Some people think there is exactly one way to clean a house – their way. If you have tendencies in this direction, try not to complain about your housecleaners’ methods when their actual results are acceptable. But if the end result isn’t satisfactory, any housecleaner or cleaning service should have some policy for handling complaints and ensuring your satisfaction. When you inquire, have strong doubts about hiring the services of someone whose reply is something like, “Oh, there’s nothing to worry about. We never have complaints.” Really?
If you’re generally satisfied with your housecleaner but suspect he or she has overlooked something, you’ll find you get better results if you fully consider your complaints. Before you accuse, stop and think. Maybe the floor that doesn’t seem clean was an ungodly mess from your party the night before. Maybe the housecleaner cleaned it, but missed a spot or two. Accusing conscientious housecleaners of skipping something is tantamount to calling them a liar. If you sincerely think a complaint is justified, ask before you accuse.
But don’t be afraid to mention something that needs more attention or that’s not quite up to your standards or expectations. This can be done in a positive and beneficial way, if you’ll just give your words some prior thought. The antidote to anger is gentleness. If your complaint is presented in an appreciative and supportive manner – “We’re working on this together” – it will generally be quickly solved.
It’s a good idea to state your complaint right away. If you wait until it’s happened over and over, you’ll weaken your own credibility. Would you like to be told you’d made a mistake over and over? Wouldn’t you rather be told the first time so you could correct it right away? And try to balance a request for more or better effort with a few kind words about something else that is being well done. It’s easy to begin to take consistent hard work for granted.
Here are some notes from one of our clients who does a good job of getting the very best from us. (She’s actually complaining, but it’s just about painless, and it gets the job done.)
“Maybe it’s just that time of year, but there seems to be more dust around than usual. Would you give it your critical and special touch this week?”
“I’ve moved a few pieces of furniture out from the walls to make it easier for you to get into those hard-to-reach corners that seem to love dirt and grime.”
“We would appreciate it so much if you could give some thought or ideas on how to remove the grease build-up around the top of the stove and the stove pipe. What do you think? Should we try a better cleaning agent? Do you have a preferred favorite? As always, thank you for your help.”
Just as you need to be able to complain, so should the housecleaners. You will make giant strides in positive motivation if you make it clear that you are open to feedback also. Keep communication open.