Sensation Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction Training Program

for ACS Technicians

By Jean and Steve Hanson, The Janitorial Store™

Copyright © The Janitorial Store™

All Rights Reserved for entire training program. Reproduction or translation of any part of this work by any means without permission of the publisher is unlawful. You do not have resell rights to this training program.

Disclaimer: This training program is for informational purposes only, and is based on information available at the time of publication. It should not be relied on as legal advice. The information is subject to revision as additional information becomes available.  The Janitorial Store™ makes no guarantees of results and assumes no responsibility or liability whatsoever in connection with the use of this training program.


Table of Contents

Introduction    4

The Importance of Exceptional Customer Service to Our Company    6

Activity: How You Feel About Your Customers    8

Customer Bill of Rights    12

What Exceptional Customer Service Should Look Like at Our Company    13

How to Provide Exceptional Customer Service    15

We Care!  Solutions Training    22

We Care! Employee Award Program    36

Ongoing Training    40

Customer Service Quiz    48




There is nothing more important to both you and this company as our customers; because without them, there is no business.  Our customers spend a lot of money each year to make sure their facility is cleaned to the specifications we promised. So when they have a concern or request, they expect us to resolve things quickly and efficiently, and to do it with courtesy and respect. Consider this quote from Sam Walton, Founder of Wal-Mart:

“There is only one boss, and whether a person shines shoes for a living or heads up the biggest corporation in the world, the boss remains the same. It is the customer! The customer is the person who pays everyone’s salary and who decides whether a business is going to succeed or fail. In fact, the customer can fire everybody in the company from the chairman (CEO) on down, and he can do it simply by spending his money somewhere else. Literally everything we do, every concept perceived, every technology developed and associate employed, is directed with this one objective clearly in mind – pleasing the customer.”

One of the reasons customer service is so important is because it is sometimes the only contact our customers have with our company. Since we do most of our work when our customers aren’t present, they may only have contact with us when they call about a concern or approach a cleaning technician with a request. Our goal in training you about customer service is that we make that experience a positive one for both our customers and for you as our customer service representatives.

“It’s not the situation, but whether we react (negative) or respond (positive) to the situation that’s important.” Zig Ziglar

When it comes to customer service, our goal is to respond to each situation in a positive way. We want our customers to feel important and appreciated while taking care of their requests and concerns.

Here is an example of a cleaning technician “reacting” to a comment made by a customer:

Customer: “I put these boxes in the aisle for you to take out to the trash yesterday and they’re still here! Why didn’t you take them out?”

Reacting Negatively: “Well they weren’t marked trash so I didn’t take them out!”

The employee immediately went on the defensive and “reacted” to the customer in a negative way. How do you think the customer felt when they walked away after this conversation?


Notice the difference when the employee “responds” positively to the customer:

Responding Positively: “I’m so sorry, I did see them and checked to see if they were marked for trash but I didn’t see any notes and I didn’t want to throw out anything that wasn’t intended for the trash. I’ll take care of it right now. Let me give you some stickers that you can use to mark the boxes for trash. That way I’ll know for sure that I need to take them out to the trash next time.”

The employee responded in a more positive way by apologizing sincerely, taking care of the boxes right away, and offering a suggestion to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The customer walked away feeling much better about the situation.

For many of our clients, the customer service aspect of their experience is at least as important as the cleaning itself. This training program will provide you with an overview of the best practice skills required to exceed our customers’ expectations.

The Importance of Exceptional Customer Service to Our Company


You are the front line of customer service in our company. You have direct contact with the customers and because of that, your service and interaction with them matters greatly in their decision to continue using our cleaning services.  There are many competing cleaning companies that would love to come in and take our customers away from us. As long as we all do our part by providing the best cleaning service and customer service possible, our customers will remain loyal to our company.

The reason our customers stay with us is because of our employees’ hard work and motivation to provide great customer service, which is why this training is so important to the success of everyone that works in our company.

Unfortunately the cost to capture a new customer is about 5 times the cost of retaining a current customer, so it is very expensive to lose a customer. In some cases the loss of a customer is beyond our control – for example, when they move out of our service area or go out of business. But losing a customer due to poor cleaning service or poor customer service is not acceptable in our company because these are completely within our control. So we must all focus our efforts on providing the best service in town in order to retain our client base.

More reasons customer service is so important:

What Do Customers Really Want?

Customers are the reason for the work, not an interruption of work

Have you ever had to wait for service because someone is on the phone or performing a task? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? You are a paying customer and should not be treated as an interruption by the employee who should be serving you. After all, it’s you, the customer who makes their paycheck possible – don’t you deserve exceptional customer service?

Employees often lose sight of the importance of customers, especially when they’re consumed with daily tasks. But you can’t sacrifice customer service for getting your to-do list done.  Our customers’ needs must be the top priority for everyone in the company because without our customers, there is no company!

What Can We Do To Make Sure Our Customers Are Satisfied?


How You Feel About Your Customers


This activity puts the roles of customer and service provider into perspective.

You are both a customer and service provider at one time or another during your lifetime. During this exercise we want you to think of how you like to be treated as a customer; because when you put yourself in your customer’s shoes, you become a better service provider.

The purpose of this activity is to help you view your customers differently, to motivate and inspire you to feel great about your customers, and change from a self-focused attitude to a customer-focused attitude.

After the activity you will be able to understand your role as a service provider, gauge your attitude toward customers and learn techniques for developing a customer-oriented attitude.

Often, the way you interact with our customers is the same way you interact with everyone in your life.


