When deciding to employ a new cleaning contractor for your premises, it can be a huge undertaking. There are many reasons for this, and there can be a number of factors to consider: Is the company capable of the job? Are the operatives trustworthy? Do they have the industry accreditations necessary to comply with health and safety? Are they fully insured?

By doing some stringent research and getting some fully comprehensive quotes from several different companies, you’ll be in the best position to make an informed decision about who to award your contract to. Below is guide on the best way to get it right first time!

Quotes

It’s recommended that you get at least three detailed quotes. Each company you invite to quote for you needs to be aware of your preferred operating hours, whether within office hours or outside of these times, and also the frequency of their visits. You need to be clear whether your quote should allow for both labor and materials, as you may want to source your own cleaning products and equipment.

You need to decide whether other services such as window cleaning, deep cleans, or carpet cleaning should be included in their schedule, so that the quote can reflect this accurately. With each company addressing the exact same requests, a large differential in prices should raise a red flag and be cause for concern.

Customer Service

Make sure you’re au fait with their customer service procedures; what is the reporting and feedback routine? Are there any guaranteed service levels if you are unsatisfied? Do they provide you with a dedicated account manager, and if so do you have a direct point of contact with this person? Will they carry out periodic site inspections, and if so how often? How quickly will any issues be dealt with? These are all questions to keep in mind when making your appointment decision.

Research your prospective supplier

If you want a strong indication of a company’s level of service, then knowing how long they have been in business is a place to start. Any company with poor service levels would go out of business relatively quickly, so longevity is key. Check out some of their reviews, or better still, ask around. Word of mouth recommendations are often the most effective; nobody is going to endorse a company that is incompetent!

Trust

Be mindful that any company you choose to employ could be working in your premises alone. You need to be able to trust that they’ll be doing a good job, and that they’ll respect the contents of your workplace. It’s therefore crucial that they have the correct employers and public liability insurance in place, to cover for every eventuality. An up to date health and safety certificate is also advisable; in the UK, for example, CHAS (The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) and SafeContractor are considered to be the best accreditations, but there are a range of others deemed to satisfy.

There also needs to be a great deal of trust between your contractor and its employees; have they had background checks such as DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service), and are they working legally within the country? A reputable company will have a good training structure for all staff they employ, both new and established. All need to be skilled in the use of products and equipment as well as all health and safety procedures.

Going Green?

Your business may well have a sustainability policy, so you might require your cleaning contractor to be green. Requests for ethically sourced and environmentally friendly products are on the rise, as businesses are more aware of their carbon footprint. Many contractors now specialize in green cleaning, and can offer alternatives tailored to your green needs.

Be comfortable

When making your final decision, it’s always best to go with your gut feeling. You have to feel comfortable knowing that anybody you appoint is going to deliver what they promise. At point of quote, note how interested they are in winning the contract. Are they eager to please and did they ask relevant questions? Do they understand the needs of your company, and are they willing to go that extra mile? Are extra requests or ‘add-on’ services any trouble to them? Do you like them, and will they have the best interests of your business at heart?

A professional and approachable candidate will reflect the company’s ethos and culture, and in turn give you an excellent idea of the service you’ll receive should you award them your contract.

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Chris Savage
Chris Savage started his Contract Cleaning Company Brightr Ltd in 1998. Going from strength to strength, in 2015 he put his experience of hiring, vetting and training cleaners in the commercial arena into practice in the domestic market, and founded Cleanr Services Ltd.

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