9 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU HIRE A COMMERCIAL CLEANING/JANITORIAL SERVICES COMPANY
It’s difficult to know which commercial cleaning company to choose in Rochester and the broader Monroe County area — there are so many out there. The worst part is picking the wrong one can lead to months of a difficult working relationship and an environment that isn’t up to your standards.
We will be the first to admit that many of our local peers are great companies and will provide excellent service. As a matter of fact, if we don’t think we can help your business meet its cleanliness goals, we’re happy to give your referrals! No matter which company you speak with, asking these nine questions will help you narrow down the field and pick the best candidate.
- WILL I NEED TO SIGN A LONG-TERM CONTRACT OR WILL IT BE A MONTH-TO-MONTH?
Some cleaning companies lock you into a one-year contract. This is a problem if the relationship turns rocky.
It’s always better to have a contract or service agreement that allows for a 30-day termination. This gives you and the janitorial company the flexibility to change direction if the company isn’t working out.
In truth, only a few local companies have 1-year contracts, while most of us go for month-to-month relationships. Make sure you know what you’re getting into.
- HOW CAN I BE SURE YOUR EMPLOYEES ARE WORKING THE CONTRACTED HOURS?
A lot of cleaning company employees skimp on hours – you pay 3 people for 8 hours a night. How can you verify if these people are putting in the time? Is it laziness or efficiency? If your cleaning company is stuck in the dark ages of having employees with paper forms, you could be getting gypped.
One option is to ask what technology the company is using to track hours and routines. For instance, at ADC we usually use Swept, an app created by a real functioning janitorial services company. This kind of technology eliminates any possibility of fudging the numbers and ensures you’re getting the service you’re paying for.
What’s more, clients can communicate with this app. For instance, you can take a picture of a carpet stain and send it to us, and we’ll say “Yep, we’re on it.” And we’ll clean it that night.
- DO YOU HAVE FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES OR SUBCONTRACTORS WHO WORK PART-TIME?
Many companies use 1099 contractors who might or might not have work permits. The turnover rate is high. This low commitment to the company results in very little trust between clients and cleaning employees.
Figure out how the company screens its employees and the average rate of turnover. You don’t want the hassle of letting a dishonest person inside your business during lonely hours.
You’re looking for companies that only have W2 employees and are either citizens or have work permits. You want to contract with a janitorial services company with real, long-term employees who are trustworthy.
- ARE YOU USING GREEN, ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PRODUCTS?
While this is a personal preference for your company, keep in mind that with so many chemical sensitivities today, exposing your staff and customers to the widespread irritants in cleaning solutions could be a recipe for disaster.
When possible, we choose Earth and friendly products that are third-party certified by companies such as Green Seal, EcoLogo, and DFE. But we would never sacrifice functionality for the sake of staying green – the first priority is always cleanliness.
- IS THIS A LOCAL COMPANY OR LOCATED OUT OF STATE?
Did you know that the biggest cleaning companies are based on the East Coast and are owned by hedge fund managers? Unfortunately, this detachment from the place where the work is done can result in poor service.
Figuring out the headquarters location can give you a clue about the local commitment of your commercial cleaning services.
It can also be useful to ask whether they are a franchise or privately owned. A Deeper Clean is a local company, based here in Western New York (Rochester! Greece to be exact) and we service the larger Monroe County area. The owners are long-term Monroe County residents. We love this place and are committed to serving the area.
- WHO WILL BE THE POINT PERSON I COMMUNICATE WITH?
Make sure to figure out who to talk to. The owner, manager or cleaner? Also, make sure to figure out the proper way to communicate – Phone? Text? Email? Cleaning app?
If they only want phone calls, and you prefer email, you should figure that out before you lock in with them. Also, make sure you have access to the person you want to communicate with and that there are no language barriers.
- CAN YOU PROVIDE CUSTOMER REFERENCES FOR YOUR SPECIFIC TYPE OF CLEANING OR BUILDING?
Some businesses need specialized cleaning equipment. For instance, supermarkets require special equipment to polish the floor, and some car dealerships need special cleaning for hard surfaces. Ensure your cleaning company has experience in cleaning your type of building and ask for references.
References are the best way to ensure you’re dealing with someone who has the experience and the professional know-how to clean your space.
If a company can’t provide any references, it’s a red flag that they don’t have good relationships with their clients.
- HOW LONG ON AVERAGE DO CLIENTS STAY WITH YOU?
The worst janitorial service companies have a high rate of turnover, even though some businesses pick a company and stay with them for a long time.
So ask about the company’s oldest client – how long have they been working with a certain business?
For a reference point, we’ve been working with many of our clients from Day 1.
- WHAT EXTRA SERVICES CAN YOU PROVIDE?
Why hire three or four companies when one will do? Simplify your life by finding an office cleaning company that does much more than cleaning.
Here are some of the services you might need now or in the future:
- Window cleaning, especially external
- Light bulb repair and maintenance
- General handyman services: building cabinets, installing anti-bird spikes, construction clean-up, carpet cleaning
We either provide all the services above or have individuals available to bring aboard for those projects within hours. Many office cleaning companies have limited services they offer. Check before you start a relationship with a company.
Let us know if you have any questions! If you are in the larger Monroe County area, please contact us if you would like a complimentary quick quote.