In today’s world it may seem frivolous or even lazy to hire a cleaning service to help you with housework. But in reality, having a good housekeeping service at your disposal will save you money and time in the long run. The trick is to know what you’re getting, and work with a reputable company. With this article, we can help you find the best possible housekeeping service to meet your needs, no matter where you live, or what you need from them.
1. Don’t go cheap
This might sound counterproductive. Plenty of people hire friends or neighbors or friends of friends to clean their home. The rates are much cheaper than with a housekeeping company. However, without the protection of a reputable company, even hiring someone you know personally and trust can put you at risk. Most good cleaning services are insured, bonded, and perform criminal background checks on all their employees. This can save you a lot of trouble, if there is a theft, or if someone is injured on your property. The more expensive companies also tend to provide guarantees in the event of accidents, (which are bound to happen) which may result in damage to your property or possessions. Check these policies before you hire anyone, to protect yourself and your belongings. How will you be compensated if something is broken or damaged? What if the work is unsatisfactory? You should always know you’re getting the best possible services.
2. Experience and Reviews
That’s not to say you shouldn’t ask around. In any service industry, customer satisfaction is key to getting more clients. Ask your friends and neighbors the companies they use. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Be wary of online reviews. While they can be helpful, and a high number of negative reviews should send up red flags, people are more likely to write reviews when dissatisfied than when they are satisfied. Conversely, some companies will hire writers to write positive reviews so they always come back with a high rating. Be mindful, and try a word of mouth approach, or check in with the BBB instead.
Another tip is if a cleaning company is too independent, it could signify a lack of experience, or worse. Some cleaning companies start up, receive poor reviews, and start again under a new name. Check the experience and name of the company is well-respected and known. Check their website for any accreditation and accolades. Is their contact information easily accessible? Is their company name mentioned when you call? These are small things which signify a certain level of professional competency.
3. Service Offerings
Of course, none of this will matter if you aren’t getting the service you want. Another danger of cheaper services, it may not be as thorough as you need. You should think about what you’re hoping for in a cleaning service: Regular, or semi-regular service? What level of detail is offered? Can you provide a list weekly that you need to get done, or is it a flat service which covers particular things? Great questions to ask include:- Does the company offer frequency and flexibility to meet your schedule?- Does the company provide cleaning supplies, or should you provide them yourself?- Does the company offer clean in-depth services, such as carpet cleaning, window washing, laundry?- Can you change your services at any time, and how much notice should you give?
4. Do They Provide Cleaning Products?
Generally, most cleaning services do not provide their own cleaning products. However, they may offer you a package which includes cleaning products you should be using for your home. There are many reasons for this approach. As one cleaner puts it, you don’t want the mess from one home travelling to another. But there’s further consideration. If a home has pets, you may need stronger cleaners or a different cleaning regime than someone without. Allergens may also be a problem. If you have strong allergies to particular cleaning products, your cleaning service may unwittingly trigger an attack. Buying your own cleaning products means you also know what is in your home. Many cleaning services can advise on the best cleaning products for your needs, whether you are trying to stay green, suffer from allergies, or have pets or children to be concerned about. But for liability reasons, you will most likely be asked to provide your own products, or to purchase them from the company directly.
5. Why Owner-Operated Is Best
For all we’ve talked about hiring one of the big cleaning services, it’s important to bear in mind you will likely want a company that is easily accountable. Owner-operated cleaning services tend to have better customer service records, since the owner of business is more readily available. It also cuts down on the likelihood of using contracted workers, rather than employees. Contracted workers tend to work for much less, and be less thorough and careful. They are generally temporary employees, and less well-trained. They may also be under a separate insurance policy, which may not protect you from damage or theft. Check with the company whether you will be hiring an employee of the company, or a contract worker. It is perfectly reasonable to ask a company about background checks and their hiring process. They will be in your home, often alone, and you have the right to know who you are hiring.
6. Check the Terms of Service
A good cleaning company is flexible. While it is reasonable for a company to add a cancellation charge if you cancel last minute, make sure you know the policy for cancellation or changes going forward. This will make it easier for you when you do need to make changes ahead of time.
Choosing a cleaning service can save you time and money. It can also contribute to the overall health of your home and family. But being sure that you’ve chosen from a company you can trust even gives you peace of mind.
Since you’re allowing a cleaner into your home and trusting them with your most valuable possessions, you want to be sure you are getting someone reliable, and that you have the guarantee of the company that both you, and their employee will be safe should something go wrong. This can be anything from ensuring workers compensation, insurance, and even just understanding who to hold responsible if something is lost or damaged. You should also be able to count on getting the service you need, including some scheduling flexibility, and extra service options. It may be tempting to go cheap, but given the perks of choosing a reputable, if more expensive, house cleaning company, it is clearly a better option to go with a reputable house cleaning service.