Giving Your Commercial Cleaning Service a Pink Slip
Maybe you know it's time to get rid of your commercial cleaning service. In fact, it is probably beyond time to move on. After awhile there are no more second chances and no more trying to get your point across and get your facility’s needs met. The end of the year can be a good time to wipe the slate clean and start over with a new commercial cleaning company. Why haven’t you found a new cleaning service already? Maybe you have some reservations about taking to take the time required to get a new cleaning company up to speed. But really, your current company is keeping you plenty busy fielding complaints about their work from your tenants and playing catch-up with their missed tasks. Maybe you know your commercial cleaning service service just isn't cutting it, but you wonder, aren’t all cleaning services the same?
Is the next commercial cleaning service going to be any better than the one you have now? Or perhaps you worry that the best commercial cleaning services are beyond your budget. The reality is that you don’t have to live with a commercial cleaning service that isn’t meeting your needs. Likewise, having budget constraints does not limit you to sub par commercial cleaning services. In fact, some of the most reputable, professional commercial cleaning services are also going to be those best equipped with the knowledge and know-how to save you money.
Problems That Aren’t Fixable
So when is it time to send that frog packing and set your sights on a prince? With any commercial cleaning company you partner with, there are going to be intermittent problems that need to be addressed. Service organizations are comprised of people and people are fallible. Perfection with your commercial cleaning service is never the goal, rather the goal is consistent, responsive, reliably good service. So if everyone makes mistakes sometimes, when is time to reassess your current cleaning company? What kinds of issues are so big, so pervasive, so problematic that direction or suggestions from you are not likely make an impact or get you the solutions you are looking for?
1. An Apathy Epidemic
Passion, interest, care and concern, do any of these describe your current commercial cleaning service? If not, it might be time to bring in the replacement team. Apathy is a problem of near epidemic proportion in the service industry. The reality is you cannot do a solid job of servicing customers if you don’t really care. On that same note, apathy is like a virus and it is transmitted from the top down. If the managers don’t really care about the job being done, if they don’t have sincere concern for their customers’ satisfaction, do you think a frontline employee is going to be able to overcome that? Not likely. Sure it can be taxing to find a professional commercial cleaning service service company that really cares about what they do. But when you find that company, it makes all of the difference. There are plenty of commercial cleaning companies that love the work they do and take tremendous pride in clean facilities and happy customers, the trick is of course finding them.
2. The Human Factor
Any service industry has a foundation built on people. Get great people and the organization is strong and poised to deliver fantastic results. Get the wrong people and that shaky foundation will crumble at the first sign of difficulty. What kind of people problems will impact your business? Commercial cleaning companies that hire illegally or pay under the table couldn’t offer a clearer ‘danger’ or 'keep away' sign. Likewise, improperly screened employees present their own significant risks. Remember, your commercial cleaning service’s crew is often in your building in the evening unsupervised. Do you really want people who have not been properly vetted? Less serious but equally vexing is improperly trained employees. They may be good people who want to do a good job but with a lack of adequate training they just don’t have the tools to deliver results. Commercial cleaning service companies that take short cuts where their people are concerned are probably cutting corners everywhere. A solid, reputable commercial cleaning company identifies great people, screens them, trains them, manages them, values them and rewards high performance. This translates into low turnover and consistent service.
3. You Cannot Work Around a Lack of Training
Think cleaning toilets and floors is a no-brainer? Think again. When it comes to large scale facilities, coordinating cleaning and getting the job done well is a lot harder than you might imagine. The right commercial cleaning company must have systems and procedures in place to insure smooth, consistent service. Likewise, they must also give their teams the training and no how to do the job at the very highest levels. A solid, reputable commercial cleaning service can help you with green cleaning goals, they can customize your cleaning spec to balance your needs with your budget. Well trained employees are familiar with safe chemical storage, how to conduct themselves in a professional manner and more. Cleaning crew employees who are offered comprehensive training feel differently about their jobs, they understand their work is valued and important and it comes through in their performance.
4. Indifference Becomes the Rule Not the Exception
Perhaps your commercial cleaning service is lacking the procedures to field incoming complaints and issues. It is a common problem reported by Facility Managers that response times in getting issues addressed is often far too long. Have you gotten tired of being told, “we’re taking care of it,” but nothing ever changes? Are you tired of getting lat or no response on your complaints? Have you stopped communicating problems with your commercial cleaning service because it’s more hassle than it’s worth? If your commercial cleaning company’s indifference is catching, it’s probably time to move on.
5. Is Your Commercial Cleaning Service Consistency Inconsistent?
Maybe you are thinking sure, my commercial cleaning company is inconsistent, lacks the kind of responsiveness I would prefer but they get it right sometimes, you are setting the bar far too low. Mistakes and missed line items should be the exception not the rule. A professionally run commercial cleaning company should provide you with a cleaning specification that details exactly what work your are getting for your dollar. This sets expectations and helps everyone define success. If you have to double check everyone’s work and regularly detail what isn’t getting done, it’s likely time to move on.
It Won’t Be Easy But You Can Find a Great Commercial Cleaning Service
Commercial cleaning services run the full spectrum from great to just awful. When you have determined it’s time to find a new commercial cleaning service for your facilities, figuring out where prospective cleaning companies fall on that spectrum can be challenging. Everyone says they’re great so how do you know who is really going to partner with you to keep your facilities in good order? First, let’s note that there are some really great commercial cleaning companies out there. You don’t have to settle for sub par cleaning, even if you are working with a tight budget. There are companies that value their people, their customers and their work.
How do you find the commercial cleaning services with the values, enthusiasm, systems, and know how to deliver real results? Speak with other facility managers. Personal referrals can be a great starting point and can give more accurate information than a companies own sales pitch. Also, take your time in the selection process and trust your gut. If people are the most critical component of a service business, and they are, ask prospective commercial cleaning companies about their people. How they answer will tell you a lot about what to expect.
Professional Certification Can Be a Valuable Time Saver
Are there any shortcuts to shortlisting the commercial cleaning companies most likely to deliver on their promises to you? Thankfully, the answer is yes. You can take advantage of industry groups and industry certifications to identify the best commercial cleaning companies. Organizations like the ISSA, a professional organization centered around cleaning and maintenance, provides contractors with opportunities to secure advanced certifications in a variety of areas. These certifications are voluntary and thus a very telling measure of a commercial cleaning services commitment to their industry. The Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) certification program requires businesses to meet or exceed specifically identified standards of excellence. When individuals and companies strive to be among the best in the industry, their pride in their work is reflected in the service they give you. Choosing from ISSA CIMS certified commercial cleaning companies can help you narrow down your search and eliminate a bunch of bad eggs from the bunch and get you on your way to a partnership with the right commercial cleaning company.