Hiring cleaning company is not a simply an expense
For the short-sighted, hiring cleaning company is simply an expense, something that needs to be done with as little thought and cost as possible. Smart business people, however, understand that it is an investment in their business that can reduce their total overheads and even improve their efficiency. So, what do you need to know to get the very best from a commercial cleaning company? Here are 7 essential questions you need to ask to ensure your investment in a commercial cleaning company pays dividends for your business.
1. How many years have you been in the janitorial services business and what other facilities similar to mine have you worked on?
There is no substitute in business for experience. So this question is very important to ask before hiring cleaning company. It can’t be bought or generated out of thin air overnight. This is especially true for cleaning companies. In a very competitive environment, only the best cleaning companies survive in the long term. Fly by night operators disappear quickly. Best in this case not only refers to price, but also to quality standards and customer service. A long established company is a sign of not only very high standards and excellent management, but also of a responsive, adaptable operation.
The best marketing is always done by a company’s current clients. References and referrals from their other clients are worth more than any advertisement. Demonstration of successfully supplying janitorial services at a facility with similar needs to yours is the best measure of a cleaning company’s promises.
2. What level of training do your employees receive?
This is one question most forget to ask before hiring cleaning company. The cleaning crew is the core of any commercial cleaning company. Many facility managers assume commercial cleaning is no different than cleaning a home. In fact, commercial cleaning is a highly skilled trade and requires a high standard of training. Cleaning operators need proper training to make sure they can use cleaning tools and products safely and cost effectively. A great commercial cleaning company will always be happy to detail its employee training program, including the different standards and certification they have.
3. How long do you retain your employees?
Experienced employees are worth their weight in gold. They have the technical knowledge to know exactly how to tackle each problem they encounter and they act as role models and go to people for the rest of the crew. A commercial cleaning company that has a low turnover of employees will have a wealth of technical knowledge that cannot be bought. No amount of cut price bids will be able to rival the value delivered by an experienced and competent crew. Low turnover is also a good indicator of a great management team, exactly the kind of intangible asset that can’t be seen in a bid price.
4. How do you manage your cleaning crews?
It is essential for great customer service that a cleaning company supervises its crew properly. Working closely with the crew not only allows management to stay abreast of potential issues arising at a facility, but it also means they can effectively motivate and direct their team. This involves site visits, daily or weekly written reports and job tickets from each crew and setting and monitoring realistic targets. As part of their bid for a contract, excellent cleaning companies will have all this information available for a prospective client because they will already have these quality control procedures in place.
5. What are your quality control procedures?
Quality control is a huge factor in ensuring customer satisfaction. The best commercial cleaning companies have specific procedures to set quality control targets and to monitor and report on them. This information should be freely available to you as well as them. They will have certain processes that should guarantee the delivery of excellent quality service when followed. This may involving auditing work done at client’s facilities, metric report cards and key performance indicators.
6. Are you insured and bonded?
This is a extremely important questions when hiring cleaning company. Janitorial services can be a high risk business. The facility itself will provide any number of potential dangers and the crew will be working with power tools and hazardous chemicals every day. There will be ample opportunity for personal injury or material damage to the site. It is paramount that your commercial cleaning company has all the proper insurance it needs and is bonded by a local authority where this is a requirement. Ask to see their insurance policy and research what is required by law. A company that only holds the bare minimum of insurance is a major red flag. A commercial cleaning company’s insurance policies should be adequate to cover the scale of contracts they are involved in.
7. Will I always have the same cleaning crew working at my facility?
To most, this is a very important to know before hiring cleaning company. Every facility is different and has its own particular needs and challenges. The best customer service will be delivered by a cleaning crew that understands these challenges. A great commercial cleaning company will endeavor to have the same crew working at each facility every week. They understand that establishing a relationship with the client and getting to know their facilities is very important. The only way to do that is to have a dedicated crew for that facility.