Earlier this summer my family and I took a train trip across the country. It was our first time “riding the rails” and we had great fun eating meals in the dining car, bunking out in our sleeper car, and watching the scenery roll by in the observation car.

Despite these wonderful memories, when I’m asked how I liked traveling by train, I can’t help but first think of some of the poor customer service experiences we encountered. Some staff was unwilling to help out with a dining problem; other times staff was nowhere to be found at all. Most notably, I was surprised to realize not one staff member wished me a “Happy Father’s Day” even though I was clearly traveling with my two small children.

Customer interaction — for good or bad — is what service providers are remembered for. How confident are you that your staff will receive praise for their customer service? I’m sure many building service contractors may consider themselves lucky that their janitors work at night, away from clients.

But how long with that last? Our recent survey of facility executives shows that 61 percent of respondents want day cleaning. It doesn’t matter whether that means a day porter or an entire cleaning crew staffed during daytime hours, janitors will be around building occupants. Their appearance and attitude will stand out more than how well they can keep a facility clean.

If transitioning to day cleaning, train janitors to make eye contact with building occupants and give a simple greeting. Janitors should always give occupants at least two feet of personal space and make sure that equipment doesn’t block traffic areas. If janitors need to work in occupied spaces, they should say, “Excuse me,” and make eye contact before entering. It’s possible that building occupants don’t want to be bothered and janitors need to politely respect “wave-offs” or closed office doors.

In addition, janitors should wear uniforms and ID badges, and be fluent enough in English in case they need to address building occupants.