The Virtual CMO Podcast

The Virtual CMO Podcast

Season 6, Episode 6

Hosted By: Eric Dickmann
With Guest: Neel Parekh

Our Featured Guest

Neel Parekh

Founder & CEO - MaidThis Franchise

In episode 87, host Eric Dickmann interviews Neel Parekh. Neel is an entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of MaidThis Franchise. He started his career working in venture capital and private equity identifying and analyzing investment opportunities and managing investment portfolios. His dream was to work for himself and to enjoy freedom from the confines of the 9-to-5 office life. Neel pursued this entrepreneurial spirit and founded MaidThis.

MaidThis helps homeowners and short-term rental hosts with their cleanings. As a franchise, it helps owners build their own meaning of “freedom” by empowering them to build their own fully remote, new-age business from anywhere in the world.

What's Hot?

"Top-Rated Cleaning Services in Los Angeles"

MadeThis Franchise  is a lean, low-cost cleaning franchise that specializes in both residential and vacation rental/Airbnb cleanings. Their 5-step cleaner screening process saves you the time and effort because top vetter cleaners will do the work for you! In just 60 seconds, customers can book their professional services.

 MaidThis has 5-star ratings on HomeAdvisor, Yelp, Thumbtack, Facebook, and Google.

MaidThis Franchise

Neel Parekh

So that's all I'd recommend is to make sure your product's good, and then afterwards, analyze, analyze, analyze data points of why customers are unhappy, and then button those up one by one."

What We Discussed with Neel

On this episode, host Eric Dickmann interviews Neel Parekh about building a successful fully remote local business. Here are some highlights of our conversation:

  • [00:04:03] Pivoting is important for businesses- Entrepreneurs and product or service creators mustn't be overly attached to their innovations. If an idea isn't really working, pivot and try something else. Neel adds that there may be situations where it will take time before people agree to shift their perspective because of their attachment to their creations. But the most important thing is to defining your goals and having the courage to achieve them.
  •  [00:06:32] The challenges of starting a remote business- Running a business can be pretty challenging, especially when it comes to managing a group of remote workers and a diverse set of customers, and keeping everybody happy and motivated. Neel had many realizations when starting his remote business. From changing a usual way of doing things, to adapting remote working tactics and learning how to collaborate with a more diverse team.
  • [00:09:11] Neel's first attempts in digital marketing- According to Neel, back when he started as an entrepreneur, he had no idea of what marketing was or the whole process of selling his services. Being from the finance sector, he was oblivious on how to run his marketing processes. He tried Google AdWords and continued investing and doubling down on the things that helped his remote business grow. Parekh tells us that businesses with investments in digital marketing and SEO have the biggest advantage in the local competition. There are many startups who don't know the basics, such as SEO, email marketing, and leading capture on the website. According to Neel , the three core aspects of any company are SEO and rankings, online reviews, and lead generation and capture.
  • [00:11:40] The importance of having a website- Having a great-looking website is the key to doing digital marketing. Neel talks about how his website evolved from a $100 website template and an MS Word logo to a great-looking one. Building your website takes time and may include countless iterations before you achieve a successful result. Remember that there is so much to learn on the journey.
  • [00:13:10] Refining your messaging on the landing pages- Businesses have to meet the customers where they are. So often, companies force people down a particular path, but that might not be the path that they're most comfortable communicating. Wherever your customer finds you in, they have to understand what is it you're offering and how you can help them throughout their buyer's journey. The way businesses engage with customers may differ from industry to industry, but Neel says that phone sales typically convert better just because customers can consult with real people and ask specific questions. 
  • [00:16:27] Building trust with your customers- The truth be told, customers don't care about your company. They care about how you are going to deliver your products or services. On Neel's cleaning company's website, he ensures that the web visitors and clients get to know how their private spaces will be cleaned and who are cleaners involved in the process. If you are in the cleaning industry like Neel, for example, a first-time customer won't let a stranger go to their house without that trust. As a marketer, what you're always trying to do is preempt customer questions and concerns.
  • [00:18:06] Giving your customers a guarantee- Remove the customer's what-ifs. For Neel's customers, the fear is that scheduled service will not show up. To work around this, Neel advises businesses to guarantee service levels. Identify the one biggest worry your customer has and a guarantee. Address their questions by creating a step-by-step process that strengthens your customer's confidence in your brand, and post that to your website.
  • [00:21:55] Ensuring quality in your remote business- The biggest challenge for remote companies is ensuring the quality and consistency of good service despite the distance and minimal supervision. Neel believes that it is important to take care of customers and ensure that their feedback and reviews are being addressed immediately. Attracting new customers is more costly compared to customer retention costs. 
  •  [00:24:12] Dealing with customer service issues- Companies may have spent so much time building their products, services, and promotional materials, that they get too exhausted when it comes to the actual delivery of the service. Having these dilemmas are normal in the entrepreneurial journey. What is important is how you can address these problems and turn the downsides to your advantage. Make sure your product's good, and then afterwards, analyze, analyze, analyze data points of why customers are unhappy, and then button those up one by one.
  • [00:26:15] How critical are reviews to the growth of the business?- People want to feel like their comments are going to lead to action, that if they leave a negative comment, somebody will call them and follow up on their concerns. Businesses should recognize people's concerns and try to resolve them as best as they can. Customers talk, and it is essential to keep your company's reputation on the positive side as customers share their experience with the community. 

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Eric Dickmann

About the author

Eric Dickmann is the Founder / CMO of The Five Echelon Group, host of the weekly podcast "The Virtual CMO" and YouTube series "Work-Life" and a fractional CMO for a variety of small and midsize companies. An executive leader with over 30 years of experience in marketing, product development, and digital transformation, he has worked with large, global companies and small startups to develop and execute marketing strategies to bring innovative products to the market.