What should the customer know about pricing ?
We are pretty fair about our prices. We try to offer a set menu but often reduce the price if the house is occupied with less people, or doesn’t need to be cleaned in its entirety every time. We do offer a discount to active service members and also offer a 15% referral discount for every customer we get to help out, and best of all this can be done on nextdoor.com which has allowed some people to get multiple 15% discounts at once which are applied to future consecutive cleanings. Also if you happen to refer a neighbor that lives on the same street as you, both you and your neighbor can get $10 off your cleanings as long as the cleanings are on the same day. This does not stack with other promotions but is ongoing as long as at least one neighbor on the same street shares the same cleaning day as you.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Definitely check out our website on this one, you can even select services by heading to personal-castles.com and selecting “services” but overall… It’s real simple! We talk on the phone about your needs, and make sure we can offer the right solutions. We then offer an estimate that is typically pretty accurate but can be subject to change. Once your first cleaning is set up, a representative of Personal Castles will show up with your cleaning technician and introduce you. The same cleaning technician will help you out for future recurring cleanings and will, as a result get familiar with your house and the way you like things done. We will all take a tour of our house and go over the important parts you believe require specific attention. At which point the representative will translate and make sure everyone is on the same page. Once the first service has been completed, you will be contacted by the same representative and asked if the cleaning has met your expectations. Once you are happy an electronic invoice will be sent to you and you have the option of paying via Credit Card, Cash, Check or Venmo.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
In the late 1980’s, a young Austin mother recognized an opportunity when the burden of keeping up with house cleaning chores were interfering with her ability to spend fun-loving personal time with her young children and extended family members. In 1993, Personal Castles was established to serve the greater Austin area families. Personal Castles is BBB certified, Insured, bonded and has been serving the Austin and surrounding areas for over 20 years. Most of our wonderful staff have been with us for over 10 years. Please visit our site to find out more of how we came about.
What types of customers have you worked with?
We have worked with customers that want a monthly cleaning in a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment all the way up to construction companies that have built some of the major high-rises in Austin that want rough,final and touch up cleanings of featured work spaces and apartments/condos. As you could imagine, we have done everything in between, however, what sets us apart is that we offer the same individual attention to our customers no matter the size or frequency.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
We recently had the opportunity to help a disabled vet. It was a pleasure to serve him as he had once served us. We always try to make sure we go above and beyond while offering a reasonable discount for having sacrificed so much, so many years ago. The job took the better half of a day but was done exceptionally well and left our client speechless.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
- When selecting a cleaning company you may want to ask the company you hire, or yourself a couple questions before you make a decision.
- First off, do you get the same representative on the phone or does your call frequently bounce around?
- How long have the cleaning technicians been with the company on average?
- Is the cleaning company bonded and Insured?
- How many houses does each cleaning technician get on a daily basis. If a cleaning technician gets more than 2 houses, chances are they are rushing to complete your house.
- If the company you are talking to has a habit of sending a new cleaning technician every time, you may never receive the level of care and “ownership” reflected in the work that a single service provider offers. On the day of arrival, does the vacuum being used in your house have a new bag in it and if it is bag-less vacuum, has the contents of the vacuum been disposed of prior to entering your house or are they planning to spread the scent and dust of another persons house into your living area.
- I would focus on the cleanliness of the products as well, are the mops white? Do the microfiber rags look like they are in good condition and is the cleaner bringing enough solvent to complete the job? If the service provider has an empty canister, that should raise a red flag.
- Last but not least, is the company organized? For instance, does the cleaning company send you an invoice and keep record of who cleaned your house and when they cleaned your house or is the transaction very informal? Although it may happen every now and then even with the most organized company, it may be a pain trying to keep track of lost checks, payments that have not been collected or missed appointments.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Customers should ask themselves, what they want cleaned and how frequently. Those two factors typically give a service provider a pretty good idea of what to expect. For instance, a house that is 1500 square feet and gets cleaned every month may cost as much to be serviced as a house that is 2500 square feet and has a guest bedroom that is cleaned every other cleaning but chooses to have their house worked on every week. Know what is important to you, voice your sticking points and have an educated idea of what it costs to have any service preformed. It prevents customers from being taken advantage of and is less of a surprise when finding the right provider.