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Overcoming Psychological Barriers & Finding a Failsafe Business Idea

June 10, 2014 by Dallas Maids

What is your first thought when you drive pass a mansion with a meticulously manicured lawn and a couple exotic cars parked in the driveway? Just take a moment. And. Ponder… Was it along the lines of “Who did those people scam to get that!?” or was it “Good for them! It’s awesome that they can do that for them and their family”; was it positive or negative.

Don’t feel bad if it was negative because our minds are programmed from childhood to view money as bad. Sayings such as “Money doesn’t grow on trees”, “Money is the root of all evil”, “Money doesn’t buy happiness” permeate our society. These are the mottos of the monetarily mediocre. Next time you hear someone say “money doesn’t buy happiness”, ask them if they have lots of money. What do you think the answer will be? So the first step is to reprogram your subconscious mind to smash mediocrity and recognize money rocks!

Reprogram Your Subconscious.

Consciously, you may say to yourself you want to have a lots and lots of mullah. BUT if the subconscious believes the buck is bad then it will sabotage your money-making energies. Feelings of doubt and thoughts of “this business idea won’t work” or “I don’t have what it takes” surfaces and freezes you before taking that first step. The subconscious is not evil [pans over to villain with a devilish chuckle calmly petting cat]; it simply does not want you to do what it perceives as bad. So how do you change its perception?

There are many psychology-based books that are dedicated to reprogramming your mind. Read them. Anyway, one of the universal attributes among all the autobiographies I have read are great people love to read. So develop your desire to dive into books and be more successful. Reading is enjoyable, it enriches your life. Barbara Bush once said she can’t imagine life without reading. So as you seek self-improvement through reading let’s talk about the easiest way to attain 100% financial freedom.

Start a Business.

The easiest way to become rich is to own a scalable, self-sustainable company, developing policies and procedures so that your people will know what to do when you’re absent. Otherwise, if it cannot survive without you then you don’t own a business, you own a job. And that is just blaaah! There are many books that teach you how to develop a system, policies and procedures, etc that allows a business to run smoothly. So how do you find an awesome idea? Glad you asked!

Have a Failsafe Idea.

Having a business was what I wanted. I wanted it SO bad that it became ingrained in my mind. My now subconscious had a goal and started producing ideas per its own schedule: driving in my car, waking up in the middle of the night, or sitting on the toilet (pardon the visual), the ideas that unexpectedly spring forth are the best because your subconscious has been analyzing the data behind the scenes, making numerous calculations, finishes, and then floats the fabulous ideas to your consciousness. It’s like having your own personal super computer do the work.

After a year or so I had a long list of good ideas. And the way to have a great idea is to have many ideas. Looking at the list I quickly zeroed on ideas I felt would work. Then the idea I KNEW would work popped out: Maid Service. You must have the FEELING that you know it can’t fail for feelings are the subconscious’ way to communicates with you. Using your subconscious makes life so much easier.

At that point I quit my job so I had no crutch to fall back on and jumped in 100%. It was sink or swim. I swam. It was the BEST business decision I ever made. I was finally free…

Freedom!

It’s the freedom that makes you happy; money is just a nice side benefit. Like many I’ve talked to here: I wasn’t after the money. Rather I wanted to build a good business while being free of someone other person determining my livelihood, whether I was promoted, or even had a job (now that’s risk!). Having good intentions, knowing the universe will provide all that’s needed, that you already have all within yourself to succeed, and every day you are getting better and better; this is the right mindset for success. Positive energy.

Negative Energy Sucks.

Negative energy sucks out motivation. At first no one knew what I was doing, not my family, not my friends, no one, until the business was established. I kept things hushed because people would discourage me, ask why give up a “safe” career to mop floors (with retrospective realization, there was no risk). Even after word got out, word came in such as “You should sell the maid service and find a real job” or “are you still doing that house cleaning stuff?”. You can be the most confident person though humans are highly suggestible. What others say sink into the subconscious so protect it sacredness. You need to set consciously your own goals less others do it for you. As time went by I defriended pessimistic friends. I seek optimism. Today it’s the same with my businesses: negative, nasty customers are fired, resulting in less stressed, more productive people and a stronger businesses.

