The phrase Five Things You Should Know in red text on lined notepaper with a cup of coffee, smartphone and marker pen on a desktop

Contributed by Afshin Cangarlu, CEO of Stratus Building Solutions

When facility executives search for a commercial cleaning company, they are bombarded with options. One of the best ways for building service contractors to stand out is to demonstrate professionalism every step of the way. This begins with the person who answers the phone and continues through the entire cleaning process.

Focus On First Impression 

Potential facility customers are usually busy business owners or building managers. It’s important to leave a good first impression when they call to inquire about cleaning services. Ensure the person who is answering the phone is knowledgeable and friendly.  

To help guarantee this happens, provide guidance and training to those staff who answer phones. Supply them with answers to frequently asked questions and a standard script to help with challenging conversations.  

Remember to make sure someone on the staff is paying close attention to voice messages and emails received after hours. It can be easy to let a message go unreturned while dealing with the many tasks of the day, but that can lead a potential customer to view your company as unprofessional. The first impression can go a very long way in helping your company acquire and retain a loyal customer base. 

Affiliations And Certifications 

Reputable BSC cleaning companies are often affiliated with professional organizations, which helps demonstrate a commitment to the craft. For example, becoming a member of the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) and/or ISSA can open the door to certifications, ongoing educational offerings and networking opportunities with thousands of other experts in the industry.  

Another step BSCs can take is to join the local chamber of commerce, which will help establish relationships and trust in the community.  

Green cleaning companies can take it a bit further by joining organizations like the U.S. Green Building Council. Logos for these affiliations can be placed on business websites to give a visual cue that the company is dedicated to excellence and learning the latest standards of the industry. 

Practice Punctuality 

Facility clients are busy and they deserve to get the services they are paying for on time. This is one of the keys to professionalism in any business, but it is especially important in commercial cleaning.  

Much of the work BSCs do is conducted after hours, and sometimes cleaning crews have to fit a lot of work into a tight window of time. Arriving even 10 minutes late can lead to rushing through the job, which can then lead to subpar work. 

Instill in your employees the benefits of arriving on time to each job. This practice shows respect to the client who is paying for every minute workers are in the building. It also keeps the crew on schedule, so they are not late for subsequent jobs.  

Each customer deserves your best work and practicing punctuality will help keep quality at a high level.

Invest In Uniforms 

You would be surprised by how many cleaning companies do not invest in proper uniforms for their frontline crews. This small investment can go a long way in boosting the overall reputation of the team.  

Cleaning crews that show up with matching collared shirts, tucked in and displaying the company’s logo, immediately come off as more professional. It can also be useful for team members to wear badges that properly identify the cleaner’s name and company. This practice also helps building occupants identify members of the team who are often entering office buildings during evening hours.  

Uniforms not only lend credibility to the cleaning business but also boost the confidence of the person wearing the uniform. It’s a constant reminder they are representing the brand and its standards. 

Leave No Trace 

Leaving behind a piece of equipment or cleaning solution is a simple mistake, and it can happen to anyone. However, no successful commercial cleaning company should ever make this a habit. When items are left behind, it gives off an impression of being rushed and disorganized.  

Make sure the team takes the time to look around and collect all their belongings before exiting the building. A great cleaning company will leave no trace. This includes returning office chairs and desks to their original spots if they were moved for vacuuming, or replacing personal items that may have shifted on desks during cleaning or dusting.  

Professionalism isn’t always the top priority in the commercial cleaning industry, but if BSCs implement these practices, they will help raise the profile of their company while creating a loyal and recurring customer base.