Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In   |   Register
Community Search
ARCSI Member To Member
Blog Home All Blogs
This is an opportunity to ask members your questions about the cleaning industry, get advice and share ideas and thoughts.

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: marketing  chemical-free cleaning  customer service  marketing ideas  new website  advertising  ARCSI  blog  Board  branding your business  cleaning chemicals  Cleaning Convention  Convention  customer relations  disinfectants  employees  feedback  human resources  personnel issues  policies and procedures  quats  real estate  web site  website 

It’s Time to Step Up: Consider Serving on the ARCSI Board

Posted By Erin Lasch, Wednesday, June 15, 2016

By Ernie Hartong, ARCSI CEO


It’s election season. Gosh Ernie, did you just figure that out? No, I am not talking about the one that seems to be consuming our every waking hour these days. I am talking about the election for ARCSI Board members. So why not consider running for the ARCSI Board of Directors. It is a much easier process than Hillary and The Donald are going through. You don’t have to scramble around and round up delegates. All you have to do is download the application from our website. It is a self-nominating process.

 

The ARCSI Board is about service and commitment. You will be serving your fellow ARCSI members and we are looking for Board members who are committed to helping ARCSI grow and improve. So what’s your job as a Board member? You will have four “sight lines” when serving on the Board.

  1. Oversight - Your primary duty as a Board member is oversight of all that ARCSI does, our finances, our policies, and our programs.
  2. Insight – We are seeking Board members with an insight into the challenges our members face day to day.
  3. Hindsight – We will expect you to draw on your past ARCSI experiences and your business experience to help us grow and improve.
  4. Foresight - We need your foresight, leadership, and innovative thinking and ideas to keep ARCSI moving forward.

Interested? Download the application from our website.

Tags:  ARCSI  Board 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Experience & Skills Are No Match for Talent

Posted By Erin Lasch, Monday, June 13, 2016

Yesterday's Hiring Criteria vs. Today's

by Mel Kleiman, CSP

 


Human knowledge is now doubling every 3.7 years. This means that 50 percent of what you now know will be out of date in less than four years.

Just to bring it home, let's imagine you need open heart surgery. How would you like to have it performed by someone who hadn't learned anything new about the procedure in the past 48 months?

For this very reason, it is no longer about hiring skills and/or experience. Today, it's all about hiring talent.

So, what is the difference? A skill is the ability to do a particular task, like drive a truck or design a building or fly a plane. All of these are skills. Talent is the ability to learn new skills and/or dramatically improve upon an existing skill set.

Because of all the rapid changes in the workplace and technology, hiring a skill today is only going to solve a problem in the short run. When you hire talent, those people will be able to move the organization to the next level because they can quickly learn and apply new knowledge. (While you may want to hire a computer programmer who knows a specific language, you would be better off hiring a programmer who has the ability to rapidly learn and apply new languages.)

Here are some interview questions that explore an applicant's talents:

  1. What was the last thing you learned and how have you applied that learning?
  2. How do you learn best?
  3. Give me an example of a situation where you did not know how to handle a particular problem. What action did you take? Why did you take that course of action?
  4. What more would you like to learn about your job or career? Why?
  5. In your present or last job, how long did it take you to feel like an expert in your position? How much did you have to learn? How did you tackle it? What were the most difficult aspects of the job to master? Who helped you?
  6. Let's assume for a moment I hire you and you start in two weeks. During that time, I get called out of the office on urgent business and am not available to support you for the next month. What are you going to do to get yourself up to speed?

When Talent is in the ring versus Experience/Skills, my money's on Talent every time.

 

 


Certified Speaking Professional Mel Kleiman is an internationally recognized speaker, consultant and author on strategies for hiring and retaining the best hourly employees and their managers. He is the president of Humetrics, a leading developer of systems, training processes, and tools for recruiting, selecting, and retaining an hourly workforce. For more information, call (713) 771-4401, email mkleiman@humetrics.com or visit www.humetrics.com.


This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Why Customer Feedback Is Important for Your Business

Posted By Erin Lasch, Thursday, May 12, 2016

By Yusuf Mehmetoglu, Maid Bright

 

Customer feedback whether it is positive or negative is crucial for any service business and is a driving force for businesses. Feedback can vary in terms of type and has an overall impact for the way a company does business. It is ultimately up to a company if they respond or react to customer feedback, but it is beneficial to respond to your customers’ feedback for the strong image of your company. Below are some ideas and about responding to customer feedback.

