😥 Customer Feedback hurting your Cleaning Employees? What to do about it…

This is something we rarely think about once we’re small and have have a handful of clients and cleaners.

When I started my cleaning business 16 years ago we didn’t care much about hurting an employee with customer feedback which can be very offensive at times. I wanted to still provide my employee some feedback, but don’t disclose everything due to getting their feelings hurt. House cleaning is a hard job and the last think we want is discourages employees going into customers’ houses.

I tried speaking to my dispatching software, if there was a way to send filtered feedback to my employees if this feature is something the would build, but they didn’t care about this (they got too many features requests.) This was one of the main problems I’ve noticed with scheduling software that they only care about scheduling/dispatching not employee management.

I put my head to work and told my team to build a solution that would:

  1. Allow me to send feedback easily to my cleaning techs via text message
  2. Allow me to upload photos of the home, otherwise the employee might not remember what house are we talking about.
  3. Will be easy for my office staff to keep updated and always aware of the customer complaints. When there’s too much of automation office staff and sales teams forget and pay attention to spot problems for the management team to solve.

Pipehire’s Complaint Tracker it’s easy to use and implement here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Quick select of the employee and customer: A preloaded list of employees and customers to eliminate data entry.

Step 2: Pick a category of the complaint and zip code: This will allow you to see a future complaints analysis report (coming in 2021) to spot problems in you company and be able to do retraining. Entering zip codes will show you problematic zip codes in your city so you can avoid marketing there.

Step 3: Enter the complaint: Enter here the actual feedback provided by the client.

Step 4: Check a box if the Field Manager checked the job: This is important so you can tell if your field manager is doing his/her job.

Step 5: Did this complaint generated a negative review?: You want to track if this complaints are generating negative reviews on Yelp or Google so you can measure the impact on your business.

Step 6 and 7: Status of employee and customer resolution. A way to have a status of resolution with the customer as well as the cleaner. If you don’t close a complaint properly could bite you in the back as it happened to me in with Flooded house. So make sure you track and close all complaints. A good cleaning service will make sure their clients are truly satisfied not only when things are going well but when there’s issues to solve

Step 8: Only save or Be able to send a text message to the employee quickly.

Only Save: Will only save the entry for the owner or manager of the company. The employee will never be notified about his.

Save and Send SMS to Employee: The entry will be saved in the employee record and the employee also will receive a text message with the following info:

  • Date of compliment
  • Name of the client
  • Reason
  • Description of the compliment

Step 9: Enter a Complaints Score: (1 to 5)

The complaints have a score too, 1 being a Light Complaint, like “they forgot to clean a mirror” and 5 being a Hard Complaint like they almost killed my dog, flooded my house or something extreme. 

We use these scores to feed the Leaderboard which rates your employees from 1 to 5, 5 being the best. 

How to Avoid hurting employee morale.

The little checkbox (see image below): If you uncheck the box, the employee will not see the description or full text of the complaint, we built this because we needed to let the employee know about the compliment/complaint without hurting their feelings. Being able to block the copy of the client if we want to protect the cleaner’s feelings it’s the key to avoid discouraged employees.

Clearly if the employees needs to go for constant performance issues, they will be able to read all their feedback if they want.

Watch the video:


🎯 Guide: How to Run Cleaning Employees 1 to 1 Meetings Effectively


There are different approaches to running 1 to 1 meetings with your cleaning employees. The truth of the matter is that you can make them, as simple or as complicated as you want them, short or long, as often like every week or every quarter, I don’t think there’s a perfect way to do it, but I do believe there’s a practical and effective way to do it.

Definition: The difference Being effective is about doing the right things, while being efficient is about doing things right. Similar but not the same.

For me being effective is to accomplish the right things, that will move the employee and company forward. 🤝

So what’s the purpose of the 1 to 1 meetings?

The purpose should to bridge the gap between where they are and where they could/should be in the cleaning technician career path.

Side note: At Gmaids we believe every employee should have a long term vision (career path) and certain realistic goals they want to accomplish once they start to work for me. (i.e save for down payment of house, pay for children’s college etc.) this is what will make your job worthy of loyalty (low turnover), if they feel they can get what they dream, your company (job) becomes a vehicle to get there.

