Customer Stories ServiceMaster Clean
With Fast Access to Client Feedback, ServiceMaster Clean Increases Retention and Builds Long-term Relationships
ServiceMaster Clean®, part of the ServiceMaster® Family of Brands, has been providing residential cleaning, janitorial services and disaster restoration for more than 60 years. Founded on the promise to “do the right thing,” ServiceMaster Clean is an industry leader, with over 3,000 franchise licenses in the U.S., Canada and international markets. The company’s legacy mission to “excel with customers” continues to stand the test of time, even as it implemented a 21st-century customer feedback solution with Listen360. When it comes to providing customers with the highest standards of quality, ServiceMaster Clean is cleaning up.
ServiceMaster Clean Janitorial Services had been measuring customer satisfaction for more than 10 years, using a paperbased survey. “It had 22 questions and we got a ton of data,” recalls Carrie Duda, ServiceMaster Clean Director of Marketing. “Customers mailed them back to our corporate offices, where a data team manually entered responses and pulled reports.”
Duda says it was inefficient and caused a huge lag. “Between the time we mailed the survey, the customer responded, and the time we relayed the response to the franchise owner, it could be two to three weeks,” she says, “making it difficult to enact positive impact in accounts quickly.”
A Nimble Solution
As a customer-focused company, ServiceMaster Clean wanted a system that allowed its franchise owners to respond to customers quickly and make changes promptly. So the leadership team turned to Listen360, a web-based customer feedback management solution that delivers actionable data in real-time.
“We weren’t nimble before,” says Duda. “If a customer wrote, ‘Keep my restroom stocked better,’ our survey system didn’t allow us to communicate that to the franchisee in a timely manner so they could make that change quickly. Now that we are powered by Listen360, our franchisees can respond to customers within minutes of receiving their feedback.”
Listen360 measures customer loyalty in less than 30 seconds by requesting feedback to just two questions: “How likely are you to recommend us to a colleague?” and an openended request for customers to share more about how they feel. Based on this feedback, Listen360 organizes customers into three categories: “Promoters” are customers who would recommend ServiceMaster Clean; “Passives” are neutral; and “Detractors” are those with negative feedback.
In addition, Listen360’s proprietary “Voice of the Customer” text analytics enables ServiceMaster Clean to quickly glean important data from those open-ended comments. The Voice of the Customer tool automatically scans clients’ comments for industry-based key words such as “restroom” and “vacuum” as well as “responsiveness” and “communication.” Next, the comments are aggregated into meaningful themes then displayed on graphical dashboards accessible throughout the organization.
“This helps us analyze data in a manageable way,” says Duda. “We can also slice-and-dice our data by industry served, facility size or the number of days per week we clean.”
With Listen360, ServiceMaster Clean is seeing improved retention and increased response rates—nearing 30% company-wide. “Our franchisees understand the value of feedback and are very enthusiastic,” says Tony Loftis, Director of System Development for ServiceMaster Clean. “We were nervous that we would have a loss of data, going from 22 questions to two,” he adds, “but that fear was completely unfounded.” Duda agrees. “We don’t have to ask more questions, because our customers are extremely willing to offer information! With Listen360’s verbatims, we get all the granular data we need.”
Duda says that Listen360 also helps ServiceMaster Clean build relationships. “We have clients who write, ‘We love Mary! She is friendly and does exactly what we need. We give her birthday cards!’ Our people from account management all the way to frontline staff are connecting with our customers, and that is important to retention and quality of service.”
Creating a “WOW”
ServiceMaster Clean discovered that with Listen360, negative feedback doesn’t necessarily mean lost business. Says Loftis, “Research and our own experiences indicate that if you make a mistake but handle the situation well and treat the customer royally, you can create a “wow” experience and be far better off than if you ignored it or didn’t know about it.”
Tom Wood, franchise owner of ServiceMaster Services in Richmond, Va., agrees. “It’s rare for a customer to give us a low score. When that happens, I don’t like it, but I want to know about it,” he says. He recalls one customer who had very specific input about one of the cleaning staff. “He’s not the kind to email us or tell us face-to-face, but his feedback response was at a micro-level,” says Wood. “That was actually very valuable, because we could take corrective action and continue our good relationship.”
Wood adds that Listen360 validates his franchise’s mission. “Our differentiator is being accessible and responsive; we see from our customers’ comments that we are walking the walk.” He also appreciates that Listen360 is intuitive. “It’s a no-brainer in terms of how easy it is and how much value I get without having to invest a lot of my personal time.”
Loftis says that Listen360 also helps ServiceMaster Clean gauge the success of new product introductions. Most recently, Loftis led the development of a patented system that cleans more efficiently and is environmentally friendly. Since its rollout, the company’s overall loyalty scores have gained 20 points.
“We wouldn’t have been able to see that right away before,” says Loftis. “Now we can relay this positive feedback to our owners who aren’t using the new cleaning system yet. It gives them insight for making business decisions.”
And finally, there is the cost savings. ServiceMaster Clean’s previous paper-based, 20+-question surveys were costly to produce and process. Now, says Duda, “We are able to reinvest these dollars in other ways. Listen360 shows us what we need to know about our customers, helps us retain customers, is a paperless solution, and saves us money.”