 

Be Aware of Feedback Channels

The first step in responding to customer reviews or feedback is to be aware of the various channels that customers are using. They can utilize online platforms such as Yelp, Google, Angie’s List, Consumer’s Checkbook etc. They can also use your company website if there is a place to leave feedback or send an e-mail with praise or complaints. If you know the various feedback channels, then responding will be more manageable.

 

Positive Feedback

Positive feedback, great! Most companies think they should not respond since the customer was happy, but this is a wrong approach. The customer took the time to praise your work and show their appreciation, therefore, it would be wise to respond and thank the customer for their patronage to your company. It is also another way to show potential clients that you are a responsive and professional company in any situation.

 

Negative Feedback

RESPOND, RESPOND, RESPOND! This type of feedback should serve as a red flag for your company in order to improve the quality of service and make sure those similar incidents or complaints do not happen in the future. When replying to negative criticism, be very professional. By responding professionally you can turn the negative experience to a positive impression. Start by thanking the customer for their feedback and apologizing for any inconvenience caused. The customer is the driving force in your business, and their disappointment can cause a further loss of business. It is never a good idea to show how the customer is wrong or argue on an online platform. The best approach is to keep it short and sweet.

 

It is ultimately up to you to control your reputation and company’s image. The way you respond to customer feedback or reviews are tools to show your customers and potential customers that you value the things they put in writing and also a way to fix issues, so they do not occur repeatedly. Receiving praise is a great thing for your company, but knowing how to respond in professional manner in the event that you receive criticism is vital. 

 

Yusuf Mehmetoglu is the owner of Maid Bright, a residential cleaning company that is based out of Sterling, Virginia. Find out more about Maid Bright at www.maidbright.com.

Tags:  customer service  feedback 

Share |
PermalinkComments (1)
 

Transform Your Workflow with Fieldd: Exclusive offer for ARCSI Members

Posted By Erin Lasch, Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Fieldd: Manage & Grow Your Field Service Business Today!

 

Houston, we have a problem . . .

 

Yup, it’s your current workflow, it kinda sucks doesn’t it?

 

You've probably been using 6 different tools to book services, communicate with your clients, charge credit cards and get your maids to the right house at the right time.

 

So here is the story….

 

We also run a very successful maid service in the Austin, TX area and we also HATED our daily workflow. Sorry to scream, but that is literally what we'd been doing at our computer screens for the last decade.

 

We tried a dozen different pieces of software over the years...and most of them were a nightmare. We got frustrated with being frustrated and decided to do something about it.

 

And so Fieldd was conceived…

 

Today, after two years of planning, testing, and improving....We’re ready for you to kick the tires.

 

Fieldd was designed with you in mind.  We can help you manage your day-to-day cleaning operations with integrated CRM, invoicing, quote management, and a schedule board that you've got to “see” to believe.  You won't find anything like it out there.

 

But here’s the deal, you won’t know if it’s a good fit until you try it.

 

So start your free, 14-day trial today or learn more with our no-obligation, non-salesy, 1-on-1 demo.

 

Drop me a line anytime, even if it's just to say "hi!"

 

Cheers,

Kyra Deprez, Customer Success
kyra@fieldd.com | +1 (512) 960-1203
Fieldd | Manage & Grow Your Field Service Business

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Time to Look Inside for the Answers

Posted By Erin Lasch, Wednesday, April 20, 2016

By RJ Patel, ARCSI Vice President

 

We all spend a great deal of time working on making our businesses better in all aspects – from our policies and procedures, to training programs and employee engagement. One of the things I think we all do is look to see what others are doing that has had success and how can we implement that in our own office. We recently brought in an outside consultant that completely changed our thinking.

 

Our office team turned our focus inside for an introspective look to see what we can do better. As we began the process, I think we all experienced that “AHA” moment! All at once, we realized collectively that we have been looking for answers in all the wrong places – much of what we needed was already in our office.

 

One area that we feel we made significant strides in was training. By working with our outside consultant, we looked long and hard at our training program. We were able to analyze what we were doing that was effective and what was not. Piece by piece we “tweaked” our existing training program so that we have a more effective training solution as we bring on new team members.

 

For at least the last decade, how many times have you heard the term “think outside the box?” More times than you can count I am sure. We have focused on doing things differently and trying new practices and processes to help improve our businesses.

 

Our introspection process completely turned the tables on how we had been working so in a way you could say that we “thought outside of the box!”

 

I encourage you to look inside yourself and your business to examine what you are doing successfully and what can you do to improve your business. What do you think you will find?

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Creating an Employee Manual

Posted By Erin Lasch, Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, March 23, 2016

By Kyra Deprez

 

Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for many years, you should have an employee manual.  Your employee manual clearly states your company's policies and procedures. Having your policies and procedures in a manual ensures that all of your employees are getting the same information.


