A Guide to Hiring an Office Cleaning Service: What to Consider

Now more than ever commercial cleaning for your workplace is mission-critical. As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads, businesses and non-commercial entities alike require reliable janitorial services to ensure a clean, disinfected, vibrant workplace on behalf of their employees and customers. Increasingly, companies are turning to professional office cleaning companies like Corvus Janitorial rather than performing services “in-house.” By hiring an office cleaning company, businesses can rely on professional know-how to keep their offices clean and sanitary. In this blog, we offer tips, recommendations, and considerations connected to hiring an outsourced janitorial and office cleaning service.

Research Your Options

Although a vast array of research tools exist on the internet (those like Angie’s List, Yelp, and the like), a simple Google search for “Office Cleaning” or “Janitorial Services” will yield a host of cleaning companies to choose from. Moreover, no matter the tool you elect to use, make sure firms have both an acceptable and high scoring rate of reviews.This simple screen will allow a purchaser of office cleaning services to gain immediate insight into the reputation and potential ability of a service provider.

Once a buyer of cleaning services has performed this simple task, it is advisable to select between two or three cleaning companies to look into at a deeper level. Usually, the best source for doing so is the company’s website and sites which provide more granular reviews on past performance. When researching a cleaning company’s website, it is important to not only understand what types of facilities they clean and their breadth of experience and expertise, but also the organization’s cultural ethos. Are they service-oriented? Do their systems and processes align with the type of partnership and service standards you expect for your firm? Nevertheless, it is vital to understand the types of industries and service offerings a cleaning company provides, and almost all organizations will offer both an Industries Serviced page, as well as a “Services Offered” menu.

Know Your Facility and What You Need

The next step in hiring a cleaning company involves inviting the prospects to visit your facility for the purpose of creating a customized cleaning proposal. However, even though you should expect the cleaning company to provide an expert opinion based on your facility’s needs, (which are influenced by environment type, materials, frequency of clean and other factors) you should prepare to provide bidders with an understanding of the level of cleaning services you require, as well as any other details related to the facility. As a result, it is advisable to do the work to understand what matters most to you and your facility in terms of cleaning and disinfecting. Examples of what to think about include, but are not limited to: “hot spot” areas that require additional cleaning, areas that are highly visible and present irritation points for you or colleagues when the areas are not clean, or personnel who may have higher levels of expectations in regards to cleaning. The more information you can provide the office cleaning bidder on your office, environment, preferences, and rhymes of your business and colleagues, the better.

Schedule A Walkthrough

In most cases, in order to provide a monthly price for commercial cleaning, companies will need to visit your facility to gauge the level of service, frequency, and difficulty of cleaning to produce a quote. Since your business has its own unique set of needs, a variety of factors are taken into consideration when a commercial cleaning company determines the contract price. The building size and the cleaning services requested are major components. The type of industry is also important to consider. For example, a medical office will likely have a higher bid price than a warehouse. Although the facilities may be similar in size, the medical office requires a top-notch clean while a warehouse likely has lower expectations. Similarly, not all square footage is created equal. It takes less time to vacuum a carpet than it does to sweep and mop hard flooring, so the contract value must account for the extra time spent cleaning.

Ideally, a walk-through for a bid would be scheduled at your facility’s “messiest” time so that the company has a strong sense of the soil level your facility reaches. Additionally, it is recommended to not only take three bids but to invite the janitorial service provider to walkthrough around the same time to better ensure that you are receiving a fair quote.

Questions to ask your office cleaning representatives

During a walkthrough, you will have the opportunity to ask specific questions as well as voice any concerns you may have. Here are five questions you should ask before hiring a commercial cleaning company:

1 – What is their availability?

Find out how many days they work and what times they are available. This is especially important if your company prefers their janitorial services to be performed before or after office hours. It is possible that your business may not want or need recurring janitorial services. Many commercial cleaning companies do offer one-time cleaning and disinfecting services, but it is best to have a reliable cleaning company you can trust for all your ad hoc needs. Whether your business needs recurring or impromptu cleaning services, you should ask if the company will offer you flexibility. A professional janitorial service will work around a schedule that is most convenient for their client.

2 – Where are they located?

Ask if they are located near your business and if they serve other businesses close by. Choosing a local cleaning service is highly recommended, if possible. This helps ensure that your cleaner will not miss routine cleans for reasons like heavy traffic. A local cleaning service will likely have other cleaning crews in the same area who you can trust to provide the same quality service should any unforeseen circumstances arise. Being in close proximity creates the opportunity to build a meaningful and personal relationship with the cleaning company.

3 – Do they service customers in similar industries?

You may consider asking if they have experience cleaning in your industry. This is especially important for offices such as medical facilities where more specific cleaning schedules and cleaning chemicals are required; for instance, medical or health care facilities may require “red bag” disposal (disposal of biowaste), or, more simply, require the cleaning company to replace examination table paper. Another example might be a car dealership, whereby the cleaning company might be asked to auto scrub bay or garage area floor surfaces with a heavy degreaser. Regardless, Your industry type can determine the level of experience that is needed; therefore, you should be thoughtful in communicating your facility’s needs, in light of your industry focus, to potential cleaning companies.

4 – What services are included in a clean?

