What you need to pay attention to when inspecting a commercial cleaning account…

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by Tom Watson on May 19, 2013

The number one goal of running your cleaning business is keeping your customers happy. You will do that by keeping their facility clean as a whistle.

One of the ways you will make sure it’s clean is through the inspections you’ll perform from time to time. This will keep your staff on their toes and catch the small problems BEFORE they become big problems.

Keep in mind that not all accounts are alike, so there is no one size fits all approach. This means what I will be discussing is how to view the most common AREAS OF CONCERN that will give you grief as a cleaning business owner.

How to inspect a commercial cleaning account

When inspecting an account I always like to start at the “beginning”, which to me is the ENTRY POINT of the facility that we are responsible for. This will be the very first thing the vast majority of your customers will see, so you might was well start off on the right foot.

To begin with I pay attention to the front door glass, looking for fingerprints that may have been missed. This is SO EASY to get right, but sadly so many folks mess this up by being lackadaisical about it.

Once inside I scan the floors from corner to corner to see what condition they are in. Once you get the feel for it, you can normally tell pretty quickly whether the carpet or tile was attended to properly by your employees.

After that I’ll scan any furniture for dust that was left behind. From there I will look closely at the ceiling, looking for cobwebs in the corners from the very top all the way to the floor.

The next hot spot is the REST ROOMS. This is a major issue for many customers, so you never want to let your guard down in this area. Even if the customer who hired you wasn’t all that focused on the bathrooms, they will become focused on it because the staff will bend the bosses ear about any issues they notice until it’s fixed.

Some of the big problems in the bathrooms are rings in the toilets and the flange around the bottom of the toilet being dirty (where the toilet is bolted to the floor). You will also want to pay attention to under the rim of the toilet, as that gets neglected way too often.

It almost goes without saying but you have to make sure the paper goods (toilet paper & c-fold) and the soap are well stocked. You will have a MAJOR ISSUE if you drop the ball on any of those products.

The partition tops should be checked for dust and every part of the urinal needs to be wiped to avoid complaints. There is not much margin for error here, as you either get it right or you get it wrong real bad.

As you move through the common areas you will want to carefully check the overall appearance. The baseboards need to be dust free and the carpeting should look as though it was both vacuumed AND EDGED for a crisp appearance. Checking for cobwebs is also highly recommended.

When you get to the office areas the main culprits continue to be the floor surface (edging issues for carpet and dirt in corners for tile) and the dusting of the office furniture. Keep checking the high dust areas like the ceiling corners for cobwebs too.

An often overlooked pair of areas are staircases and elevators. For some reason your employees will skip vacuuming the steps and pay little attention to fingerprints and the tracks in the elevator. These issues can cause you a lot of grief, but are easily corrected with proper training.

Once you have completed your inspection you will need to pass your findings along to those responsible for cleaning the account. Share both the good and the bad when delivering the news. Build up the positives first, then point out where improvement needs to occur.

When you stay on top of the cleaning and communicate regularly with your cleaning crew you will enjoy a better running company with much fewer headaches than you would have had otherwise.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 cherie May 19, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Hello Tom
Thank you for your commitment to assisting others. this is why I love cleaning, its like giving a blessing to each and every client. I have turned your ‘How to inspect a commercial cleaning account’ into a check list for the staff to use. not sure if I should use to the words ‘wipe down’ or ‘clean’ (wipe down/clean the front of the fridge) as to me they have very different meanings. Your Cherie

2 Tom Watson May 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Hi Cherie! I’m happy to help!! You may have to modify a few things to get it exactly as you like, so just go with your instinct.

3 Crystal August 15, 2013 at 11:45 pm

I have a Question. If a Janitorial Service keep letting the good employee go after 60 days because they don’t want to pay them 25 cent more if customer keeps seen someone cleaning every 60 days could it be a red flag for the customer that janitorial service is no good

4 Tom Watson August 16, 2013 at 9:58 am

Hi Crystal! Seeing a revolving door of employees is never a good thing from the viewpoint of the customer. With that said, turnover is expected to a degree (just not too much).

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