How to Know When it’s Time to Part Ways with a Client

The question is – to be or not to be? 

As a professional house cleaner, you face many different scenarios. Some clients have pets, some clients have kids and pets, and some clients have no kids, but their pets are like kids that make messes and like to leave toys scattered throughout the house. 

Each of these are normal situations professional cleaners like us have to deal with. But COVID-19 added more unique challenges for us. 

First and foremost, we had to make sure our staff stayed safe and healthy. But perhaps the biggest challenge most cleaners experienced was that the once empty houses were now full of people working from their home offices. The way we had to operate had completely changed.

Here are a few examples of clients’ requests that changed our operations forever:

  1. “Please send your ETA to us so we know your arrival time.”
  1. “We need you to dust and vacuum the office first; I have a zoom meeting in 30 minutes.”
  1. “We need to put the kids down for a nap… Can you make sure their rooms are done first?”
  1. “The nanny took the kids out. Can you text her when you’re done?”

These may not seem like huge asks, but to be honest, they can be deal-breakers. Imagine following four unique requests four times a day, five days a week, on top of cleaning and managing staff! (Not to mention, most of the houses were a lot dirtier because everyone was quarantined in their homes.)

Like you, I had a lot going on with COVID-19. PPE costs and employee retention was a HUGE challenge, and then to add all of these other special requests we had to take each day… Well, it was overwhelming.

I finally had to be honest with myself, weigh my options, and unfortunately part ways with some of my clients. The juggling of all different types of requests and disruptions to my operations was ultimately causing my staff stress. It became obvious that I had to let go of some clients because accommodating their needs was causing my company to lose not only money, but valuable employees.

There is no need to be more stressed than we already are with all of the challenges that come from daily operations. Can you relate to my experience? If your answer is yes, here are a few things to consider when deciding if parting ways with an existing client is worth it:

A. Did the client set realistic expectations?

B. Are we being fairly compensated for the extra accommodations?

C. Was it disruptive to our schedule, staff, and other clients?

If you answered ‘YES’ to at least two of the above questions, it’s likely time to part ways. I know it’s a tough decision for many reasons, but a good business owner has to assess their operations and make necessary adjustments.

I have had to make that tough call before, but I was respectful by giving them a 30-day notice so they could find a new service. 

It’s important to be considerate and tactful so you can end the contract with a fair amount of respect. Reviews these days go a long way; they can either make or break a business. Even the best house cleaners have to learn how to gracefully part ways with a client without leaving their reputation in the dust. And you can, too.