Increased demand for professional office cleaning services has skyrocketed in recent years. While this has led to an industry boom, it also means that for some homeowners and commercial properties finding a truly qualified cleaning professional can be difficult. There are a lot of fly-by-night companies out there that are simply grabbing discount cleaning products off of store shelves and talking a good game to get you to contact them. Only later to find out that the only thing that’s professional about them is that they are getting paid.

The last thing you want to do is to end up wasting time and money on ineffective services. Filtering down your best options to find the best cleaning company to meet your janitorial needs starts with watching out for a few red flags as well as asking a few important questions.

Janitorial Company Red Flags

There are a few red flags to beware of when it comes to finding and contacting a new janitorial company. This includes things like:

Their Initial Response

When you first reach out to them, do they ask follow-up questions about what your specific needs are? If all they say is “Yes” without asking about your specific details, chances are good, they’re trying to get you to sign a contract first, and they simply hope they’ll figure it all out later.

Unprofessional Behavior

Professionalism is key in any janitorial company. This shows through in a lot of the little things, like polite manners, not using profanity, staying on the topic of cleaning, and being patient listeners. Keep in mind that you will be partnering with this company for your cleaning needs, and you need to feel comfortable with their attitude about their performance.

Look at their Recent Job History & Reviews

It’s always wise to ask a professional cleaning company about their job history. Though you might also want to check their online reviews before you even pick up the phone. Do they have a lot of negative comments? How do they respond to past clients’ criticism? If they are fairly new to the industry, it might be a salient sign of a lack of expertise. So, you might want to also inquire about their references to better understand the quality of their work.

If a prospective cleaning company gets defensive about your request for references or they outright refuses to provide a list of references upon request, you should take it as a major red flag. It likely indicates problematic work history.

Questions To Ask A Prospective Cleaning Company

There are a few key questions that you should always ask before you sign a contract with a prospective new cleaning company. This includes things like:

Are You Licensed & Insured?

These days to operate as a business that is open to the public, you need to have some sort of business license. Insurance is also a key sign of a company that is invested in its success. It also means that they can do things like pay for any damages if they make a major error while they are on your property. If they don’t have insurance, they likely aren’t a very professional company, and you would be at a major liability risk if you took them on to supply your janitorial services.

Do You Offer Flexible Scheduling?

Flexible scheduling isn’t a deal breaker when it comes to whether or not a professional cleaning company is worth considering. Though it certainly helps. Especially if you have a retail business or an office space that needs to be cleaned at times of day that won’t interfere with your own clients and customers.

What Kind of Cleaning Products Do You Use?

If the prospective janitorial company starts rattling off a list of cleaning products that anyone can pick up at a big box store, chances are good that they don’t have the professional acumen to handle cleaning your commercial space.

At the same time, also keep your ears open for a company that has some type of ecologically friendly cleaning products. Not only are they safer for the environment, but they also tend to leave behind a fresh aroma, rather than toxic fumes which can irritate your breathing.

Do You Use Commercial-Grade Cleaning Equipment?

The cleaning equipment found at the retail level, and that used by commercial cleaning companies is vastly different. While there are a few simple things that might overlap, most truly professional cleaning companies, who are worthy of partnering with will use commercial-grade cleaning equipment. They’ll also be able to clearly explain to you why it is superior, and why they chose it over a different piece of equipment.

What Kind of Training Do Your Cleaning Technicians Have?

Ideally, you want to hear that the prospective janitorial company provides their cleaning technicians with some type of outside training along with intensive in-house training techniques. This might mean giving them access to online videos or periodically sending cleaning technicians to industry trade shows or continuing education opportunities. New technicians should also be paired with more experienced janitorial specialists as a sort of on-the-job apprenticeship.

Will I Have The Same Cleaning Technician Every Time?

Ideally, you want a prospective cleaning company to dedicate one or more of the same people to handle your janitorial services. This means that the technicians will become intimately familiar with your property’s unique cleaning needs. It ensures that they get everything cleaned to your specifications, without missing the sort of things that a new technician is prone to.

Sure, there are always going to be times when someone is out sick or on vacation. Though by and large, you want to have a similar team working on your property regularly to make sure all your janitorial needs are being met.

Do You Offer Deep Cleaning & Other Specialty Services?

Deep cleaning services, floor stripping, power washing, seasonal cleaning, and other specialty services need to be performed in a lot of residential and commercial properties. If they don’t offer the specialty cleaning services you need, you’d end up having to find a company that does. So, why not just use that alternative cleaning company from day one!