Tag Archive for: Debbie Walker

Merry Maids Croydon attends BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards

Merry Maids of Croydon’s Debbie Walker achieved finalist status in the BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards.

The results are in for the prestigious BFA HSBC Great British Franchise Awards, held by the British Franchise Association at the end of their annual conference to recognise the best of British franchising, and were attended by some of our head office team and franchisees.

We are thrilled that we had a finalist, Debbie Walker from Merry Maids of Croydon, who was up for the Community Focus Award.

Community Focus

We’d like to congratulate Diljit Brar from Costa Coffee, who won the Community Focus Award.

The ServiceMaster team and Merry Maids UK network are incredibly proud of Debbie for beating out countless applicants to make it this far.

To be a finalist in such a competitive sector is no small feat and is a testament to her hard work, dedication and commitment to her brand and community. What she has achieved as a finalist is no small thing.

And Debbie has indeed achieved some impressive feats.

In the past year, she has taken on a Ukrainian refugee to enable her to stay in the UK, donated enough material during a food bank drive to feed multiple vulnerable families struggling with the cost of living over and beyond the Christmas period, and been paramount in the development of our nationwide Merry Maids Forget Me Knot Challenge, which raised over £4000 for Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friends.

Kind words

Commenting on the awards, Debbie said:

“I was absolutely delighted to be alongside some other great franchisees as a finalist for the Community Focus award.

We work hard every day to make our business count in the local community and give back to the people who we serve, so this recognition means a great deal to us.

Pip Wilkins, Chief Executive of the BFA, said:

“Our huge congratulations to all the winners tonight. We had some fantastic entries this year and these winners really stood out from the crowd. We would like to thank them for being such great ambassadors of the BFA and for representing the very best in UK franchising.”

Judge, awards host and UK Head of Franchise, Commercial Banking at sponsors HSBC Bank Gillian Morris said:

“The diversity of franchising on display at tonight’s awards ceremony – across so many brands and sectors – demonstrates the strength and reach of the industry.  Choosing a winner is never easy and I’d like to join Pip in thanking everyone who entered and sending our warm congratulations to all the winners on these very well-deserved awards.”

Need a new cleaner?

If you are local to the Croydon area, contact Debbie and the rest of the Merry Maids of Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

If you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams across the UK, contact your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.

Q&A with Merry Maids Multi Award-Winner Debbie Walker

We sat down with multi-award-winning franchisee Debbie Walker of Merry Maids of Croydon to discuss the value of a cleaner who cares.

During this year’s Merry Maids awards ceremony, we recognised many of our franchisees for their success and hard work.

Debbie Walker, the owner of Merry Maids of Croydon, who is currently a finalist in the prestigious HSBC BFA British Franchise Awards, picked up a whopping three awards in the A Great Place to Invest, Customer Service, and Great Place to Work categories.

I sat down with Debbie following her win(s) to discuss her formula for success and how she feels about having built a thriving Merry Maids franchise in this, her 20th year in business.

How does it feel to be a multi-award-winning Merry Maids Franchise?

“[I’m] so, so proud. Which is what I said to my team when we celebrated the day after.”

“I’m so proud of the team and of the business. Somewhat overwhelmed that we’d won three. A hat trick can’t be bad, can it?”

How did you celebrate with your team?

“I got the team together the next day and told them about what we’d been entered for, what the categories were and what we’d won, and explained to them how important that was and how very much they, as a team, helped to gain those awards.”

“And there was spontaneous applause from the team, [which was] rather lovely. “I was quite choked when talking to them about it. They were delighted. I think it’s that: ‘We’ve done that!’ It’s a real feel-good factor.”

“I think it’s also easy to forget that your staff are fundamental to what you do, so to me, they needed to be part of the celebration and recognised for their achievement. We bought all the staff a celebratory bottle of wine and an individual card.”

“What was also lovely was Nicky Morris at Merry Maids of Fylde and Blackpool sent us a beautiful big box of chocolates, which the staff are enjoying.”

In your view, what has been the basis of the success that you’ve had recently?

“An awful lot of hard work, not just on my part, but on the whole team.”

“We have 28 staff focused on doing their best work.”

