Call Us: 972-342-2697
answered until 9:00pm
Does your cleaning service tick all the boxes? Should you hire an individual, a franchise or an independent cleaning business? What features are important to YOUR family?
Today with a new cleaning service around every corner; How do you make sure that you are choosing the right one? There are so many factors to consider.
Oh, why does it have to be so hard?
It doesn’t have to be hard at all if you do your homework. Ask friends for referrals and then do a little web research. Think about the factors that are most important to your family.
If budget is of primary importance, then you consider an individual service provider rather than a franchise or full service company. Why? Price. Texas sales tax law exempts individuals from charging sales tax if they do the cleaning themselves. Generally individuals are not normally bonded or insured, or have an office they are maintaining. There are no costs to maintain staff since they themselves are the staff. In our area, for many service providers, English is their second language, so communication could be an issue. They also don’t normally compensate for any breakage, and sometime are fearful to even report it. Finally they use your equipment and supplies. What this means is very little overhead. The downside is they also are not always reliable, not because they don’t want to be, but because if they are sick or have another appointment, there is no one to take their place. Flexibility is also hard if not impossible for them; again, because once they fill their schedule, there is no flexibility. Then there are the inevitable service problems. They missed cleaning a toilet or didn’t clean the nightstand. They aren’t cleaning the floors like you like, the list is endless; talking directly to the person who is cleaning your house when there are problems can sometimes be intimidating. Either because they have become your friend or you’re fearful of upsetting them. If the individual shows an interest in keeping you (the customer) happy and you (the customer) want to do some coaching, then budget wise it is the best option to getting your whole house cleaned at normally a very reasonable rate.
If you want a no stress service, and budget isn’t as important as reliability, then a full service company should be your choice. (Franchise cleaning businesses are another issue, the pitfalls of that business model might be a whole new blog post down the road.) A full service company is one that is bonded, insured, uses staff to provide your service, provides all equipment and supplies and has office staff to support you as a customer, and most importantly has a good reputation.
Is being bonded and insured so important? A bond only reimburses the customer if someone in the company steals and is convicted of the theft. Of course, without cameras, this is nearly impossible. What is more important is that the company that you use has insurance coverage. Because if there is a need to file a claim it goes against the companies policy and not your insurance.
What about the people? A cleaning company employs an entire staff to provide your service. Many companies have problems keeping staff because they are under trained and overworked. Be very wary of any company that promises a perfect service, because guess what – the people who clean your house are “human” and they make mistakes. What you should be looking for is a company that cares about their staff as much as they care about their company. Do they pay them above minimum wage? Do they provide vacation, sick pay, and holiday pay? Is the staff covered by workman’s compensation insurance? Do they provide training? What is the turnover rate? Is staff penalized for breakage? Does the company offer hours that are flexible for working moms? When a company cares about their staff then the staff is going to care about the company and their customers, which benefits you.
If you have used cleaning services in the past, you might be familiar with this scenario:
-RUSH JOB – There is one person standing around directing staff, pressuring them to finish. Or the company that picks their staff up in a van, drives them to a customer’s house, leaves them, and returns in a set amount of hours. The goal is to get done as fast as possible with no regard for detail.
Staff should be autonomous. They should be able to go into a home, provide a cleaning and feel responsible for the service. They should be in charge of that clean from start to finish. Management should be available to support them and provide coaching as necessary. Just look at the staff – are they smiling and happy? The final test is how the staff works. Are they a team? Do they work efficiently and consistently?
Supplies and equipment would seem like a no brainer, but with wood, natural stone, copper, and stainless steel in houses today, it is important to make sure that they are using the right products. Also does the company have equipment that will make the job more efficient for their staff? Products should be natural, where possible, and low fragrance in order to cater to all families, especially those with allergies.
Office staff is just as important as cleaning staff. You need to be able to call them when something is wrong and expect a quick response. Phone calls should be returned within the hour, if not answered directly, and email responded to within 24 hours. With today’s technology text messages and social media should also be available.
Now for the most important part, a company with a good reputation. Can you get on the internet and Google them? How long have they been in business? What is their service area? Are they running their service teams ragged all over the metroplex? Is management accessible and nearby? Have they won any awards that required their families to vote? Do their families have good things to say about them? Do they offer a flexible service? Do they treat you like a “customer” and not just a check? Do they make cancellations, reschedules and special services easy? Is taking care of breakage made easy? How about payment, do they try to make it easy for the customer or for the company? Are they available to answer your questions? If they don’t answer your call to get your business, then they probably won’t answer it to keep your business.
One final note don’t expect any company you hire to be perfect. But like with any good relationship they need to be willing to work on the issues. If you don’t feel like you can have conversations with them, then things will never be good. A house is a big place with many nooks and crannies. Optimal service depends on an effective feedback loop. Your coaching will help tweak the service, and if it is a good company they will appreciate your feedback and thank you every time. Nothing stays clean forever, so report any problems immediately and have a solution in mind. Requesting that it be corrected on the next service or requesting that someone come out within the next 12 hours to fix it are totally reasonable requests. However, reporting feedback just to ask for a discounted service isn’t. Give the company a chance to view and resolve any issue. Always let a company know the small issues so they never add up to a big issue. For example, if it is annoying that the big bath mat is placed in front of the shower and the little bath mat in front of the tub, tell them. Keep in mind your team is probably cleaning two to three houses a day, five days a week. Pretty soon they all start to look alike. But a note on a service sheet is a wonderful reminder so that they can make sure small annoyances are corrected quickly. Same goes if a service area was missed or not enough detail was provided. Don’t watch a problem grow, talk about it.
There are so many moving parts when it comes to cleaning. Staff, supplies, invoices, breakage, flexibility, follow-up, and more. Selecting which ones are the most important to your family will help you select which type of service provider you need for any cleaning job.
Executive Touch Cleaning Service, LLC is a company that provides flexible services exclusively to families in McKinney, Texas. Billing is done by the hour so that you can decide what service you need, what areas and how often. Hourly pricing offers an economical pricing plan that will be a treat for mom and dad, even in conjunction with another regular cleaning service. Call today if you would like a service estimate. Office hours are until 9pm daily. 972-342-2697
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