Answer the following questions True or False


Customers want too much service.                     True         False

Customers need to understand my side of the story.         True         False

Customers should not expect a fast response.             True         False

Customers complain about insignificant problems.             True         False

Placing a customer on hold for 2 minutes is acceptable.         True         False

Telling the customer “This happens all the time is okay.         True        False

I need some appreciation from customers.                 True         False

Someone else should deal with irate customers.             True         False




Customers want too much service.  False

Remember, you’re a paying customer yourself and you want, expect, and deserve good service.


Customers need to understand my side of the story.  False

Think about a time you were a customer in a restaurant and you had to wait a long time to be served. Did you really care that one server was late to work and one didn’t show up? No! You just wanted to be served.  As a customer, you are concerned with your own problems. You are not interested in the other side of the story.


Customers shouldn’t expect a fast response.  False

As a customer, you may have already tried to solve the problem yourself. By the time you’ve called the service provider, you’ve already spent too much time on it and you expect a fast response from the experts.


Customers complain about insignificant problems.   False

As a customer, no problem is too small, especially if it’s creating frustration in your life. If someone says your problem is small and insignificant – how does that make you feel?


Placing a customer on hold for 2 minutes is acceptable.   False

Think about the answer to this question after closing your eyes for 2 minutes and asking yourself if it is ok to be on hold for this long.


Telling the customer “This happens all the time” is okay.   False

As a customer, I interpret this to mean that the service is prone to lots of problems – not good for long-term business.


I need some appreciation from customers.   False

We all like appreciation. Unfortunately customers are not always appreciative, even of good service – they expect it!


Someone else should deal with irate customers.   False

Have you ever been an irate customer? If so, you probably know that you are usually annoyed at the product or the company, not necessarily the person serving you. But if that person starts to take it personally, you feel the tension build. So, from either point of view, it doesn’t work to take things personally.


Now that you’ve done the activity, how does it feel to perceive the answers from a customer’s perspective? Put yourself in your customers’ shoes from time to time to remind yourself of how it feels from their point of view.

Next, complete the Service Action Plan on the next page.

Service Action Plan


The actions I will take as a result of this activity are:










I will review this action plan on:  _____________ ______________________________

                      Date            Signature

Customer Bill of Rights


We are committed to developing policies and procedures to protect the rights of our customers and ensure that we have your best interests at the forefront of everything we do.

As a customer, you have the right to:

  1. Have service performed as scheduled.

  2. Expect a clean office and building. Simply put, you deserve the best. If we’re not performing to the standards we promised, top level management will respond.

  3. Address any questions you may have with our knowledgeable Customer Service Staff.

  4. Be treated with courtesy and respect from all staff at our company.

  5. Be heard. We commit to making your issues count. You can expect complaints/problems/concerns to be resolved within 24 business hours, whenever possible.

  6. Expect phone calls not to be transferred or left on "hold" unnecessarily.

  7. Be informed. We guarantee to keep you informed about service delays or anything else you need to know regarding the cleaning service.

What Exceptional Customer Service Should Look Like at Our Company


By identifying the elements of service that are important for our company, we will be able to turn those elements into specific workable steps.


Elements of service that are important to our company:

Answering the phone by the 3rd ring.
When a phone rings and you are able to answer it, answer it within 3 rings. We don’t want a customer to wait to speak to a live person. This shows we are ready and well equipped to answer the phone.


Resolving any complaint in a prompt manner.
When confronted with a complaint get all the facts, and take care of the problem promptly. Then explain the process we will take to ensure it doesn’t happen again.  


Being polite. For example:
If you don’t know the customer’s name always refer to them as sir or ma’am.

Always use phrases like “thank you”, “you’re welcome”, “how can I be of assistance?” and “I’m happy to do that for you” when talking with customers.

Hold a door open for a customer if the opportunity arises.


Smiling when you encounter a customer.
When encountering a customer look at them and smile.

Smiling tells the customer that you are friendly, it shows your positive attitude, and in most cases they will smile back at you. When you smile more, you will carry an aura and poise that will draw people to you.


Calling customers by their name.
Everyone likes to hear their name and our customers are no different. When people hear their name it makes them feel wanted, needed, or just visible in the world.


Completing the cleaning task to your best ability.
Completing a cleaning task to your best ability shows you are a professional cleaner. It shows you have been trained and are knowledgeable about what you are doing.  It shows you have the best interest of the customer in mind. When customers have confidence that you are a professional, they are more likely to approach you for service because they know you’ll do the right thing.


Providing the level of service we promised.
Providing the level of service we promised shows the customer that they are dealing with an ethical company. Always under promise and over deliver.


Offer assistance whenever possible.
Offer your assistance to the customer even when it is not cleaning related.


Making the customer feel as if they would never be able to receive exceptional service from any other cleaning company.
Remember this quote from Maya Angelou whenever providing customer service:
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

How to Provide Exceptional Customer Service


In order to provide exceptional customer service, employees need the following basic skills:

We want our customers to feel at ease when we clean their work place. There are several things we can do to create this type of environment when we are cleaning their space. First, acknowledge a person as soon as they appear, even if you are busy. All you have to do is make eye contact, smile, and say hello. Always be polite and courteous in their presence.

What if they ask a question or ask for your help?

If a customer asks for your help, has a complaint, or requests a service that is not part of your normal routine, what should you do? Before we answer that question, here is what you should NOT do.

When a customer approaches you or calls for help, greet them warmly and say “How can I help you?” Use a warm tone of voice, show empathy if they have a complaint, and above all, remain calm. If you are not able to help, don’t simply walk away without getting specific information about their request. It’s up to you to get them the help they need, and if you don’t know how to help them, then you need to make sure you connect them to the right person, and to do it immediately.


