person walking up Ladder of Success

A reader writes: "I thought we were doing a great job in our building, but you found some areas that we missed. How do we address these issues without tipping off the building occupants?"

Actually, it might pay dividends to share our findings with the customer and demonstrate to them that you are being proactive in providing top notch service. Overall, the building is clean and well-kept but it could be better with very little effort on your part. Although some of the concerns I pointed out might be kept private, you can decide how to proceed. Following are some areas of concern that you need to address:

  1. You are using an upright vacuum cleaner on glue down carpet squares that do not need to show a brush pattern. We noted that in three different spots the person vacuuming may have damaged the carpet by allowing the beater bar to sit in one spot and abrade to the point of melting the carpet. This would not have happened with a backpack unit.
  2. The front door tracks are unacceptable and need prompt attention. Please understand that this is a first impression area and should be kept clean and attractive by being free of built up soil in the treads and even have a polished look.
  3. The restrooms had a musky or sewer type odor when we inspected them in the early morning. Your rest room cleaner needs to pour water or enzyme solution down the drain (as well as any shower drains) at least weekly. They are doing a good job of cleaning but the deodorizers are not strong enough to overcome the sewer gas that comes in overnight.
  4. Your janitor closets are not being maintained and your janitor office is really unacceptable. I cannot accept your excuse that your crews are focusing their attention on the customer since the condition of these areas sends a clear message to your standards.

We will consider some other observations in a future article.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or