Did you know that every company you have ever bought from or worked with has two volumes of thought, written or unwritten, that you will likely never see but often experience?
For example, have you ever called a company and left a voice mail and they never called you back? On the other hand, have you ever been walking down the hallway of a prominent hotel and been greeted with eye contact and a sincere welcome from a groundskeeper or cleaning person? If you have experienced both of these things, you have been a personal witness to what a lack of values and what quality values can do to the prospects of you buying a product or service from that company. Companies that live not only have both of these books written, they are communicated to their staff on a regular basis. Companies that don’t rarely survive 1 year.
Every interaction you have with any company, good or bad, is a manifestation of that company’s policies or its procedures. So I would ask you. How has your experience been with your current cleaning company?
Years ago, I worked for a blue-chip company with offices and employees in all 50 states. Perhaps you have or do now. The policies and procedures manuals for this company were 1500 pages long. While likely every possible issue that company could ever have was covered in this manual, it was impossible to learn and live by it. It needed a full-time employee to interpret it. It was the joke of many a water-cooler experiences. The right intention. The wrong delivery.
Has anyone out there ever looked at or even tried to read one page of an OSHA compliance manual? If you have or if it’s a part of your job, you have my sincere empathy. The manual, produced with government oversite way back during the Nixon administration, has over 100 regulations and thousands upon thousands of sub-regulations. The manual itself puts Webster’s to shame in terms of volume and would make Ms. Dewey and her decimal system look like completely logical to a 1st grader. Even the federal regulators and officers don’t claim to know and understand them all. Both of these are examples of the right intention but the wrong delivery.
I worked for another company who had a one sentence philosophy: the customer is always right. That may sound good and feel good to the customer, but no company could survive all customers to write the script any way they want, all of the time.
Still another company of one, has no written policies at all. You and they, are left to situational ethics, which are rarely resolved between two people well.
Good policies and procedures will be logical, easy to understand, allow some flexibility in decision-making, and always err on the side of what the customer is saying or feeling. Good companies take the effort to teach those policies and procedures to each employee and customer.
Phew… so the question I ask you is: How do your cleaning company’s policies and procedures make you feel? Do they return calls promptly? How are they at empathizing with you over a “so-so” or worse cleaning? Did you feel they honestly wanted to make things right? Do they have a good broken-item policy? Are they convenient for you? All these issues and more make up what is right or wrong about a cleaning company.
As the writer of this little blog, I, flawed as I am, wrote all of the policies and procedures for Maids on the Spot way way back in 2001 and 2002 when dinosaurs roamed the earth and telephones had cords. What I wrote is the core of who we are as a company, why we exist, and where we plan to be next year. We communicate them to our employees one at a time every workday morning. If you are a Maids on the Spot customer, we hope you have witnessed them and appreciate them. If you are not yet, we hope you will be soon and feel good about your cleaning again.