So you’re ready to hire a cleaning company but how do you choose the right service provider? Who can you trust and what factors should you consider? Read on for 7 major factors to consider when hiring a cleaning service.
1. They aren’t insured & bonded
Not having liability, worker’s compensation and bonding insurance should always be a deal breaker.
When they aren’t covered, neither are you, meaning you are liable for any theft or damage caused when they are on your property. If they don’t have worker’s compensation covering their employees and someone gets hurt on your property, the company or individual cleaner can sue your business.
Do they claim to have it? Ask them to prove it. A professional cleaning company will always provide you with copies of their insurance certificates prior to start of work.
2. They don’t have a real guarantee
Companies who are confident in the quality of their work will always guarantee it because they’re confident and willing to be held accountable for their service.
If complaints happen, and they inevitably will at some point, a company should be willing and able to go above and beyond to make it right.
Do they claim to have a guarantee? Ask them what it is.
If it's merely "we'll come out and fix our mistakes." that's not a real guarantee but rather a minimum expectation of service.
A guarantee says a lot about the level of service you can expect - so make sure it's a good one!
3. They send a “warm body” to clean
Beware of cleaning zombies! Many cleaning companies are guilty of the warm body syndrome. That is, hiring the nearest living, breathing human willing to do the job, regardless of background, language barriers or training.
Allowing an outsider access to your business, providing keys, alarm codes, etc., requires a lot of trust and you should not trust a company who will send any person off the street just to get the job done.
Ask the company how they hire their employees. What are their hiring requirements? What is their training program like? If they can’t provide clear cut answers to these questions, chances are they will send you a warm body and you may be putting your business at risk.
4. Their employees aren’t identifiable
Employees of a cleaning company should always come to work in uniform – whether that is a company shirt, a sweatshirt or a full suit. Allowing people, often strangers, into your business requires a lot of trust and not having uniformed employees poses a security threat.
Are you or your staff present during the cleaning? If the answer is yes, they should still be in uniform. There is a lot of turnover in this industry and your cleaner might be different from one day to the next so having a way to identify them as an employee of the cleaning company is crucial.
Are you or your staff away during the cleaning? If the answer is yes, it’s even more important that they are in uniform. Whether an issue requires security footage to be reviewed or the alarm goes off and the cops show up, having someone in the building without proper identification creates headaches for everyone.
5. They don’t inspect for quality
If a cleaning company does not employ multiple methods to ensure quality, you are better off managing the work yourself.
A good service provides just that - a service. Yes, at the most basic level they clean, but on a higher level they fully manage that process to ensure that the standard of work is consistently upheld and the customer is always satisfied.
Ask them what they do to ensure quality – it could range from quality control checks performed by managers, employee training programs and incentives, on-site supervisors, etc.
A bad company will employ none – run. A decent company will employ one – consider, but beware. A good company will employ multiple.
6. They don’t communicate
Good communication is critical to any successful relationship and cleaning is no different. Here are three ways they must be able to communicate:
1. Do their employees speak English? While many workers in this industry are immigrants and do not speak English as a first language, they should be conversational in English at a minimum.
2. Does the company communicate with their employees? A company who sends their employees out on a job but never speaks to them is not managing. Employees in the field and in the office should be in constant contact regarding issues or questions that arise at each site, quality of work and other issues. Ask them how often they are in contact with their employees.
3. Does the company communicate with you? The level of communication in the beginning sets the tone for what to expect for the duration of the relationship. You probably don’t want to be communicating via phone or email with your cleaning company everyday, but you should be wary of a company who is not willing to do that with you. Issues may not arise everyday, but you want a company who is communicative, keeping you abreast of any changes, questions or problems at your business as they occur. Conversely, you want them to be available and willing to speak to you when you have a problem, question or need to communicate some changes regarding your account.
Can’t meet all three points of communication? Don’t waste your time.
7. They are wiling to work for next-to-nothing
Sure you have a budget and the cheaper the price the more attractive it will seem, but don’t be fooled by those willing to work for a price that seems too good to be true.
The really cheap ones are cheap for a reason - they don’t have any overhead because they aren’t a real business, they merely find someone willing to clean your space, pay them (likely under the table) & leave it at that. They aren’t checking on the work, fairly treating their employees or providing you with a real service.
This might work out well in the beginning but it will not last long - quality will drop and you’ll find yourself back at square one in no time.
We aren’t saying budget shouldn’t be a factor, just don’t let it be the only one. More often than not, you get what you pay for.
At the end of the day a cleaning company is a business.
Due to the low barrier of entry into the cleaning industry there are many people out there running cleaning companies who don’t understand how to properly run a business and serve clients. They think that because they know how to clean they can have a successful business - but there is a lot more to it.
Protect your business and beware of those who cannot meet these criteria. They may dazzle you with discounts and promise you the world, but at the end of the day you need to ensure that they can deliver on those promises and not cause your business harm than good.