Finding a good office cleaning service does not happen by accident. Consistently good service from your office cleaning crew is a result of two key factors.
1.You must find the right company to do the job.
2. You must communicate with them.
Sounds simple enough right? These two seemingly straight forward tasks are often the hardest to get right. Finding the right office cleaning service can feel like being asked to guess how many marbles are in a jar--pure luck. But the truth is, you don’t have to rely on luck to find the right office cleaning service. Once you have found a solid office cleaning service, you need to figure out how to create and maintain the back and forth that gets the job done and increases the cleaning service’s responsiveness to your individual needs and the specific requirements of your facilities. So, what can you do to find a great office cleaning service and insure you get the consistency you deserve?
Put Time In Upfront To Find The Right Company
There are some really great office cleaning services out there. On the same note, there are some truly awful office cleaning services too. The huge variance in experience, qualifications and people is part of what makes it so challenging to find the right office cleaning service. Office cleaning is seen by some and touted by others as a business that offers low start up costs and “easy money.” Anyone who has been in business very long understands there simply is no such thing as easy money. But unfortunately, every year the office cleaning service industry gets flooded with startups, most of which are out of business in the blink of an eye. As for low start up costs, yes, the nature of most primarily service businesses is that the biggest cost is typically people, but this cost is still significant. Just because you don’t have to invest hundred of thousands of dollars to start an office cleaning service does not mean you have what it takes to find, train, manage and motivate good people, day after day. When you are considering a cleaning service, you should look first to referrals from colleagues or other facilities managers with whom you are acquainted. In the absence of referrals, be prepared to ask a lot of questions. For example, questions like:
- How do you screen prospective employees?
- How do you verify employees’ work eligibility, are all your employees legal hires?
- Do you subcontract any part of your business?
- Who supervises employees?
- Who do I call whent here is a problem?
- How do you feel about your employees?
- How do you handle complaints?
- Specifically what services are and are not included in your quote?
This list is just the beginning, but do your work up front and you will save yourself money, time and headaches down the road.
No Time? No Problem
If your plate is already way overfilled and you just don’t have the time to scrutinize several different potential office cleaning services, put existing industry associations to work for you. CIMS Certification is available to office cleaning services and other cleaning and janitorial services from the ISSA, an industry association for building service professionals. CIMS is short for Cleaning Industry Management Standards. CIMS sets forth processes, procedures, and supporting documentation shown to be typical of customer-driven organizations. The standards themselves are broken up into six areas of best practices that an office cleaning service must meet:
- Quality systems
- Service delivery
- Human resources
- Health, safety, and environmental stewardship
- Management commitment
- Green building
CIMS is voluntary but businesses that get certified understand the inherent value in making this additional commitment to excellence within their industry. Businesses that back up their commitment to the highest standards within their industry are not perfect, but in completing their certification requirements, these office cleaning companies have likely worked out the kinks and issues that other newer or uncertified companies have yet to tackle. CIMS certification directly translates into a more responsive office cleaning service for your facilities. Not only does insuring CIMS certification give you an advantage when it comes to finding the right office cleaning service but it can save you valuable time separating the good from the bad when it comes to finding a reputable and trusted office cleaning service.
Establish Good Two-way Communication With Your Contractor
Even the best office cleaning service is going to require some feedback from you to deliver consistent, top notch service. Likewise, even the most highly qualified and recommended office cleaning service is going to make mistakes. The question is, when they do, how is it handled? When you communicate and issue, does your office cleaning company use it as a learning opportunity helping them custom tailor their services to you? Or do they apathetically or even begrudgingly fix it or brush it off all together?
A solid office cleaning company that is established and successful, understands that there must be systems in place for handling customer complaints and requests. In this industry, special requests and yes, even complaints simply are par for the course. If an office cleaning service doesn’t have procedures for handling them, they are either so inexperienced they don’t yet know they need to or they just don’t care. Look for an office cleaning service that has systems in place to fine tune their services, and then use them. Tackle issues as they come up. Don’t wait until you are beyond dissatisfied to let someone know you are having a problem. A responsive office cleaning service wants you to be happy, and if you aren’t, they want to know. By finding the right company and then communicating your needs to them, you can insure you get consistently positive service and a building that reflects that.