“I also very much see that we have a wider team. People like our accountant, Wirehouse, whom we use for our health and safety, yourselves at ServiceMaster and the marketing team and brand manager Vikki, who have all been instrumental in giving a lot of support to the business and enabled us to keep fresh and constant.”

“I think it’s easy when you’ve been in business for nearly 20 years as we have to sit back on your laurels and think: ‘Well, we know how to do it.’”

“There are many things like social media that didn’t exist when we set up the business. But I think you’ve constantly got to embrace new ideas and technology, whatever they may be.”

How do you plan to keep up your momentum of customer service and all of those things going forward?

“I’m reassessing our quality management program to ensure we deliver our best service.”

“We are also looking at our management and administration structure to ensure that we have a broad breadth of knowledge across the team. This will free more time to support our recruits, who need thorough training and encouragement to integrate successfully.”

“We’re looking at an internal restructure to focus on different aspects of the business that I think are important moving forward because I think you have to be a bit like Madonna: You have to keep reinventing yourself.”

“I’ve not got the moves that Madonna’s got, though…”

Well, there’s still time.

[Laughs]

What makes Merry Maids of Croydon a great place to invest for your customers?

“Going back to [my] previous career, one role was working within the community with elderly and disabled clients.”

“I took what I learned there about the value of community and community support and brought it into my business.”

“It’s super important because we need to differentiate from other cleaning businesses and find our niche.”

“I think the world has changed for the better as a real value is placed on what companies do within a community. We want to be part of our community and a business with a heart.”

“Hopefully, it means that individuals looking to purchase from Merry Maids of Croydon appreciate the work ethic and the core values that we have within business and want to align with that.”

In your view, what is the value of customer service?

“Service is paramount, whatever organisation you’re in.”

“It goes from the initial contact, through the sales process to the delivery point where you’ve got staff going out to see the clients.”

“But it doesn’t stop there. Customer service moves on through the customer experience.”

“We still speak to the clients that have been with us for years to ensure we understand and meet their evolving needs.”

What makes Merry Maids of Croydon a great place to work?

“I think it has to be friendly and fun.”

“There is no doubt about it: cleaning is hard work. There must be a great team spirit, and that has to be built from the centre of the business. So, we’re very much about rewarding and recognising our staff for what they do well.”

“Every day, staff receive communication from us, whether they’re in the office or not. And it’s always uplifting. We try very hard never to be negative.”

“To me, both staff and customer experience are about understanding. That’s understanding people’s problems or what may affect them daily.”

“For staff, personal situations impact hugely on work life. If we can help in any way, that’s vital.”

“If we can be a listening ear and they feel that they can come to work, leave their troubles behind them, and have a happy, cohesive environment, that’s super important.”

“It doesn’t matter who it is, whether it’s a new member of staff who’s only been with us a few weeks or 16 years, we want them to feel they’re valued, and that’s how we try to go about it.”

Want an award-winning and caring cleaning service?

If you are local to the Croydon area, contact Debbie and the rest of the Merry Maids of Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

If you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams across the UK, contact your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.

Merry Maids Croydon are finalists in prestigious franchise awards for Community Focus

Croydon-based businesswoman Debbie Walker, owner of Merry Maids of Croydon, has made it to the finals of the prestigious 2023 BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards.

Founded in 1977, the British Franchise Association (BFA) is a self-regulating governing body, formed to accredit and promote franchise systems that meet strict ethical and business criteria.

Fighting for her position amongst many other entrants, Debbie Walker is a finalist in the ‘Community Focus’ category.

Debbie Walker bought Merry Maids of Croydon in 2003 after working in sales and marketing for several companies.

Merry Maids of Croydon is service-oriented, but their work has a keen care element.

They see many customers regularly, often going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that they are safe, well, and have someone to talk to, allowing the maids to develop strong relationships with many.

As such, Debbie and her team are deeply enmeshed in their local community.

To Merry Maids of Croydon, bettering a customer’s quality of life involves more than just a clean environment.

Even though the business is not a care franchise, per se, Debbie is proud to run a business that cares.

One that she calls a business with a heart.

