15 Important Questions to Ask When Picking a Cleaning Company

For a consultation with A home care consultant

People often have a hard time picking a cleaning company to hire. There are so many options out there and it can be difficult to determine which one is the best for you.

So we compiled 15 questions that will help make your decision easier and help you with picking a cleaning company in New York City.

Specifically, we’re going to give you the right questions to ask to get the best available service at the best price. By the end of this post, you will know the answer to the answer to a few critical questions.

  1. How do I choose a cleaning company?
  2. What questions should I ask a cleaning company?
  3. What to know before hiring a cleaning company?
  4. How do you interview a cleaning service?

We’re going to break these down for you so that you can choose the best professional cleaning company for you.

We will touch on the specific things that you need to know when hiring a commercial cleaning company for your business (aka a janitorial company) or a housekeeper for your home.

But the most important thing is, if you make sure to get answers to all of the items below, you can expect to save money, get excellent service, stay out of legal trouble if an accident occurs, and find the right company to meet or exceed all of your cleaning needs.

Does The Cleaning Service Offer Competitive Rates?

Everyone is always worried about the price so let’s start there. For some people it is not just their top priority, it is their only priority.

From our perspective, price is not the only consideration but it is certainly important to ask detailed questions about pricing before settling on a cleaning service.

Like pretty much every business transaction you’ve made in the past, you should ascertain that you’re getting a fair deal and you should become suspicious if you are offered too good of a deal.

Compare the cleaning company’s rates with others providing the same services to know if their rate is reasonable. Be sure to ask things like:

  • Is the price the same for every visit or do they charge more for the first visit?
  • Are there any surcharges for things like supplies or coming after hours?
  • Is the price that they are quoting you the full cost or are they quoting per cleaning person?
  • What are the taxes and other fees that are added to the price?
  • Do they offer any discounts, such as for seniors or military servicemen and women?
  • Are they charging by the hour or a flat rate? If they are charging by the hour, be sure to ask them how many hours it will take and, if it takes longer, whether you will have to pay more or not.
  • Are there penalties for cancellations? If so, how much are they and how can you avoid them?

You should absolutely get their price quote in writing before signing any paperwork. You do not want any surprises when the bill comes due.

Does The Cleaning Company Carry The Proper Insurance?

If the price that the cleaning company quotes is low your antenna should go up and you should question why. One of the reasons that the cleaning company’s price might be low is because they aren’t carrying enough insurance or any insurance at all.

You should only consider a cleaning company that is bonded and insured with, at a minimum, general liability insurance. This insurance will cover accidents that might occur during the cleaning process.

Think of it like this:

You are hiring a contractor to do some work for you, and they don’t carry any liability insurance. If they accidentally break something valuable while doing their job then who is going to be liable? The company without proper coverage or YOU!

If one of their employees gets hurt while on the job site (your home or office) then who is going to be liable? You guessed it, the company without proper insurance or YOU!

So do not be afraid to ask a cleaning service about their insurance coverage before hiring them. And you do not just have to trust them. Ask to see their insurance certificate.

And if they can not produce that insurance certificate, do not hire them, even if they are significantly cheaper than the alternative cleaners. The risk to you is simply too high if you go with an uninsured cleaner.

What Are The Cleaning Service’s Working Hours

One of the first questions that you are going to want to ask when picking a cleaning company is their working hours.

For cleaning your home, you might want to have someone clean your house during business hours while you’re at work. Conversely, you might want to be home while they are there. 

For businesses, generally, you’re going to want your cleaners to come in the evenings, after working hours, for general cleaning and perhaps on weekends for more intensive cleaning when they can take the time to clean without interrupting business.

So it is essential that you ask them what hours and what days they will be able to work.

 Does The Cleaning Company Bring Their Own Supplies?

Another thing that will impact the price of any cleaning service is whether they bring all of the cleaning supplies or whether they expect you to supply them.

You may not care if the cleaning company brings their own supplies or if you have to supply them, but it will impact the price so you should be aware that some cleaning companies expect you to supply the supplies.

