7 signs of a bad commercial cleaner (and how to find a better one)

7 signs of a bad commercial cleaner (and how to find a better one)

I wasn’t always in the business of commercial cleaning. In a past life I was an office-dwelling chartered accountant. With a background in auditing, you can probably guess that ‘details’ are in my DNA. Unfortunately, this also means that I spent over a decade involuntarily noticing bad cleaning jobs.

The next-level quality commercial cleaning service that Realcorp delivers has its foundations in knowing exactly what clients don’t want to see in their office spaces, medical centres, manufacturing plants and residential common areas…

Bottom line: you shouldn’t notice your cleaning job, because when it’s done properly there’s nothing to see.

Has your contractor dropped the ‘professional’ from their ‘professional cleaning service’?

If your commercial cleaning contractor starts cutting corners, the evidence will pile up quickly (sometimes literally!).
Rather than let that dusty partition (that just never gets cleaned) become your daily ‘push notification’ that your cleaner isn’t doing their job, take action and put out a tender for a new contractor.


The seven horsemen of a commercial cleaning apocalypse
(plus quality checks to help you sort the sheep from the goats)


One: Cleaning is only done in response to a complaint

Cleanliness is a key yardstick that your business will be measured against. If you are getting regular complaints from staff, customers or residents that even routine cleaning tasks aren’t being attended to, your reputation will suffer.

Quality check: look for a proactive service approach
A top-notch, professional cleaning service will notice and respond to cleaning ‘emergencies’ before they come to your attention. Look for contractors that use controls like cloud-based checklists to guarantee that regular tasks are never missed. Site-specific training will also ensure that your cleaner knows more about cleaning your facility than you will ever need to.


Two: You don’t know the exact movements of your cleaning team

If the who, what, when, where and how long of your commercial cleaning service are a bit hazy, then your cleaners likely aren’t across it either. It’s not enough to just assume that staff are where they are meant to be. Quality assurance is sure to become an issue.
Similarly, from a security perspective, you shouldn’t be left wondering who is coming and going from your facility. If you don’t have on-demand access to that information, then it’s cause for concern.

Quality check: look for transparency
Choose contractors that show a commitment to providing high-level visibility for their customers. For example, the use of tools such as GPS-tracked staff clocking systems allows for accurate and instant updates on a cleaner’s location, as well as start and finish times.


Three: You’ve never seen a cleaning scope or schedule

Do you know how many times a day/week your bathrooms are cleaned? Do you know if your cleaners routinely wipe down door handles and light switches? Does your agreement include moving the furniture to vacuum the floor underneath? If you’ve never looked these nitty-gritty details in the eye, you’ll have no idea what to expect from your contractor (let alone if they’re delivering on it!).

Quality check: look for detailed and custom-fit services
A professional cleaning contractor will ‘bore you with the details’ so that you understand exactly what your investment is buying. Your comprehensive cleaning scope should be translated into a tailored work program so that everyone is (literally) on the same page.


Four: The cleaning room or cupboard isn’t well-maintained

The space where a cleaner keeps their tools of trade acts as an advertisement for how they approach their work. On a practical level, if their gear is dirty or not working properly, your cleaners can’t possibly clean thoroughly or efficiently. They’ll also waste valuable shift time trying to find things if the supply area isn’t kept well-stocked and organised.

… and Five: You never see the same cleaner twice

Far from feeling like your cleaner is ‘part of the family’, you’re not even 100% sure that they’re part of your contractor’s team! A constant stream of unfamiliar faces is not just a security issue; a lack of ‘relationship’ can often mean that the care-factor is low.

Quality check: look for contractors who value their people
These last two issues come about when contractors don’t see their staff as their most important asset. Choose commercial cleaning companies who employ their staff directly and pay award rates. This demonstrates good company values such as loyalty, trust and pride in a job well done.


Six: You have no ‘relationship’ with your ‘relationship manager’

If you haven’t heard from your relationship manager in 3 months (or worse – you don’t even know who they are!) it suggests that your contractor has a ‘set and forget’ service culture. Their focus is clearly on winning new clients at the expense of delivering great service to their existing ones.

Quality check: A professional cleaning service agreement should include face-to-face time with a real, live person. Regular in person ‘quality-checks’ are essential for accountability and to make sure your service remains aligned with your needs.


Seven: (OK, this one’s obvious but…) your building is not clean!

Are your employees tearing through their sick days? Are common area bins not reliably emptied? Are there areas that are consistently ‘missed’*? Not only is a dirty facility unappealing to your customers, residents or employees, it’s a potential health hazard (and a liability!).
*pro-tip: check behind bathroom doors and under desks – these are good indicators of attention to detail!

Quality check: look for a contractor who does things differently!

At Realcorp we’re different (in a good way)

To deliver a consistently ‘above expectations’ commercial cleaning service, we’ve modelled our systems, processes and controls on those used in professional services, including:
a GPS-tracked staff clocking system – providing transparency and accountability
cloud-based completion checklists – staff can check off all tasks in real time using a mobile device
tailored work programs – you’ll know exactly what gets cleaned and when
in-depth, site-specific training – we really get to know your facility and its particular cleaning needs
direct employment on award rates – when you value your staff, they take care and have pride in their work
regular ‘walk-throughs’ performed by your relationship manager – any issues can be identified and resolved quickly.

For a commercial cleaning service that’s thought of everything (so you don’t have to)
Call 1300 307 298 or email sales@realcorp.net.au

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