine the data analytics features of MaidCentral with the marketing and sales automation tools that exist in our cleaning business CRM.

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Adapting to Cleaning Customers Who Want To Book Online

Adapting to Cleaning Customers Who Want To Book Online

https://youtu.be/hoBJiccrNbM If your residential cleaning business is not adapting to the way customers want to do business, you will struggle to grow. Online booking has become one of the major trends over the past few years. Adapting to cleaning customers who want...

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