Wrong Approach

Proactive, Friendly Approach


“I don’t know”


“I’ll find out”


“That’s not my job”


“Let me find the right person who can help you with…”


“No, I can’t do that”


“What I can do is…”


“You’re right, that’s pretty bad”


“I understand your frustrations”


“You want it done by when?”


“I’ll try my best”


“That’s not my fault”


“Let’s see what we can do about this”


“I’m busy right now”


“I’ll be with you in just a moment”


“Can you call back?”


“I will call you back. Let me get your phone number”


How to handle difficult customers

If you have a difficult customer, the first thing to keep in mind is that you need to remain calm. Listen carefully and let the customer talk. The three most important things to remember when dealing with difficult customers is:

  1. Do not get defensive

  2. Do not take it personally

  3. Do not blame others

The customer is upset with the situation, not necessarily with you, so it is your job to be empathetic to their situation and find out what they want.

After listening to the customer and learning more about what they want, take responsibility for what you can do and discuss the options. If you need to get a supervisor involved, do it right away and explain the next steps to the customer so they know you are working on a resolution right now. After contacting your supervisor, follow up with the customer to let them know what will happen next. When customers feel you have made them a priority and that you care about quick resolution, they are much more likely to remain a satisfied customer.

Here are the basic steps to handling a difficult customer:

  1. Listen. It is of primary importance to listen and let the customer talk. Be patient and use body language that shows you are attentive. Use phrases like, “Please tell me what happened” to encourage venting and “Yes, I see” to show you’re listening.

  2. Let them know you are sorry and do it sincerely. Instead of saying, “Sorry about that…”, say it in a way that sounds like you really mean it – “I’m so sorry that happened.”  Notice how just a slight change in verbiage can make it sound more sincere, instead of flippant? Here are some variations you can use:

    1. I’m very sorry for this mistake/problem.

    2. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you.

    3. I can imagine how frustrated you are.

  3. Never argue and do not interrupt. This will only make the situation worse, especially if the customer is angry. Let him speak before you try to discuss what happened. Instead stay objective and say, “I understand why you would feel that way.”

  4. Do not lose your self-control. If you stay calm and relaxed the customer will calm down. Use phrases like, “I believe we can resolve this.”

  5. Stick to the facts. Listen carefully and write down notes if you can. Review the facts as you understand them after the customer is finished talking.  By repeating the situation as you understand it, you can clear up any misunderstandings that will delay a positive outcome.

  6. Acknowledge the problem and take responsibility.  If you can suggest a solution, do it. If not, tell the customer what actions you will take and what actions will follow. Never make the mistake of promising something you are not able to do. Take responsibility by saying, “I will make sure the problem is resolved.”

  7. Involve the customer in solving the problem. Suggest to the customer alternative solutions, if you can. For example, “Another way we can resolve the situation is…” Customers appreciate being able to choose the solution that works best for them. Or ask them, “How would you like to see this resolved?” When you see you’re close to a resolution, say something like, “This is what I propose to do…”

  8. Follow-up.  Make sure that whatever solution was decided upon actually happened. If you do not do what was promised or pass the problem off to someone else and that person dropped the ball, the problem will become worse. Either the customer will come back more upset than before, or they won’t bother coming back and will take their business elsewhere.


Telephone Answering Skills for Exceptional Customer Service

Everyone who answers the telephone plays an important role in customer service. Customers are immediately able to tell if the person who answers the phone is willing and able to help them or not, just by listening to the tone of their voice.

How many times a week do you talk to customers on the phone – both external customers (prospects, clients and prospective employees) and internal customers (employees and vendors)?  

Is it 10?  25? 50? 100 or more?  This is the number of times it is possible to have a dissatisfied customer. It’s up to you to use professional, friendly telephone skills so you do not end up with dissatisfied customers or lost customers.

There are many ways a phone call can go wrong. Following are just a few:

What can you do to improve your phone answering skills so the customer feels as if she’s receiving exceptional service?

  1. Answer the phone before the third ring

  2. Know how to use the phones (placing people on hold, transferring calls, etc)

  3. Smile when you answer and talk on the phone. The person on the other line can “hear” your smile in your tone of voice.

  4. Speak clearly and slowly. When you talk fast you may come across as impatient and not polite.

  5. Use a welcoming greeting and state your name and organization. For example, “Thanks for calling ABC Cleaning! This is Jane, how can I help you?”

  6. Write down the caller’s name and use it. People feel important when you use their name.

  7. Have paper and pen ready to take notes so you don’t forget important details and so that you can get their phone number and correct spelling of their name. It’s a good idea to have a phone log next to the phone to record information about each call.

  8. Don’t eat or drink while on the phone, and don’t chew gum when answering the phone. No one wants to hear your chewing and swallowing.

  9. If they’re explaining something use words to show you are listening (yes, sure …)

  10. Do not put customers on speaker phone. They’ll feel as if they have no privacy and it may prevent them from telling you what their request is. If you must put them on speaker phone, ask their permission and let them know the reason why you must do it.

  11. Don’t say rude things while someone is on hold. You don’t want them to hear you if you hit the wrong button.

  12. If the person the caller needs to talk to is on another line, give him an option of either waiting or leaving a message. If the caller decides to hold, make sure you give him feedback every 30 seconds to see if he still wants to wait or leave a message.

  13. If you need to put someone on hold, use phrases like this:

    1. “Joan in accounts payable will be able to help you with this; this is her area of expertise. Is it ok if I connect you with her?”

    2. “I’m not sure if John is at his desk. Let me put you through, and if he doesn’t pick up right away, I’ll get you back to get the details and have him call you back.”

    3. “Thanks so much for holding. I talked to Jeff and explained the situation. He is leaving here in 5 minutes to come out and talk to you in person.”

