It’s super easy to find someone to clean your home. But finding a reliable cleaning service is more difficult than completing the Pike’s Peak marathon.
Whether you’re new to the amazing pleasure of having your home cleaned by a professional service or if you’ve had your home consistently cleaned for years, it can be extremely difficult to find a service that will:
- Arrive on time
- Get on their hands and knees for your home
- Return your phone calls
- Or simply show up on the day they’re supposed to clean.
the 3 Red Flags to watch for
Red flag #1: Slow to respond
Remember playing tag when you were a kid? Being “IT” was never fun. Constantly running after someone, them dodging you, teasing you. Neener-neener-neeeeener. You couldn’t wait to TAG someone so you didn’t have to be IT anymore.
Calling cleaning services can sometimes feel like a frustrating game of Phone TAG, except your always IT! You’re never able to catch them, always getting their voicemail, no return phone calls. Crickets…
Now, just because they don’t answer their phones does NOT mean they aren’t good cleaners, it probably means the opposite. They’re probably so good that they’re just too busy with current customers to even think about adding more clients to their cleaning schedule.
However, it may be a sign of poor time or business management skills. Not having the proper systems in place to answer customers quickly is a red flag.
With a bomb-a$ assistant on the phone lines from 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM every weekday and 5 other platforms to reach us (text, Facebook, email, online chat, and google+) we’re never hard to get ahold of. Plus we promise to respond to any correspondence within 2 business days. If you don’t hear from us after 2 business days, then you can assume the worst.
Red Flag #2: Negative Reviews WITHOUT a professional response
Online reviews are a great way to see if the business you’re courting is up to par. It’s the next best thing to a trusted friend’s referral.
But online reviews aren’t always 100% trustworthy. Some companies purchase their reviews or get their best friends and their mom to write a positive review on their Google my Business page with the justification that they love their child and they’d never let you down.
Fake 5-star reviews aren’t the only culprit. Negative reviews can be just as fake or even faker than Jocelyn Wildenstein’s lips.
We once had a competing cleaning company create 2 fake Google accounts and leave fake negative reviews on our google my business page. The only reason we discovered this was because the same Fake person copied and pasted the same fake review onto 6 other cleaning companies. It was a class act.
Thankfully Google kindly removed those for us, but I digress.
The true litmus test is an owners or businesses response to a negative review. Those are the golden nuggets you should search for when checking out their social reviews.
If you see a negative review and no public response from the owner/business, then you should take that as a deep, dark red flag. Or worse, there is a response but the business blamed the customer. #cringeworthy
Accepting responsibility and owning a mistake is essential to our customer service success.
Check out this response back-and-forth from a cleaning service on the east coast – Eloise’s Cleaning:
Oh! By the way, that’s us (Nathan and Lacy). We’re also the owners of Eloise’s Cleaning, but that’s a story for another time. You can check it out here if you’re interested.
Red Flag #3: Employees instead of Independent Contractors
I’m going to let you in on a little secret from the cleaning industry: there are 2 schools of thought when it comes down to hiring cleaners for a cleaning business.
- Hire employees, train them, provide all equipment, and assume all liability
- Hire independent contractors who are already trained and have their own insurance and equipment.
Which option is better?
This is an argument that will continue in the cleaning industry until the end of time. It’s like democrats and republicans, there are pros and cons to either party but no one will ever admit to which one is better.
This is pure opinion based on my own experience, but after trying both options we have found that the Independent Contractors perform more consistently than employees.
All our cleaning contractors are given complete ownership of every single cleaning we assign to them. Plus, without the additional overhead of an employee, we are able to pay them more for each job and incentivize them with additional quality bonuses. It’s truly a win/win/win.
While employees may look the part with professional uniforms and branded cars our contractors are way more motivated to ensure that each cleaning is done right!
Whenever you’re searching for a good cleaning service always ask this question, “Are your cleaners employees or contractors?”
Choose Merit Maids
Lacy and I are proud to have designed a cleaning business to meet the needs of fellow coloradans without raising any red flags. If any ever do come up, then feel free to connect with me so we can get it straightened out.
Give us a shout and we can get you scheduled.