Five Questions To Ask Your Contract Cleaner


Posted on: 28 March 2015 by Joanne Miller

It's getting close to the point where you need to make a decision. You've defined what you'll need in your cleaning service, drawn up a shortlist of contractors, and done a building walkthrough and first meeting with your prospective cleaners. What's next? There are 5 questions you should ask every contractor on your short list, to help you make your decision with confidence.


1. How do they handle high touch points and remove germs?

There are two kinds of professional commercial cleaning company -- the ones who clean for a clean appearance, and the ones who clean to achieve cleanliness. It may not seem like a major distinction initially, but how can you know something that looks clean is actually clean, instead of merely being tidy?

From the standpoint of microbiology, cleaning so your space merely looks clean does not at all necessarily ensure that bacteria and germs won't spread. It's an issue which can threaten your workforce and your business's productivity as much as any other factor, and you don't want to have to inspect the cleaning job with a black light. Ultimately it comes down to how well they identify "high touch" points and then sanitise them properly.

2. Who are the staff who will be cleaning your office?

This ranges from whether they will be sending trained and experienced staff to cover absenteeism, to whether the same cleaning team will be working at your office each time.

You'd like to know who will be entering your office whilst your staff is offsite. When your regular cleaner is absent, you should not find the regular cleaning work isn't done properly (or even done at all). The person who covers for your cleaner should be trustworthy and vetted, otherwise your information, confidentiality, and property might be at risk. Some cleaning agencies will insist on using their own employees to cover absent staff -- others will bring on agency temps, who often lack motivation or are casuals and not even covered by liability insurance, vetting, or training. Some are even illegal workers.

Similarly, it can be helpful to have a cleaner or cleaning team who is specifically employed for your contract, so they take ownership and pride in keeping your offices clean.

3. What cleaning will you get?

Poor communication and quality control must be avoided. You should be provided with an agreed cleaning specification document, constructed based on the walkthrough and discussions with you, the client. The document allows you to see exactly what you can expect to get from the service, just as it provides clear instructions to the cleaners. You should make sure the agreement specifies how many hours worth of cleaning you're actually paying for.

4. Is there a visible quality control service?

How will the cleaning company do quality control? Ideally they should provide inspection visits and regular inspection reports. The greater the level of transparency and communication, the happier you will be in the long term.

5. Is there a single point of accountability?

One of the major frustrations of calling large service providers regarding an issue is being connected with someone whom you don't know and who doesn't know you or their company's history of delivering service to you. Ideally you want to have a single point of contact or accountability where you can call to have issues addressed.

The answers for this questionnaire were generously provided by some of the leading companies in residential and commercial cleaning: Alpha Cleaning Chicago, Can Do Cleaners Sydney, Master Cleaners London.

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