Life is good. Money is good.

You deserve to have freedom. I hope this helps and encourages you to take action to achieve your dream. You are blessed to experience this sliver of life in our little corner of the universe between two inconceivable infinities. Make the most of it! Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”

 

 

How I Started Dallas Maids

May 20, 2014 by Dallas Maids

Celebrating Dallas Maids’ 10th year anniversary this month, I was thinking how I got started. Starting a maid service was originally an idea I had for my girlfriend at the time and her friend. They were wondering what to do with their lives so I suggested a maid service. Though it was not on whim; it was an idea I KNEW would work because I had all the things within myself to make it succeed. A determination a year in the making. Here is how I arrived at the idea of starting a professional house cleaning service.

1) Focus on wanting to start a business – During the past year or so I REALLY wanted to do my own thing. It was a thought that was engraved in my subconscious, giving my mind a direction, a goal.

2) Write down all your ideas – One day I decided to write down every idea I could think of. Though this is not the end… over the next year ideas popped in my mind, I might be driving in my car or on the toilet, if an idea popped in my head I wrote it down immediately. These ideas are the best because thoughts that “randomly” materialize are straight from the subconscious. You’ve given it a goal, now it’s working behind the scenes making numerous of calculations you would not normally be able to do consciously.

3) To find a good idea, have many ideas – After a year or so I had a long list of business ideas. I sat down and looked over them, picking a few that I felt had promise. Though the idea of a maid service appealed to me because I KNEW I would not fail. It’s this feeling you must have because if you know it won’t fail, it won’t. As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re write”. If one does not pop up immediately put the list down and take a look at it a few days later. If THE ONE appears, you will know. Though if it doesn’t, don’t worry, keep adding ideas over the weeks, months, until you find it.

4) Jump in 100% – When you find your idea, as I did, ACT! Quit your job and jump in 100% If you hold onto your current job you will have a crutch that will be too easy to fall back on. After you quit and take the plunge you will be forced to sink or swim… and you will find swimming easier than you had thought. You will not fail.

After ex-girlfriend deciding not to start the cleaning business was the catalyst to get me to ACT because it was an idea I knew wouldn’t fail, an opportunity I could not pass up.

This is how I succeeded with Dallas Maids. The method outlined here is a similar method I read in a book years (can’t recall the book) after I started. This method is successful because you are using your subconscious mind to do most of the work. When you initially focused on the problem (such as finding a business idea) you are giving you subconscious mind a goal. So as you go about you daily business your subconscious works on the tedious details of making your goal happen while you enjoy your day. The solution that “spontaneously” “pops” in your mind is usually the correct one.

In summary, after a year you will have many ideas; to find THE idea, you need MANY ideas. The BEST idea surfaces in your thoughts, an idea you should FEEL it cannot fail. And there you go.

Then it’s only a matter of time, persistence, and fun for success.

I hope this helps aspiring business owners.

 

P.S. Check out http://dallasmaids.com/distinguish.htm, especially the “Note to the aspiring maid service entrepreneur” at the end.

P.S.S. A video we produced on how to start a house cleaning company:

P.S.S.S. You may also want to read a blog post on how to start a maid service: http://www.dallasmaids.com/how-to-start-a-maid-service/
 

 

 

6 Wildly Creative Cleaning Hacks for Every Room in Your House

May 16, 2014 by Dallas Maids

By Pamela Masin

Spring cleaning has arrived, but before you spend hours on end tidying up, use these experts’ shortcuts for how to get everything from your mattress to your bathtub looking brand new again.