Any reputable cleaning company will likely have an established cleaning process in place. At Corvus, for example, a typical cleaning schedule will include floor cleaning, sanitizing and wiping of horizontal and vertical surfaces (desks, ledges, tables), emptying of trash, sanitizing and disinfecting of restrooms, restocking of paper goods, and other general cleaning specifications. Having a set of cleaning procedures in place can help ensure that your cleaning company is consistently delivering high-quality service. That said, cleaning schedules are typically broken down by area as well as cleaning techniques used in the area. Generally speaking (though depending on industry type) cleaning areas include general or common areas, general office areas, private office areas, break rooms, entryways, hallway, conference rooms, and restrooms.

5 – Will they help keep employees healthy?

This question is especially relevant amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. A high-quality clean not only makes a workspace appear clean and tidy but ensures that an entire facility, especially high-touch surfaces and common areas, is disinfected to a high degree. Proper disinfection has a tremendous influence on preventing the spread of germs in your workplace, which, in turn, increases workplace productivity. To a great degree, not only do cleaning specifications influence the health of an office environment but so too do the types of cleaning chemicals used by the janitorial service. Generally speaking, chemicals used in a typical office clean are: neutral cleaner (for floors and general surfaces), glass cleaner (either water or oil-based), EPA certified disinfectant, odor eliminator, general disinfectant, and bowl/urinal cleaner (typically a chemical which breaks down bio-matter and its attending odor).

6 – Risk Management and Customer Service

Office cleaning is based on the performance of individuals, and as is the case with any service or product delivered by human beings, things can and do go wrong. Therefore, be prepared to ask your potential office cleaning company about issues and considerations connected to that topic. From a broad perspective, inquire as to whether the janitorial service carries insurance, being certain to ask what types and what coverages are provided by their policies. General Liability and Workers Comp are the two critical coverages, so be sure to ask your cleaning company about their policy as well as asking for proof of them; doing so by asking for their insurance “Certs”. Customer service and emergency response is also critical to ask about. Though a bad clean is not as catastrophic as an accident, sort out who you call if and when a cleaning specification is not to your liking. Will the cleaning company correct the issue on the same day, the next clean, or will they issue you a credit for that event? Whatever the case, understanding the protocol for responding to service issues or risk issues is important to research.

Other questions to ask include:

-How long have they been in business?

-Do they have technical expertise?

-Do they bring their own equipment and cleaning supplies?

-Do they conduct a background check on employees?

-Do they have a satisfaction guarantee?

-Do cleaners receive ongoing training?

-What quality control measures do they take?

-What are their payment options?

-Are they insured and bonded?

-Are their cleaning services environmentally conscious?

Reviewing a Commercial Cleaning Bid

Once you have accepted bids for your janitorial services, it is time to review the quote and conduct additional research. Choosing a commercial cleaning service that is the best-fit right from the start will save you time, money, and productivity. Firing and rehiring, on the other hand, will be a costly and timely process.

First, review the monthly price the cleaning company submitted, paying special attention to whether the price is measured on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Though an office cleaning service must fit into your company’s budget, going with a cleaning service that is materially lower than what the service should cost can be detrimental in terms of quality and reliability. However, in most cases cleaning companies will allow for a bit of negotiating- adding or reducing services to accommodate your budget by virtue of how much longer or shorter they intend to be in your facility. Ultimately, remember that the price you pay has everything to do with how long the company anticipates spending in your office.

Second, review the cleaning specifications offered in the proposal. Many buyers of commercial cleaning services assume that everything will be done nightly, or that the cleaning service will routinely increase its main hours committed if undue soiling occurs. However, the truth is that most companies can not categorically commit additional hours to perform non-covered service specifications without additional dollars committed. So, by way of example, review how often high dusting is performed…is it daily, weekly, monthly? Some commercial cleaning companies may suggest monthly, thereby lowering the serviceable hours and quote, yet you and your colleagues may desire more frequent high dusting. Other examples of similar service specifications might include low dusting, baseboard cleaning, or above the head wiping and disinfecting. Whatever the case, reviewing the specific service specifications is an absolute must when choosing a cleaning company.

Just as it is useful to read reviews of cleaning companies prior to an initial walkthrough, it is especially important to perform third party research on your prospective cleaning company. An easy way of doing so is to read internet and social media reviews. Google reviews, Angie’s List, and similar sites all provide reviews and feedback on the cleaning company you might select, and those resources should not be overlooked. Calling a company’s referrals is also fundamental in vetting a service. Ask the existing customer about the services’ cleaning quality, as well as their customer service, follow up, and, most importantly, how the service responds to mistakes. At the end of the day, unlike other commodities or utilities, office cleaning hinges on the performance of human beings, folks who can and do make mistakes, and the ability of the service to correct and bounce back from mistakes. Finally, review the technical aspects of the cleaning quote by evaluating information like the types of cleaning chemicals used, quality of electrical gear, insurance coverage, and other similar types of sundry items.

Conclusion

While there may be several commercial cleaning companies in your area that offer similar services, it is important to take the time to carefully consider your options. Hiring a cleaning company that can offer your business the exact help it needs, at the time you need it, is a worthwhile investment. Corvus Janitorial and our Franchise Owners are committed to keeping your business and its employees and customers safe and healthy.

With our high-quality services, proven systems, and dedicated teams, we can help you make the most of your facility and stay safe and healthy until things return to normal. Contact us today for a free quote for office cleaning service and electrostatic spraying.