Customer Service

Surviving Nasty, Spiteful, Unhappy Customers in Your Cleaning Business

Every week I send out an eMail Newsletter to my customers. Every week they have a chance to submit feedback to me about the product they purchased. This feedback is anonymous, so I have no idea who sent it and no way to reply. As I mentioned, this is a feedback survey. The purpose of the survey is to give me an understanding of where they are in their business and how the product they purchased met their expectations.

I get very excited when a survey arrives in my inbox because it’s a chance for me to learn. Sometimes I’m not so excited because the feedback I receive is nonsensical and there is no way for me to respond. A few weeks ago I got this:

I was disappointed – I cannot reach anyone to find out about the package I bought – Not easy to find the information.  Too general, I need guidance on finding good people to hire – Too much of the cleaning myself. I don’t mind doing some cleaning but it is a burnout for me to do too much of it. I need more great workers.

First of all, the product he/she purchased comes with a mentoring program. Did he/she follow the instructions to get that started and get their issues resolved? No!

Second of all, every piece of information I publish has my support information listed. Even the newsletter he/she used to take the survey has support information at the bottom of the message. I’m only a support ticket away from providing the assistance needed. Did he/she take advance of this? No!

Thirdly, finding and hiring workers is covered in the product he/she purchased along with classified ad and eMail templates. Unfortunately, nobody can tell anyone else how and where to find the perfect employees. These suggestions were included, but it’s up to each business owner to use the information provided and tweak it for his/her business until it works. What works for one business may not work exactly the same for the next business.

And fourthly, my website has a contact form clearly labeled to assist anyone in getting assistance. Did he/she use this form? No!

This person is obviously under the impression that he/she doesn’t have to actually read the “Read Me” file included with his/her purchase or use common sense to locate a contact form on my website. Maybe he/she is so overworked that taking the time to look over the contents of the product file seemed too burdensome.


There are many online businesses that have not taken the time to try and make their product(s) easy to use and easy to follow. We have done that and I’m not saying we’re perfect, but good grief – we can’t reach out and force people to read and use what they purchase.

But it does illustrate a point…

There will always be people who are unhappy with you because you have done something that appears to be a success. Somehow, it rubs them the wrong way. Perhaps they are resentful knowing they are still trying to achieve success, but haven’t gotten there yet. Or maybe they’re just jealous – I don’t know.

This Raises an Issue

No matter how smooth you think your business is running, you will be tested. People will be nasty and people will try and tell you how to run your business. You can’t let it get you down, you have to decide if what they tell you is the truth, take any necessary action, and keep moving forward. Any nasty or resentful feedback you receive is only one person – it’s not ALL your customers. Take it for what it’s worth and keep moving.

I know – it seems these unhappy customers hit you with a negative issue after you have tried to do everything possible to make sure your customers are receiving a high level of service. Don’t let it get you down! It’s them – not you.

I would say “thank you” to this customer because his/her feedback gave me the idea for a new blog post, but I can’t – unless he/she is reading this blog. And that’s the first thing you need to say to awful customers… Thank You! Once they hear those words, it kinda takes the fire out of their complaint. It shifts the conversation into problem resolution, which is where you need it to go. You can then work on a solution to their issue together and move forward or decide to part ways.

Running a business is a series of uphill battles. All you can do is take them one at a time and move forward. It surprises me that so many people start a cleaning business and give up along the way. I got the feeling this person that was unhappy with me was not happy doing the cleaning – how long can someone survive in a business if they don’t like the work? I know it can be weary doing the cleaning and also running the business, but having a plan to achieve your next goal is your way out of frustration. It all takes time – pick one battle at a time, conquer it, and move to the next one.

Why did I write this post? I wanted you to see that even I have unhappy customers to deal with. You’re not alone and your last complaint will always lead to another, no matter what you do so deal with it.

What types of nasty or spiteful complaints have you gotten in your business? How did you handle them?

By Anne-Marie

I'm Anne-Marie, the House Cleaning Pro. When I planned to build a house cleaning business, I knew I didn't want to be stuck doing all the work myself. I had much bigger plans, like 1) Building up the business to compete with the franchises in my city 2) Training employees to do the dirty work and 3) Having the ability to sell the business when the time was right. Discover how you can achieve your goals when you start a house cleaning business for maximum profits!

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