Professional cleaners are just like every other business and will vary from one to the other. Some are highly efficient, while others deliberately take their time as they're being paid hourly. And just like any other service provider, you always want to do some research before hiring one.
Now, let me say that if you are looking for a great cleaner, it is entirely possible to find one. The key lies within the research process, and with these five steps, you can be sure to find a great cleaner to suit your needs.
Ask Family and Friends for Their In Depth Cleaning Experiences
If your friends or relatives regularly employ a professional cleaner, ask them why they stick to that one. Your relatives can tell you about the details that online reviews don’t provide. Some examples may include:
- How attentive the cleaner is to their customers’ needs.
- How fast the cleaner works.Whether the prices are fair.
- Did they follow up when asked?
- Do they take their time with the job or are they in and out quickly?
By getting a personal recommendation, you'll get a more in depth idea of the cleaner and their services. Contrast this to a short paragraph you saw online, and you can make a much more informed decision.
Word of mouth is a powerful tool asset for businesses, with many relying on their local community to plug their services. If you get referred, it probably means the cleaning company has its community’s trust.
Look at Online Reviews
I know it sounds like I've just slated online reviews, but they are still incredibly helpful. By finding a second, third and fourth opinion from other customers from online sites like Yelp, it will give you an idea of the cleaner’s work quality.
When looking at online reviews, try to look at it as a whole. There will always be negative reviews along with positive ones, with some being completely fabricated. Instead of just focusing on the negatives, look for patterns among the reviews and always check the source. That will give a better idea of the overall quality of their service.
Check Cleaners’ Websites
Online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations are great, but take a look and get a feel for the cleaner’s website. Once online, check out the following:
- Is the website regularly updated? I.e. have they added new services, new images of their work or updated contact details?
- What are the cleaners’ qualifications? If there aren't any, why not?
- Do they have a blog post section? Usually sites that do, are more actively managed.
- Do they match up with your requirements?
What I wouldn't rely so heavily upon are a website's testimonials. These can be easily fabricated by the business themselves, so it's best to take them with a pinch of salt.
Do an Interview
Once you've swiftly narrowed your cleaning candidates, it's time to actively interview them to find out more info. If your choice refuses to do one because they're short on time, it is probably best to move on.
During the interview, you should ask questions that relate to their experience and list of services. Some questions may include:
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you offer any additional services besides regular cleaning?
- What equipment and cleaning products do you use? This is a good time to describe what type of surface materials you own.
- Will I get locked in a long-term contract? And if so, what are the cancellation details?
- Can you provide references or testimonials of your past customers?
Be sure to take notes during the interview and compare each candidate's answers with each other. You'll quickly find that although they all offer the same services, some stand out more than others.
Don't Ignore Your Cleaner's Interpersonal Skills
I used to have a cleaner who couldn't speak much English, and wouldn't respond to text messages. This always made me anxious because I couldn't ask questions about, well, anything cleaning related. Furthermore, if I did have any concerns i.e. the cleaner didn't show up on time, I wouldn't be able to ask why.
Now, I'm not saying they have to be a linguistic genius, but it's nice to have some form of communication if you're going to be dealing with a cleaner regularly.
When choosing a cleaner, pay attention to their interpersonal skills. Are they the accommodating type who will answer your questions or do they come off as being rushed? Do they take the time to explain their services or are they just in a rush to finish up? Pay attention to the small things.
Beware of Locked-in Contracts
I've already mentioned this but I wanted to reiterate it here. Never sign anything without reading the contract thoroughly and asking questions about it.
If you're signing a yearly contract with weekly cleanings, but you only need it once a month, don't sign the dotted line. Instead, ask if they can offer a more flexible contract or work on a clean by clean basis.
Contracts are usually signed by clients as they promise the cleaner regular work, and in turn they offer a discounted rate. If you don't want to get locked into a long-term contract, it's best to ask for a more flexible one.
Shop Around for the Best Deal
The internet is a wonderful marketplace full of offers and deals. Don't limit yourself to one cleaner, shop around and get multiple quotes from different companies.
Check for cleaning aggregator sites that compare pricing, locations, and reviews. This will let you gather the data you need more efficiently to make a well-informed decision. Contrast this with reading through each company's website individually, which can take a lot of time.
Furthermore, when comparing prices, if something is too good to be true, it probably is. The inexpensive option may very well be a hidden gem in the marketplace, but always follow up the quality of their work. You don't want to end up with a subpar clean because you went for the cheapest option.
Finding a professional cleaning service isn't a monumental task that requires you to hire a private eye or trawl through hundreds of companies. It simply starts with careful research and asking the right questions along the way. Use these steps as a guide to help you find the right cleaner for your home. Good luck!