😱 We flooded a house! Learn from my $5000 dollar lesson and how to avoid it.

At the beginning of this glorious 2020 (😅), one of my employees hit that little toilet valve that feeds the tank while vacuuming the bathroom, and you know what’s coming right? It started to leak a little bit of water, she tried to stop the small leak with a microfiber towel, while she ran around the property trying to the find the main water valve to the house while speaking to my operations manager on the phone. She searched all over the house in the front and backyard, but when we found it was closed with a lock. We called the city and by the time they’ve arrived and shut it off, the house was flooded damaging all the drywall, flooring and baseboards costing the client a flooded house, tons of aggravation. We almost lost our reputation. We end up paying $5,000 out of pocket plus and a very long and exhausting process with my insurance making sure my client got paid.

This is the valve I refer to, even thought we had a hose, not being able to close the main valve was the cause of the flooding. If you have your employees training, you will avoid this.

Why I’m telling you this story? So you don’t ever forget to follow up, close and mark as solved all your customer complaints even if you don’t hear from the client, you should do everything you can to reach the client and make sure whatever complaint it’s solved.

The problem we identified in our house cleaning business processes was that we didn’t have a way to track complaints properly with a clean resolution status (i.e pending, closed, solved) with the client, so if the client never replied to the email or called back we’d forget about it and call it a day. This is very typical behavior in our industry, but it shouldn’t be this way. We can do better!

How do you avoid this from happening to your cleaning technicians? Here’s 5 steps

  1. Train your employees to know who to handle this situations learning how to find and close the main valve.  Show them this video

2. We custom made this emergency kit at Home Depot to carry on their cars at all time. The kit should include:

House Leak Emergency Kit costs around $30 total

3. Bring a plumber to your office and have him go outside with your cleaning techs and teach them how to use it. The hose above in the picture is to be used to redirect water to a toilet or sink the rest is to open the valve and shut it off.

4. Track the complaints resolution process with the client and the employee separately. Why? Because with the employee you can do a warning in the office next day you see them, but if the client takes weeks to respond, you might have marked this as solved or no answer from client, but you shouldn’t. My insurance took months to solve this and by the time the client contact me he was about to post the worst evert negative review a cleaning business could get. It was so bad, I had to put a lawyer to stop it from going live. Below you see an image of HR and management software for cleaning businesses and how we track both the employee and client in different columns.

5. And lastly set a reminder of this particular time sensitive complaints, in case the client doesn’t get back to you. Remember you need to get back to the client!

Above image of Pipehire Complaints module that tracks complaints by client and employee
Above image is new Management Dashboard within Pipehire that will remind you to follow up on this special complaints.
List of Complaints options

Take Action!

Learn how to Track our cleaning techs Complaints within Pipehire. Have extra questions or need help from our Customer Success Manager? Contact us in the chat we’d love to help you.

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