Who should conduct the meetings?

If you’re just getting started with your house cleaning business, then will be you the owner. Businesses with $500K in revenue and above should have the office assistant or manager do this. As a business owner when you cross the $500K+ in annual revenue you should be focusing on more leadership, growth/expansion and fine tuning procedures to get to the $1m year cleaning business.

What should be the meeting about?

  1. Discuss challenges: Address employee concerns by asking in what area(s) they feel stuck, so you can send them to the right place (i.e retraining them or to review the 13 speed cleaning rules). One word of advice: Listen them, but don’t become their psychiatrist. 😱
  2. Review performance: Talking about their last Complaints received and how they will improve next time, also even more important review their Compliments, yes you should will also review all positive feedback they’ve received from clients this will help with their self- esteem. Successful cleaning services are far more supportive and complementary than low performing one. Positive reinforcement with employees it’s so important in our type of business, and from my own experience we don’t practice it enough. Also within performance it’s critical that you review their job attendance, a committed employee shows up to work everyday without excuses. 👊

What are the benefits of these meetings?

  • Reduces common problems like complaints, attendance issues, turnover, gossip etc.
  • Allows you to mentor and coach some of those that want more than just a job. I found great employees, look for more than a job, they want a company worthy of their time and future.
  • Builds company culture, very important to lower employee turnover, now even more important when the company culture is right, your cleaning employees will bring you new A-type workers. Saves you money and time in recruiting. This is a great sign that you have a thriving company culture.🤗

What should you do during the meeting?

Document, document and document….why? Because you want to make sure you remember next meeting what was told and what they committed to. Also, in my case I don’t do this meetings anymore, my local manager does but I review the notes within their employee profile, so I know at all times what’s going on.

Pipehire “notes” tab allows you record all meeting notes. 😁

How to handle the good, the bad and the ugly?

When things are going poorly, it’s time for a difficult conversation or as my friend says a “come to Jesus meeting”. But when things are going well, use the time to encourage and appreciate the employee’s accomplishments and good behavior. Don’t hold back make sure you’re managing you employees wells so the issues get fixed.

How long they should meetings last?

I recommend 15 minutes with a clear agenda. If you don’t have an agenda you will run overtime and you will not be doing this for too long.

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs

Questions on managing cleaning employees?

Email us at or visit us at Pipehire to learn how to manage better all you cleaning employees.


😱 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.

Business Management

🤥 How to protect your cleaning employees from stealing clients and your customers from stealing your employees?

When you have great employees which you have worked very hard to find, recruit and train, there’s always some fear that a client will poach them and “steal” them from your payroll. Also on the backflip, this great employee could also be stealing clients from you and start their own cleaning business without you knowing it. And last but not least your own employees can also steal your other loyal employees so they can start their own cleaning company. What a mess? How can you protect your self and your business?

You should protect your cleaning businesses with a document called “Unfair Solicitation Agreement” this document protects you from clients stealing employees and there’s also one that needs to be signed by the employees, both are below:

Unfair Solicitation Agreement for Cleaning Services Template (clients)

We value our Cleaning Techs and pour an enormous amount of time, energy and, expense into our screening, hiring, and training process.  We are proud of the fact that “ABC CLEANING SERVICE, INC” has some the lowest turnover rate in our city. This agreement helps safeguard our success at providing only the best staff to our deserving customers.  Sadly, some people want quality without paying for it and attempt to undercut our efforts by trying to “poach” our Cleaning Techs.  It is for this reason that our customers and Cleaning Techs sign our “unfair solicitation agreement”.  If breached, a fee of $________ (for damages) will be assessed.  This helps to minimize the risk of unfair solicitation which undermines the good experience all our clients have come to expect.  Please help us maintain our success by not soliciting our Cleaning Techs for hire directly.

I understand that I will be charged a $__________ finder’s fee if I hire a Cleaning Tech from “ABC CLEANING SERVICE, INC” on an individual basis for private work.

I understand that “ABC CLEANING SERVICE, INC” Cleaning Techs are not allowed to engage in a work-relationship directly with me for one full year after termination.  