Debbie’s work within her community

In the past year, she has taken on a Ukrainian refugee to enable her to stay in the UK, donated enough material during a food bank drive to feed multiple vulnerable families struggling with the cost of living over and beyond the Christmas period, and been paramount in the development of the ongoing nationwide Merry Maids Forget Me Knot Challenge, which has raised over £1300 for Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friends in just six weeks.

Kind words

Commenting on the announcement, Debbie said:

“I’m absolutely delighted to be alongside some other great franchisees as a finalist for the Community Focus award.

We work hard every day to make our business count in the local community and give back to the people who we serve, so this recognition means a great deal to us.

Everyone here is so excited for the event and really looking forward to celebrating with all the other finalists soon!”

Pip Wilkins, Chief Executive of the BFA, said:

“We would like to offer our enormous congratulations to all this year’s finalists. We received a huge amount of entries, and it was wonderful to read of all the amazing work being done in the UK franchising sector. We applaud our finalists for their enthusiasm, dedication and tenacity and for continuing to uphold the highest standards of the association.”

UK Head of Franchise, Commercial Banking at sponsors HSBC Bank Gillian Morris said:

“Shortlisting candidates for the HSBC bfa Awards is one of the toughest challenges of the year, once more the candidates were a very high standard, and it was very tough to shortlist just a few entries. I was really impressed at the diversity of entries across brands and sectors, which is a great testament of the strength and reach of the franchise industry. I am looking forward to meeting the finalists and wish them all luck!”

Winners will be announced at a gala black-tie event following the BFA’s annual conference on 9th November 2023.

Need a new cleaner?

If you are local to the Croydon area, contact Debbie and the rest of the Merry Maids of Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

And if you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams across the UK, contact your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.

From Merry Maids with love

We share the love this Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Merry Maids of Croydon!

It’s a day for sharing the love, whether with your significant other, your friends and family, or just indulging in your passions.

At Merry Maids, we love cleaning. It’s what we do. But we know it’s not for everyone. That’s why we do it for you!

Through our regular or one-off cleans, we give you the time to focus on the things you love, not the cleaning.

And in the spirit of focusing on the things you love, we’ve been reflecting on some of the things we love about Merry Maids.

What we love about Merry Maids

Debbie Walker, who owns and operates Merry Maids of Croydon, loves that Merry Maids is a people-orientated business, meaning that she gets to work with people all day long and within ever-changing dynamics.

She says she takes great pride in building positive relationships with our staff and customers.

From celebrating life events with staff like birthdays and anniversaries to developing a rapport with clients and providing care and support to vulnerable clients with dementia and other illnesses, people are at the heart of what we do.

Through providing bespoke and top-quality services and through local initiatives like a Food Drive for a local charity, we like to say that we have nurtured a business with a heart that supports our staff and those in need and shares in the day-to-day: what life is all about.

Lynne, our Office Administrator at Merry Maids of Croydon, adds that she loves everything about Merry Maids and that it would be hard to single any particular thing out.

But she notes she loves the variety of the days here at Merry Maids and being amongst the company of our friendly staff.

Show your home some love

Share the love this Valentine’s Day by getting in touch with our friendly staff and giving your home some TLC.

For a free quote on our services or to learn more, call 020 8663 3268 today.

And once again, Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us here at Merry Maids of Croydon!

From Merry Maids with love

Our business owners share the love this Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Merry Maids UK!

It’s a day for sharing the love, whether with your significant other, your friends and family, or just indulging in your passions.

At Merry Maids UK, we love cleaning. It’s what we do. But we know it’s not for everyone. That’s why we do it for you!

Through our regular or one-off cleans, we give you the time to focus on the things you love, not the cleaning.

And in the spirit of focusing on the things you love, we’ve been speaking to some of the cleaning experts that own and operate Merry Maids businesses up and down the country about what they love about Merry Maids.

What our business owners love about Merry Maids

Merry Maids of Croydon

Debbie Walker, the owner of Merry Maids of Croydon, says that she loves that Merry Maids is a people-orientated business, meaning that she gets to work with people all day long and within ever-changing dynamics.

She says she takes great pride in building positive relationships with staff and customers.

