Don’t just ask for the rates, ask for information as to why they charge the rate. What kind of service are you going to be getting?
Do they offer packages? How many employees will be cleaning your office at a time and how long will it take?
You want to know how much you’re being charged but you also want to know why. If company A offers you an “Everything” kind of package, then you’ll need a good reason to go with company B, who only offers half the service at the same price.
Ask for a detailed list of services offered and ask for a discount on anything on the list that does not apply to you.
2. Do You Perform Background Checks?
The problem with commercial cleaning services is the turnover is usually high. As mentioned previously, not many people enjoy cleaning.
Unfortunately, some businesses allow shady characters to slip through the cracks because they can get away with paying them substandard wages. Illegal immigrants or felons may have a hard time finding employment. This is the kind of job they may go after.
If this makes you uncomfortable, make sure to ask about background checks. For the ultra-paranoid, you may want to consider installing security cameras in your office.
Many businesses have computers and paper documents that contain sensitive information. If the cleaning service is coming in after hours, make sure computers are password protected and sensitive documents are locked away.
3. Are You Insured?
In the event something is lost or stolen, you want to make sure your financially covered. However, the most realistic scenario is the cleaners may cause damage to your business or property.
Hiring uninsured commercial cleaning services may save you some cash, but if the worst case scenario happens, you’ll be losing much more. Make sure to verify this coverage with any insurance company they claim to work with.
4. Do You Bring Your Own Supplies?
Do you like to unnecessarily spend hundreds of dollars every year? No? Is this because unnecessary costs are one of the many reasons businesses don’t make it?
Many commercial cleaning businesses advertise cheap service. Then you find out after hiring them that you need to provide your own supplies. This is great for the cleaning business, not so great for you.
If you’re going to buy all of the supplies, you might as well hire a cleaning person to keep on staff. If you choose to go this route, start with the carpets. You can find a great write-up at Bissell Big Green Commercial about how to properly clean your carpets.
The one exception is if you or a staff member are allergic or sensitive to a particular chemical, your cleaning service will likely require you to keep your desired products on site. This way, it will be used by their service and only for your building.
5. Do You Provide a Contract?
Don’t want to get stuck with services you aren’t paying for? Get all of your questions answered before hiring and make sure it is put into writing.
This will keep disagreements from happening in the future. Make sure you sign off on the contract and so does a member of management from the commercial cleaning services business.
6. How Long Have You Been in Business?
While the owner of a brand new cleaning business might be more energetic and eager for clients, they may not be the best choice, depending on your needs.
However, this can also be a great opportunity for you to help the community by hiring a new business. You may get a discounted service in exchange for word of mouth referrals and a testimonial.
When conducting interviews, trust your gut and if the new business seems like the type of company you would enjoy doing business with, don’t be scared to pull the trigger just because they’re new.
7. Tell Me About Your Employees
What’s Your Employee Turnover?
Stay away from commercial cleaning services who’ve been around for years but all of their employees have been on staff for less than a year. This is a sign something is horribly wrong on the inside.
What Kind of Training do Your Employees Receive?
If the commercial cleaning services just hand someone a broom and tell them to get to work, this is a huge red flag.
Cleaning, believe it or not, is a science and an artform. To do it well and in a timely fashion is something few people are capable of doing.
Look for a business who cares enough about its workers to give them proper training, either in-house or through courses and classes.
Is There any Form of Quality Control?
Do they have someone managing employees or do they wait for a complaint? You’ll want a business who actively manages its workers to make sure things are done right the first time.
This isn’t just about how good of a job the cleaner is doing. This is also a way for the employee to get better at their job and allows managers to nip bad habits in the bud before they become a problem.