Your manual should include information about workplace ethics, expected behavior in regards to attendance, dress code information, as well as information on benefits.  Your manual can be as simple or as complex as you so desire.


There are many benefits to having an employee manual.

 

Communicates Policies and Procedures Consistently

Having an manual for your employees makes sure that everyone has received the same information.  It can help demonstrate professionalism through consistent communications.  It provides a framework to follow when issues arise.

 

Communicates Applicable Federal, State and Local Laws

Depending on where you conduct business there many be more than a few labor laws that you must adhere too.  Outlining these in your employee manual, along with a signed acknowledgement form can be crucial should an Unemployment Claim or Lawsuit ever arise.

 

Communicates Employee Safety

Working in the field has more safety issues than an office job.  Outlining your employee safety practices, as well as what to do when an accident happens is especially important (especially when it come to insurance).

 

Communicates Your Disciple Policy

Once again I will point out that you must treat your employees fairly, and have a clear and consistent discipline policy that is followed for each and every employee.

 

Communicate Your Policy on Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking

This just might seem like common sense...but having policies in place, and in writing is more important than you might think.


The SBA has some really great resources for creating an Employee Manual

And if you want to get started with a template you can grab a: Free Employee Manual Template.

 


 

 

Kyra Deprez is the VP of Customer Success at Fieldd Service Software.  Fieldd is the sister company to The Boardwalk Cleaning Co. Kyra writes about success as well as failures and has a passion for creating an exceptional customer experience.

Tags:  employees  human resources  personnel issues  policies and procedures 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

FREE 3-Day Website Challenge Starts March 21

Posted By The Maid Mentor, Monday, March 07, 2016

As customers, we worry our house cleaners will judge our fingerprinted glass, carelessly bang the vacuum into our baseboards, accidentally leave the door open (bye bye Mr. Whiskers!), snoop through our stuff and agree with each other than we are terrible housewives who lack even the most basic cleaning skills and should be completely ashamed of ourselves.

On top of that, we have to deal with the discomfort and stress of prepping and paying.

 

Wasn't this whole “house cleaner” thing supposed to EASE our anxieties…?

In order to take the leap and try out your cleaning service, she needs to feel instant trust and acceptance with you and your people.

Yet maid service website after website shows her nothing personal, let alone intimate. There's no photo of the owner, the site has no personality, no style, no manifesto, no story. Why would she trust a nameless, faceless website - is this just a scam? Her fears mount and she’s about to GIVE UP… *hits the back button and clicks on the next search result*

Then WOW! Who is THIS?

She’s landed on a website with friendly faces (real people not just stock photos). She clicks over to the “About” page and sees a smiling professional-looking person – the owner of this company. She or he looks like someone she could have a cappuccino with – or maybe even a glass of wine.

She skims a little more – they use eco-friendly cleaning products, send the same cleaners every time, let their clients pay by credit card AND she can book online?! Whoa… now THESE people are speaking her language.

So she clicks on the “book appointment” button and is taken to a simple booking form next to a photo of a happy family that reminds her of her and her family – little Yorkie, twin boys, super handsome husband…

Instantly it clicks in her heart.

“THIS COULD BE ME! THIS COULD BE US! I could be this peaceful, loving and happy. I can picture it now: freshly made beds, gleaming floors, the scent of fresh lemons… WHEN CAN YOU COME!?!?”

She rushes to her purse, gleefully grabs her credit card, and excitedly types in her info.

She books, she pays, she enthusiastically commands Siri to remind her she’s got a house cleaning appointment next Monday morning (as IF she’d forget!). She likes you on Facebook and is instantly immersed in your world, even if only for a few moments.

She leans back. She smiles. “I've got this. I’ve got our lives under control.” She breathes a sigh of relief. You are now her dream come true.

She texts her 10 closest female friends (complete with emoticons) and tell them how excited she is! “I’ll let you know how it goes!”

She thinks, “Everything’s about to be different! I can’t wait to come home on Monday to a sparkling house. I deserve this. I will pre-order dinner for that night from Whole Foods because I am NOT creating a mess in our kitchen that night. Better grab a complementary bottle of wine to accompany the meal. This is going to be SO FANTASTIC.”

Want to learn how to add personality to your website? Want all those visitors to actually BOOK an appointment? Join my FREE 5-day challenge. It starts March 21 and I'll show you exactly how to infuse your sparkling style into your website and social media. 

Because people who like you, know you, trust you, GET YOU? They turn into paying customers.

Join me! The party starts March 21.

