And what to do about it?
There are lots of reasons why your cleaning company may not be doing a good job taking care of your facility. Perhaps they underbid the work, ownership has changed, or maybe other customers are getting more attention.
So how can you know if your janitorial company has given up on you? Here are SIX signs that might indicate your cleaning company is moving in a bad direction.
1. Your staff is complaining more than usual
You expect the cleaning crew to make your job easier. A few calls or emails are expected here and there, but overall, you shouldn’t be bothered by mundane cleaning issues. If you’re hearing these types of comments: “We keep running out of toilet paper in the women’s restroom,” or “My office hasn’t been dusted in months,” it may be a sign your cleaning company is no longer dedicated to your account.
2. You hear from your contractor less and less
When they first started the contract, management was present all the time. Now you rarely see them. Ask yourself, when was the last time you received proactive communication from your cleaning services provider?
3. They take their sweet time responding to your issues
Sometimes things get missed. It happens. But when you call them about three overflowing trash cans that were missed, you should expect your contractor to respond quickly. When you don’t receive prompt responses to phone calls and emails, it may indicate that your contractor is stretched too thin, or they have simply lost interest in your account.
4. You notice new faces on the crew all the time
Turnover in the cleaning services industry is high—nearly 200%. Some turnover on your cleaning team should be expected. However, if the people that are cleaning your facility are constantly changing, this might point to a larger issue with the janitorial contract or their management. Also, be exceptionally wary if the entire crew changes without you being notified.
5. They have worn or broken equipment
Is your cleaning crew using worn out or broken equipment? Does the vacuum cleaner cord have electrical tape holding it together? If their equipment is old and worn out, this is a sign that the contractor is no longer investing in your account.
6. Your primary contact changes often
Probably the greatest sign of problems with a cleaning services company is constant turnover in their manager-level positions. If your point of contact is constantly changing, trouble may be ahead. Turnover in these positions is an indicator that the culture of your janitorial contractor is unhealthy.
What to do about it?
Here is a game plan if you are seeing these issues:
1. Meet with the vendor, discuss issues, and probe for causes
Use specifics: Why is there so much turnover on my cleaning team? You used to respond in three hours, now it’s two days. Why is this?
2. Define your expectations
Maybe the expectations for service were not properly discussed on the front end of the agreement. Your vendor may honestly not know what is important to you. Give them ample time to fix the problems.
3. Be prepared to bail
Most janitorial contracts have a 30-day out clause for service deficiencies. If you don’t see improvement, be prepared to move on to another vendor.
4. Have an RFP ready
Once your vendor is on notice, go ahead and draft an RFP. If they don’t improve, you are ready to begin the process of selecting a new vendor. If everything works out, then you have a draft ready for when the contract ends.