This episode is completely different from others! I made a mistake in my industry, owned it, and it turned out really well! I'm a member of various cleaning groups on Facebook. One of them is called Professional House Cleaners, run by my friend Angela Brown of Savvy Cleaner. There are over 10,000 cleaning service owners active in this group to share lessons and best practices for the benefit of our industry. That's how it's supposed to work. We are all a part of the same industry and we understand that a rising tide, rises all ships.
I typically go in this group a couple times a month to skim the posts, learn, and answer questions. At any given time, there are thousands of brand new cleaning owners that have very basic questions like... "How much do I charge for this house?" "How do I clean this shower?" I don't typically engage with these questions. I like to answer deeper science or people-related questions. Well, I was on Facebook late one night and thought I'd skim a few recent posts. I saw a dozen or so of these basic starter questions and scrolled past. Then I stopped to answer a few newbie questions that were mindset or science related. It was late. I was tired and admittedly, I didn't read the entire posts. I got to this guy, Mark Baker. He had a post on the use of Bar Keeper's Friend in kitchen sinks. I barely read the post, made the assumption in my tired state that Mark was a newbie, and answered why BKF works using basic cleaning science. Then I shut down and went to bed.
In the morning, I had a personal message from Mark Baker. Here's what it said.
"Hi Ken.. thanks for your comment on my post. I felt a bit like you were talking down to me a bit with it and I wanted to reach out and let you know. I know you run a business assisting cleaning pros and I'll be listening to you at the maid summit. Just wanted to note that my post didn't insinuate I don't know the science of cleaning. I actually built my business from solo to 1.87 million in annualized sales (before pandemic shut down) in under 5 years in a very small market with just residential and now have a national company with cleaning pros in dozens of cities across Canada. We are well educated on the science of cleaning from HCT training to GBAC training, to pretty much every cleaner training program out there and have our own program which combines them all. I don't put that out to the group much as I enjoy learning and I am a cleaner at heart and every single day the group teaches me new things and I love interacting with my industry peeps. With all that said, i'll check out your solo cleaning tribe website. I wanted to share as most would appreciate the comment but for some of us it can come across as condescending as you made an assumption I wasn't in the know and you were. Looking forward to checking out your site!"
I immediately felt terrible about what I had done. I wasn't trying to put Mark down. I just made an assumption in my tired state and he rightly called me out on it. Here's my response!
"I'll have to read my comment and will edit it. I never want to infer arrogance. I'm very sorry about that and thank you for bringing it to my attention. It was late and I rarely go into the other groups lately. I was answering questions and saw your post on the sinks and BKF. I prefer the creme version. Congratulations on your success and I really like your desire to stay 'new'."
I followed this up with 2 voice messages directly to Mark explaining and apologizing again. Then I updated my comment on his post. I didn't delete it. I owned it by typing "update to original comment", followed by an public apology to Mark and a better explanation of my full answer to the cleaning science I mentioned.
Mark was so impressed with this response. He said this.
"hey ken. thank you for those messages. You gave a prime example how to turn what could be someone not liking your brand into a raving fan!"
He took it to another level by dedicating an entire YouTube video to his community on our exchange of "Turning a Faux Pas Into A Win!" I recommend that you give this video a listen and learn. Mark really teaches the lesson well. What if we all acted like a pro in all of our dealings with our clients, our vendors, and our competition? We'd all rise together like the ships I mentioned in the beginning.
The Smart Cleaning School Podcast helps cleaning business owners from start-up to the struggling solo to the striving seven-figure get SMARTER in their businesses, reshape their mindset, increase productivity, clear the overwhelm, and get clarity through SMART goal-setting & personal accountability. Ken Carfagno is a lifetime learner and teacher. His mission is to help visionaries make the impact they were meant to make.