These 8 questions will help you hire a home cleaning service that can meet your specific needs.
Hiring a cleaning service you can trust is a big deal. The vast amounts available options, from franchises to mom-and-pops to individuals, and the huge price ranges, can be overwhelming. The below questions can help you make sure the person or company you hire are capable and trustworthy.
How long have you been in business?
Failure rates for house keeping business are pretty high. Data shows 50% will go out of business in their first year and almost 90% will have closed down by their 5th year. A new company may be great (after all, all existing companies were new at some point), but generally, the longer a company has been in business the more likely they are to be around in the future.
Are you insured? What happens if something in my home is broken or damaged?
Proper insurance (at least one million dollars in coverage – preferably two million) is incredibly important. Uninsured companies are normally cheaper, but if something in your home is accidentally damaged, they will not be able to afford to compensate you for it, and you’ll have to foot the bill. You can verify insurance coverage through the company’s insurance provider. They should have a written policy in place explaining procedures for dealing with breakage/damage. Ask to see it.
Do you carry workman’s compensation insurance on all of your employees?
Employers who conduct work in the State of Florida are required by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Very few cleaning companies comply with this due to the high costs of providing worker’s comp. Without worker’s comp, if a cleaner is injured in your home, you could potentially be sued by the worker. The risk of a lawsuit is even greater with an independent maid, since technically YOU are their employer.
How do you prescreen your employees?
Does the company check references? Perform criminal background checks? Are they willing to provide proof? If they are an independent cleaning person are they willing to provide you with a copy of their own background check at their own expense? Background information is obviously important to have on any one you don’t personally know who will have access to your home, valuables, and family, especially if they will be in the home unsupervised.
What does your training program consist of?
The cleaning industry has high turnover which results in new workers being hired quickly and immediately sent to work by desperate business owners. Too often these new hires will get very little training, or worse, no training at all. The most reputable companies have formal, documented, on-going training programs. This increases the quality of the service you will receive and also reduces turnover.
Can you provide me with a written checklist of tasks to be performed?
You can’t compare services and costs of different companies if you don’t know exactly what services are included in their prices. Some areas that differ between companies in the basic services they provide are dishes, stripping and making of beds, laundry, high dusting of ceiling fan blades, high reach window sills, handling of children’s toys, and the handling of the trash throughout the home. You can save yourself a lot of headaches down the line by getting written specifications upfront.
What happens if I am unhappy with my cleaning?
It’s important to know a company’s policy if you are dissatisfied with their services. Some cleaning services will only give you a certain percent off your next service if you are unhappy. If you are displeased and they won’t fix it, now you are stuck looking for a new company. A reputable company should come back immediately and do whatever is necessary to fix the problem, or be willing to offer you your money back.
Who provides the equipment and supplies?
Look for a company that will provide all of their own supplies and equipment. Employees are less likely to misuse (Windex on granite countertops, green scrub pads on the stainless steel stove, etc.) products they are familiar with and trained to use. Additionally, providing supplies for your cleaner can easily add hundreds of dollars a year to your total cleaning bill because of the large amounts of supplies that are used in a thorough cleaning.
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