How to Pick the Perfect Cleaning Company in 11 Critical Questions

It’s been said that, “You can judge the quality of a man’s life by the quality of his questions.”
Well, we think the same goes for the quality of your cleaning company.
how to pick a cleaning company
That’s why we’ve put together what we at KleenMark think are the 11 critical questions you need to ask before signing your next cleaning contract.
Some of these questions require a certain answer (like if your building is LEED certified, your cleaning company should be CIMS-GB certified so you can get LEED O&M credits).
And others are there for you to judge whether a company is a good fit for your building (like references and customizable cleaning programs).
So, without further ado, here are…

11 questions you can use to find the perfect cleaning company…

#1) Do you have references from buildings like ours?
A proven company should be able to provide you with multiple references from buildings that are similar in size or scope to yours who can vouch for the quality of their service. While our systems are scalable to a variety of sizes, costs, time, and scope of what our programs look like can differ significantly between a 10,000 sq. ft. office and over a million sq. ft. of hospitals and clinics across the state of Wisconsin.
#2) Can you show me your training program?
It’s really easy to say, “We have a great training program!”, but a company with a good system should be able to provide videos, checklists, and / or allow you to “virtually” assess how their team is trained. Make sure to ask for information about the training staff cleaners receive, who trains them, and how often their training is refreshed. If you are a specialized facility like a hospital or school, ask to see how they specifically train for your facility type.
#3) What certifications does your staff hold?
If you are a very small facility you may not need these, but for large, complex buildings (healthcare, education, LEED), your provider should be Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) / GB and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliant. Both of these protect you and your company and, in some cases, save you money. Ask for a list of all certifications related to your business.
#4) What kind of insurance do you regularly carry?
Make sure any commercial cleaning company you consider is fully insured and bonded for the safety and security of you, your company and your facility. If by default a company doesn’t meet your requirements that’s ok! But, they must be willing and able to obtain the necessary insurance as a part of the contract. If you’re unsure of what kind of insurance you need, ask them about what they do for clients similar to you.
#5) What kind of availability do you offer?
Ask your cleaning company about blackout times in their schedule. Do they have any? What is their policy on emergency requests or issues that arise outside of regular business hours? Get real-life examples of how they have come through for specific clients for special requests. Think about the last time you had a special request and ask how they would handle it and if their would be extra costs?
#6) How do you hold yourself and your staff accountable?
Find out how the company will measure and track their success on your job site. Do they perform inspections electronically? What is their definition of “clean” (pass / fail, scoring, etc.)? Do they have a quality assurance program or department? How will you provide feedback, and what will they do with it? Is there a formal complaint procedure? Can they provide you with tracking tools?
#7) Do you use “green cleaning” methods?
Especially if you are a LEED certified facility, find out what green cleaning products, processes, and certifications the cleaning company has, and whether they can help your business get the kinds of green certifications that will help meet your environmental goals. For example, did you know that KleenMark’s CIMS-GB with Honors certification is actually certified by the USGBC (manages LEED) to help you meet LEED ongoing maintenance requirements.
#8) Are your cleaning programs able to be customized?
Don’t get cornered into a cleaning program that provides too much or not enough for your facility. For some buildings, it may benefit you to use your provider’s standards. This can save you money and management hassle. But if you have specific needs (i.e. you’re a lab) ask the provider if they offer any add-on services or scheduled project work that will meet your needs.
#9) How do you make safety a priority?
The reality of cleaning is that a lot of unsupervised work happens. Even in large campus environments that have dedicated, non-cleaning supervisors, there are still plenty of times that staff are in different areas of the building. And if a building is small or remote (like a bank branch or small office) your crew will most likely be unsupervised the majority of the time.
So, it is incredibly important to make sure any company you work with is compliant with OSHA laws, provides uniforms and/or badges to make their staff easily recognizable, has established processes and procedures for protecting confidential records, and for keeping your staff and facility as safe as possible.
Don’t be afraid to have them show you their safety process from the last 12 months or to ask for their OSHA recordable incidents.
#10) What equipment and supplies will you use in my account?
Ask about the products and equipment the cleaning company uses. Are they environmentally friendly? Do they buy locally? How much are they spending on supplies, and do they actively look for ways to save? Where do they buy equipment and supplies? Do they have direct relationships with manufacturers (which means better pricing and faster service)? Then make sure to ask what they’ll use in your account and why? For example, some companies may use a scrubber vs. a mop in a bathroom. But that could mean you only get a cleaning once / week (with a scrubber) vs. daily with a mop.
#11) Who will be managing my account?
Ask to meet the people who will be accountable and / or responsible for managing your account. If your contract is very large the company may need to hire someone specifically to fill that role. In that case, make sure to ask what they’re looking for and meet who that person’s boss will be. Find out what procedures are in place for replacing cleaning personnel who aren’t getting the job done or otherwise aren’t a fit for your facility.
[custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”false”]Are you curious about how KleenMark would answer these questions for your building(s)?[/custom_headline]
To start your conversation with us, all you have to do is call 800-422-5159 or…

  1. Click here to Request a Quote.
  2. Fill out the short form to help us understand your cleaning needs a little better.
  3. You’ll receive a call from our solutions team within 24 hours (M-F).

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