  14. Return phone calls within 24 hours. If you are still waiting for an answer to a customer’s question, make sure you call that person and explain that you haven’t forgotten them and that you will get all the information to them as soon as possible.

  15. If you need to take a message, make sure you get accurate information such as:

    1. Time

    2. Date

    3. Caller’s first and last name with correct spelling, company name, job title

    4. Caller’s phone number and extension

    5. Message in detail

    6. Best time to return their call

    7. Note any action needed

    8. Note urgency

  16. If you place a call and need to leave a message, leave an accurate message:

    1. Your name, company and job title

    2. Your phone number and extension

    3. Your message in detail

    4. What action you need them to take (call you back, call your supervisor, etc)

    5. Urgency (call today, call tomorrow, no hurry)

    6. Your availability for receiving a return call (I’ll be available from 9am – 12pm on Tuesday)

    7. Repeat important information (your name and phone number)


  17. When ending phone calls, use phrases like this:

    1. “I’m happy to be of service. Please call again if there is anything else we can help you with.”

    2. “Thanks so much for calling. We appreciate your business.”

    3. “You’re very welcome! Is there anything else I can help you with today?”


We Care!  Solutions Training


There are many customer service situations that you may encounter while performing your job. For that reason we have created actionable steps for common scenarios so there will be no question when it comes to the type of response you should give to customers.


Office Staff


Situation:  The phone rings and it’s a potential employee calling about a job opening.

Response : Hi Susan, sure I can help you with that.  The job is part time in the evenings, starting at 6pm…  What I’d like you to do is go to our website and fill out the application. Once we receive it we’ll be in touch within one business day. Thanks so much for your interest in working with our company!

Action steps:

Step 1 – Ask their name if they did not give it to you.

Step 2 – Give a brief overview of the job.

Step 3 – Instruct them to go to our website to fill out an application and we will be in contact once we receive it (or other instructions per management).

Step 4 – Thank them for their interest in working with our company.




Situation:  A prospect calls asking for a price for cleaning service.

Response : Thanks so much for calling. Let me get some details from you so I can help get you the information you’re looking for. Can you tell me more about the service you’re looking for…  Ok, great. Now in order for us to determine an accurate price we need to visit your location, so when would be a good time for us to stop by?

Action steps:

Step 1 – Thank them for calling.

Step 2 – Ask for some general information about the type of service they’re looking for, frequency, size of building etc.  Then ask when would be a good time to visit with them so we can do a walk through to determine a price for the service they are requesting.

Step 3 – Thank them again for calling our company.  




Situation:  The phone rings and it’s a client calling to ask why their office was not cleaned last night.

Response : I’m so sorry to hear that! First let me get your name and phone number and the location that didn’t get cleaned. Can you tell me if there have been any changes to the location such as locks being changed that would keep our cleaning staff from gaining access last night?  Ok, I’m going to send someone over within the next half hour to clean the restrooms and empty the trash. Then I’ll look into what happened and put measures in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Thanks so much for bringing it to our attention.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Tell them you are very sorry to hear that.

Step 2 – Ask for their name and phone number and the specific location information.

Step 3 - Ask if there might have been any changes at their office such as locks being changed, or something that would keep our cleaning staff from getting access to their office last night.

Step 4 – Inform them that someone will be there within a certain amount of time if they want it cleaned now.

Step 5 – Tell them that you will look into what happened and put measures in place so it does not happen again.  




Situation:  Customer calls to complain that the alarm was not set.

Response : I’m so sorry; I know how important building security is. While I have you on the phone, can we check the records to see if someone came in after our cleaning staff left the building? Our cleaners left at 10pm… No? Ok, I will talk to the staff this evening to review security procedures and reinforce the importance of setting the alarm.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Apologize sincerely.

Step 2 – Ask questions to see if it’s possible someone came into the building after the cleaning staff left. If not, let them know you’ll review security procedures with your employees.




Following is an internal customer situation. Internal customers are vendors and co-workers.

Situation:  A vendor calls to inform you that the floor finish you needed is back ordered and will not be in when you need it for a big job.

Response : Oh wow, thanks for the heads up! Do you have any floor finish in stock that is a 20% solid and has a good off the mop shine that we can use? Can you deliver it today?

Action steps:

Step 1 – Thank them for the heads up.

Step 2 – Ask if they have another product that would work for this situation.


Cleaning Staff
(or office staff if customer calls)


Situation:  A customer confronts you and claims that they had an item stolen from their desk.

Response : Oh, I’m very sorry to hear that. Can I get some details of what happened so we can help you get to the bottom of what happened?

Action steps:

Step 1 – Apologize sincerely.

Step 2 – Ask for details of what happened and offer to help figure out what might have happened.

Step 3 – Report the incident to your supervisor immediately.




Situation:  A person wants you to let them into the office because they don’t have their key.

Response : I’m so sorry you forgot your key, but unfortunately I can’t let you in because of our company policy regarding security. Perhaps there is another employee that works in the building you could call to help you gain access.

Action steps:

Step 1 –Say you’re sorry they forgot their key.

Step 2 – Explain that due to security reasons you are unable to let them into the building. Offer a suggestion for getting in by calling a fellow employee.




Situation:  A customer complains that there are no hand towels in the restroom.

Response : I’m so sorry; I know it’s frustrating when there are no hand towels! Let me take care of that right away for you.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Apologize sincerely and let them know you understand how frustrating it is when supplies run out.

Step 2 –Fill the hand towels immediately.




Situation:  Customer complains that cleaning supplies were left out in the office last night.

Response : I’m so sorry, thanks for bringing that to my attention.  I’ll make sure to double check that all supplies are returned to the janitor closet before I leave every night.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Apologize sincerely and thank them for bringing it to your attention.

