What to look for in a new commercial cleaning company
Finding and hiring a new commercial cleaning company can be fraught with difficulties.
To begin with, how and where do you start your search? What key factors should you look for? How should you compare quotes? And how do you know if you can trust your potential commercial cleaning company to do a quality cleaning job?
Right now, as many office-based organisations start to return to the workplace, it’s a good opportunity for office managers and facilities teams to find a new commercial cleaning company that can prepare offices as safe, clean and hygienic workplaces for employees and visitors once again.
So if you’re thinking about sourcing a new contract cleaner, here are our tips on what to look for.
Key factors to look for in a commercial cleaning company
You might assume that anyone can pick up a vacuum cleaner and mop and set about cleaning an office. But it’s not quite that simple.
Commercial cleaning companies come and go, so it takes something special to stay in business and succeed for decades.
If your chosen cleaning firm has years of success behind it, they’re likely to have standards in place for quality and management.
Bringing them onboard will also be a smoother process as they’ll probably get up to speed faster than cleaning companies that are newer to the market.
References and testimonials
When you’re talking to a new potential commercial cleaning company, always be sure to ask for testimonials from existing customers.
Not all companies put customer references, case studies and testimonials on their website, especially in very competitive sectors, but they should definitely allow new potential customers to speak to existing clients.
When speaking to references, ask about some of the smaller details as well as the more obvious ones such as reliability, quality and prices.
You’re potentially going to give the keys to your offices to a 3rd party organisation – so trust is absolutely vital.
One of the main ways to establish trustworthiness (in addition to the track record and references in (1) and (2) above) is to put a face to the name of your potential provider and ensure that personal contact will be maintained beyond just the sales stage.
Ideally, find out who will be directly responsible for managing the cleaning services at your organisation on a day-to-day, week-to-week or month-to-month basis. Then, ask how often communication can be expected to take place and how many other customers your Cleaning Operations Manager will be looking after.
At Wixted Cleaning, all customers are provided with a Client Liaison Card, which acts as a record of ongoing and regular communication between the client and the Operations Manager.
Finally, if you require it, will you have access to a top-level manager or director of the commercial cleaning company if needed?
With cleaning contracts, quality is defined by cleanliness and hygiene standards, so make sure you have a written basis for what will be cleaned, in which areas of the workplace, at what times, and how regularly and in what ways.
Reliability is also key, so cleaning times and schedules must be documented via contractual terms for exactly what your organisation will receive.
Reputable commercial cleaning companies such as Wixted Cleaning operate a Client Care System, which ensures that regular communication can take place so that customers have the opportunity to discuss new issues or requirements and provide feedback.
To keep an ongoing check on quality, your commercial cleaning company should carry out regular inspections.
Cleaning operative training for health and safety
For commercial health and safety as well as cleaning effectiveness, cleaning staff must be well trained and motivated. It is therefore worth checking with your commercial cleaning company about what training measures have been undertaken.
This is particularly important in 2021 as offices and other workplaces start to re-open after the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, correct usage of fogging machines to ensure complete hygiene and cleanliness is key – but staff must be trained appropriately.
Training should be provided around cleaning materials, particularly where chemicals are involved. Ideally, your commercial cleaning company should use COSHH registered “green products” where possible and staff should be trained in cleaning equipment and processes.
Ask whether your commercial cleaning company maintains a documented training record and establish how frequently training will be refreshed.
Confidentiality and workplace induction
Your workplace is unique, and thus may have unique requirements for cleaning and hygiene.
It’s important that you learn from your intended cleaning company how their cleaning staff will be inducted into training your workplace. You’ll want to be confident that any particular cleaning issues and requirements specific to your organisation can be catered for.
Confidentiality is a very important aspect of this. For example, if your organisation works with sensitive or confidential information, it’s important that cleaning staff maintain confidentiality at all times and stay out of areas that are designated as off limits for security or confidentiality reasons.
Cleaning is a largely unregulated industry which means that certain less-than-respectable practices may be in use.
As part of your due diligence when selecting a cleaning firm, you should establish its commitment to equal opportunities.
The Equal Opportunities act holds that “no employee or worker is discriminated against either directly or indirectly on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, religious belief, political opinion or affiliation, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age or disability”.
Wixted Cleaning is a highly skilled, professional and experienced commercial cleaning organisation serving clients across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes. Founded in 2002, the company has maintained a record of continuous growth and employing over 150 people, we can offer contract office cleaning services for all kinds of workplace. This includes our disinfectant fogging services, ideal for preparing workplaces ready for employees to return to work after the lockdown.