Most janitorial services agreements offer a set monthly fee for a defined scope of work. It is common in the building/cleaning services industry for contractors to quote a “low-ball” price win business. However, when the actual work begins, contractors discover that they have either (a) underestimated the amount of time needed to complete the tasks in the scope of work, and/or (b) they estimated wages such that it is difficult for them to find quality staff.  When either, or both, of these things occur, their profit takes a hit. To counteract this, many cleaning companies simply quit doing all the items on the defined scope of work.

Here are 6 signs that your cleaning company is cutting corners and is no longer making you a priority:

1. Your Staff Is Complaining More Than Usual

You expect your 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. Proactive Communication Becomes Less Frequent

Ask yourself when was the last time you received proactive communication from your cleaning services provider?  

3. They Are Slow Responding Service Issues

Sometimes things get missed. It happens. But when you have an issue, 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 larger human relations issues with the contractor such as relaxed hiring practices or lower than expected wages. Also be exceptionally wary if the entire crew changes without you being notified.

5. They Have Worn Equipment

Is your cleaning crew using worn out or broken equipment? Does the vacuum cleaner cord have electrical tape holding it together? Old or worn out equipment 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.

Here’s a game plan if you’re seeing these issues:

  • Meet with the vendor – Discuss the 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?
  • 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’s important to you. Give them ample time to fix the problems.
  • Prepare to Change – If problems persist, prepare yourself for a change.  Develop a list of possible replacement vendors and meet with each.  Next, prepare a well-defined request for proposed services.  Lastly, let your staff know that you are changing vendors so that they are aware of the change.