Step 2 – Make sure you double check at the end of every shift that all supplies are returned to the janitor closet before you leave.




Situation:  Customer complains that a door was left unlocked.

Response : I’m so sorry; I know how important it is for the office to be secure. I will double check the door each time I clean from here on out.

Action steps:

Step 1 –Apologize sincerely.

Step 2 – Let the customer know that you understand how important security is and that you will double check the door each time you clean from now on.




Situation:  Customer complains that documents on their desk were soiled by cleaning solution.

Response : I’m so sorry; I did clean the desktop and thought it was dry before setting the documents back down. Can the documents be re-printed or copied? I will be extra careful to make sure this never happens again.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Apologize sincerely.

Step 2 – Ask if it’s possible to reprint or copy the documents and be sure to let them know this will never happen again.




Situation:  Customer complains that the glass door in the entryway has fingerprints on it.  

Response : Thanks for bringing that to my attention. It’s sometimes hard to see the fingerprints at night without any light shining on the door. So unfortunately in the morning with the sun shining in, it shows every fingerprint we missed. What we can do is start using a squeegee on that door to make sure we got them all.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Thank them for bringing it to your attention.

Step 2 – Explain why it’s difficult to see the fingerprints due to the time of the cleaning.

Step 3 – Offer an alternative to the way it’s currently being done so the problem doesn’t continue.

Step 4 – Contact your supervisor to keep him/her informed of the situation.




Situation:  Customer complains that dusting needs to be better.

Response : Can you show me the area that needs more attention? (listen to their response and see if it’s just one area or if it seems to be an ongoing problem). Let me call my supervisor and see if we can change the rotation or frequency of dusting in this area.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Smile and ask if there is an area that needs more attention.

Step 2 – Listen to their response to see if it’s just one area or if it seems to be an ongoing problem.

Step 3 – Contact your supervisor to see if adjustments need to be made to the dusting schedule.




Situation:  Customer gives you a compliment for the good job you do.

Response : Thank you very much for the kind words. It’s important to me that you have a clean office to come into every day.  

Action steps:

Step 1 – Smile and thank them sincerely.



Situation:  Customer complains about running a vacuum cleaner while they are on the phone.

Response : I’m sorry!  I will pay more attention next time and turn the vacuum off or shut your office door so I don’t disturb you.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Turn the vacuum cleaner off and quietly mouth the words, “I’m sorry!”.

Step 2 – Come back later to do the vacuuming.  When you come back say, “I will pay more attention next time and turn the vacuum off or shut your office door so I don’t disturb you.”  




Situation:  A person working in the office you clean is walking towards you as you walk down the hallway.

Response : Smile and say hello.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Make eye contact

Step 2 - Smile

Step 3 – Greet the customer and use their name if you know it.




Situation:  Customer walks into the break room while you are cleaning it:

Response: Smile and say hello.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Smile and greet the customer.

Step 2 – If you need to, warn them of any hazards such as a wet floor or counter.




Situation:  Customer walks into the rest room while you are cleaning it.

Response : Smile and say hello.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Smile and say hello

Step 2 – Warn them of any hazards such as wet toilet seat or wet floor.

Step 3 – If you are a female cleaning a ladies restroom you may continue to clean. If you are a female cleaning a men’s restroom you should leave so the customer has privacy. If you are a male cleaning a men’s restroom you may continue to clean. If you are a male cleaning a ladies restroom you should leave so the customer has privacy.




Situation:  Customer is at their desk when you are dumping trash.

Response : Smile and say, “Excuse me, may I please dump your trash?”


Action steps:

Step 1 – Smile and greet the customer.

Step 2 – Ask politely if you can dump their trash

Step 3 – Hand the empty trash can back to the customer or replace the trash can yourself at its original spot and thank the customer




Situation:  A customer confronts you about cleaning that was missed on the last service.

Response : Sure, please show me so we can make sure it never happens again.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Smile and ask the customer to show you what was missed.

Step 2 A – Service was scheduled to be performed – Respond: “I’m so sorry; you are right, that should have been taken care of. Let me take care of that right now and then I will look in to what happened so it does not happen again.”    

Step 2 B – Service was not scheduled to be performed – Respond: “I’m sorry about that, but that service is actually not due until next week. If you want I can go ahead take care of it now and I’ll let my supervisor know that the frequency might need to be changed.”    




Situation:  Customer informs you that a toilet is clogged and overflowing in the ladies restroom.

Response : Sure, I can help you with that. I’ll take care of it right now.


Action steps:

Step 1 – Smile and assure the customer you can help.

Step 2 – Have them show you which toilet has the problem.

Step 3 – Thank them for letting you know about the problem and that you’ll take care of it right now.



Situation:  Customer keeps talking when you need to get back to work.

Response : It was so great talking with you but I’m afraid I better get back to work! I’ll see you next time, have a good night!

Action steps:

Step 1 – Let the customer know you’ve enjoyed talking with them but unfortunately it’s time to get back to work. Wish them a good evening.




Situation:  Customer asks you to change a light that is out.

Response #1A: Please give me a moment to finish this task and I will see what I need to do to get that done myself or I will find someone else to help.

Response #1B: I’m afraid our company isn’t responsible for changing the lights in your building, but let me check with my supervisor because he may have the contact information for the vendor who does. Can you show me which light is out?

Action steps:

Step 1 – Check with your supervisor if you don’t know your policy on changing lights.

Step 2A – If you have been trained on changing lights, take care of it for the customer and let your supervisor know so the task can be tracked.

Step 2B – If you have not been trained on changing lights, give response #1A.

Step 2C – If your company is not responsible for changing lights, give response #1B.