 

cleaning hacks

The Liquor That Doubles as a Mattress Refresher

Hold the tonic and lime — vodka has a new use that has less to do with your Saturday night and more to do with where you sleep when you arrive home. That’s right, vodka can be used as a way to clean your mattress, which is often an overlooked task, even though you sleep — i.e., sweat — on it every night. The alcohol kills odor-causing bacteria while it also disinfects the mattress—unlike cleaning sprays that often only mask smells with a scent. Not to mention a cheap 750-ml bottle (25.36 fluid ounces) of vodka costs less than $10, while a 16.9-fluid-ounce cleaning spray costs around $5 and won’t last nearly as long. This is why Jolie Kerr, cleaning expert and author of My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag and Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha, suggests vodka as an easy cleaning solution. Simply pour vodka into a spray bottle, distribute it evenly across your mattress by spritzing and leave it to air-dry before remaking your bed. “The key is to spritz the mattress lightly — you don’t want to saturate it, or else it will never dry,” says Kerr.

cleaning hacks

The Spray That Gets Rid of Those Unmentionable Bedroom Invaders

Researchers at Alexandria University in Egypt found certain essential oils to be effective at killing dust mites—the invisible-unless-under-a-microscope creatures that tend to live in bedding, carpets, furniture and drapes. If you want to keep your allergies at bay, eucalyptus and clove were proven to be the most effective oils for eliminating household dust mites. Add around 10 drops of an oil in with your laundry detergent when you wash your sheets in hot water; fill a spray bottle with 1 quart of water and 20 drops of an oil to spray on upholstery; or, put baking soda in a sifter and add in 10 drops of an essential oil to shake across carpeting. Then leave the mixture on the floor for 30 minutes and vacuum it up.

cleaning hacks

The Fruit That Cleans Your Microwave in a Zap

It’s bad enough that you completely blackened your bag of popcorn, but even worse when that distinct smell makes its way into every food you put in the microwave for weeks afterward — even after you have cleaned the microwave with soap and water. Tricky smells, such as from burnt foods, are easily absorbed into the microwave and take more than a good scouring to get rid of. Kerr says the easiest way to deodorize a microwave and clean it is to cut a lemon in half, sprinkle it with some kosher salt and then to scrub the microwave interior with it. “The scent of the lemon, combined with the citric acid will help to neutralize any lingering odors.” And for those of us who just wish the smell would go away on its own, this trick comes pretty close: Put a bowl of white vinegar in the microwave and shut the door. “You don’t even need to turn it on,” says Kerr. “Just let the vinegar work its magic for an hour, or so, and the smells will be gone.”

cleaning hacks
The Salon Staple That’ll Keep Your Bathroom Sparkling

Sure, you’ve heard of Bar Keepers Friend as a way to remove rust rings from your bathtub, but there’s an easier solution to prevent those stubborn marks before they even start. Coat the undersides of your shaving-cream can, metal soap dish or any other rust-causing culprits with clear nail polish, which puts a protective layer between the item and your pearly white tub.

cleaning hacks
The DIY Cleaning Solution That Works in Any Room

If your household is prone to drink and/or food spills, don’t waste money going through containers upon containers of cleaning wipes. Instead, make your own for a fraction of the cost with Fabulessly Frugal’s easy recipe, which includes items that are probably already lying around your kitchen: paper towels, vinegar, water, a few drops of dish soap and of an essential oil (although not necessary, the latter helps to mask the smell of vinegar). Then store them in Tupperware, or in an old container of store-bought wipes, and you’ll be a whole lot happier when you get your monthly bank statement.

cleaning hacks

The Pillowcase Reuse That’s a Breeze

Ceiling fans do require a little extra effort to clean (“Where’s my step ladder, again?”), but Jill Nystul, the blogger behind One Good Thing by Jillee, shows us how to tackle the task in 30 seconds or less. Hook an old pillowcase over one fan blade at a time and wipe it backward. This removes all the grime and traps it inside the pillowcase without it falling to the ground—or, worse, in your eyes — so there are finally no more, “Oops, I have to re-sweep my floor,” moments.

 

 

 

Is Your Maid Stealing from You?

April 3, 2014 by Dallas Maids

Over the years I have heard horror stories from customers and cleaning service owners alike. One of worse was about a family returning from vacation to find their housekeeper gone. The housekeeper they had trusted for years, who was treated like part of the family decided to retire taking everything of value in the house before leaving the country. Recently I received an email from a concerned customer who was worried, writing he did “not want to feel insecure when someone is in [his] home wondering if [his] stuff will still be there… when they leave”. I am happy to explain why theft is NOT an issue at Dallas Maids; 1) our hiring process tests for honesty and 2) if an item is missing our people have the option to volunteer for a polygraph test.

