I had an office manager tell me once that “All of the cleaning services she had were the same – they start out good, then go down hill fast”. I explained the value of a better service. When I presented my price, she said “I would never pay that much for a janitor service”. My price was only somewhat above average. So, all of her experience was with the lower priced services and she kept having to change services to meet her cleaning needs.
What is the value of the low price services she kept having to replace?
And what is the cost of her time and frustration of finding, interviewing and changing services several times a year?
Contract cleaning services vary significantly in price and quality. The mom and pop service may be sincere in their willingness to work, but seldom have the training or equipment to do a professional job of office cleaning. If one gets sick or has other family emergencies, the cleaning doesn’t get done.
A professional service trains their cleaning staff in all the modern chemicals, tools and green cleaning methods. They have sufficient staff to cover illness, emergencies or vacation schedules. And they are bonded, licensed and insured.
A pro service keeps in communication with the office manager to ensure all the expected service is being performed to high standards. If it is not, prompt correction is taken. The janitor should be consistent and known to the office manager. Any changes should be rare and communicated promptly to the management. The client should be completely comfortable with who is in the office cleaning after hours. The service manager should be completely comfortable introducing his janitor to the client. This confidence and comfort is part of the value of a professional cleaning service.
Another part of the value of a pro service is that they can do whatever is needed to maintain the building. Windows need periodic cleaning, which requires window tools and the skill to use them properly. Office carpets need cleaning occasionally and some tile floors need machine scrubbing and refinishing. If your service cannot do these needed services, time and effort is spent finding another service, getting their bids and scheduling them to do the extra jobs. Some floors should not have any wax applied to them. It takes pro familiarity and expertise to know this. These extra services require equipment, training and supervision that many cleaning companies cannot provide. You should expect the pro service to be higher priced for these reasons.
So, what is value in a janitorial service? How does it relate to your business? How much is the value of:
- Knowing that your building and restrooms are clean and sanitary after a service visit?
- Knowing your building is security after business hours?
- Having staff and managers not worry about cleaning or security?
- Spending less time and trouble dealing with janitor complaints or absences?
- Not having to worry when a big client arrives if the bathrooms will be clean?
- Knowing that you cannot get more for your service dollar, rather that is is money well spent?
- Knowing you have a reliable service for the long term?
You can see that the best janitorial companies must charge more than average for their service. However, to remain the best, they must deliver value of service that is greater than the dollars exchanged. They do this by being professional in their management and duties, as outlined above. And they are managed to deliver consistent high quality service for the long term.
Ralph C. Temps
Ability Maintenance Service, Inc.