Situation:  Customer informs you they just spilled coffee on the carpet and would like you to clean it up.

Response : Sure, I can help you with that. Let me just get the spotting kit and I’ll be right there.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Smile and let the customer know you can help with that.

Step 2 – If you have been trained on how to spot carpet, get the spotting kit and take care of it right away.

Step 3 – If you have not been trained on how to spot carpet, gather white cloths or paper towels to absorb as much of the spill as you can. Blot with a damp white towel. Call your supervisor so he/she can take care of any further spotting needed. Explain to the customer what steps you’ve taken.




Following is an internal customer situation. Internal customers are vendors and co-workers.

Situation:  A new employee was hired and you meet them for the first time.

Response : Hi, my name is Joe Smith. Welcome aboard! It’s always good to see new faces around here. Let me know if you ever have any questions, I’m glad to help.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Smile and make eye contact

Step 2 – Introduce yourself and make the new employee feel welcome. Remember how it feels to be the “new guy” on the job.




Situation:  A fellow employee takes an item out of the trash and puts it in their car.

Response #1: You better put that back if you want to keep working here.

Response #2: Hi Susan, I noticed you took something out of the trash and put it in your car. Did you know that we shouldn’t take things out of the trash? It’s against company policy and you could be written up for it. I just don’t want to see you get into any trouble if you weren’t aware of the policy.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Explain the policy to the employee in a polite way. They may not be aware they’re doing something wrong.




Situation:  You watch an employee take candy from a dish in an office.

Response : Hi John, I noticed you took candy from the dish at the receptionist desk. Did you know that’s against company policy to do that? Our customers put that candy out for their clients and they don’t want the cleaning service eating it. I just don’t want to see you get into any trouble if you weren’t aware of the policy.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Explain the policy to the employee in a polite way. They may not be aware they’re doing something wrong.




Situation:  You notice an employee is always on their cell phone when they should be working.

Response : Hi Julie, I noticed you sometimes spend time on your cell phone when you’re cleaning. Did you know that’s against company policy and you could be written up for it? I just don’t want to see you get into any trouble if you weren’t aware of the policy.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Explain the policy to the employee in a polite way. They may not be aware they’re doing something wrong.




Situation:  A fellow employee asks you to clock them into the work location.

Response: Sorry, but I can’t do that because it’s against company policy. Did you know that clocking in or out for another employee is grounds for termination? I wouldn’t want you to get fired if you’re not aware of the policy.

Action steps:

Step 1 – Explain the policy to the employee in a polite way. They may not be aware they’re doing something wrong.


We Care! Employee Award Program


We Care!
With Enthusiasm, Customer Awareness Rewards Everyone

The We Care! program was created to help each team member be intentional about providing consistent, outstanding service to all our clients, as well as catching our employees in the act of providing exceptional service. The program also provides a way for us to recognize exceptional team members.


The We Care! program is made up of five elements:


1. Seven Guidelines for Providing We Care! Customer Service
2. We Care! Solutions
3. Four Priorities
4. We Care! Caught in the Act
5. We Care! Award Program


1. Seven Guidelines for Providing We Care! Customer Service
These seven guidelines offer guidance for providing exceptional service to our clients, their families, prospects, vendors, fellow employees, and everyone in the community we have contact with.  Employees are encouraged to practice these guidelines as they go about their jobs every day. The more you practice, the more they will become a normal part of your day, and the more you will stand out as an exemplary team member.


1. Make a Difference
Every employee has the power to decide if he or she is going to be an average employee doing just enough to get by, or if he or she is going to work each day with the goal to serve our clients and make a difference. Exceptional employees choose to make a difference.
2. Serve Others Without Expectation
You can have everything in life you want, if you work in a spirit of cooperation and teamwork, and make a concerted effort to spend time helping other people get what they want.
3. Do Good When No One is Watching
Most employees do a good job of providing customer care when others are watching, but the best team members do the right thing even when no one is watching their performance.
4. Make Service Your Priority
We hire team members who see customer problems as challenges to be solved rather than annoyances or interruptions to their work day. Staff members who make resolving service issues a priority, enjoy their jobs more and become valuable employees to our company.
5. Work With a Sense of Urgency
It is critical that every member of the team understands that delivering service or care in a safe but quick manner is the key to pleasing the customer.
6. Listen to the Customer
One of the skills or traits that separates an average employee from the best is learning to be sensitive to the customer’s needs. Often this means listening carefully to what the customer is saying and also listening for what the customer is leaving unsaid. Customers are less likely to get upset if you listen with empathy and respond quickly and with caring concern.
7. Practice The Golden Rule
As you go about your day, always remember to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.


2. We Care! Solutions
Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes things just happen that we cannot prevent. And because we didn’t live up to our customer care promise, the result is an unhappy, dissatisfied client. For this reason, we've created We Care! Solutions Training.


Sometimes all it takes is to fix the problem and offer a sincere apology. But sometimes that's just not enough -- we need to WOW our clients by doing more than they ever expected. During We Care! Solutions training, employees learn how to handle various customer service situations in order to care for the client in the way they deserve.

3. Four Priorities
The four priorities are guidelines for employees to follow when determining what actions they should take when they encounter an unexpected situation while performing their jobs. Before taking action, consider these four priorities:


  1. Personal safety and the safety of the clients and their property.

  2. Treating clients with courtesy and compassion.

  3. Speed and efficiency (taking action quickly and in the most efficient manner).

  4. Consider how this action will reflect upon me and my company’s reputation in the community.


4. We Care! Caught in the Act
One of our goals is to document and reward staff members who are "Caught in the Act" of providing exceptional service. The way we do this is by nominating them for a We Care! Exceptional Service Award. Management, supervisors, co-workers, and clients may submit nominations. Each week a winner is drawn from the nomination forms and awarded a prize. At the end of each month, a We Care! Customer Service Champion is selected from the weekly winners and awarded a gift.



