The issue that we had was to be able to track customer's preferences as well as student’s preferences. For example, we cannot assign a student that is allergic to dogs to a house with pets. Another thing that we needed to do is for the students to be able to log in and leave a comment or an important note about the household or the job. Keeping track of everyone’s preferences took a lot of time, and therefore, cost a lot of money. Every semester we have to redo the entire schedule based on the student’s new availability, especially because our customers get really attached to our students and they want to keep working with the same person, so it was getting really challenging and we had to build our own software to keep track of everything.
Zoom is great for video meetings.
Slack is the primary way we communicate between the students and the executives for things that don’t really matter. We like to keep a channel of communication open. As millennials, a lot of our relationships were made behind the phone or online, but this can’t replace the interactions that we have as human beings. People like working at a company because they have great relationships with people that work with them. We pay our students to come in before and after their shift with the only purpose of having some relationship building time. We ask that they work with a partner. We get feedback on how they are liking their job and if we cannot do it face to face, we do it by videochat. We have to force interaction with people. Remote people as well.
We could use a software that could make things more efficient, but we value the personal interaction. So we have a call log and we know the last time we talked to each customer. We call customers that we have not heard from in a while, and this adds a personal touch that is essential to good customer service. Also we make sure that our students are good at communicating with the client and with us. The best way to learn something is to dive in, so the first cleaning assignment that they get is a real job. We mentor and coach them ahead of time, we teach them how to handle communication, how to deal with complaints and possible issue that arise. It is a great way for them to learn real-life skills.
Infusionsoft is great--it allows you to group customers and plan dedicated campaigns. You have to dedicate a lot of time to think how to do marketing, but luckily they have people that can work with you on setting it up.
Timesheets is how our employees clock in and out. It is a little bit outdated, but it does exactly what we need. At the end of the day, you need something that helps--it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t have the best design. On Timesheets, you can have people clock in with their picture to make sure it is really them, even though we do not use this feature because we trust our employees. We also track performance, like if someone is late or if their cleaning quality is going down and we can talk to them about it.
Google Calendar was working when we were very small, but we quickly outgrew it.
Asana is great, but it can be overwhelming if you don’t take the time to explain how to use it and set guidelines for your team. It allows us to delegate without micromanaging. You don’t have to ask your employees every day what the status of a project is, you can just log in and have a snapshot of the situation.
We are writing a book that is coming out soon and we use Trello to keep track of tasks. We really love using it.