Looking to hire a commercial cleaning and disinfecting services contractor? Maybe it’s your first time. Maybe it’s your 100th time because you just can’t find a cleaning company you’ve been happy with. Either way, here are some frequently asked questions about cleaning services that may help you get better value and results from your search.
Frequently Asked Questions – Hiring Calgary Janitorial Services and Covid-19 Cleaning Services
What do office and industrial cleaning services cost? The cost of cleaning services is primarily based on time to complete tasks. Cost/time will depend on the size of your space, the frequency of cleaning and the scope of work to be completed. A professional cleaning services company will calculate the time needed to complete the work based on industry standards, as well as supplies and equipment required to do that work. Keep in mind, the more detailed cleaning you want, the more it will cost. So decide what your cleaning priorities are before asking for a cleaning quote.
Why are some cleaning companies cheaper than others? As mentioned above, you generally get what you pay for in cleaning services. Some companies offer more comprehensive services and protection, and therefore may cost more. But, the extra cost may end up saving you, with features such as inspections programs, supply management services, an account rep, higher insurance coverage and safety accreditations. Be wary of bids that seem like a “really good deal” as these cleaning companies may not have adequate insurance, safety training, communication processes or staff pay. Another trick? These low bid companies sometimes start cheap and then raise your prices once they are in and they know you don’t want to have to go through the whole hiring exercise again. Bottom line: decide what’s important to you when shopping for a cleaning services contractor so you know what you’re getting for your money.
Be wary of bids that seem like a “really good deal” as these janitorial services companies may not have adequate insurance, safety training, communication processes or staff pay.
How do I know what cleaning company to choose? There are so many! Do your research. Here is some criteria you may want to check:
- type of work the company does; industrial, retail, offices, do they have a specialty?
- cleaning services they offer; electrostatic disinfecting, floor finishing, carpet cleaning, ceiling cleaning – what will you need for your facility?
- customer reviews of their work
- how long have they been in business?
- technology available for billing, inspections, scheduling, work requests – what do they offer that will will make managing the cleaning program easier for you
- do they have adequate insurance, WCB and safety accreditations?
- are they a local or national company, what suits your business best?
- do they give back to the community, and if so, how?
What cleaning services are offered; Covid cleaning, floor finishing, carpet cleaning, ceiling cleaning – what will you need for your facility?
When requesting a cleaning quote, what should I ask for? Decide what is most important to you and what you are willing to pay for. For example, on-line billing and payments, a dedicated account rep, supplies management, on-line requests, etc. If you can, include:
- the cleaning frequency
- the depth of cleaning you want (basic, detailed, specific requests such as high dusting or cleaning up dishes)
- specific priority areas, such as an owner’s office-
- ask for company information such as their invoicing process and terms, issue reporting process, insurance/WCB, security checks and safety accreditations
- ask if the company uses their own staff or sub-contracts the cleaning
- share any good or bad experiences you’ve had with cleaners in the past
If you are unsure of what specific tasks you require for your cleaning program, a professional cleaning company will give you recommendations based on your space and your budget. And please, do not give a cleaning contractor your desired scope of work AND your desired budget. From experience, I can tell you the two rarely line up so pick one or the other as your priority.
Does it matter if a cleaning company uses cleaning sub-contractors rather than their own employees? Yes, it does matter! Ask the question to any cleaning company you are considering. Companies that use sub-contractors may simply farm out your job, keep some of the profit, and then pay another company to do it for them. It’s how some companies operate so they can get more business with less operating hassle. Unfortunately, this strategy does not benefit the customer. By sub-contracting out the work, the company you hired has less control and accountability over the work being done. Also, you don’t know if the sub-contractor has the training, safety standards and overall care that a company using its own employees has.
Working with a Calgary cleaner you like and trust will make your cleaning services program much easier to manage.
Can I get a cleaning services quote emailed to me or does the company have to come see the space? It’s highly recommended that you ask a cleaning company to do a site assessment before submitting a quote. You will be able to get a customized cleaning program based on your specific needs, and more accurate pricing, by doing a walk-through with the bidders. And just as important, you will be able to get to know the company, their people and how they operate when meeting in person. Working with a cleaning company you like, trust and respect will make your cleaning program much easier to manage.
Do I have to provide the cleaning supplies and equipment? No, cleaning companies should be including the cleaning chemicals, small wares (such as mops) and equipment (such as vacuums, scrubbers) as part of their price.
Does a cleaning company buy our supplies like toilet paper and soap, or do I buy that myself? If you’d prefer to have a supplies management program, where the cleaning company buys those items for you, you can request that. There are numerous benefits to doing that: you should get better pricing as they buy these supplies on volume, and it takes the tracking, ordering and re-stocking of supplies off your plate so you can focus on other things.
Do I have to sign a contract? Most companies will ask you for a contract, which is fair as they are investing time and equipment into starting up your job. Most often, the contract will be 1 – 2 years (longer for larger contracts) and should include an out clause if you are not satisfied with the company’s performance.
What happens if I am not happy with the cleaning? As soon as an issue arises, notify your cleaning company representative. A company can not address and fix any issues if they do not know about it. Having said that, most companies should be doing regular inspections so they can catch issues before they get to you. Give the cleaning company a chance to fix the deficiency. Ask if there is a reason why the same problem keeps happening. Have a conversation about it. After that, if issues remain then it’s time to look for a new service provider. Again, ensure you have a reasonable out-clause in your contract and use it if you need.
Managing your janitorial services does not have to be difficult and time consuming. With the right partner, it should be easy.
Cleaning services are an essential part of running a good business, not only for appearance but also for the health of your staff and customers. But managing your cleaning program does not have to be difficult and time consuming. With the right partner, it should be easy. Be clear on what you want and don’t want for your cleaning program. What you are willing to pay for. Do your research on potential companies and their work. If you choose a company you feel comfortable with, knowing they have the right people, practices and experience, the cleaning should take care of itself.
EFS Clean provides trusted office cleaning and janitorial services in Calgary, and is the industry leader in electrostatic disinfecting services in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver. A Calgary owned and grown cleaning company, cleaning for health and contributing to our community since 2005. Services offered: cleaning services, electrostatic disinfecting, ceiling cleaning, window cleaning, floor cleaning and care, carpet cleaning, high reach cleaning and supply management.