At Universal Janitorial Services, we’re often asked about our policies, whether they are about securing your property, cleaning your facility, or maintaining quality standards, so we thought it might be interesting to explore the different aspects of what to look for when choosing a commercial cleaning company. Here are a couple of items to think about, and we’ll offer more in our future blog posts.
Cleaning is not one of the top priorities of running your business, so most companies outsource their commercial cleaning needs to focus their efforts on where they can add the most value. Commercial cleaning services just needs to be exceptional without you having to spend time on follow-up and managing it. If you have to follow up, the the value of outsourcing it is drastically reduced.
No one will ever notice the “cleaner” if they deliver a constant high-quality service … so if the quality is consistent, no spots missed, then the service is great .. or?
Well, the service can be great but if I get inconsistent bills for the service, then I will start wondering what all the extra hours are for, so transparency is required.
What Is Really Important To You?
Making a list of what you are really looking for in a commercial cleaning company is therefore essential when you take stock of what you are looking for.
Some of the priorities we find make commercial clients satisfied are:
- Consistent high-quality cleaning
- A Clear & Documented Cleaning Plan
- Easy communication and hand-off of cleaning needs (Do they have a cleaning app we can communicate on?)
- Trust and security
- No need to follow up, it just gets done right (Do you confirm completed cleaning schedule and special requests on your cleaning app?)
- Is the use of Green Cleaning products important to you?
- Simple and transparent invoicing.
- Affordable pricing.
- Ratings & Reviews
So what do you need to look for to evaluate if a commercial cleaning company will deliver this service?
Consistent High-Quality Cleaning Service
There are a few elements that are required for a commercial cleaning company to provide a high-quality janitorial cleaning service like
- High-staff retention to ensure improvement, consistency, and efficiency.
- Documented Cleaning Plan for the cleaning crew and quality control to following a quality process.
- Deliberate cleaning quality control to identify what needs to be better, and ensure accountability.
- A profound interest and focus on “customer satisfaction”.
Documented Cleaning Plan
The cleaning plan serves as managing expectations between you and the commercial cleaning company, it’s the checklist for the cleaning crew and the quality control manager.
For you to understand if a janitorial company is really specialized in your industry, you need to see a cleaning plan specifically for your industry.
What a cleaning plan does:
- A checklist for the cleaning crew
- A quality check for the quality control manager
- The cleaning report documenting each cleaning visit.
A cleaning plan should include:
- Cleaning specifications for each type of space/room
- Frequency of cleaning for each cleaning activity
- Which consumables should be replenished.
- Cleaning supplies used (e.g. eco-friendly/green cleaning products).
- Names of cleaning staff assigned to your premises
The commercial cleaning company should have a cleaning report for every visit as documentation and quality control, and even better, share the cleaning reports with you to be transparent and intentional about their service quality.
How Is Quality Control Ensured?
A dedicated quality control manager who monitors cleaning across ALL cleaning jobs is the only way that quality can improve and stay consistent. Short of a quality control manager, you will become the quality feed-back which is not what you want.
A process for quality control is important for any commercial cleaning services. If quality is not measured, then there is no process for delivering a consistently high-quality service.
On-site quality control
Quality control includes a follow up on the cleaning quality after a cleaning visit against the cleaning plan included in your proposal
Have regular status meetings
The commercial cleaning company may feel they provide the service that you have asked for, but what if their items have been broken and not reported, or assumed that it was cleaning that broke it?
A frequent face-to-face meeting is the best way to adjust your service to make you happy and ensure that you do not have to follow up on your cleaning service.
Trust & Security
Does the cleaning company have an employee background check process that ensures your requirements for:
- History and level of background check
- Fingerprint documentation
- I-9 filled the form to ensure that foreign cleaning staff members are lawfully allowed to work in the country.
Is the cleaning crew uniformed so that they are easily identifiable on your premises?
Does the cleaning company have the required insurance?
- Liability Insurance to cover damages on your premises
- Workman’s comp insurance in case any of the cleaning staff is injured.
Datasheets on cleaning products
MSDS and SDS cleaning product data sheets for products used and stored on your premises
Green Cleaning Products
Is eco-friendly green cleaning important to you?
You may have a specific requirement for your janitorial cleaning company to use green cleaning products whenever possible.
Today a lot of commercial cleaning services are using green cleaning products just because they are just as efficient and no more expensive than other cleaning products that are harsher on the environment.
If using green cleaning products is important to you, make sure you get documentation (data sheets) on the cleaning products used by the cleaning company that you intend to use.
We frequently hear from our new clients that they are unhappy with their current janitorial service company because they don’t understand why they are often receiving extra invoices for services they think are part of the basic cleaning service.
Having a simple and transparent cleaning cost is very important and if the proposal includes conditions for additional charges, it should be very clear for you and the cleaning company.
The janitorial cleaning companies are generally offering affordable pricing and can adjust it to suit your budget.
Choosing a commercial cleaning company that offers a specialty service in your industry may offer an edge in both efficiency and cost, that serves your interest.
The major drivers of your cleaning cost will be
- The square footage of your facility
- The frequency of cleaning
- The Number of offices, restrooms and break rooms/kitchens.
So if you need to bring down the cost, a good idea will be to discuss with the cleaning company during the quoting face, how e.g. frequency can be reduced, or if cleaning outside office hours is an option.
Ratings & Reviews
Recommendations and reviews are a great way to evaluate a cleaning service but in a lot of cases, these “reviews” are handpicked and not always trustworthy. So be careful of not attributing too much weight on “recommendations” unless the recommendations are plentiful.
The amount of reviews on Google My Business page is another way you can check the company’s cleaning service, but as you know, a lot of businesses are hesitant to leave public reviews for one reason or another, so you may not always find a lot of reviews.
For how long have the company served its clients on average?
When receiving proposals, ask the cleaning company how many clients they have and how long they have serviced the individual clients. This will give you a good picture of both the cleaning quality and customer service level they provide.
If there are no reviews on the website or on the cleaning company’s Google My Business, then you need to consider if this is the right company to ask for a proposal.