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We know that AI is going to change our lives and certainly will change how we manage our residential cleaning business.  AI is potentially the biggest driver of change since the Internet or television.  But, realistically, how will AI change our daily lives as residential business owners…and WHEN? Predicting how AI will change our businesses is somewhat easy.  The ideas are already out there.  However, the WHEN is tougher.  But as buffaloes, we’re not afraid to be wrong from time to time.  Let’s charge ahead, shall we?

AI and Scheduling

One of the most significant challenges of running a cleaning business is scheduling. Ensuring that you have the right number of employees in the right place at the right time can be a logistical nightmare. However, with AI-powered scheduling software, this process can be streamlined and optimized. By analyzing data like customer demand and employee availability, AI can create schedules that are both efficient and effective.

AI Scheduling would provide two immediate benefits:

  1. Employees spend less time driving and more time cleaning – and thus more time on the clock making MORE money.  Go ahead and update that Indeed ad!
  2. Options for dynamic pricing – For example, client A is scheduled for Tuesday mornings.  A new prospect calls from the same neighborhood.  Why not offer a slight discount to both so long as they schedule for the same day?

AI and Employee Management

Employee management is another area where AI can be incredibly beneficial. From onboarding to performance management, there are many tasks that can be automated using AI-powered tools.

For example:

  1. Chatbots can be used to answer employee questions and thus enhance their training
  2. AI can be used to draft quizzes, etc. based on your employee handbook so you can gauge how well new employees are retaining the information
  3. AI applied to quality control analysis (see next section) and feedback to employees.  You may never hear “The manager just doesn’t like me very much” again.
  4. AI notes that a client has 2 cats and your scheduler automatically blocks assigning the cleaning technicians with cat allergies to clean that particular home.

AI and KPIs

Finally, AI can also be used to improve analysis of your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and thus improve customer satisfaction. By analyzing customer feedback and data, AI-powered tools can identify areas where improvements can be made. For example, if customers consistently complain about a particular type of mess, AI can analyze that data and help you develop strategies to address the issue.

For example:

  1. If an individual cleaning tech consistently has the same sort of comments from clients, you can quickly address the issue with the employee.
  2. If you consistently receive similar types of client comments across multiple employees, you can identify the issue and re-train or even improve your initial training procedures to address the issue in advance.
  3. If your KPIs indicate a drop off in your lead to client conversion rates, you can quickly address the breakdown in your sales processes.

AI and Marketing

By leveraging AI technology, cleaning businesses can create more efficient, personalized, and targeted marketing campaigns.  Some of this technology already exists, but it is changing and improving literally daily.

For example: 

  1. Personalized Marketing: Personalized marketing involves tailoring your marketing efforts to individual customers. It is a highly effective way to increase customer engagement and loyalty. By leveraging AI, cleaning businesses can create highly personalized marketing campaigns that take into account customer preferences, behavior, and purchase history. This can help increase customer satisfaction and retention, as well as drive revenue growth.
  2. Predictive Analytics: AI can be used to analyze customer data and make predictions about future behavior. This can help cleaning businesses identify which customers are most likely to make a purchase, as well as the types of products or services that are likely to be most appealing. By leveraging predictive analytics, cleaning businesses can optimize their marketing efforts and increase the effectiveness of their campaigns.
  3. Chatbots: Chatbots are AI-powered tools that can be used to automate customer interactions. They can be integrated into a cleaning business’s website or social media channels, and can help provide customers with information about products, services, and promotions. Chatbots can also be used to resolve customer issues, freeing up customer service agents to focus on more complex tasks.
  4. Outbound Phone Marketing:  AI voice calls can reach out to all current customers to solicit feedback, promote a referral program, etc.  The transcripts of each call can be fed into the database for additional processing and analysis.
  5. Natural Language Processing: Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a branch of AI that focuses on understanding human language. By leveraging NLP technology, cleaning businesses can create more effective marketing content that resonates with customers. NLP can be used to analyze customer feedback, social media posts, and other forms of communication to identify customer preferences and behavior. This can help cleaning businesses create more relevant and engaging marketing content.
  6. Email Marketing: Email marketing is a popular marketing channel for cleaning businesses. By leveraging AI-powered tools, businesses can create more effective email marketing campaigns. For example, AI can be used to analyze customer behavior and preferences to create personalized email content. AI can also be used to optimize email send times and subject lines, which can increase email open and click-through rates.
  7. Social Media Marketing: Social media is a powerful marketing channel for cleaning businesses. By leveraging AI-powered social media tools, businesses can create more effective social media campaigns. AI can be used to analyze social media data to identify trends and customer behavior. This can help businesses create more engaging and relevant social media content.
  8. Voice Search Optimization: Voice search is becoming increasingly popular among consumers. By leveraging AI-powered tools, cleaning businesses can optimize their websites and marketing content for voice search. This can help businesses reach more customers and increase website traffic. Voice search optimization can also help cleaning businesses create more effective marketing campaigns that resonate with customers.

Gaze into the Future!

Soon, very soon, this will become reality:

Diana, while sitting on her front porch enjoying the sunset, suddenly remembers her intention to hire someone for spring cleaning and bi-weekly cleaning. Her phone is not within reach due to her dog sitting between her and the phone. Therefore, she decides to use voice commands to perform a search query. She simply asks, “Hey Google, what cleaning service near me has the most 5-star reviews and is pet-friendly?”

Google responds, “Buckets & Bows Maid Service has 525 Google Reviews and is pet-friendly.” This highlights the importance of online reviews and their influence on customers. Diana did not even need to look at a screen to receive the search result, indicating the convenience of voice assistants.

Diana chooses to call the service, despite being aware that they may be closed at this hour. She initiates the call, which is answered by an AI-powered virtual operator. The voice is friendly and professional, indicating the potential of AI-based customer service in the future.

The operator collects all necessary information regarding Diana’s spring cleaning needs, utilizing the management software to provide an accurate quote and assign a suitable cleaning technician. The AI operator also offers a discount for a bi-weekly cleaning service and suggests booking on the same day as another client for a slight discount. Diana agrees to the terms and provides her credit card details, and the operator triggers a follow-up email containing the company’s policies.

The entire conversation is recorded and added to the client record in the company’s management software, ensuring that all necessary details are captured and can be referred to later. The booking is also scheduled, highlighting the efficiency of an AI-based booking system.

How do you make sure your cleaning business can leverage all of the emerging tech coming from AI?

Be flexible and embrace change.  We won’t know which management software will be first (or the best) at integrating AI.  We don’t know who will be first to offer an AI operator capable of selling, quoting and booking a new cleaning client.  But it is already in the works from someone out there.  Talk to your vendors and ask where they are in the development of these types of services.  Do research.  Hey, Google!  Traditionally, change comes slowly, especially in the residential cleaning industry, but rest assured that AI will change things rapidly.  We’re seeing that in real-time.  This post will likely be at least partially out of date by the time you read it.  Hang on! It’s going to get interesting in a hurry.

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