Our 5-step interviewing procedure (the most selective interviewing process I know of in Dallas!) has two aspects that test for honesty: 1) information verification and 2) non-verbal analysis to detect deceit. First, from the initial phone interview to the in-office interview, data is collected that can be verified. Did the job candidate claim previous pay of $12.00 an hour but their former employer says $11.75 an hour – Applicant is not hire-able and is out. Did they indicate a clear driving record but driver license background check indicates it’s suspended – Out. Did they say they never had complications with the law though background check finds forgery fraud – WAY OUT! From background checks, driver license checks, employment verification and reference checks, we cross reference what was written or stated by the applicant with what our background research for any discrepancies or untruths; more of which I mention here. Second, the job applicant’s non-verbal actions are analyzed. A person is an open book for those that have studied body language, specifically lie detection. To a trained interrogator, it’s virtually impossible to get away with a lie. This is because the brain uncontrollably functions differently when engaged in a lie. Having read a mini library of books on the topic we’ve implemented this knowledge into our interviewing procedure. From body language to even the construction of a story, if you know what questions to ask and what to look for, detecting dishonesty is much easier than otherwise. With cameras set up throughout the office, reviewing the interview allows for even a more clear analysis of these non-verbal cues.

Sometimes items turn up missing and when they do, we’re ready! Our procedure is simple and strikingly effective. First, we ask the customer to wait a couple of weeks to see if the item turns up – 95% of the time, it does. Second, if the item doesn’t turn up, an employee will often pay for a polygraph themselves to clear their name. Dallas Maids will reimburse the employee once test is completed which is mentioned during orientation for new hires. And even though it is never mentioned again, employees appreciate this option to clear their name and save our reputation.

Honest staff is a necessity for customers who entrust us with their biggest investment, their home! and all personal possessions within. Dallas Maids is the only service that I know of that goes to this extent in protecting customers. From what customers and maid service owners have told me, theft is an issue in this industry. . .

. . . Just not with us.

 

 

$400 Gift Certificate for an Office Manager

April 1, 2014 by Dallas Maids

We're Hiring

CAN YOU HELP us find our next Office Manager?

There’s a $400 GIFT CERTIFICATE in it for you!

We have an Office Manager position to fill. If you know an irresistibly friendly individual who has a strong work and moral ethic, please send them to the office manager’s job description for Dallas Maids.

If we hire the person you recommend we will give you a $400 gift certificate!

 

 

 

Cleaning For A Reason

March 13, 2014 by Dallas Maids

Dallas Maids, now a proud partner of Cleaning For A Reason

 

Dallas Maids, now a proud partner of Cleaning For A Reason

Having the chance to further serve the welfare of the community though Cleaning for a Reason is a natural fit for us, especially with Dallas Maids’ mission of maximizing the well-being of customers and employees. We graciously thank Cleaning For A Reason for giving us the privilege to give back to our community which we have been blessed to serve.

More about Cleaning For A Reason (source: http://www.cleaningforareason.org/about)

Cleaning for a Reason was the brainchild of President and Founder, Debbie Sardone, owner of Buckets & Bows Maid Service, Lewisville, TX. Debbie took a phone call from a prospective client several years ago. After providing the woman a price quote, the prospect paused before saying, “I won’t be able to afford that now; I’m undergoing cancer treatment” and hung up. Debbie hadn’t gotten the woman’s phone number and was unable to call back to make arrangements. In that instant, Debbie decided that no woman undergoing cancer treatment would ever be turned down by her business. In fact, they would be given free housecleaning service.

Calling her staff, Debbie announced the new policy, which the company has used over and over, through the years. In 2005, Debbie shared her story with other maid services at a national cleaning industry convention. She shared her conviction that it was these women, undergoing the physical, emotional; and financial rigors of cancer treatment, who needed professional housecleaning services the most. An onslaught of cleaning business owners began expressing their interest and support.

When she returned to Texas, Debbie registered Cleaning For A Reason as a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation. With word of this at the next convention, maid services began signing up to donate their services on the spot. Since that time, in 2006, Cleaning For A Reason has helped women with cancer receive the gift of over $3.7 million dollars worth of free house cleaning from approximately 1,000 maid service partners.

