A clean retail site is essential to positive in-store experiences for employees and customers. Debris-ridden floors, smudgy mirrors, broken shelves, or grimy bathrooms are not only unpleasant, but they’re also bad for worker productivity and business.
But keeping the entire fleet of stores clean is almost a full-time job in itself. Here are eight tips to help ensure you’re getting quality performance from your retail and multi-site cleaning services.
1. Seek Out Experienced Providers
The ancient adage rings true for ensuring quality in cleaning services, too: There’s simply no substitute for experience. Keeping up with the cleaning requirements of retail space requires successful coordination of scheduling, staffing, equipment, cleaning products, logistics, potential disruptions, and more.
Providers with years of experience are more likely to manage these and other considerations effectively and efficiently. A long track record in the cleaning business itself speaks to good management and service.
2. Check They Have the Right Expertise
Certain cleaning services一when executed properly一require specialized expertise and equipment. For example, a thorough duct cleaning using a professional extraction system should rid your system of allergens, mold, bacteria, dust, and other contaminants. Removing duct grilles and registers to damp mop isn’t enough, and could lead to unsanitary conditions or negative health impacts.
Where appropriate, it’s worth checking what comprehensive cleaning or sanitizing includes and ensuring your provider is qualified to deliver it.
3. Don’t Skimp on Vetting
Be sure to request references from candidates and take the time needed for a thorough follow-up. Checking marketplace trust sites such as the Better Business Bureau for reviews and complaints can also be part of the vetting process.
Interview candidates and ensure they’re prepared to meet your cleanliness standards. Describe your requirements ahead of time so they know what to expect.
4. Ask for Proof of Insurance, Surety & Janitorial Bonds
All quality cleaning providers should have up-to-date general liability insurance. This protects you from financial and legal liability if bodily injury or property damage occurs while they’re on the job at your premises.
Many cleaning services are also “bonded.” A surety bond guarantees reimbursement if the cleaning vendor fails to deliver your contracted services. And finally, you can also require your cleaning provider to hold a janitorial bond. This protects you against employee theft of money or property while cleaning.
5. Review Their Quality Assurance Procedures
Every cleaning company should have established methods for evaluating its employees’ work quality. This could include training and regular inspections. If they use an inspection app or checklist to assist in quality assurance (QA), ensure they demonstrate how it’s used in the field and it meets your standards and requirements.
For example, NEST’s QA team focuses their efforts out in the field, spot-checking the services provided by its Independent Service Provider (ISP) Network to enhance performance during the life of your program.
6. Make Sure Your Cleaning Vendors Screen Their Employees
If unknown workers will be routinely spending time in your facilities, it’s acceptable to expect their backgrounds checked for past criminal activity and drug use. This should be your cleaning company’s responsibility, but a good idea to confirm yourself.
Cleaning services should also ensure their employees are courteous, hard working, and well trained.
7. Ensure Your Cleaning Service Companies Are Responsive & Communicate Well
Whether they’re providing a quote, response to a question, recommendation, or something else, your cleaning service companies should be strong communicators and highly responsive. If you’re waiting several days for a return call or unsatisfied with an explanation, you probably should find another vendor. A successful partnership requires productive communication from all parties.
8. Use NEST’s Independent Service Provider Network for All Your Cleaning Needs
When you partner with NEST, ensuring quality in your cleaning services is a cinch. The NEST ISP Network includes more than 27,000 highly qualified service providers across the country to address all your cleaning, maintenance, and trade needs.
Every service provider is sourced, vetted, and supported to ensure insurance and licenses are current. Once selected to join the NEST team, providers are trained to provide stellar service and fully deliver on client service specifications.
As mentioned, NEST’s QA team spends their time in the field, ensuring your standards are met, if not exceeded, every time. Relatedly, the service verification process enables store personnel to rate and review provider performance, ensuring accurate measurement of program KPIs.
NEST manages your program costs with pre-established service level agreements (SLAs) and takes care of communication and scheduling between you and your providers.
Finally, NEST’s ISP is designed to pivot and scale with you as your cleaning needs grow and change. It’s the only cleaning service provider network you’ll ever need.