Cleaning businesses are notorious for not selling a lot of gift cards and this is a huge untapped opportunity for your business to drive more revenue. You have two weeks until Valentine’s Day and you can sell gift cards up until the very last minute to people who have procrastinated about buying a gift for their loved one.
The main reason most cleaning business owners shy away from selling gift cards is because they worry about the experience of redemption. Since gift cards are for a defined amount of money (e.g. $150), and nearly every first time clean requires a variable amount of time to get the job done right, it can be a recipe for disaster. There’s the risk of the staff going way over on the time purchased to insure the customer is happy and then there’s the potential for a bad online review because the job couldn’t be completed.
You can put those worries to rest by making it clear to the recipient that they’ve received a gift of a defined amount of cleaning time, not a complete house cleaning. Let them know that their gift is for a specific block of time, say a three hour cleaning, and if they’d like to add additional hours to the cleaning, they are welcome to do so. Be very clear that the gift card equates to a specific number of “labor hours” for your cleaning staff, and that you can retain their credit card if they’d like to billed for additional time needed. Communication is the key to successful gift card redemption.
Now the issue is how to sell more gift cards. One holiday season from late October through December, I sold $12,000 worth of maid service gift cards by following the tips I outline in my gift card training series. I’ll give you one of the tips for free and you can purchase the rest online.
How to sell more gift cards
This sounds simple, but it’s something you probably haven’t thought of. Turn the abstract idea of a cleaning service into a physical gift. The person buying the gift card is buying a present for someone, not a cleaning service for themselves. So when you sell your gift cards, sell them as a complete gift, not just a piece of paper that you print out with the amount of cleaning hours purchased or dollar value. Start selling gifts instead of cleanings. I suggest making your gift cards as part of a beautiful gift basket, with wine, chocolates, and other goodies inside the basket. This will make for an impressive, tangible gift that the giver will feel proud about giving, not just an emailed certificate or a computer printout of your gift card amount.
Make your gift baskets look sumptuous. Put your company’s swag inside an elegant wicker basket, along with greenery or ribbons. As add-ons, you can include a gift card for a massage or restaurant, add nice wine glasses from the Dollar Store, throw in high-quality chocolates. Offer the gift basket as a bonus if the purchaser buys the gift of maid service for a year. So if someone pays $1200 for a year’s worth of maid service (at $100 each month), they also get this fabulous gift basket with free extras like the massage, wine, restaurant deal, etc.
Maybe you barter with a local spa as a way to get free massages to put into your gift baskets, or you strike up a deal to clean a neighborhood wine shop so you can get a deep discount. The goal here is to fill up your gift baskets so they make the recipient gasp with surprise and pleasure at the luxurious gift that is mostly comprised of your valuable cleaning services, but topped off with physical gifts that make the gift stand out even more. To comply with state and federal alcohol laws, you might want to simply include a gift certificate for wine instead of the actual wine.
Remember: there’s nothing elegant about a spouse printing out a gift card for your cleaning services and handing that over on Valentine’s Day. So focus on making your gift cards the centerpiece of an elegant gift basket and these will fly off your shelves.
For more tips on becoming a powerseller of gift cards, be sure to buy my series. Happy selling, and happy Valentine’s Day!