 

 

How to Remove Fake Negative Yelp! Reviews

February 26, 2014 by Dallas Maids

Why would anyone want to give your business a negative fake review? This is a question I initially pondered. I quickly surmised it was from shill accounts that are made to provide positive fake reviews for paying, unethically minded business. If you have suffered collateral damage then you are in luck! Here is a method we found to be HIGHLY effective.

STEP 1: Determine if it is fake. Make sure it is a fake review, not a real review from a paying customer. This is usually easy because you have a database of your customers, jobs, along with detailed notes (or at least you should!). If there is slightest doubt, try to amicably approach this customer with the intent of a) listening to their feedback and b) make it right for the customer.

STEP 2: Flag Review. Have other businesses victimized by the shill along with your Elite Yelp! customer’s flag it; your customers will be happy to help your company, the company they love!

STEP 3: Post FAKE REVIEW followed by the evidence and explanation why it is fake. One of two things will happen:

a) Yelp! will delete the shill account. We LOVE when this happens because they are not able to inflict undeserved harm on other honest businesses just to make their account seem real. My guess is that they have a bot that searches for certain keywords in the reviews. “Fake Review” apparently warrants a closer look for Yelp!.

b) The shill account owner will remove the review to prevent their shill account from being deleted. Yeah, kind of sucks they get to keep their account but at least you got your fake negative review removed.

STEP 4: (Optional)  Call businesses to complain.  See who the yelp reviews for-hire shill has given 5 star reviews. Call those businesses kindly asking them to have the folks they hired to remove your fake negative reviews.  Some of those owners will apologize, some will deny, but they will talk to the folks they hire because who wants to be harassed? Repeat often as needed 🙂

Using deceit to garner business in not only indecent thing to do, it is also NOT the correct mindset to run a successful business. I like the quote by Warren Buffet, “Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre”

P.S. For a history of our experience with fake reviews, check out http://www.dallasmaids.com/dallas-maids-yelp-wild-ride-review-machine/

 

 

We’re famous again!

February 5, 2014 by Dallas Maids

Dallas Maids on KTXD TV

Dallas’ morning TV show, The Broadcast, had Dallas Maids on again to discuss how you can get a fresh, new, clean start for 2014.  This segment aired on January 17th, 2014: www.ktxdtv.com/story/24480383/dallas-maids

1. Deep clean your house, deep clean your body

Deep within the fibers of your rugs, the crevices of your wood and the layers of your pillows lurk many creepy scary allergens. Dust mites, mold spores, animal dander and mildew can all induce some major pain of your home and your body. I’m talking household allergens. Not only can they cause sneezing, headaches and a general feeling of illness – but they can weaken your immune system and prevent your body from being able to deeply heal itself, renew and detox.

2. It just looks better.

This should be fairly obvious right? Straightened sheets and comforters with pillows in their proper place are far more esthetically pleasing than disheveled blankets and a pile of pillows on the floor. A sink full of dirty dishes just looks ugly, whereas I could stare at my clean and sparkly kitchen all day long. Likewise, toys and clothes off the floor and put away are so much prettier than things scattered everywhere.

3. Zen house, Zen mood

Obviously, a clean house will make you feel more relaxed and at ease. If you keep a clean and clutter-free house a priority, you will be able to enjoy your down time at home in a zen environment. Staring at dirty laundry sprawled about the house is no way to stay peaceful. And a clean house can easily be accented with zen-inducing aromatherapy oils like lavender and chamomile. Another way to zen-out your clean house.

4. Your kids play better.

My children have the incredible ability to make a mess instantaneously. Do your kids possess this talent? Sometimes it seems like they spend their entire day just dragging stuff out so they can leave it on the floor. During our great purge I got rid of 4 huge bins of toys, and there is still more purging yet to be done. I have noticed, however, that when we keep their room clean (and I do make them help with this), they actually play much better. Just like me, they can find the things they are looking for and focus on just one thing at a time instead of being overwhelmed by 5,000 toys staring at them from the floor… Not to mention you are teaching your kids the importance of a clean home.

