When you are choosing your next commercial cleaning provider there is an expectation that the service you receive should totally reflect the cost of your contract. However, in such a competitive market with over 8,000 cleaning companies based in London alone, what other sources of value are there that a cleaning company can provide?
At Abelian, we believe to successfully deliver customer satisfaction and an exceptional service delivery there are key things that should be included:
QMS allow companies to repeatedly asses, through audits, success in delivering a service to the required standard. Service standards are usually audited against agreed KPI’s within the service level agreement. Auditing though Abelian is done using two approaches:
- On-site supervisors will audit daily to ensure all areas and cleaners are working to the level required
- Account managers will audit monthly with a hand held device that means reports are assessed to ensure we continuously achieve agreed KPI targets.
QMS software also lets us predict the potential of a service failure before it impacts a facility, this means we can refocus our efforts on problem zones.
We strongly advise using a cleaning provider that directly employs all staff in favour of companies that use contracted teams. Direct employment safeguards against cleaner sick or holiday leave. In the event of these situations staff contingency plans are used.
Staff contingency means that on-site supervisors or cleaners working nearby can be moved across to provide cleaning support. If no staff are free or available, mobile cleaning teams will immediately step in. Contracted cleaning teams can mean it’s near impossible to guarantee you have the correct number of cleaners on site everyday.
Commitment to investing in employees is fundamental in the cleaning industry. Training and empowering your team to take the upmost pride in their work, whilst providing each member of staff with the skills to deliver a quality service, is incredibly important.
Training should focus on cleaning duties, company policies, health and safety plus environmental principles to be clear for all. This enables everyone involved in the cleaning of your facility to work safely, as well safely maintaining your facility for all other employees or visitors. Falling under the health and safety category, COSHH training and tool box talks are essential.
Abelian believes that using various training formats helps us to accommodate cleaners that learn in different ways. Having a mixture of hands on training, video format, digital presentation and printed training manuals means our cleaners learning are engaged. This also maximises their learning. We have the benefit of a training school at our head office so training can be scheduled at any time where management see fit.
The ability of your commercial cleaning provider to immediately step in, or predict a potential service delivery failure indicates their level of contract focus. Reactive response can relate to a number of things:
- An absence of a cleaner: this is where a staff contingency plan comes into play.
- Cleaning audits that highlight an area of poor service: Regular audits will mean your account manager should be able to predict a potential service failure. Training, encouragement or additional supervision will be provided to prevent the problem escalating.
- Shortage of cleaning solutions: Abelian’s supply chain means within 24 hours we’ll have solutions on site whether it’s a public holiday or solution orders are made last minute.
We previously asked the question about what is value add. The above points are what Abelian believe to be the foundations of customer satisfaction. What is it that contractors can provide to give additional value?
How many times have you struggled to get hold of your account manager or had an email ignored for a frustrating amount of time?
Communication being streamlined between both the service provider and customer is key. Having direct contact numbers and email addresses is the bare minimum that should be supplied.
Online help desks provide an extra platform so comments can be forwarded at any time and responded to by teams that monitor this service. Written comment books can also be supplied, granted this is not the preferred digital format, but for non-pressing issues customers can jot down comments and these can be addressed during monthly meetings.
Clear communication between you and you cleaning account manager is important, but this needs to also extend to operations directors and regional managers. In the event, it’s always better to be prepared, that a failure occurs by your account manager, having the ability to contact high level staff provides you with security that your provider is able to address your needs head-on and efficiently.
It’s great if your commercial cleaning provider is carrying out monthly audits to determine how well KPI’s are being achieved. However, if you aren’t shown these reports how are you to know if the cleaning standard represents what you agreed? Out sourcing to a cleaning provider benefits you by allowing your time to be focused elsewhere, it shouldn’t be your responsibility to double check areas. Cleaning providers should be confident enough in their service delivery that they are 100% transparent with all audit reports; this includes cleaning audits and cleaner attendance.
Abelian believes transparency provides value add to all customers. It allows you to see what processes are in place and how successful the assigned cleaning team is. Transparency also supports an open dialogue between you and your provider.
Long lasting relationships
Client retention rate is a buzz word that can be used to determine how good a provider is at achieving long lasting relationships. Although it can be confusing to understand depending on what variable you’re using to measure it.
Is it based on contract length? If so, Abelian has been providing Costa Coffee HQ with cleaning for the last 23 years. Or, are you measuring it on the number of customers that have renewed after the initial contract term? 70% of Abelian’s customers have renewed their contracts.
Knowing how well cleaning providers retain their customers provides an insight in to their ability to meet their customers needs. Customer satisfaction is number one for knowing a cleaning company can deliver on what they promise.
Often a cleaning team that cleans outside of normal office or facility opening hours will be responsible for locking and securing the facility. Security includes locking all doors, windows and setting any alarms. So, how is this value add?
You don’t need us to tell you that the security of your building is crucial, as is turning off lights from an energy saving perspective. Knowing that your cleaning team can be trusted to follow your security procedure means it’s a worry you no longer have to think about. We know that returning to work and finding doors or windows that have been not been secured will very quickly become stressful, and not to mention incredibly frustrating. Value add comes from the peace of mind you’ll be given, it’s not something you can purchase.
Want a Free Cleaning Quote?
We believe that when a cleaning contract involves the mentioned above comments, customer satisfaction can be easily achieved. If your current cleaning provider is failing to deliver you the value add that you deserve contact us today for a free quote & learn why Abelian should be your next trusted cleaning partner…