The Top 10 Secret to Employ a House Cleaning Service!

If you want to employ a cleaning service for a one-time job, an annual spring clean, or something more daily, there are a few questions you can ask before making a decision.
Bringing in someone who isn’t associated with a formal cleaning service company entails a range of risks. I always hear, “But it’s cheaper to employ an under-the-table cleaning lady for cash!” Funny enough, I still advise people to employ that cleaning lady if the cost is their primary concern, and to keep her close if things go well.

When things don’t go as expected, though, you’ll need to employ a service provider. Yeah, it’s more costly, but there are many advantages to hiring a skilled company. So, if you’re trying to employ a cleaning service, here are ten things to think about.

1. Ask family and friends for referrals.
Start by asking friends and family who they use – references offer you an inside look at a business, not just what they say on their website (let’s face it, a company can write anything). Companies may make themselves sound impressive, trustworthy, and experienced, but a personal recommendation from a friend or family member can paint a different image and carry more weight.

2. Read reviews on the internet seasoned with a grain of salt
Good people are less likely to post reviews than depressed people who feel obligated to share their bad luck with the rest of the world. Remember that those reviews are often used as a platform for people to complain, exaggerate a story, or attempt to damage the company’s credibility. When a business has only negative feedback, that’s a major red flag, but if they have mostly positive reviews with a few negative ones, that’s about average. No one is without flaws.
Another thing to be wary of is a business that has a perfect score. I know businesses that pay customers to write reviews for them, so you can bet they’ll be flawless. Regardless, a reasonable rule of thumb is to stay away from companies that have all perfect scores, stay away from companies that have all bad scores, and look for companies that have consistently high scores.

3. Worker’s Compensation, Bonding, and Insurance
Is the company financially capable of covering the costs of any damage to your house, any fraud, or any injuries that occur on your property? You may be liable for money, stolen goods, property damage, or an injured worker if they don’t have this coverage. If you ask, a company should be able to tell you if they have this coverage and provide you with copies of their policies.
Now, keep in mind that this adds to the expense of running a service business, which is why the costs per hour or work are higher. However, this degree of assurance is important, particularly when letting someone into your home and potentially be held liable if anything goes wrong – remember, we live in a litigious society!

4. Experience, affiliations, and accreditations
How long has the company been in operation? Are there any certificates, accreditations, or affiliations with professional associations that the company has received? This is what I like to look for because it reassures me that an organization is trustworthy and cares for its integrity.
To put this in perspective, there are a few businesses in Toronto with a bad reputation that close and reopen under a different name. Checking in on these affiliations adds credence to a company’s ability to maintain a healthy relationship with its customers.

5. Service Providers
Is the business open to requests or does it have a set service? What level of detail will they go into? Inquire about the quality of service provided depending on what you want to be done. If you can customize it and hire someone to come in and check a bunch of items off your to-do list, or if you just have the same service each visit regardless of what you want to be done, or if you can do a combination of the two. Companies have a wide range of options; there is no right or wrong answer; you just need to find what best fits your needs and lifestyle.

6. 100% Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed!
Often inquire about breakage, injury, and satisfaction guarantees; a business should stand behind its work and its employees. What are they willing to do for you if you aren’t satisfied as a customer, and how can they make it right? It’s an unavoidable part of existence that stuff can break. We’ve always treated it by being extremely sensitive, genuine in our apologies, and fixing anything at all costs. This sounds insane, and I’m sure many businesses don’t do it. They advise the client to file a claim under their homeowner’s insurance policy or chalk it up to an inevitable error.

What would the company give you if you aren’t pleased with the cleaning? If you need a touch-up? Is there a free cleaning? Is there nothing? Companies have different policies on this, so find out what options you have if you aren’t satisfied with the service you’ve got.

7. Contract Staff vs. Employees
Determine whether the staff are permanent or contract workers. Contract staff usually do not earn the same benefits as employees and are not subject to the same degree of supervision. While they are generally less expensive to hire, they are frequently untrained and unreliable because they are “replaceable” to a large extent – by that, I mean that the company outsourcing the work has made little to no investment in their actual work product, so they can quickly move on to another contractor while losing little to no investment (training, taxes, etc.).

An employee has a better set-up than a contract worker, and the organization has more input and accountability (and more investment) in that worker, which means they are more accountable to their employer. Employees also contribute to the province, state, and country in which they reside by paying taxes and having taxes paid on their behalf by their employer. These two classifications, as well as the laws that regulate them, can differ from country to country.

8. Be aware of who you’re hiring.
Who is entering your house, and how are their credentials verified? Is it a legitimate service firm with a clear roster of workers, or a sharing-economy firm with ad hoc employees? Keep in mind that when you employ a cleaner, you’re allowing someone into your most sacred room, which contains your most precious possessions; potentially when you’re not there. Who would you put your faith in? Inquire about how and if the company interviews and background check its employees, if they conduct criminal or background checks on their employees, and if they expect to schedule you with the same cleaner as much as possible.

9. Cleaning Materials
Is it necessary for you to have your cleaning supplies and equipment, or do they use their own? We expect our clients to have their own, and we will, of course, assist them in determining just what they want. I assume that a mop should be used in one house only, otherwise the filth from house A would spread to house B.

Furthermore, each home has its own set of requirements, including pets, individuals, finishes, and so on. I assume that using the right products and tools on each surface is important and that it is preferable to have your own to avoid cross-contamination and possible damage to surfaces.

10. Terms of Service
Find out what the cancellation and change policies are for your service. This procedure should be in effect so you don’t get hit with any unexpected charges. Many businesses charge a cancellation fee because rescheduling cleaners at the last minute can be difficult, and the company must compensate them for their missed wages. You can better plan and prepare for any scheduling problems if you have this detail.

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