5. You’re not embarrassed to have people over.

You’re having guests which include other adults, not just family, but *real* other adults, whom you assume have impeccably decorated and meticulously clean homes of their own, and they will be judging every square inch of your home when they come for whatever “soiree” you have decided to throw. And when your house is clean you’re more likely to invite someone over on the spur of the moment.

 

 

House Cleaning Biz 101 Product Review

November 25, 2013 by Dallas Maids

House Cleaning Biz 101 Product Review

www.housecleaningbiz101.com

Greg here, founder of Dallas Maids professional house cleaning service in Dallas, Texas. A few years ago I gave Gary a glowing recommendation for House Cleaning Biz 101 because he deserves kudos for creating a very valuable product. Today I’m happy to give a video review.One of the reasons Dallas Maids has been wildly successful in providing the most value for our customers, accumulating numerous awards and recognitions is because of House Cleaning Biz 101. It has everything a house cleaning business owner needs to start and grow his business. From the proper forms needed for all aspects of the business such as hiring, taxes, employee reviews, TO policies and procedures ensuring smooth operations, the CD set has it all.

I’d like to talk about one of the most valuable reasons to purchase this product, the CD labeled: The 3Rs of Employee Development in the House Cleaning Business. Employee Recruiting, Relations, and Retentions. This part alone is worth the cost of the entire product many times over. Finding and keeping the best talent is THE single most important key to any business. Gary’s method allows for EFFICIENTLY sifting through quantity to locate the quality, quickly. And once you have that quality, he shows you how to keep it. This highly efficient process allows you more time to allocate for other parts of your business such as taking care of your customers.

House Cleaning Biz 101 CD set gives you the foundation and tools to build the business of your dreams I’d like to conclude with a portion of the referral I wrote for Gary a few years ago:

“It’s been over 8 years since I purchased the CD set and all I have to say is WOW! Its helped make Dallas Maids a huge success, winning multiple awards and recognition. The hiring process has been VERY helpful in finding the right people – and that has made all the difference.

The best thing about owning a successful business is the FREEDOM. Freedom not being confined to a 9-5 job, freedom to travel, freedom to spend time with family. Oh, the five figure monthly income isn’t bad either : ) Thanks Gary!”

 

 

 

Dallas Maids on Yelp: Our Wild Ride on the Review Machine

October 9, 2013 by admin

dallas maids yelp

How many of you are depending on Yelp for advice before you decide to go to a restaurant, hire a service contractor or visit a new clinic? The concept is excellent and the Yelp slogan sounds so promising: “Real People, Real Reviews.” Dallas Maids has been on Yelp for three years now so we’ve learned a thing or two about how a good concept can get twisted and even hurt small businesses.

Now, don’t get us wrong; we’re happy with our star rating and the real reviews from happy clients that we have earned through hard work and high standards but our relationship with Yelp has been a roller coaster ride and we are not alone. We put on our detective hats and did some digging, you’ll be amazed at what we found! Did you know that Harvard Business School recently published the findings of a study showing that 20% of the reviews on Yelp are fake? The modern day adage of “you can’t believe everything you read online” really rings true! We hope that after reading this you might change your mind about the reliability of review sites for evaluating small businesses. We’ll share our story first.

Dallas Maids Yelp Story – Fake People, Fake Reviews

Dallas Maids got hit with our first fake review on Yelp in 2011, it was unnerving! A woman posted a scathing review to the Dallas Maids Yelp profile page but she had our basic company details wrong. Even so, we quickly checked our records, we had never provided service for anyone matching the reviewer’s description. She listed a price for service that we have never quoted to anyone. Had she mistaken us for another company? Was this a smear campaign by one of our competitors? We quickly sent the reviewer a private message but received no response. Now what?

We posted a public response, hoping the reviewer would see that and defend or remove their review. The person did respond, argued that indeed we did provide service and it was terrible. We were puzzled until we looked at her review history. One other maid service got a bad review from her in the same week and a third service (a competitor) got a glowing 5 star review. Fishy much? We contacted Yelp but there was “nothing they could do” (besides try and sell us ad space.)

Since then we’ve received several more fake negative reviews, some phony reviewers removed their reviews after we pointed out in public comments how obviously fake they were. Still, at the end of the day we aren’t worried about it because….

