Whether you’re thinking of switching from your current cleaning service or you’ve never worked with one before, choosing the right company can feel like a big decision. Taking the time to weigh your options and make the right choice can have huge benefits in the long run, including:
- A better first impression for your business
- Improved employee productivity
- A healthier work environment
- Fewer distractions and less stress for you
It’s all about asking the right questions. When you have one or two commercial cleaners you’re considering, ask them these 10 questions:
1. Do you offer all the cleaning services I need?
Do you need janitorial services, carpet cleaning, and window cleaning? Do you generate a lot of paper recycling you need someone to manage?
Make sure any company you’re considering does everything you need.
(You don’t want to hire 3 different companies when you could hire just one!)
It’s worth double checking each cleaning company’s answers with the services page of their website too.
2. What kind of cleaning products & supplies do you use?
This is a good question to ask, just to make sure the person you’re talking to is knowledgeable about the cleaning process.
It’s especially important if sustainability matters to you. In Portland and the surrounding areas, many businesspeople feel strongly about their impact on the environment. If that sounds like you, it’s worth finding a commercial cleaning service with the same philosophy.
At Cascade Building Services, we always use environmentally safe products without harmful toxins or unpleasant odors.
3. Can you clean at night or on weekends?
Part of the reason for hiring a commercial cleaner is to free up more time and energy for you to focus on business. You can’t do that if your cleaning company is constantly showing up during business hours.
At Cascade Building Services we work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our clients simply tell us the most convenient time for them, and that’s when we show up.
4. How long have you been in business?
There’s nothing wrong with being a young business — everyone has to start somewhere — but there’s a lot less risk for you when you choose a cleaning company who has a long history of doing quality work.
We’ve been serving the Portland area for more than 50 years. We’ve handled nearly every type of cleaning job out there and we have many good reviews from great clients to back it up… which leads to the next question:
5. Can you provide me with references?
Unless you’re the company’s first client, they should be able to put you in contact with at least one or two clients they’ve worked with in the past (or that they still work with!).
It never hurts to ask for references, even if you don’t actually call all of them. You might learn some valuable information that makes your decision easier.
It’s also a good idea to check each company’s online reviews on Google, Yelp, and their own website.
6. Will your employees clean my facility?
Some companies use day laborers instead of hiring their own employees. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that, but it’s always nice to know when a company has loyal employees.
One benefit of choosing a company who hires its own employees? At Cascade Building Services, we have a professional staff of employees who wear uniforms and I.D. badges. Many of our employees have worked with us for over a decade! We perform a background check on everyone we hire and provide ongoing training.
Photo: Sean Mulgrew
7. Do you work with other businesses in my industry?
Does the cleaning company have experience with businesses like yours? Can they handle the ins and outs of cleaning a space like yours?
If they have worked with clients in your industry, can they tell you which business(es)?
8. Will you have an ongoing contact person?
It’s important to have the name and number of a single person you know you can always contact — whether that’s the owner, an employee, or a customer service representative whose job is to make sure you’re getting the service you need.
There’s nothing more frustrating than sealing the deal with a salesperson and then having to climb your way through a phone tree once you’re actually working together.
9. Are they responsive and quick to get back to you?
This is more of a question to ask yourself. Does the company instill confidence that they’ll do what they say they’ll do? Do you trust them? Is it clear that getting back to you and answering your questions are top priorities?
If you answered yes, yes, and yes, that’s a good sign!
10. Can you give me a free quote or estimate?
Free quotes are a sign that a company is not only legitimate but believes in the work they’re doing. It’s also a sign that they respect their clients’ time and money.
My advice is that if a company won’t provide you with a free quote before you start working together, start looking for someone else.
Ready to get started? We’d love to give you a free quote.
Get a free quote from Cascade Building Services, or give us a call at (503) 691-0776 if you have questions.
Want all these questions in one place? You can print this page and use this checklist of all 10 questions to ask you cleaners:
Cleaning Company Questions Checklist
Name of Cleaning Company: ______________________________________
- ❑ They offer all the cleaning services you need.
- ❑ They use safe (and possibly environmentally friendly) cleaning products.
- ❑ They can clean at a time that’s convenient for you.
- ❑ They’re experienced with a history of success.
- ❑ They can provide you with references.
- ❑ Their own employees will clean your facility (no day laborers).
- ❑ They have experience working with businesses in your industry.
- ❑ You will have an ongoing contact person.
- ❑ They’re responsive and quick to get back to you.
- ❑ They can provide you with a no-obligation quote or estimate free of charge.