So, what should you look for when deciding on a cleaning contractor for your premises?
If you are the office manager in charge of sourcing for an office cleaner, how should you choose between different service providers? What criteria should you set ? Obviously price would be important, but choosing based only on price may not be the best solution. Here are some ideas on what should go into your consideration when looking for a cleaning service provider, whether for a new office or when you are thinking of changing your current one.
1. NEA licencing
All cleaning companies in Singapore have to maintain their licences annually with NEA to operate as cleaning services providers. The rationale behind this is to impose higher standards of employment across the cleaning industry and lead to more professional and reliable services. You can check if the cleaning company is registered here
2. Are they able to provide replacements when the cleaners are on medical or annual leave?
This is critical to you so that the service is uninterrupted throughout the working year. Having the office cleaned, rubbish cleared, the pantry kept dry and clean and the toilets maintained daily is taken for granted. Your cleaning service provider should provide backups when the regular cleaning auntie is on leave or sick. At the least, someone should come in to provide basic housekeeping.
3. Do they have the cleaner’s welfare at heart?
You may wonder why this is important but do remember, a happy worker is more productive. Some companies do not give their worker’s paid annual leave or sufficient sick leave. This is not only against MOM guidelines but it makes for a unproductive and unmotivated worker. By having good employer, the cleaner will not only work longer for you, hence benefitting you with someone who is familiar with your office culture and expectations. They are also more likely to take on additional ad hoc errands when requested, which is sometimes a blessing in the busy working day. If your office cleaner is always changing, this could be an indication that the company does not provide adequate worker’s welfare or the salary could be too low. This is not always the case, but you may want to investigate why there is a high turnover.
4. Is the company responsive to your needs and feedback?
Sometimes, you will have feedback on the cleaner’s service or requests arising from unexpected events eg having the cleaner to stay on or come earlier due to special event. Choose a service provider who will be willing to hear your feedback and act upon it, or be able to make adjustments to the cleaning needs. They should always have a hotline or telephone contact for this purpose. If the company is unresponsive or inflexible, you should review the service provider whether they are really prepared to meet your needs.
5. Does the company provide consistent good service
Be it in providing a replacement cleaner or responding to your needs, you as a customer should expect good service irrespective of how small or big your company is.
6. Are they able to provide additional specialised cleaning services for you?
Look for a one-stop provider who can also provide additional services eg carpet cleaning, hi-jet services (for outdoor areas), office spring cleaning including air con vents and lighting covers. This may help you on your budgetting as they may usually provide such services at a special rate for existing customers, not to mention that you already have an idea of their reliability while you are working with them before.
These are my thoughts as to how you should go about selecting a cleaning contractor for your business and what are the criteria that you should think about when making your decision. If you think I’ve missed out some important ideas, please feel free to share your thoughts.