The world was vastly unprepared for the disease caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2: COVID-19. The virus swept across the globe, shut down businesses, and instigated a nationwide quarantine. Commercial cleaners hit by COVID-19 were no exception. Many struggled to adapt to changing times, while others managed to thrive.

    We’ll look at several examples of cleaning companies that successfully adapted, as well as those that dropped the ball. In these examples, Company 1 has failed to successfully pivot, while Company 2 is dominating the post-COVID landscape.

    Communicating with Customers

    Customer communication is of utmost importance, especially during a pandemic, when tensions are high.

    Company 1 wasn’t prepared for the outbreak and had no idea what to tell their customers. They figured it would be “business as usual,” but they couldn’t keep up with customer questions and demands.

    Company 2 quickly made a plan to deal with increased demand. They knew that customers would be calling them more regularly and for larger jobs. Previously, Company 2 might’ve only been assigned to small spaces, like bathrooms. Now, they’re expected to clean entire offices or floors. They also give customers full transparency regarding processes, chemicals, and supplies, so there’s no room for doubt.

    Customer Success

    Any successful commercial company prioritizes customer satisfaction. Customers want to ensure that their cleaner of choice will keep them safe from COVID-19.

    Company 1 follows its pre-pandemic guidelines and doesn’t pay any attention to updates from the CDC. They’re unaware of customer concerns for EPA-approved disinfectants. Company 1 also failed to stock up ahead of time, leading to a shortage of available cleaning products.

    Company 2 assures customers that they’re following CDC guidelines to ensure maximum safety procedures. Now customers want full-scale cleaning operations instead of the previous cleanings of smaller areas. Company 2 stocks up on extra supplies to take care of larger workloads. They also have a good relationship with their supplier, which they leverage when supplies become unavailable to find alternative solutions and communicate timelines. They know that the top customer concern is using safe EPA-approved disinfectants, and they stock up accordingly.


    Customers have many more questions because everyone is worried about avoiding infection.

    Company 1 just assures customers that their services will be adequate. They think that “business as usual” is a fine philosophy to follow, even though the pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of daily life. Company 1 makes no effort to quell its customers’ questions or worries.

    Company 2 gives full transparency and talks about their products, how they will be used, and what they do. Company 2 provides great detail about every aspect of their business just to make sure the customer’s mind is at ease. They realize that establishing trust is an essential component of building relationships and ensuring that customers feel safe.

    Communication with Employees

    Commercial cleaners hit by COVID-19 have to communicate with their employees just as much as with customers. Workers need to know their duties and best practices.

    Company 1 connects with workers by using old and outdated time-tracking and communication systems. Employees often have to manually track time by recording their start and finish times on a piece of paper. Company 1 also hasn’t adopted any new technology that would make the job easier.

    Company 2 used advanced technology that records working hours and makes it easier for employees to send in timecards for payroll. Employees effortlessly clock in and out, giving them an accurate portrait of their working hours, punctuated by breaks. Company 2 also uses data to provide real-time information about supplies and scheduling and to determine larger patterns around the business.


    Cleaning gear is in high demand due to the pandemic. The US saw a 20-30% increase in demand for cleaning, which led to a sharp drop in supplies. Commercial cleaners affected by COVID-19 quickly found themselves unable to secure new face masks, sprays, wipes, gloves, or sanitizer.

    Company 1 soon found themselves empty-handed as their product supply dwindled to almost nothing. They didn’t keep track of supplies, leading to a quick shortage. Company 1 tried every online vendor out there with no luck, so they visited physical stores. These trips cost time and money, requiring staff members to go out of their way to check every relevant store in the area, only to discover those stores didn’t have the needed supplies.

    Company 2 used technology to communicate with employees and track supplies. They were able to tell which supplies needed restocking and ordered ahead of time, thanks to easy-to-use online platforms.


    Janitorial operators need to generate and send reports. These can contain all sorts of useful insights. Reports and insights generated through them are about cleaners on site, inspection reports, variance reports, etc.

    Cleaner 1 doesn’t have any reasonable method of reporting. They still rely on tracking everything manually: taking notes, making phone calls, writing things down, etc. Updates take an extraordinarily long time, leading to delays and slowdowns.

    Cleaner 2 has dashboards and reports in front of them, so they can make decisions before problems arise. These dashboards tell them everything they need to know: approved on-site cleaners, supplies, client lists, addresses, etc. Employees have all the information they need at their fingertips.


    Commercial cleaners hit by COVID-19 have many challenges on their hands. Fortunately, they’re not alone: Swept is here to help.

    Swept is dedicated to highlighting stories that touch everyone in the janitorial industry. Having started as a janitorial company, we go well beyond the janitorial software we offer. Learn more about Swept’s cleaning company software here. To keep up on all the trends in the janitorial services industry, subscribe to our blog!

    Swept’s janitorial software helps janitorial company owners build trust with clients and get ahead of the competition by giving them the tools they need to spend more time managing their business and less time working in it.

    To see how Swept can help your janitorial company grow, schedule a free demonstration with one of our experts today!


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