It is a well-established fact that a clean office is a productive office. In order to keep the office environment clean and tidy, most business owners hire an independent commercial cleaning firm to come in after hours. This generally works out to be cheaper and more efficient than hiring full-time janitorial staff. There are tremendous benefits to be had from hiring the right professional service, but how do you choose the company of commercial cleaners who will provide the best value? Particularly in London, there are many companies that offer professional commercial cleaning services for offices. For any busy executive, it will be tempting to run a price comparison and simply go for the company that offers the lowest quote. However, this method will not necessarily land you the best deal (nor is it even very likely that it will). It is worth setting aside a little time – just an hour or two – to delve deeper and ensure the cleaning company you choose is the best match for your needs. Here’s how to go about it:
Even though you cannot rely entirely on quoted prices if you want to make the best decision, this is still the best place to start. Work out a rough budget that you would be willing to spend on a good cleaning company, then use price comparison sites or direct quotes form companies to narrow down the field to a list of ‘on price’ contenders. As with any other service, cleaning companies advertising prices that seem too good to be true will probably turn out to provide a sub-standard service or add hidden charges to the final bill. Still, include one or two of these companies in your final shortlist, as disreputable firms will be wheedled out at a later stage. Your final shortlist should contain examples of companies offering quotes that are under budget, on budget, and perhaps one or two that are slightly over budget. This will give you a good basis for comparison.
The next thing to do is to consider what services are offered as standard by each company. This information may be freely available on the cleaning company’s website (which is always a good sign), or it may be included in the quote. If a breakdown of services offered is not forthcoming, be sure to contact the company directly and ask for this. Any company that will not provide this should immediately be crossed off the list. Most companies will offer dusting, mopping, vacuuming, and cleaning of bathroom facilities as standard. Some companies may provide extra services included in their quotes, such as window cleaning, kitchen areas, or cleaning of specialist electrical equipment (e.g. computer keyboards). Think about the specific needs of your office. If you do not have windows, it is not worth paying out extra for a company that offers window cleaning services.
Most of the quotes will not only provide a breakdown of the services offered by the company, but also specify how the cost works out as an hourly charge. Most cleaning companies charge by the hour, per team member. For instance, a job that takes 4 members of the cleaning team 1 hour to complete would be charged as a 4 hour job on a pay per hour rate. See how many staff will be provided and the scheduled hours to work out which service is the best value in terms of hourly rate.
By now, you should have whittled the potential companies down to a few favourites. The next thing to check is the insurance held by the company. Make sure that they have sufficient public liability insurance to cover the staff in cases where accidents occur. You may also want to look into details of any insurance that relates to loss, theft or damage to office equipment.
If you still have more than one company in the running – look to see when each firm was established and how many of their employees have been with them for several years or longer. Longer running firms will have more experience in terms of hiring, training, developing effective policies and procedures, providing accurate quotes and in customer services.
Testimonials and Reviews
Lastly, check out independent review boards or ask the cleaning companies to provide references form past customers. This is the best way to find out if there are any problems that have been experienced by many people when dealing with particular firms. If there are only one or two bad reviews among otherwise sterling reports – it is worth getting the cleaning company’s take on the situation. Be vigilant in looking out for repeat offences though. If many people report the same issues, it is likely that you will experience them too.