A good communication plan is important, as well. For some buildings, like Reece’s, relatively low-tech and simple communication works fine. He sends an email letting the cleaning staff know there’s been a complaint and the BSC takes care of it. So far Reece has been happy with that system. Their day porter takes care of emergencies as well as restocking supplies, emptying trash cans, etc.

Having a formal complaint process in place avoids what Mandelstam calls “hallway chats.” Any line of communication that involves documentation of some sort will ensure that information gets to the person it needs to and that the workflow of porters and cleaners is preserved as much as possible.

Some companies and facilities are going even further by taking advantage of technology that can help create an equal partnership. Crowe describes one firm that has deployed an app and a plan that streamlines the complaint/request process. One person on each floor of the building is assigned one point of contact. Anyone who has a complaint, a compliment or a request goes to that person. The point person clicks on the icon and enters the information. That message is immediately sent to the shift manager. If the complaint isn’t taken care of within 30 to 60 minutes, the message gets sent to the shift manager’s boss, and then to that person’s boss. It escalates until someone takes care of it.

“I like web-based products like that simply because it gets the information to the person who can do something about it almost immediately,” says Crowe. “It creates accountability on both sides.”

If there is no complaint or request in the system then BSC staff didn’t even know about it and can’t have been expected to remediate and the problems are solved quickly. Everyone wins.

Internet of Things technology is gradually coming to the restroom, which has the potential to alleviate complaints. Janitors can receive a text alert when soap or towel supplies are running low and restock to prevent outages. These dispensers also monitor usage and BSCs can analyze the data to learn traffic patterns and adjust cleaning schedules, accordingly.

Caryn Gracey Jones is a freelance writer based in Aurora, Colorado.

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A Day Porter Will Reduce Restroom Troubles