In previous blog posts, we started our examination of the most common transition problems that arise when a customer hires a new janitorial service. Specifically, we looked at Problems No. 1 and No. 2. Today we’ll examine Problem No. 3.
Problem No. 3: Misaligned expectations. During the sales process, the salesman explains the various processes and procedures that the janitorial company will use to recruit great janitors and clean the building. This creates excitement. This gives hope to the building owner. This also sets high expectations.
These are good things and the janitorial company should be able to meet and possibly exceed these expectations. However, it is unlikely to occur overnight. It usually takes a few days (or even weeks in some cases). There are two primary reasons that great service takes some time. The first reason is simple. On the first night the janitors are slow. Performing the basic cleaning in the building takes a lot of time. In fact, Alliance tells its franchise owners that cleaning on the first night (or first several nights) might take 2-3X longer than it will after they have experience in the building.
The second reason is that “detail” cleaning is performed in stages. Most janitorial companies perform “basic” cleaning every visit and perform “detail” cleaning in stages. For example, a janitor that is responsible for cleaning a 5-day/week account might deep clean the restrooms every Monday and detail dust the office areas every Thursday. This means that it will take several days to get the building entirely clean.
Solution: Communication. This is the key to successfully navigating this problem. The janitorial company should explain that it intends to meet the high expectations, but that it could take a few days or weeks. The janitorial company should also explain the reasons why (which are listed above). If this communication occurs, expectations should no longer be misaligned!