For contract cleaning companies, office cleaning is the most competitive market to enter. Some organizations change their cleaners on a regular basis, every year or some even every six months because they can’t look for a company that will regularly fulfill their requirements. What we find is that these companies do not have a distinct indication of what is expected from the clean. After a while, they complain that standards have gone down.
This phrase ‘standards have fallen’ is oft repeated by a company representative who’s complaining about the cleaning. So you ask what aspect of the cleaning has or isn’t being done. The reply is often along the lines of, well it’s all being done but the standard is not what we’ve come to expect. So after this you ask if they can give specific examples so that these could be rectified. Answer: ‘not really, it is just that standards have fallen’. This is the most frustrating part if you’re the cleaning services company. So you go in to check out the premises, talk to the company and to the cleaners. Quite often, you are able to find nothing is actually wrong with the cleaning and that everything according to the contract is being fulfilled. This might very well be the start of the process of the company attempting to replace you.
Why does this happen? It can happen for numerous reasons, but the main reason is that the customer’s expectations of the cleaning process is not reflected in the cleaning schedule, as it changes with time or it might simply be unrealistic and doesn’t take account of natural deterioration in the building.
For example it might be that certain employees have found cup rings on their desk and complained that these are not being cleaned. The cleaners when approached about this maintain that they could never clean that particular desk because it’s always packed with documents. Or somebody has moved their workstation and complained about the amount of fluff and dirt gathered around the wiring of their computer. Because of this, the cleaners are clearly not doing a good job.
How are these problems overcome? The best way of avoiding these problems is to carry out a cleaning survey of the premises by which such details could be highlighted and a possible remedy suggested. For instance desks can be polished on a rota system and when it’s time for a particular block of desks to be polished, the individuals whose desks are being done are informed of the upcoming clean and instructed to clear their surfaces. If they don’t then they cannot complain if they’re not polished.
Having made an in depth cleaning survey, it should then be probable to take a seat with the client and talk about which parts they’d want to take up and which can be overlooked. On this basis, a quote can then be offered. Both parties are then very clear as to the extent and standard of the clean. So what was subjective before it becomes objective and measurable. The cleaners ought to know just what is expected of them and the customer ought to have a more realistic and objective appraisal of the cleaning. Cleaning surveys completed correctly can save you complaints and the potential loss of contracts.
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