Customer Name _______________________ Date _______________

Signature _____________________________

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.  

Unfair Solicitation Agreement for Cleaning Service Template (employee)

 I ___________________________ understand and agree that if I breach this non-compete contract and clean houses or work for any “ABC CLEANING SERVICE, INC” clients on my own for direct payment cleaning houses during my employment or up to one year after my termination or up to one year of the client’s termination of our service, I will pay a referral fee of  $2,500 per client to “ABC CLEANING SERVICE, INC”

I ________________________________ understand and agree that If I recruit/poach employees from “ABC CLEANING SERVICE, INC” to come and work for me, I will pay a referral fee of $1,500 per employee to “ABC CLEANING SERVICE, INC”.

Employee Name _______________________ Date _______________

Signature _____________________________

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. 

What should be reasonable amount for the finders fee?

We recommend between $1,500 to $3,000 depending on your hiring costs.

How to implement this in your cleaning business?

Every time you onboard a recurring client and an employee have them sign it at the beginning of the process. You can use a e-signature system like HelloSign to send it their way. (Pipehire is working on a digital e-signature system for cleaning services)

Don’t forget to add this document reminder to the employee onboarding (see image below)

Want to organize your onboarding process better?

Get a free consult with our Customer Success Manager. Contact us in the chat at

Written by Juan Chaparro
Pipehire CEO

We hired them! Now it’s the time to Manage them. 🤞

Effective Management Styles for Cleaning Techs


Is the approach to management where the leader runs the company “proactively.” Meaning, rather they are active in terms of seeking out new opportunities for the company and dealing with any threats of problems before they even emerge.


Is the approach when you don’t plan ahead to handle problems or opportunities

Case by case:

Case management is a process that strives to achieve a specific objective by handling cases from beginning to end.

3 Metrics you must track everyday to stop customer attrition.

Churn:  Is the rate at which customers stop doing business with an entity.
It is most commonly expressed as the percentage of service subscribers who discontinue their subscriptions within a given time period.

Managing bad reviews and how to reduce them with proactive communication.

Actions needed to stop bad reviews

Send a SMS after each new client is service. A call is ok, but is not as effective.

Within jobber activate to collect feedback after the job is closed. 

If there’s an issue schedule a redo immediately or manager visit  before it gets out of your hands.

When should we be bothered? Let’s look at a system to avoid getting bothered as a business owner every day with complaints. 

Levels of Complaints

Level 1: Simple/quick REDO is always the first option. Or, small refund under $25 to cover time to redo cleaning tasks.

Level 2: Client wants someone to come back, then Customer Service Agent will offer the client a redo at no cost. If the client rejects the REDO and demands a refund of more than $50 we will schedule the field manager to come and check the job before granting the refund.

Level 3: Client is very mad, they request more than 50% of the money back, is threatening to leave bad reviews wishes to speak to an Owner.

Manage company data so nothing falls through the cracks.

Four places to keep company data:

  • Your Head.
  • Your Google Drive.
  • Local Computer.
  • On the cloud with Pipehire: reminders, alerts, expired docs.

Quick Story:

Due to an expired insurance, the employee couldn’t work for 2 months for a lack of car. This caused us to move her jobs and lose clients. 

That’s why within Pipehire the system will remind you of expired insurance, driver’s licenses and any docs.

Learn how to Run more effectively 1-1 meetings in less time.

Focus on:

  1. Seeing how’s their daily Attendance.
  2. Talking about the last Complaints received and how they will improve next time
  3. Compliments, yes also review all positive feedback they’ve received.
  4. Listen to them, but don’t become their psychiatrist. 😱
  5. Cheer them up.

Typical signs of an employee that’s going to quit without notice.

Learn to recognize this signs:

  1. Stop attending trainings/meetings.
  2. Complaints increase.
  3. Attendance drops.
  4. Asks for longer vacations.
  5. Stops respecting you.

Take Action!

Learn how to Hire and Manage better cleaning employees.

Join our Facebook group and learn Cleaning Business Hiring and Management

Need help with your cleaning business employees? Email us with your questions at:

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