Get on the Guest List at www.themaidmentor.com/get-on-the-guest-list

Tags:  branding your business  marketing  new website  web site 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Cleaning with essential oils

Posted By Donna L. Goff, Mountain Aire Cottage Care, Friday, March 04, 2016
I've just begun to research this idea of offering this to my customers.  I would be interested to hear if any of my fellow members are incorporating essential oils in their cleaning methods.  Which oils do you use and how?  

Tags:  chemical-free cleaning 

Share |
PermalinkComments (2)
 

Top 10 Tools That Will Save Your Business

Posted By The Maid Mentor, Tuesday, March 01, 2016

The first 3 years of running my cleaning business were a headachey, jaw-clenching struggle. I was working day and night, 7 days a week. Staff quit without notice (the ones who texted at 7 AM letting me know they weren't coming into work were the GOOD employees!) The expenses never seemed to end: taxes, employment insurance, pension contributions, WCB, insurance, refunds, discounts, products, more Dysons...

Because we were so busy with appointments and a seemingly revolving door of employees, the operations of my company had to be efficient and flawless. I've never found the PROCESS to be a challenge. But the PEOPLE certainly are.

People are emotional, irrational and illogical. The people in your cleaning business are the tricky part. We will begin to tackle that trifecta (customers, cleaners & competitors) later.

Processes can be efficient and professional (phew!), thanks to the incredible tools others have created that you can implement today in your business.

Here are the top 10 tools that saved my business as a very busy entrepreneur:

  1. Scheduling software: Jobber (#1 choice), Fullslate

  2. Websites: Squarespace (#1 choice), WordpressWeebly

  3. Graphic design: CanvaPicMonkey, WordSwag iPhone app (for social media)

  4. Photo editing: Aviary (iPhone app), PicMonkey

  5. Books: The Slight Edge, The Gifts of Imperfection, Conscious Business, Mindful Leadership, How to Never Look Fat Again (kidding but still a good read), Why She Buys (my #1 fave), Customer Service Training 101, The 4-Hour Workweek, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (my #2 fave), Predictably Irrational (my #2 fave), The Platinum Rule

  6. Email Marketing: MailChimp

  7. Accounting: Freshbooks

  8. Customer data: Wufoo

  9. Lead generation (contests, popups): Wishpond

  10. Keywords/SEO/copywriting: Google Keyword Tool, Melissa Cassera

Remember to join my private Facebook club. I’m excited to get to know you & your business a bit better.
 
I’ll see you inside!

Tags:  blog  marketing  marketing ideas  new website  website 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Pulse of the Planet: Quats - Effects on Humans

Posted By URBAN URBANE, Tuesday, March 01, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, March 01, 2016

I just wanted to share this brief show on Quats from Pulse of the Planet. You can read the transcript below or click here to listen to the podcast.

 

 

Quats Harmful to Humans?

A widely used category of chemical substances is coming under scrutiny for possibly having harmful side-effects. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Hrubec: Over 800,000 tons of these compounds are produced each year in the US. 

Terry Hrubec is a research assistant professor in the College of Veterinary medicine at Virginia Tech. She and her colleagues have been studying QAC's or Quats since 2006.

Hrubec: We might encounter them on a daily basis in a wide variety of circumstances. Probably the most likely are from our laundry products, also in restaurant and food production settings, where they wipe the tables down with these compounds and also in restrooms where they're commonly used as cleaners.

Hrubec: A lot of hand sanitizer's contain these Quatanary Ammonia Compounds. This is particularly troubling as often they're used to clean hands before eating. And so then you have a Quat contamination on your hands as you're handling your food, and you're going ingest some of that chemical.

Hrubec's laboratory experiments have shown that Quats adversely affect the reproductive systems of mice.

Hrubec: We can show that they're harmful to mice, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they pose a problem for humans. It's unethical to test chemicals on humans the same way we test them in mice. We can't expose people and look for adverse effects. But there's also published evidence to show that workers who use these disinfectants in their job - these are janitorial staff, nursing staff and other healthcare professionals - they have higher rates of asthma, allergies and skin irritation from exposure to these compounds. And that's been well documented.

We'll hear more on Quats in future programs. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. 

Tags:  cleaning chemicals  disinfectants  quats 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 1 of 2
1  |  2
more Calendar

7/5/2016
Hot Topic Tuesday: Happy 4th of July!

10/23/2016 » 10/24/2016
IICRC House Cleaning Technician Certification Class (Chicago)

10/24/2016 » 10/28/2016
2016 Convention & Education Conference

LATEST TWEETS
Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership.com®  ::  Legal