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By Family Clean, November 22, 2019 12:00 am

Perfectly imperfect: How we respond when things go wrong

When was the last time you had a shocker at work? Mishaps happen to all of us and that’s why we’re not too proud to say that things occasionally go wrong here – like the time there was a cow in a customer’s home (more on that later)…

Have you ever sent an email to the wrong person at work? Or gotten a customer request horribly mixed up? 

Everyone has stories like these, because honest mishaps are part of REAL life. It’s impossible to be perfect 100% of the time, especially since there are so many things that are out of your hands. 

So this month we’re taking cues from Brené Brown and being a little vulnerable by talking about things that have gone wrong and how we handled them. Plus times we’ve been able to help customers when things went awry for them. 

And with that, let’s peel back the curtain…

1. A cow in the house

We always tell customers not to tidy up before their cleaner comes, because that is the cleaner’s job! Cleaners enter every home without judgement and get to work, no matter how messy life gets.  

So when we arrived at a new client’s home to find their cow had been in the house? The crew got stuck in to the job, even though it was the last thing they expected (on our list of situations we might expect to encounter one day, this wasn’t one of them)! 

While the cow grazed in the backyard, the crew cleaned grass and dirt from the home and even the cow ‘kisses’ on the bench tops. Along the way we learned that even cows have their own personality; and this one was definitely cheeky! The customer had booked a one-off service, which is a deeper clean, and there was no trace of the cow’s antics once the crew had worked their magic.

2. An unexpected fall

A cleaner recently slipped down a step, accidentally putting a hole in the wall with his foot as he fell. It was all thanks to a little bit of water on his shoe from mopping, and his wrist was injured in the process. 

This was one of those honest mistakes that happen in the blink of an eye. So while our Mother Ducks sorted out the insurance and started organising repairs, the crew member contacted his client to let her know what happened. 

The customer was so sweet and just wanted to know whether the cleaner was okay! But the moral of this story is that accidents can and will happen, and that’s why our insurances are so important. The cleaner is still with the client, and the wall has been patched up like new.

3. A broken arm

We once had a customer break her arm really close to Christmas (yep, the poor thing was wearing a plaster cast right in the middle of a hot Brisbane summer).

While it was great that we were able to help out with cleaning jobs she physically couldn’t do, what was really bothering her was that she couldn’t wrap her Christmas gifts. So her crew got wrapping and even arranged the gifts under the tree. 

This occasion was such an important reminder that the simplest gestures of help mean so much more during a rough patch!

4. A heartfelt loss

Last year a new customer called the office for a hand with ‘organising’. Sadly her father had passed away after living downstairs from her in a self-contained unit. From the books he loved to the newspapers he collected, his possessions were overwhelming her. 

So we paired her with a very sensitive crew who she got along with so well that she invited them back for a second day. She was grateful for the help, but we were so touched to be able to assist in a really meaningful way! 

So why did we just share this with you?

After all, we did just admit that a crew member left a hole in a customer’s home… 

But here’s the thing, when mishaps happen we often end up with more loyal customers. Like the customer who had a hole in her wall and is still using the same cleaner. 

We never want things to go wrong, but because our crews are people who genuinely want to make a difference, they know how to act with care when the unexpected happens. 

You can’t control everything in life, but you can certainly control how you react to these situations and move forward having learned a lesson.

That’s why we are always making little tweaks here and there, and sharing our knowledge, skills and experiences with our crews along the way.

We also know life will present a few bumps, no matter how careful you are. So we decided to own it and brave the risk of a ‘vulnerability hangover’ (as our gal Brené would say) by being real with you.

Before you go…
We are on the hunt for cleaners to join the family! If you are looking for a flexible job with support on the good and not-so-good days, you can learn more and apply over here. We look forward to hearing from you! – The Mother Ducks