The janitorial industry hasn’t changed much in the last 10 years.
And while many would say this is a bad thing, it does create an opportunity for companies who are willing to try new things to stand out amongst the competition — both to clients and cleaners.
There are no doubt countless ways you could make your company stand out. You could mail potential customers outlandish gifts. Appoint a cat as your new CEO. Or hire someone to stand on a street corner, singing your praises in a chicken costume.
But for the purpose of this article we’re going to go ahead and assume you’d rather stand out in a good way.
With that in mind, here are two ways companies can set themselves apart in the janitorial industry.
1. By Starting With Why
In 2009 Simon Sinek delivered a TED Talk that provided many business owners a new perspective on how they may want to communicate their business, and what it has to offer.
The concept is brilliantly simple. He refers to it as the “Golden Circle.”
Most businesses, as he describes, start with “WHAT” they do (ex: Janitorial Services in Philadelphia) and stop there.
Even fewer companies go on to describe HOW they do it (ex: Quality services dedicated to meeting all client expectations.)
Most companies, however, fail to communicate WHY their company exists.
What Sinek’s approach shows is that shifting the conversation to talk about your why can have a huge impact on a customers perception of your business.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it
Using this approach, the “WHAT” you do, simply serves as the proof of what your company believes — your why. So the question becomes… what is your why?
And more importantly, what are you doing to communicate it to your customers?
2. By Using the “Good Job” Strategy
In 2013, Swept was operating as a residential and commercial cleaning company called Clean Simple. We learned very quickly that the most expensive aspect of our operations had to do with the loss of a great cleaner.
And while this challenge was costly, it forced us ask:
What makes some cleaners stay?
Trust me, it wasn’t because they loved cleaning.
We found that our most successful and most reliable cleaners felt they had a “good job”.
In other words, they felt supported, respected, paid well for their time, and enjoyed a stable schedule. We learned that the more we focused on our people, the better attendance and performance was, and the happier our customers were.
And so our mantra became:
We focus on our cleaners, so they can focus on you.
And this became something that we proudly discussed with clients. Our golden circle looked like this…
WHY – Happy cleaners make happy customers. We focus on them, so they can focus on you.
HOW – We leverage technology to engage, support, and recognize our cleaners for the amazing work they do when cleaning your business.
WHAT – It’s this focus that allows us to deliver the unparalleled quality of service you will experience.
This discussion allowed us to not only differentiate ourselves but entirely change the conversation we were having with potential customers. It became the secret sauce that allowed us to close over 80% of our quotes.
In turn, winning 80% of our quotes allowed us to confidently invest in the development of the software that is now available as Swept. It provides our cleaners better support, and us with a guiding principle that allowed our business to grow over 530% year over year.
we’re not the only ones
It’s this sort of thinking that has also allowed companies like Managed by Q to disrupt and change the expectations of customers. In February of 2016, the New York Times wrote an article about how Managed by Q is leveraging the Good Jobs Strategy.
In the article, Managed by Q CEO Dan Teran outlines a clear business case for how increased wages, better training, and better support and the use of technology have allowed his company to operate with a customer turnover rate of only 10% and an even lower cleaner turnover rate of 5%.
Backed by nearly 50 million dollars in funding, Managed by Q has expanded from one city to four in the last 18 months, with plans to expand globally soon.
How to join this movement
At Swept, our goal is to help janitorial companies around the world adapt and thrive in an industry that is about to go through rapid change. We want to help you and your team compete, win new business, and grow an amazing company doing it.
To try out the software we used to focus on our cleaners (so they could then focus on our customer) click below to create a Free Account.