Now more than ever, finding a reputable, trusted cleaning company is of the highest importance. Keeping up with the new health and safety standards means keeping businesses open and everyone working. If the pandemic has you looking to reassess your standards, or to hire a professional cleaning company for the first time, you’ve come to the right place. We can walk you through how to find a trusted cleaning company—what to look for, and the right questions to ask. After all, it’s kind of what we do.
1. If You Don’t Ask (or Search), You’ll Never Know
First off, it’s on you to do some homework. Inquiring about their business background and researching reviews in the early stages of looking for a reputable cleaning company is always a good idea. Look up reviews online and search for testimonials. When you do make contact, don’t be afraid to ask for references, either. Ask about the company’s history, for example how long they’ve been in business and what kinds of clients they’re currently working with. You also want to find a cleaning company that’s well established, as those are more likely to have proper processes in place which means less headaches for you. Ideally, the company works with clients that are similar to your business, which ensures that they know how to hire and train cleaners properly, and already have a general understanding of your cleaning needs. For example, cleaning companies working with daycares, restaurants, fitness centres, dentist offices, and office spaces already understand the general cleaning needs for those industries.
2. How Do They Hire and Train Their Team?
Knowing how a professional janitorial company hires (and trains) their cleaners is essential. Ask about background checks and what kind of screening processes are in place. All commercial cleaning companies should complete criminal record checks of their employees —- but that doesn’t mean they always do (so ask!). Make sure that the cleaning company knows every new hire’s employment history, and thoroughly checks out their references. Next, ask for details on the training program for new hires. You want to find a cleaning company that can provide customized training to ensure that your unique cleaning needs will be met. Take note of what their employee turnover rate is—this could signal if there will be problems with quality and consistency when cleaning for you. The cleaning industry faces high employee turnover (averaging from 100 to 400% annually), so dig deeper and ask how the company deals with turnover. Do they focus on recruitment and speedy onboarding (to offset the high turnover), or do they have lower than average turnover numbers. Lower turnover shows the company supports their cleaners and maintains long-term employees (as a client, this is what you want!).
3. Quality Assurance & Pandemic Protocols
How a cleaning company actually tracks and manages the quality of their cleaners’ work is important information. It’s great for them to promise they can meet your needs, but how do they make sure it is happening on an on-going basis? Some cleaning companies use technology that can help facilitate problem reporting, open lines of communication, and easily find information from inspections. Field management software like Swept can send inspection reports via email with ratings, photos and specific details. No matter how they handle quality assurance, it’s a question you need to ask. Given the new post-pandemic standards, communication and assurance are key factors in finding and trusting a cleaning company. New kinds of tracking will need to be in place to ensure that pandemic protocols are being followed every single day. Ask them what their plan is for reporting on the new cleaning procedures, and how they will stay up-to-date on training and education around the pandemic as it evolves.
This is a straightforward question that needs to be asked. Is the cleaning company insured, and is it the proper insurance that’s required by your state’s regulations? A commercial cleaner should have general liability insurance, worker compensation insurance, automobile liability insurance and umbrella coverage. Some cleaning companies avoid these expenses and in turn charge you a lower rate, however, this puts you at risk if an accident ever happened while a cleaner was working in your office. As a former cleaning company owner, our CEO included proof of insurance with all cleaning quotes.
5. Do I Have to Sign a Contract?
First off, it’s important to note that contracts exist to protect both parties in a business arrangement. Not having one can leave you vulnerable to a slew of potential issues. Does the cleaning company provide a contract? Are you comfortable being locked into a contract with this cleaning company? If they do want you to sign a contract for the cleaning services, carefully consider the terms and have all your questions fully answered before signing. Ask about pandemic clauses and how a future pandemic could affect the contract. One big thing to look at is a satisfaction guarantee—what happens if the work is below expected quality? Some companies will bid low just to win the business, but this doesn’t mean the work will be high quality. Compare the rates to your other quotes, fully evaluate the packages and pick the one that’s the best long-term experience for your business. Be sure to find out how they will invoice for the contract.
6. Communication is Key
This one is a biggie. Ask the cleaning company how they handle communication between their team and clients. Your cleaning company needs to be able to pass on issues or client requests to their cleaners in real-time in order to be properly responsive. Get details on their communication system and make sure it allows cleaners to always have the most up-to-date instructions when they’re onsite.
7. Tech and Tools of the Trade
There are a few technological options out there that can set a cleaning company apart from the competition. Ask if the company uses any kind of janitorial software to help run their business. If the answer is yes, this can signal that the company takes servicing its clients very seriously. Janitorial software like Swept allows cleaning companies to effectively communicate with clients and their teams—it ensures the highest quality and most responsive service available. Problems are a reality of life, so find out how they mitigate, identify, and take action to solve them. Note: Software has solved this problem!
8. Lets Recap
If you started this article not knowing a lot about the inner workings of a commercial cleaning company, this may seem like a lot to take in. So here’s the cliffnotes version:
- Doing your homework and proper research is essential to finding the right cleaning company for your business.
- Due diligence will ensure that you ask the right questions and connect with a company that will meet your needs, and have realistic expectations.
- Make it a priority to find a janitorial services company that has made COVID-19 cleaning and sanitization protocols a strength through proper training and education that is on-going.
- Huge bonus points for companies that said goodbye to pen & paper and have embraced software. After all, everyone wants to see businesses stay open and people getting back to work, and taking cleaning protocols seriously will help these efforts in the long term.
We hope this article was helpful in assisting your search for the right cleaning company. Of course, we know this is just scratching the surface of the know-how you’ll have to equip yourself within the coming months, but we hope this will push your learning in all the right directions. Looking for more tips and tricks to help your company choose wisely in selecting their next janitorial provider?
Once you have a few quotes, check out our blog on How to Compare Cleaning Companies.
Your friends at Swept.