It’s difficult to know which Janitorial Services company to choose in Long Beach and the broader Orange County area — there are so many out there. And picking the wrong one can lead to months of a difficult working relationship and an environment that isn’t up to your standards.
Asking these nine questions will help you narrow down the field and pick the best candidate.
1. Will I need to sign a long-term contract or will it be a month-to-month?
Some cleaning companies lock you into a one-year contract. This is a problem if the relationship turns rocky.
It’s always better to have a contract that allows for a 30-day termination. This gives you the flexibility to change direction if the company isn’t working out.
In our experience, a minority of companies require 1 year contracts, while most of the others allow for month-to-month relationships. Make sure you know what you’re getting into.
2. How Can I Be Sure Your Employees are Working the Contracted Hours?
Some cleaning company employees skimp on hours – you pay 3 people for 8 hours a night, but how can you verify if these people are putting in the time? If your cleaning company is still stuck in the dark ages of having employees sign in and out on paper forms, you could be getting gypped.
One option is to ask what technology the company is using. For instance, we use Swept, an app created by a janitorial services company, where we track when and where our employees are. This kind of technology eliminates any possibility of fudging the numbers and ensures you’re getting the service you’re paying for.
What’s more, clients can communicate efficiently with this app. For instance, you can take a picture of a carpet stain and send it us, and we’ll say “Yep, we’re on it.” And we’ll clean it that night.
3. Do you have full-time employees or subcontractors who work part-time?
Many companies use 1099 contractors who might or might not have work permits. The turnover rate is frightfully high. This low commitment to the company results in very little trust between clients and cleaning employees.
Figure out how the company screens their employees, and the average rate of turnover (For a point of reference, more than half of our employees have been with us for over three years). You don’t want the hassle of letting a dishonest person inside your business during lonely hours.
You’re looking for companies that only have full-time employees, and are either citizens or have work permits. Essentially, you want to contract with a janitorial services company with real, long-term employees who are trustworthy.
4. Are you using green, environmentally friendly products?
Once, we had some customers who had allergies to bleach-based products and also ammonia. These chemicals are pretty widespread, and people were missing work because they were reacting adversely.
When possible, we choose green and environmentally friendly products that are third-party certified by companies such as Green Seal, EcoLogo and DFE. However, we would never sacrifice functionality for the sake of staying green – the first priority is always cleanliness.
5. Is this a local company or located out of state?
The biggest cleaning companies are based on the East Coast and are owned by hedge fund managers. Unfortunately, this detachment from the place where the work is done can result in poor service.
Figuring out the headquarter location can give you a clue about the local commitment of your commercial cleaning services.
It can also be useful to ask whether they are a franchise or privately owned. For instance, Long Beach Building Maintenance is a local company, based here in Southern California (Long Beach!) and serving the larger Orange County area. The owners are long-term Orange County dwellers, and we love this place.
6. Who will be the point person I communicate with?
Make sure to figure out who to talk to. The owner, manager or cleaner? Also, make sure to figure out the proper way to communicate – Phone? Text? Email? Cleaning app?
If they only want phone calls, and you prefer email, you should figure that out before you lock in with them. Also, make sure you have access to the person you want to communicate with, and that there are no language barriers.
7. Can you provide customer references for your specific type of cleaning or building?
Some businesses require specialized cleaning equipment. For instance, supermarkets require special equipment to polish the floor, and some car dealerships require special cleaning for hard surfaces. Ensure your cleaning company has experience in cleaning your type of building, and ask for references.
References are the best way to ensure you’re dealing with someone who has the experience and the professional know-how to clean your space properly.
If a company can’t provide any references, it’s a red flag that they don’t have good relationships with their clients.
8. How long on average do clients stay with you?
The worst janitorial service companies have a high rate of turnover, even though some businesses pick a company and stay with them for a long time.
So ask about the company’s oldest client – how long have they been working with a certain business?
For a reference point, we’ve been working with a car dealership here in Orange County, CA for more than 15 years, and have stayed with them through a big move.
9. What additional services can you provide?
Why hire three or four companies when one will do? Simplify your life by finding an office cleaning company that does much more than just cleaning.
Here are some of the services you might need now or in the future:
- Window cleaning, especially external
- Light bulb repair and maintenance
- General handyman services: building cabinets, installing anti-bird spikes, construction clean-up, carpet cleaning
We provide all of the services above, but many office cleaning companies have limited services they offer. Check before you start a relationship with a company.
I hope these nine guidelines help you choose an excellent janitorial company!
Let us know if you have any questions! If you are in the larger Orange County area, please contact us if you would like a free quote.