Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Cleaning Rush - just 4 weeks to soon

OMG! Spring is here way too early.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the warmer weather and I love to be outside and I normally LOVE the increase in phone calls but it was not supposed to be Spring yet.  I still have 4 people in training and 2 more scheduled to start in the next two weeks (they gave notice to their current employers, something I will never discourage.  How they treat their current boss is a sign of how they will treat me so I like people that say they have to give two weeks notice.)  I thought I had a minimum of 2 more weeks and more likely 4 weeks before it hit 80 degrees in Cincinnati.  Our phone is ringing non stop with new customers, occasional customers wanting a Spring Cleaning, and our regular customers wanting to upgrade to a Spring cleaning.  We are booked solid for the next two weeks which is not at all common for us.  We normally can get a customer in on 2 days notice.  It is killing me to be turning this much business away. 

We are trying to come up with ideas to deal with it.  First we are offering extra hours to anyone that wants to work Saturday.  I normally hate to have teams working Saturday because I do not have back ups in place if things go bad.  It also forces me to work Saturday myself which I do about 80% of the time anyway but I have to say I don’t like the feeling of having to go in versus choosing to.  Second, we are moving a couple offering extra hours to a couple of my commercial cleaners that have been cross trained to do residential work and we are sending them with the regular residential customers to do Spring Cleans and other jobs where there will be a partner to work with. 

What we are trying to avoid is moving people out of training faster than we should.  In the past I would have dealt with this rush by pushing people out of training faster.  Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that under trained employees will do a bad job and ruin our reputation.  As much as it hurts, I have found it is better to tell a customer we are booked than to send a team that does a poor job.  So now back to the battle and figuring out how to deal with the sudden surge in demand.

1 comment:

Business GAL said...

Good approach! There's nothing wrong with turning down service especially if you know your girls aren't ready for this type of cleaning. You do not want bad reviews because negative publicity travels further than good.