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How to Handle Requests for Emergency Cleanings

How do you handle emergency cleanings? Sometimes, you can easily slide an occasional call into your schedule. However, repeated requests for extra services like pumping or cleaning toilets disrupt your routine and add to an already hectic workload.

In this article, learn how PROs respond to callouts while protecting customer relationships and improving portable restroom operations. 

Requests for Emergency Cleanings: Saying Yes or No

When the call comes in for extra service, you have to ask yourself if it’ll disrupt your daily service schedule. If your routine is flexible and the location is near your route, then adding one more stop won’t throw things into disarray.

However, if an emergency cleaning will significantly delay or knock other services off your day’s schedule, then it may be better to say no and suggest a more reasonable time.

Also, consider your client’s value. Larger or long-term commercial customers appreciate and grant contracts to PROs who make special accommodations. On the other hand, repeat interruptions from a small, new, or frequently troublesome client may need a firmer touch.

How to Charge for Extra Cleaning Services

Prices for additional duties will vary based on your business structure and local market. Regardless of the situation, any cleanings beyond your regular schedule require payment per your service agreement. PROs may charge:

  • An emergency service fee plus time and mileage that varies on a case-by-case basis
  • A pre-determined set flat fee designed to cover the cleaning, time, and mileage

Make sure to modify prices in your contract template to reflect both cost and market changes. Outline the details in your agreement so clients understand your fees. Then, refer to it when speaking and billing clients for emergency cleanings.

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Responding to Unwarranted Callouts

Listen, we’ve all had those clients. The ones who complain that units weren’t appropriately cleaned or call you out for a toilet that isn’t overly messy or has a tank with plenty of space. So, how do portable restroom operators respond to unfounded requests for emergency cleanings?

If you’re already there, clean the unit anyway and assess your normal fee. But also take the opportunity to explain to your client what your standard agreement calls for and point out the charges that stem from added cleanings.

Plus, let clients know that you schedule services in advance and that you’re unable to accommodate all requests. Your customers may not understand how you know when the tank is full or how fast cleaning fees add up. Suggest ways to keep clients on track by finding a middle ground, such as:

  • Adding a portable restroom unit or sink station to provide extra peace of mind to the client
  • Altering your contract (and increasing prices) for one or two extra pre-scheduled cleanings

Manage Emergency Cleanings With Ease

As always, navigating portable restroom operations is a delicate balance between labor, costs, and customer service. Having a routine is key to keeping your team on track. But, you’ll always have those clients who require a little extra guidance. Set a transparent fee structure, stay firm, and keep your portable restroom team chugging along.

Looking to Take Your Portable Restroom Business to the NEXT LEVEL? Download our FREE Guide: “Your Guide to Operating A Portable Restroom Business.”

Thinking About GETTING INTO the Portable Restroom Industry? Download our FREE Guide: “Your Guide to Starting A Portable Restroom Business.”

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