5. We Care! Award Program


We Care! MVP of the Year Service Award

Each year, one employee from each of our locations is selected as the We Care! MVP of the Year. To be eligible for the award, an employee must have received a We Care! “A Player” of the month during the year, and must have consistently demonstrated the Seven Ways to Make a Difference program. The candidate who won the most “A Player “ of the Month awards, that is in good standing and actively employed wins. The winners are recognized at the yearly company awards ceremony, and awarded a certificate and cash/aTV award from the President of the company.


We Care! Exceptional Service Nomination Form


I would like to nominate _______________________________________ for this week’s We Care! Exceptional Service Award.

Please describe the exceptional service you witnessed:


Date ______________________

Submitted by __________________________________________


Ongoing Training


We want you to excel at your position with the company so we provide ongoing customer service training for all employees. We promise to make it both informative and fun at regular “mini-meetings” where we share customer service tips and techniques with easy-to-remember tidbits for any customer interaction.

Once a year we conduct “all staff” customer service training. In that meeting we may include local speakers who excel as customer service professionals and give out awards to employees for the best problem solving situations that occurred during the year.  


Customer Service Training Exercises for Mini-Meetings:

1. Address Customers by Their Names

You'd be surprised by the number of times service providers deal with customers without ever once addressing them by name. People love to hear their name used by others and our customers are no different.  Instead of always saying “sir” or “ma’am”, address them by name and you’ll immediately notice the difference it makes in your relationship with them.

Your goal this week is to: Use the person’s name 2 or 3 times while interacting with them.


2. Let Your Customers Know You're Only Human

At some point while working here you may do something to cause a customer to become dissatisfied with the service.  In order to rectify the situation you’ll need to do three things:

  1. Admit that you or your company was at fault.

  2. Say you're sorry about the inconvenience (and say it sincerely).

  3. Take responsibility and fix the problem.

It's only when people and companies start covering up their mistakes and refusing to admit their faults that customers get aggravated and leave in disgust.

Your goal this week is to: Admit when you make a mistake and take ownership to fix the problem.

3. The Impact Body Language has when Dealing With Customers Face to Face

Instructor: You must practice this exercise so you remember the sequence. If you hesitate, people will not follow you so easily.

Explain that you are going to give a series of instructions that you'd like everyone to follow. As you state the actions, make sure you do them too:

You'll see that the group will generally follow your non-verbal cue over your verbal instruction.

This exercise will help your employees understand the importance of body language when dealing face to face with customers.

Your goal this week is to: Pay attention to body language. When talking to people try a “mirroring” exercise. For example, if the person you’re talking to has their arms crossed, mirror them by crossing your arms. After a few moments, open your arms to see if they mirror you.


4. Give Customers a WOW Moment

Every customer deserves WOW moments. Positive experiences act as a trigger for them to use your services again, and become a loyal customer. Do your best to serve, please and exceed their expectations, so that they can feel important.

When customers call with a concern, they're usually in a state of agitation, so use this opportunity to delight and impress them. Think about all the things that could ruin a customer's experience and do the opposite.

Your goal this week is to: WOW your customer, make them feel important and make them feel that they matter.


5. Customer Service Word Exercise

This is a simple activity you can do using the whole alphabet, or break it up into a couple days if you’re short on time.

On a flipchart or large piece of paper, list the letters of the alphabet like this:






Ask the group to come up with something related to customer service for every letter of the alphabet. You can either have them call out suggestions or have each person do the exercise individually and award a prize to the person that comes up with the most words.

Your goal this week is to: Complete the list so each letter has a customer service word associated with it.


6. Thank Your Customers

When was the last time you thanked your customers? It’s a simple gesture, but one that can mean the difference between a customer lost and a customer retained for a lifetime. Always, find a way of letting our customers know how much they mean to our business.

As a group, brainstorm ways you can thank your customers.

Your goal this week is to: Thank every customer you come in contact with for their business.


7. Customer Service in a Minute

The objective of this exercise is to speak for one minute on one customer service topic chosen by your instructor. The goal is to talk without hesitation, without um’s and er’s, without pauses and without repeating words to fill in the gaps. If you are able to complete the challenge you will win a prize.

Topics may include:

Your goal this week is to: Think about the topics discussed in this exercise and incorporate those ideas into actions you can take on the job.


8. Pay Attention to Complaints and Compliments

Use customer complaints to bring about new ideas and ways to improve our service. Use the same approach for customer compliments too, using compliments as a point of reinforcement for what our company is already doing right. Take every customer complaint very seriously, ensuring that our business will never have to deal with the same complaint twice.

Your goal this week is to: Respond to complaints by gathering information and then giving an explanation of how it will be dealt with so it does not happen again. Document all compliments for reinforcement of what is being done right and share in the next customer service meeting.


9. Practice Listening

When you begin talking with a customer, stop whatever else you are doing and focus on them. Make appropriate eye contact, listen, nod, and show them you are paying attention. Some people take notes when listening, to ensure they get everything the customer is saying. Ask questions to confirm and clarify that you understand. As you listen to your customer, don’t pre-judge what they’re saying. Keep your mind open so you hear everything. And remember, listening is a full-time job!

Your goal this week is to: Show the customer that you are really listening to them.

10. Be Flexible and Offer Choices

Our goal is to help our customers get what they want, within our ability. So we always need to look for alternatives. We need to be creative. We need to think beyond the first solution that comes to mind when we’re working with our customers. Being flexible means offering customers more than one solution. By offering choices we’re making it more likely they’ll get what they want. It also means being willing to try new things and go the extra mile for customers. It means being a problem solver rather than an order taker. Customers know the difference.

