Looking for a new janitorial service to clean your building?
If you’ve done a Google search for “janitorial service in NYC” you will know there are thousands of vendors who are competing for your business. How do you possibly sort through them all and find the best one for your space? We’ve put together a list of what you should require at a minimum of a professional janitorial service company that you are considering as a vendor.
1) Insurance and Bonding
All reputable janitorial services should carry general liability insurance and janitorial bonding. General liability insurance is the most common form of commercial insurance a business can carry. It protects that business, the employees and the customers from claims resulting from property damage, bodily injuries, advertising lawsuits, as well as broken furniture and equipment.
Janitorial bonding is a specific type of insurance, normally in the form of a surety bond. It protects customers if property or belongings are stolen by a business’ unethical employee. Bonding is essential for cleaning service companies since most cleaning services are performed after business hours, in spaces with expensive office equipment and personal belongings.
2) Professional, Background Checked, Employees
Employees are the backbone and foundation of every cleaning service company. As a blue-collar, labor intensive industry, a cleaning company is only as good as its management, supervisors, and front-line cleaners. That’s why it is painstakingly important to make sure that you get to know the company management or your account manager, and the cleaner or cleaners who are going to be cleaning your space.
Professionalism speaks volumes about a business. Are the cleaners friendly and approachable when in your space, or are they closed off? That would raise a red flag for us, as all top cleaning companies train their employees in communication. How does your account manager respond and rectify a complaint or issue? Is he or she defensive and hard-headed, or are they apologetic and proactive? A good account manager will always respond positively to a complaint and rectify the problem immediately. Do you get a good vibe from the cleaners and management? In this day and age of political correctness and the age of information, it’s vitally important for companies to treat their staff well. If a company’s employees don’t seem happy to be there, then eventually it will affect their work and you’ll be searching for a new vendor.
Background checks are important for screening employees – these checks aren’t performed to blindly eliminate any prospective candidates, but rather to learn more about an individual. Background checks are especially important for janitorial service companies because employees often have keys and security codes to expensive buildings housing expensive items. If a prospective employee who is not qualified shows a consistent and recent history of theft, then that could be a red flag for a cleaning operator and could indicate that a prospective employee is not a good fit for the job.
3) Clear and Transparent Pricing
As a smart consumer, it’s always important to understand what you’re getting for your money. Here are some questions and factors to consider with janitorial service pricing:
1. Am I billed per hour, per cleaning or per month?
2. Is equipment, chemicals, and supplies included in billing?
3. Are there price increases?
4. What are the terms – NET 15, NET 30, etc.?
5. Can I pay by credit card?
4) Quality Control
What is quality control and why is it important? Quality control is a process that ensures a certain level of service quality, and is implemented through a system of checks, balances, and rectifications. Quality control is important in the cleaning service industry, because customers pay for a certain level of quality of cleaning services, and almost all of the work is performed on the client’s premises, outside of the supervisory control of the cleaning company. Here are a few of the most common types of systems for quality control.
Cleaning checklists are an underrated tool for any business that utilizes processes. In the cleaning industry, it’s crucial for cleaning employees to understand what is required at the client’s facility, plus a checklist allows them to double-check their work for completion.
An inspection by a supervisor accomplishes many goals. An inspection can be scheduled or random. It provides an evaluation of the current state of the facility. It allows the supervisor to work with the cleaner in person and on site. It’s a great tool to keep cleaning employees on their toes and performing work to the highest level. It also enables the company to pinpoint areas of improvement for both the cleaner and the client’s job site.
Interacting with your clients on a regular basis is extremely important for maintaining a level of communication that allows for feedback – whether it be a small complaint or a larger issue. This can be accomplished through simple emails, monthly satisfaction surveys, or quarterly in-person walk-throughs at the client’s facility.
Following a supervisor inspection or client communication if there are any complaints or issues requiring rectification, corrective action should be taken. This can be accomplished through an employee meeting, training session, or an on-site visit.
Insurance and bonding, professional and background checked employees, clean and transparent pricing, and a quality control program are the bare minimum requirements one should expect when searching for a janitorial service company. Once services begin, there will be a plethora of other questions and issues to sort through. At least you will be reassured knowing that you have the proper legal protection in place, you have a good feeling about the company and its staff, you know what you’re paying for, and they have a good system in place for ensuring a certain level of cleaning quality. You’ll be ahead of the game if you follow the above 4 guidelines and most importantly you’ll have peace of mind.