How to Avoid These 9 Problems When Hiring a New Janitorial Company – Part I

One thing is always true when a customer hires a new janitorial service.  The customer is hopeful that the new janitorial service will clean their building so well that it will create a clean and comfortable place to work.  And the janitorial service wants the same thing!

There is a flurry of activity when the time comes for the new janitorial service to start.  The customer meets with the account manager or cleaner.  A walk through is performed.  Keys and alarm codes are handed out.  Special instructions are given.  This activity heightens the excitement and anticipation.

Unfortunately, the excitement often ends earlier than anyone would like.  When the new janitorial crew takes over a number of “transition” problems typically occur.  These are problems that happen because the new crew does not know their way around the building and they don’t have a routine established yet.  They are unfamiliar with the many nuances or details that are needed to properly clean and maintain the building.  Some of the problems are avoidable and some are not.

This article discusses the 9 most common problems that arise in any transition.  It also outlines potential solutions to each of these problems.


Problem No. 1:   Missed trash cans.  On the first night, the crew does not know where all of the trash cans are located.  Sometimes trash cans are hidden behind furniture or doors.  Some rooms have more trash cans than expected.  Other trash cans are just “missed” because the cleaner has not established a good routine yet.

Solution:  The janitorial service account manager and customer contact need to perform a complete and thorough walk through together and identify any trash cans that are inside a cabinet or in a “hard to find” area.  The account manager will then have detailed notes to use when training the cleaning crew and performing a follow-up inspection after the initial clean.

Problem No. 2Alarm mishaps.  Again, on the first night, the cleaner shows up at the account and enters the alarm code to gain access to the building.  Many times the cleaner will enter the alarm code incorrectly and the alarm goes off.  The alarm company then calls the customer contact and he has to drive to the building to determine the problem.  This is very frustrating for everybody involved.  It’s even more frustrating when the customer has to get out of bed late at night.

Solution:  The account manager, during the initial walk through with the customer, should get very specific information from the customer about the alarm.  If possible, the account manager should actually arm and disarm the alarm in the customer’s presence to make sure he understands the entire process.  In many instances, the alarm code is given to the account manager, but he is not told what to enter into the keypad before or after the numbers.  A trial run can eliminate this problem!