In the blog this week I would like to provide a little transparency on how things are going with the new business. If you had asked me this question last week I would have told you something along the lines of, “It’s amazing, having the time of my life!” This feeling is still true, however this past week I did get a bit of a dose of reality.
A little context for the readers out there. I started this business about 3 months ago as a rather novice, but practiced cleaner. I like to clean, I like to be tidy, and had cleaned on the side before going full time with Park West. I had studied film, like any athlete or professional, to make sure I knew what I was doing. I practiced cleaning and different techniques on and in my apartment countless times, much to the pleasure of my wife. Over the past few months I have really learned my system and honed my craft. Learning when the right time to use certain chemicals is, how to truly remove shower grime, how to polish silver finishings without leaving streaks, etc.
Some might say I got ahead of myself however. I could do no wrong in my mind, I had never gotten a complaint or criticism, so according to me, I was doing great. Bookings were (and still are) mounting, the tips were larger, I was (and still am) ready to branch out and expand my business.
That feeling of everlasting success came crumbling down (figuratively) on Monday however. I was hit with my first request for refund. The customer had said she heard great things and was excited for Park West to clean her new condo. I showed up a few minutes late, leaving me less time to clean than I had budgeted for her clean, since my next booking was right after on the other side of town. I instantly got to work on my routine, bathrooms, kitchen, windows, etc. Running through the motions. Sweat literally rushing down my face as I tried to compress two and a half hours into two. Sounds easy, I can assure you, it is not. Long story short, I left the booking feeling ok about my work, but knew I could have done better and been more thorough.
I was wrapping up the next booking when a text came in. It’s from the previous booking. She mentions, with picture evidence, how disappointed she is in the service, how she would like a refund. I am floored. This has never happened to me before. I take a few minutes, gather myself and apologize. Huge hit to my ego. I refund the clients money and head home to think about what just happened.
After a few days of reflection I have realized the effect I have on people and their homes. Something I have preached about in the past here. After about 100 cleanings, and sometimes three or four a day, I lost track of that. I just thought of it as another cleaning on my schedule. But that is incorrect, my home is a place I value as sacred, my own castle. After some thought I came to see that it is true for every booking, this is someone’s treat to themselves. They are buying a service to provide them with that “Ahhh” feeling when returning after a day of work to see their home transformed. When looking back, I know that I strived to provide that, and do, but I also lost my way it seems. I took it for granted.
After the reflection I have rethought almost all parts of my process. I have rededicated myself to being the best cleaner in the city and someone a client trusts to provide them with a cleaned castle for a premium price.
While some might say, it was only one complaint, what’s the big deal? Well, that is not how we operate here and not something I will accept from myself or my cleaners moving forward. Park West Cleaning stands for excellence, and that is something we will not stray from moving forward. To all of those who have been kind enough to refer me to your friends and family, I thank you, and promise we will not let your word down.
Thank you for reading as always and look forward to seeing you in your home with a new purpose. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please email me at Jack@ParkWestCleaning.com.