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What to Ask When Choosing an Office Cleaning Service

How to determine which commercial cleaning service is the right fit for your business.

H iring new team members for your business demands thoroughness and care. You likely have go-to interview questions you ask job candidates when considering their qualifications. So why not apply that same due diligence when selecting a commercial cleaning service?

You should, of course, ask potential cleaning vendors how much their services cost, along with typical questions about experience, licensing, and insurance. And you will want to request a list of references. Indeed, the answers to those common inquiries can help you determine whether prospective providers meet the minimum requirements for professional cleaning companies. But they won’t explain how the cleaning service will satisfy your specific needs.

Here’s a list of questions intended to help you best determine whether a cleaning service is a good fit for your company.

Do you specialize in cleaning specific business types or facility sizes?

Cleaning services often have particular niches or sweet spots they fill, which can work to your advantage. Companies heavy on experience with physicians’ offices or schools, for example, are familiar with the specific cleaning needs of those facilities. And some companies might be best staffed to service buildings of particular sizes or ranges, such as 10,000 to 100,000 square feet. You’ll want to find a commercial cleaning service well suited for your situation.

How flexible is your scheduling?

Whether it means cleaning after or during your regular business hours, a commercial cleaning service must be able to work around your schedule—not the other way around. Ask about a customized program that allows you to stipulate the service level you want, such as daily, weekly, or monthly service, to address your specific needs.

How do you ensure your service quality?

Professional cleaning companies have long relied on customer feedback to gauge perceived service quality and customer satisfaction. But today’s business leaders expect vendors to measure their actual results. Therefore, top companies now employ industry metrics and inspection software to assess the consistency of their service. Make sure a vendor can adequately track and respond to any quality issues that arise.

Do you use subcontractors to provide any of your services?

It’s common for vendors to outsource some of the services they provide, especially during today’s labor shortage. Subcontracting often results in economies of scale that vendors share with customers through lower prices. However, if a cleaning company says it uses subcontractors, it’s good to ask this follow-up: How do you ensure the quality of the services you outsource? Whether a cleaning vendor’s services are self-provided or subcontracted, you should expect its quality standards to remain unchanged.

What type of cleaning products do you use?

High-traffic business settings can become prone to dirt and germs that are too tough for household cleaners to tackle. But some commercial-grade cleaning and disinfecting products are toxic or corrosive, posing potential risks to your staff. Ask would-be cleaning vendors about the supplies they use. While proven effective against germs and viruses, products should be EPA-approved and free of bleach, phosphates, and other harsh chemicals.

How do you screen your employees?

Your cleaning company’s employees will be inside your business, so you want to ensure they are trustworthy. After-hours cleaners will have access to keys and alarm codes, proprietary information, and inventory. Many cleaning companies perform criminal background checks on new hires and periodic illegal substance screening on active employees to protect their clients. Ask what steps the vendor takes to keep its employees from endangering your business or its reputation.

Are you more than a cleaning company?

Some successful cleaning companies offer services beyond janitorial work. Full-service facility management and maintenance companies repair heating and air conditioning systems, handle lightbulb replacement, perform lawn care, and much more. And many will create a preventative maintenance schedule that’s appropriate for your facility. Be sure to ask what else your cleaning vendor can do for you.

Hiring new team members for your business demands thoroughness and care. So why not apply that same due diligence when selecting a commercial cleaning service?

We offer commercial cleaning services throughout northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Creating customizable schedules and services is our specialty.

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