How to Respond to a Complaint Letter About House Cleaning

A letter of complaint regarding house cleaning services can be damaging to your reputation if not handled properly.
A letter of complaint regarding house cleaning services can be damaging to your reputation if not handled properly. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

If you operate a house cleaning business--whether independently as an owner and operator or through a small business endeavor with employees--you may face occasions where your level of service is called into question. If you receive a letter of complaint stating disapproval in your services, you must work quickly and succinctly to correct the situation. Resolving the matter involves finding out the exact circumstances, employing good communication skills and offering a solution beneficial to all involved.

Things You'll Need

  • Notebook
  • Contract or project notes and documents
  • Letters of recommendation or reference from other customers (optional)

Read the complaint letter thoroughly. Make a copy of the letter and highlight sections of the letter with specific statements or claims detailing the customer's problem, issue or concern.

Write a list of the major complaints contained or chronicled within the letter. Beside each issue, state the name of the person responsible for the project or task mentioned. You may skip this step if you're an independent cleaning person and work alone because all tasks and duties would fall under your list of responsibilities.

Review contracts or documentation regarding the project. Review all materials to ensure that everything promised was delivered or services performed. Understand that the complaint may stem from a simple oversight. For example, if you routinely don't clean windows, yet offered this as a service for this particular customer and the task wasn't performed, the issue was a mere oversight and not a direct reflection on your cleaning abilities. Pointing out this type of oversight is a simple and quick resolution to such complaints.

Speak directly to everyone who worked on the project in question. Have time sheets or work logs available for review during your internal assessment process. Use this method to actively talk about the job among everyone involved to gain better insight in to reasons why the customer may feel shorted in terms of a proper cleaning job. Take notes for use later on.

Call the client directly and leave a message for a return phone call if there's no answer. Tell the customer that you want to discuss the issues concerning the cleaning job. Ask for a personal walk-through of the property, house or building to review the results and talk about what went right and what went wrong. This method of interactive resolution allows you to listen to and see what problems the client had in terms of your level of service. Take notes while walking through and ask questions of the client to determine what could have been done differently.

Offer to refund the money to the client or provide a free or reduced rate cleaning service to make up for the less than expected service that prompted the letter of complaint. Make sure that the client is satisfied with the offer. Clean the facility once more, per the terms discussed, and follow up with a personal phone call to determine if the second or subsequent cleaning was better.

Tips & Warnings

  • Send copies of customer references and letters of recommendation to the client as a way to help show your company's good reputation. Include a company brochure and business card with all written correspondence as well so that the customer can locate you easily.
  • Never promise services you can't deliver or overcharge for work performed. Know when to stop negotiations to make a customer happy because there may be situations where you simply need to refund the customer's money and walk away.

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