From celebrating life events with staff like birthdays and anniversaries to developing a rapport with clients and providing care and support to vulnerable clients with dementia and other illnesses, people are at the heart of what we do.

Through providing bespoke and top-quality services and through local initiatives like a Food Drive for a local charity, Debbie has formed a business with a heart that supports her staff and those in need and shares in the day-to-day: what life is all about.

Lynne, the Office Administrator at Merry Maids of Croydon, adds that she loves everything about Merry Maids and that it would be hard to single any particular thing out.

But she notes she loves the variety that Merry Maids brings to her routine and being amongst the company of the team’s friendly staff.

Merry Maids Fylde and Blackpool:

Having spent 30 years building a thriving cleaning business, Nicola Morris from Merry Maids Fylde and Blackpool seconds this, saying she loves working as part of a network of like-minded business owners across the UK who support one another in running their businesses.

“What I love about the Merry Maids brand is working together with a fabulous group of fellow Merry Maids owners all helping each other!”

Merry Maids Dudley, Wolverhampton and Stafford:

Tom Jackson from Merry Maids Dudley and Wolverhampton and Stafford agrees, saying what he loves about his Merry Maids business is the support from our network:

“The best thing about being a franchisee is the support and teamwork you get from the other people in your network.

Whether it’s solving a problem or just ‘how’s your business getting on?’ there is always another franchisee at the other end of the phone or WhatsApp.

Borrowing ideas from Bill in Inverness or asking Nicky in Blackpool what she is doing about a particular issue is invaluable.”

Show your home some love

Share the love this Valentine’s Day by giving your home some TLC with a clean from your local experts.

For a free quote on our services or to learn more, find your nearest Merry Maids business or call 0800 021 3072 today.

Or, book easily online in select locations through our online shop.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Home Safety with Merry Maids of Croydon

How Merry Maids of Croydon and our staff ensure you and your home are kept safe.

At Merry Maids of Croydon, as trusted domestic cleaners, the safety of our customers and their homes is our highest priority.

Recently, our team have been saddened to hear of burglaries and home invasions that have affected their customers.

In these instances, the perpetrators have taken advantage of vulnerable people living alone, posing as service workers like electricians.

They then used that cover to enter people’s homes and steal from them.

All of our customers are dear to us, and the last thing we would want is for someone to violate your trust in us by posing as a cleaner to take advantage of you.

That’s why we have standards and practices that are in place to protect the safety and discretion of the people who trust us in their homes.

Here’s how we work to keep you safe, and what to do if you are concerned you may be being targeted.

Our safety and security practices

Scheduled bookings

At Merry Maids, we work by appointment, so you should always know when our staff are coming.

When you’ve booked with us, you will receive a prompt via text or email on the day of the cleaning to let you know when our maids will be with you.

If someone turns up at a time you don’t expect or without warning, this could be cause for concern.

We are easily identifiable

For your safety, our staff are easily identifiable. Our maids are never without their Merry Maids branded uniforms, so you know who we are.

Furthermore, they also carry ID badges on their person at all times, so that if you don’t recognise your cleaner – or are booking us for a one-off – you can verify our maids’ identities.

Our maids will also have the equipment we use to clean your home to the best possible standard. If someone comes to your door without these items, this may be a reason to be suspicious.

Should your doubts be raised by any of the above – or something else entirely – please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call your local business.

We take our duty of care to our customers very seriously. Nor do we take the significance of you trusting us in your home lightly.

Staff safety standards

At Merry Maids of Croydon, we work with experienced professionals you can trust so you know your home is in safe hands.

We also carry out free, no-obligation quotations for your home, so you can get to know our business owner, Debbie, and maids before you decide whether you choose us to clean your home.

If something doesn’t feel right: stay safe and always call us on 020 8663 3268 and our team can verify your cleaning schedule or the maid’s identity.

Merry Maids means safety

At Merry Maids UK, we have over 30 years as leaders in domestic cleaning nationwide. That’s 30 years of expertise, 30 years of happy customers, and 30 years of trust.

To find out more, or to see if Merry Maids of Croydon is the right fit for your home, call today on 020 8663 3268.

And remember: stay safe, take care, and always call.