In this exercise, discuss options you can give customers when something goes wrong or they have a request you can’t help them with.

Your goal this week is to: Be flexible and offer choices.


11. Acknowledge Your Customer’s Feelings

The most important person to our customers are themselves – it’s not you or our company. Today the goal is to find ways to acknowledge your customer’s feelings. Here is an example:

“I understand how you must feel, and I apologize. Please tell me what would make it better for you.”

In this exercise, brainstorm other ways to acknowledge a customer’s feelings.

Your goal this week is to: Acknowledge your customers’ feelings if they come to you with a concern or complaint.


12. Using Empathy to Diffuse an Upset Customer

Empathy is not the same as sympathy. Sympathy means you take on the problem. Empathy means you acknowledge the problem but you do not take ownership.

As a service provider, your goal is to acknowledge and be empathetic to your customer’s situation. But acknowledging the problem and their feelings does not mean you should take on their problem. Your goal is to empathize, but remain calm and detached from their problems so that you keep your perspective and maintain your ability to help resolve the situation.

Consider this scenario: A customer approaches you and you can tell he’s upset. He’s just come from the restroom and says that the soap is empty and hasn’t been filled for days. How do you respond using some or all of these skills – listening, repeating what they have said for your understanding, using their words, and using empathy.

Your goal this week is to: use empathy to diffuse an upset customer.

13. Be Extra Patient

Even though some customers might not show you any patience, you need to give them plenty. Do whatever you have to do to be extra patient with everyone. Keep in mind the pressure and stress our customers are under. They might snap at you in frustration but you need to let it roll off like water off a duck’s back. Be nice to everyone every time - no exceptions and no excuses!

Your goal this week is to: Be nice to everyone.


14. Avoid Using the Word “No”

Sometimes it’s just easier to say no, than it is to take the time to resolve a situation or take care of a need. When possible avoid using the word(s) "No", "I can't do that", "You'll have to…" or "We don't do that" when talking to your customers. You can always find a solution to give the customer what they want.

Your goal this week is to: Not say “No”


15. Stop Making Excuses

Sometimes it just seems easier to blame the company or a co-worker for a problem, but when a customer hears you say something like, “We’ve had problems like this before”, or “I told my supervisor about that but he hasn’t taken care of it yet”, it does not inspire confidence in our ability to serve their needs.  Phrases like these don’t do anybody any good. Sure, the company makes mistakes, but does it help the customer to know that?

If there seems to be a recurring problem in the company, then it is up to you to either find a solution or suggest a solution to the people that need to know. Say it in a way that shows you care about the situation. For example, “I’ve noticed this problem happening a lot lately and I think we could solve it by doing this…”, or, “This has been going on a lot lately and I need help finding a solution.”

In this exercise, brainstorm phrases to avoid, like “Haven’t they fixed that yet?” or, “I’ve told them about that already.” Next, come up with alternative ways to respond to the customer to show that you’re a problem solver.

Your goal this week is to: Become a problem solver.


16. How Would Your Customers Rate You?

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and answer the following True/False statements.

  1. The employees are welcoming and look clean and neat.         
    True or False


  2. My work area is clean, free from dust and trash.            
    True or False


  3. The employees look like they enjoy their job.                
    True or False


  4. The office personnel are always cheerful when they answer the phone, even if I have a problem or complaint.
    True or False


  5. If they make a mistake, they are the first to admit it.
    True or False


  6. If they make a promise, they always keep it.
    True or False


  7. If I’m angry when I started, I always end up feeling better when we’re done discussing the situation.
    True or False


  8. When I complain, they are always so helpful that I almost feel guilty.
    True or False


  9. They are so efficient; I could learn a thing or two.
    True or False


  10. It’s not so much what they do; it’s that they always have a great attitude.
    True or False

Your goal this week is to: Think about each “False” statement you circled and figure out ways to change it to a True statement.

Customer Service Quiz


  1. Placing a customer on hold for 2 minutes is acceptable.     

    True        False


  2. Customers who have a problem with your service will often call just to vent.

    True        False


  3. One unhappy customer will tell 9 others.

    True        False


  4. It takes 5 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.

    True        False


  5. If a customer approaches you with a request, it’s ok to say, “I’m not responsible for that, you’ll have to call my supervisor.”

    True        False


  6. If a customer interrupts you, it’s ok to finish what you are doing before acknowledging them.

    True        False


  7. Never call a customer by their name.

    True        False


  8. If a customer complains to you, it’s your job to help them whether you caused the problem or not.

    True        False


  9. What are the three most important things to remember when dealing with difficult customers?

    1. do not get defensive

    2. the customer is always right

    3. do not take it personally

    4. do what it takes to satisfy the customer

    5. do not blame others

  10. When answering the phone, if you need to place a customer on hold you should always ask their permission.

    True        False


  11. If you pass a customer in the hallway when you are cleaning, you should keep your head down and keep walking.

    True        False


  12. Our Customer Bill of Rights states: “You can expect complaints/problems/concerns to be resolved within 24 business hours.”

    True        False


  13. In a situation where the customer is complaining that a door was left unlocked you would respond: “That happens sometimes.”

    True        False


  14. If a customer complains that there are fingerprints on the entryway door you should explain that it’s not your fault, that the employees who came into work that morning put them there.

    True        False


  15. If a customer is at their desk when you are collecting trash you should:

    1. Skip their office and come back later.

    2. Say, “Can you hand me your trash?”

    3. Say, “Excuse me, could I please dump your trash?”