Hiring a cleaning service can be an unnerving process. Will they show up on time? Will they raid your refrigerator and watch TV? Can they be trusted around your kids? If you need professional cleaning services for your office the questions tend to centre around security. Can they be trusted not to walk off with your valuable tech? Will they lock up when they leave? Will they use your computer system to surf the web or chat with their friends on social media? These are just some of the issues that arise.
10 Questions to Ask the Cleaner Before Hiring Them
There are so many professional cleaning services in London it can be hard to know where to start and, just as important, what questions to ask in order to find the right one for you. Below we’ve brought together 10 questions you should ask before hiring a cleaner or cleaning service for your home or office.
- Can you provide references? – If the cleaning company cannot provide references you should find someone else. This is non-negotiable. Or at least it should be. You need to know you can trust the company you are allowing into your home or office. If you have no experience with them references become essential. Insist that the company provide references and then follow up on those references before making your decision.
- Are you insured? – Many small companies cannot afford comprehensive liability insurance. They also try to circumvent their workers compensation requirements by paying employees cash and not keeping them on the books. But do you know who pays the medical bills if one of these uninsured cleaners gets injured on your property? If you said “I do”, congratulations. You’re correct. And if one of them damages your car or tears up your expensive Persian rug, do you know who pays? That’s right. You do. Now you’re getting the picture. Ask for proof of insurance.
- How long have you been in business? – New companies are still working out the kinks in their business plan, usually have less experienced staff working for them and, frankly, have not yet established that they can be trusted around other people’s valuables. That may seem a cold-hearted thing to say but it’s true. Trust is earned. Not granted. At Cleaners of London we’ve been working with all types of residential and commercial customers for more than 2 decades.
- Do you do screen your employees? – It’s important to know that the cleaning company has screened their employees before hiring a cleaner. First, because they’re often left alone with your valuables and it’s not terribly difficult to slip a laptop into a bag of “trash” and walk out with it. Second, because those who work for London house cleaning services are likely going to come in contact with your children. And third, because if a cleaner is stumbling through your office under the influence of drugs or alcohol it’s a safety risk that can also shine an unfavourable light on your company.
- Do you train your employees? – This may seem like a strange question because how much training does it take to empty a trash bin? But home and office cleaners do more than empty the rubbish. And as such they need to be fully trained regarding their cleaning responsibilities. Among other things they need to know the best methods for cleaning various items, need to understand the proper way to behave both in the home and in the office and need to know when they should leave something alone and move on to the next task. Professional cleaning services provide comprehensive training to their staff members. In this way they get the job done efficiently and effectively and avoid conflicts.
- Will you assign a specific individual or team to my property? – The last thing you want is to have different cleaners arriving to do the job every week. Continuity generates efficiency. It also helps in creating a sense of trust between the client and the cleaner. Most London house cleaning services will have highly trained individuals who can step in should the regular cleaner be ill or on holiday. But as a general rule they hire good people, retain them, and assign them specific clients.
- Do you provide your own equipment and supplies? – There are companies out there that expect the homeowner to provide the necessary supplies and equipment. They simply supply the workforce. Make sure the company you hire is one that brings the necessary materials with them. If a company offers a rock bottom price it is sometimes a giveaway that they expect you to provide the equipment and supplies. So ask about this before signing any contracts.
- Do your cleaners have experience with pets? – If possible, you don’t want to have to hide your pets when the cleaners arrive. Even if the cleaning company insists pets are not a problem introduce your pet to the cleaner on their initial visit to gauge if the two will get along. If your dog has issues with the cleaner or vice versa you may have to make provisions to secure your pet before the cleaner arrives. Also, ask if the company charges extra for dealing with pets. Some do.
- Can you provide a written estimate? – If the cleaning company won’t put their estimate in writing it should be a red flag. A lack of a written estimate opens the door to phantom charges appearing on your bill each month. The written estimate should not only note the estimated cost but should detail the services the company will provide.
- Who is the point person? – Professional cleaning services should provide you with a point person you can call in the event of a problem. If the company is small that person may be the owner. If the company is large they will likely assign an account manager. You need to know who that person is and that you can contact them at any time to discuss anything related to your contract.
Make sure you keep this list handy and that you ask all these questions before hiring a cleaner or cleaning service in London. Doing so will save you time, hassle and money. Still considering whether a professional cleaning service is for you – here are 10 reasons why you should!
See also: The Ultimate Cleaning Guide