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When Cleaning Marriages Go Wrong: Common Cleaner Complaints, and Our Solutions

 

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Whether Office, Domestic or Industrial cleaning serves, these basic rules apply to across the board. We live by these. Read on to find out more…and then call us for a quote:

Does everyone deserve a cleaner, if they want one? We think so. It can be hard for a businesses and families to hire a cleaning service, despite the high level of available service providers. Some might have the feeling like it’s an unnecessary luxury, or somehow a poor reflection on them. But the simple truth is that our lives are busy and often stressful, with increasing number of daily tasks to accomplish  within the working day and with many other demands to consider. If we can make a customer’s day easier, improve general hygiene standards and freeing up time to allow our customers to focus without added stress, then this is a marriage made in heaven. We feel this is what we bring to the relationship.

That’s why we hate to hear of cleaning stories gone wrong. If a customer has put in time and expense to find a cleaning service, it’s a real shame when that relationship sours. When we began TotalCare Hygiene Services, we spent some time researching common complaints and turned these into strengths – this could explain our 5 star reviews.

Here’s what we found.

First – and this goes without saying, really – cleaning is a personal service. A customer’s home, workspace and social areas are safe spaces: it reflects who they are and what’s important to them. Letting a stranger in can be stressful! Customers, more than anything, want to feel that you understand and respect their needs and can carry out their wishes.

When things go wrong, it’s usually because this basic premise has been undermined.

Time management and ‘getting your money’s worth’

Some customers report finding their cleaner on the phone, talking to friends, or scoring in the janitors cupboard, during designated cleaning hours.

Other workers do not stay for the whole allotted time, but appear to ‘rush through’ the job as quickly as possible, in order to leave early.

Sometimes the customer feels like important tasks have been ‘skimmed over’, with more time spent on less important areas.

Safety and communication

Sometimes a cleaner has invited others to help with the cleaning, without notifying the client, whether or not these people are authenticated or professionally monitored. This feels unsafe and inappropriate to a client who has opened their home – It is true that some circumstances may occur where cleaners are unavailable, due to sickness or other issues, however and open and honest approach goes a long way.

Customers report that workers do not notify them about changes in schedule – whether in personnel, date and time changes, or even which cleaning tasks can be covered on which day. From the cleaner’s perspective, these changes are often out of their control and cannot be prevented – but poor communication has made the situation worse.

Many problems arise when the customer and the worker have not fully communicated their expectations. Some workers feel they are creating a strong customer relationship when they stop to chat, or play with the family pet – whereas the customer may see this as wasting valuable time. Other miscommunications may include the customer not understanding how long a task will take or how much it should cost, a worker not prioritising the customer’s most important requests, or expected standards of cleanliness not being met.

Professionalism and quality control

A common complaint is that, after a while, cleaning standards drop. The employee is no longer motivated, poorly remunerated, or given inadequate feedback.

Just because someone cleans their own home well, doesn’t qualify them to uphold the standards of a professional service. We employ Hygienists, because we train them in all aspects regarding the prices they offer, from the method to the theoretical.

Cleaners often appear to have a short shelf life: cleaning companies sometimes have a high turnover or send a different cleaner every week, meaning there is no opportunity for consistency and long-term relationships.

So what have we learned?

Here are our three key priorities:

Communication. Right from the beginning, it’s vital that expectations are communicated and understood on both sides. The customer needs to understand what they can expect for the price they are willing to pay, and the hygienist needs to know what the customer’s priorities are, and how best to meet them.

Consistency. Whenever possible, the same hygienist should be sent to the same customer. Any necessary changes should be communicated promptly and transparently. Long-term relationships of trust can be established, and expectations met.

Investment. Our hygienists are not temporary, under-valued or left to their own devices. For the sake of their motivation and the customer’s satisfaction, we invest in them and their future. Training and mentoring programmes, incentive schemes, continual feedback and quality control: it all helps to keep our standards high and our employees – and customers – happy.

It’s what we’re here for, after all, isn’t it?

Want to find out more about TotalCare’s domestic cleaning services? Contact us here.

 

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