Shiny happy people

Alumni-owned cleaning service depends on customer satisfaction to keep quality and profits high

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Shiny happy people

RON HOLT

When Ron Holt bought a cleaning business in Pensacola, Fla., a decade ago, he admits he had no idea what he was getting into.

Over time, however, he realized the typical business model in the cleaning industry was “upside down.” Employees were paid a set fee for their work, whether they did a good job or not. Clients could complain if they were dissatisfied but had little input over the quality of the cleaning.

So Holt (BA ’97) devised a new model, one in which clients rate their level of satisfaction with the service after each cleaning. Employees are compensated based on the client ratings, which are submitted through an online survey.

“It changed the mindset of the employees,” says Holt (BA ’97), whose company, Two Maids & A Mop, now has 12 locations in five states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. “When the employees come in for the day’s work the first thing they ask is what their feedback was from the previous day.”

The company has more than 150 employees, all of whom understand that it’s the client feedback that determines their compensation, he says. Ninety percent of them earn the top pay every single paycheck.

“Most employees are concerned about how [the feedback] affects their paychecks,” he says.

In addition to happier clients, Holt says he’s seen a culture shift in the business. Most employees are no longer career cleaning people, he says. They tend to be younger and more motivated, looking at the business as a short-term way to make money while they get an education or build a career. Though employees stay with the company for a shorter period of time, they tend to be more professional, Holt says.

The business has grown tremendously in the past four years, he says.

Two Maids & A Mop has made the UGA Alumni Association’s list of fastest growing Bulldog businesses twice since it began in 2010. In 2013, the company was ranked 13th, up from 57th in 2012. In the coming months, Holt says he expects to grow further as he begins to franchise the brand.

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