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When you partner with a commercial cleaning service, the hope is singular: you want a company that will be able to keep your facility clean without the headache of trying to manage every aspect of making sure it gets done. The act of offloading these managerial duties sparks a sense of excitement in you. You’ve scoured the janitorial marketplace for a company that meets your needs and now you’ve signed a contract on the promise of responsive, effective, and professional cleaning services. You finally have industry professionals in the driver’s seat and you breathe a sigh of relief.

That’s when it happens. The company you thought was going to be a dream turns out to be a nightmare. It’s frustrating, maddening, and downright disheartening. What’s worse is that this has happened more than once. Time and time again, you’ve been met with broken promises, shoddy work, and angry coworkers who just want a restroom that has toilet paper in it. You’ve been searching for a way to dispel the pain and you know that outsourcing is the answer, but you can’t seem to find a company that can simply deliver. You pop an Excedrin and have the startling realization that the headache may never go away.

The unfortunate truth is that the industry is filled with these types of companies. Many of the clients and Facility Managers that we work with are at the end of their rope. They’ve had so many terrible experiences that they’ve resigned to the notion they will never find a quality service for a reasonable price. We hear all too often that every cleaning company is the same and while we can attest that there are plenty of bad janitorial services out there, there are some quality providers too. The Goldilocks company is out there. There is a provider in the industry who is just right for your facility. You just need to know what to look for.

Practice Makes Perfect

Since commercial cleaning companies can vary in size, type, and experience, it can lead to an overwhelming and tricky path to navigate. There are startups, mom-and-pop operations, and companies so desperate for income that they attempt to outgrow their current capabilities. While every business needs to start somewhere, it takes an incredible amount of time and effort to master all the skills required to deliver on the promises that are splashed across their flashy websites. Fledgling businesses need the time to adjust their services in order to stand confidently behind their work and offer the professionalism and responsiveness a client deserves. Enthusiasm doesn’t make up for a lack of experience. With the best intentions, these businesses pursue contracts in hopes to deliver quality work only to discover that they are out of their depth. Having bitten off more than they can chew, you are left with a cleaning service that can’t deliver on the promised scope of services. This almost always leads to them asking for more money or having to reduce services. In the end, their inexperience has created a problem instead of a solution.

It’s important to look for a company that has longevity in the industry, a steady increase in client base, and consistent delivery of services. While there are startups and small companies that defy expectations and hit it out of the park, it’s imperative to stack a cleaning company’s client base against the size of your facility. A company that works primarily with small office spaces are going to be overwhelmed if you are looking for someone to tackle a manufacturing facility with thousands upon thousands of square feet.

Minding Your Bid-ness

“You get what you pay for.” We’ve heard that saying our whole lives but there is a lot of truth hiding in those six words. Cleaning is expensive. Chemicals aren’t cheap. Payroll isn’t either. When a bid that crosses your desk that seems too good to be true, take a step back. You’ve got a lot to think about and your budget is a big part of that, but consider what those enticing numbers might truly mean:

  • Illegal hiring 
  • Inadequate management
  • Underestimation of labor hours needed
  • Below market pay for their employees 
  • Lack of training and/or benefits which reduces service quality and increases employee turnover
  • Cutting corners

It’s unfortunate but the above points are a reality in the janitorial industry. Before signing on the dotted line, request referrals and vet their current client base. Getting a personal and honest review can greatly impact your decision-making. Also, go online and check employee reviews. Look for avenues to really understand their company culture and employee practices. Companies that have established, proven practices for recruiting, hiring, and training are more likely to have lower janitorial turnover and better service. Not only does this help ensure a higher quality of service, but those that actively invest in their staff are likely to be more experienced and will ultimately offer you a better cleaning.

While suspiciously low cleaning quotes should give you pause, high prices are not always a guarantee for quality service either. Price doesn’t always align with value. Start your recruitment process by asking yourself, “am I getting the services I need to maintain my facility? Is the service at the level I need and is it priced in a way that makes sense and fits my budget?”. Look for clear and transparent pricing. Make sure that the bid is specifically tailored to your facility instead of a hazy scope of services that could be up for interpretation. The more specific a quote and the clearer the price point, the easier it will be to compare your quotes and decide what is best for your facility.

The Goldilocks Company

Outsourcing your janitorial duties reaps tremendous benefits. Handing your facility over to professionals in the industry can make your life so much easier. However, placing your facility in the wrong hands can result in a complete disaster. At Zoë Facility Services, we’ve become masters in the art of empathy because we truly understand the headache that the process of finding quality service can create. We’ve personally felt the pain it causes as we’ve worked to recover many facilities that have fallen victim to a bad janitorial company.  

If the stain of a previous company still haunts you or a myriad of broken promises have left a bad taste in your mouth…just know that the right fit, the Goldilocks company so to speak, is still out there. Like us, there are companies that work hard to be innovators in their field. A good janitorial company consistently strives for continuous improvement. They actively recruit, screen, train, and properly manage their staff in order to provide a quality cleaning experience- and if a company isn’t providing that, you haven’t found a service that’s just right yet.

If you’re interested in hearing more about how we clean and how we can best serve you, please contact us for your free consultation!