Why Dallas Maids Chuckles at Fake Yelp Reviews

There is a reason we are number one in Dallas and it has nothing to do with Yelp: At Dallas Maids we are as meticulous about customer service as we are with our cleaning. We have a multi-layer follow-up process to ensure that every customer is a happy customer, every time. It would be very difficult for an unsatisfied client to slip through the cracks, check out our quality control process:

  1. Satisfaction Reporting Onsite: Our housekeepers are trained to report any issues at the jobsite immediately to the office, if a client complains to a housekeeper our office is notified so that we can contact the client immediately. Can’t see your face in the floor yet? Our office team will have the cleaners go over it again until you are happy. We take our 100% satisfaction guarantee very seriously!
  2. Follow Up Phone Calls: We call after every service to see how the cleaners did. Not only to make sure that the client is satisfied but also to keep track of the performance of our cleaning teams. Housekeepers that receive negative feedback get additional training and/or may be placed on probation; we run a tight ship! If we can’t get a hold of a client the first time we leave a message, make a note in our system and call back.
  3. Follow Up Email: We thank every client for using our service via email and we ask clients for feedback on their cleaning. We realize that some clients prefer email communication and this is just one more safety net we put in place for quality control.
  4. Ongoing Quality Checks: For our regular clients we check in at regular intervals via phone calls and email. “How are we doing?” and “Is there something more we can be doing for you?” This is important to keep our regulars satisfied for the long haul. We are constantly tweaking and adjusting their service to meet changing needs.

Now you can see how improbable it would be for an unsatisfied client to resort to a negative Yelp review after all of those levels of quality checks. Still, we receive an average of one fake negative review a month. If our competitors focused more on improving their own quality of service and less on trying to game the Yelp system they would probably grow their business quicker but we’re too busy cleaning to give it much thought.

When a Good Concept Goes Bad

The problem with Yelp as we see it is that there is no official line of recourse at the moment for business owners who are being victimized by competitors on Yelp. The Yelp team is focused on selling ad space and any complaints fall on deaf ears. The site’s review policies are skewed in favor of consumers which makes sense at a glance but considering the huge effect that Yelp ratings can have on a company’s revenue and success there should be more accountability from both Yelp and consumers. This is something that can have repercussions even on local economies and the job market, it’s serious business but Yelp reviews are often times far from serious.

A good example: a woman reviewed a local restaurant, in her review she says that both the food and the service were excellent. Do you want to take a guess then as to why she gave that restaurant a one star review? She has a milk allergy and there was nothing on the dessert menu that she could eat with her dietary restriction. We can hope than anyone reading that review will agree that this is unfair to the business and that the review wouldn’t influence the reader to not go to the restaurant BUT the impact  goes beyond that.

That one star review gets factored into the “star rating” for the business and a lower  star rating means that the restaurant may now show up lower in the list when someone searches for restaurants in their area on Yelp. That is lost revenue for a small business over something that is pretty ridiculous. Not to mention how reviews like that one and fake negative (and positive!) reviews all contribute to a muddied picture for the consumer who is looking for a reputable local business.

A Call for Change: How Yelp Could Live Up to Its Potential

Yelp is not only failing small businesses, it’s failing consumers too by not making the effort to provide the best possible information about local businesses. Bad information leads to bad buying decisions and bad customer experience. So what can be done? A little accountability goes a long way.

Yelp needs to have an open line of communication with small businesses, needs to encourage reviewer responsibility and limit the ability of careless reviewers to unfairly wreak havoc on a company’s bottom line. What kind of a consumer review site gives consumers the option to vote a review as “funny”? One that isn’t taking serious business seriously.

Want more information? Check out the resources we found on the subject: 

Think Yelp is Unbiased? Think Again!! – Article on Forbes

Yelp admits a quarter of submitted reviews could be fake – Article by the BBC

Why does Yelp hide reviews? – Washington Post video special addresses accusations of extortion by Yelp

Ratings Sites Like Yelp and Angie’s List in the Hot Seat – Article by ABC News, what Consumer Reports thinks of Yelp

Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0 – Case Studies

Is Yelp Fair to Businesses? – PC World on an earlier study by Harvard Business School

 
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