Improving On-Time Arrival Key to Keeping Customers Satisfied

Molly Maid has been providing cleaning services to time-crunched American homeowners since 1984. Since then the company has expanded from one town to over 470 franchises. Overall, these individually-owned and operated businesses performed 1.7 million service visits in 2015 and approximately 90 percent were repeat customers. While over 40 Molly Maid franchisees currently use CalAmp’s solutions, this case study focuses on the results of Molly Maid of Central & NE Houston franchise.

The Challenge


The residential cleaning business is very competitive, with new firms entering the market daily due to the low barriers to entry. This means that reputation is very important. Franchise Help states, “It is estimated that the average cleaning company loses up to 55 percent of their customer base every year due to poor service.” And part of providing great service is on-time arrival. Molly Maid was losing anywhere from two to four customers per week as a result of missed appointments.

  • How close is the clean team to the client’s location?
  • Did they arrive before or by the assigned time?
  • When did they depart?

By using location-based data, one Molly Maid franchise saw an opportunity to improve scheduling, routing, navigation, and field updates as the way to reduce missed appointments which were resulting in unsatisfied customers.

The Solution


While Molly Maid cars were equipped with Garmins, there was not a uniform system in place to program them. Each team had to input the location themselves for each job.

The corporate office decided to develop a proprietary on-time arrival system. However, there wasn’t a way to push the updates to the teams. Molly Maid researched market options and decided to integrate it with CalAmp’s web-based fleet management solution, using its TechConnect and TechDirect functions. The company used TechDirect, a tool that provides work order visualization, to load each team’s schedule into their overnight process. When the teams started the following morning, they had their job list and directions to those customer locations already available in the vehicle’s Garmin. TechConnect, a messaging tool, allowed the home office to communicate with one or multiple teams in the field via their Garmin or smartphone if work order changes occurred. By implementing the TechDirect not only did Molly Maid reduce late arrivals, but they also had access to additional information such as lost productivity due to inefficient scheduling and delayed departure times.

The Result


With the improved coordination and communication, Molly Maid has been able to adapt its service to meet customer expectations. They have been getting very good information on teams’ arrival times which has reduced customer complaints. A lost customer is now a rarity.

“The system works well. It allows us to provide on-time arrivals for customers with schedules that are the most efficient for our teams. Plus, we’re able to adapt our routes as needed throughout the day,” said Tony Kirby, Owner of Molly Maid of Central and NE Houston.

In addition, the franchise used the data (quantitative and qualitative) to report the changes and benefits of the CalAmp integration. The integration has:

  • Improved Customer Service: By loading the information into the Garmins the night before, Molly Maid has minimized the chance of late arrivals, which has resulted in improved customer satisfaction.
  • Improved Scheduling: Also, Molly Maid has used key fleet metrics, such as client location and optimal routes, to more efficiently deploy their teams.

With their initial issue managed, this Molly Maid franchise is now looking to tackle reducing both vehicle idling and staff overtime using the solution’s landmarks and alerts functions.