If the cleaning company brings their own supplies, there are a bunch of questions that you should ask them.

  • What kinds of cleaning products do they use?
  • If you are into green cleaning and concerned about the environment, are their supplies eco-friendly?
  • If there are people in your home or office that have allergies, will their cleaning supplies aggravate them?
  • If you have fragrance preferences, ask them what their cleaning products smell like?

If they expect you to supply your own cleaning products, ask them what you need to have and how much you will need.

In the world of commercial cleaning, you will be hard-pressed to find janitorial services that don’t bring their own supplies, but with a residential cleaning company, depending on its size, you can’t guarantee that they will (especially if they are sending their housekeepers on the subway from job to job). So be sure to ask.

Does The Cleaning Company Bring Their Own Equipment?

The next thing to ask is if the cleaning company brings their own equipment.

If they do, you need to know that all of it will be sanitized and appropriately cleaned before they bring it into your home or office. You do not want them tracking dirt, dust, bacteria, and other contaminants from their other clients into your home or office.

And by “their own equipment,” we don’t mean one mop and bucket – we are talking an about industrial-level vacuum cleaner with lots of attachments and a built-in HEPA filter.

Just like with the supplies, you can expect that a commercial cleaning service will bring their own equipment. But for residential, you can not take for granted that the potential cleaning company will bring their own equipment, particularly if their employees are taking the train from client to client.

Whether or not a cleaning service brings their own equipment may not be your biggest concern, but you should ask yourself whether you want to buy and store a vacuum cleaner, especially living in an undersized New York apartment.

Does The Cleaning Service Send One Cleaner or A Cleaning Team?

A major point of contention for many people is whether or not the company will send one cleaner or a team. Some companies charge by how many cleaners they send, others only provide services based on price-per-cleaner, and some may even offer both options at an additional cost.

If they send a cleaning team instead of a single cleaner, they will be done quicker, minimizing the length of the interruption to you. 

But if they are at your facility or home while you or your employees are there, you will probably want fewer people cleaning in order to minimize the amount of interruption while they are there.

Generally, the number of employees that companies send to clean is not much of an issue, unless they charge you for each person that they send. 

How Does The Cleaning Service Hire Their Employees?

When picking a cleaning company, you should look into the company’s regular hiring procedures to find out how they hire their employees.

For instance, you should definitely check if the cleaning service screens prospective employees for drug use or if they do background checks before hiring. If they find that a potential employee has a criminal history, is that a barrier to hiring them?

At First Class, we screen all of our potential employees and any company you choose should do the same. Remember, your home is precious and your office is filled with valuable items and information. They are asking you to trust them with the care of your office or home and should be able to give you a detailed answer to how they qualify their employees before hiring.

Whether you are a business owner or you are a house owner hiring the cleaning company to clean your office(s) or home, you want to ascertain that the cleaner they send over behaves professionally and in a trustworthy manner.

Will The Same Person Always Clean For Me?

Who will be cleaning? Will it always be the same person? 

You should want to get to know the person who is cleaning your home or office and they should want to get to know you. That way, when they learn how you like things done, they can do it right every time.

If not, will you have to give each new person instructions on how you like things to be done? You shouldn’t have to. Your cleaner should be able to offer you a consistent level of service that’s performed exactly how you like it to be every time.

Whether or not you come face-to-face with the person cleaning your place, you may decide you like their work and would like to continue working with them—or you may prefer to not work with them at all anymore. 

Make sure that the cleaning company that you hire can provide you with the consistency that you want.

What Type Of Employee Training Does The Cleaning Service Offer?

You should consider whether or not the cleaning service gives every new hire and existing employee proper training so be sure to ask them about their employee training.

The professionals sent over from many companies should have enough experience and the proper training to take on different tasks as they are needed and they should be able to tell you all about the process for training and retraining them. 

First Class housekeepers are well qualified to handle any day-to-day task and know when they need to call in our specialists for services that demand extra skill, such as stain removal and air quality control.

All First Class housekeepers are experienced before they’re hired, trained when they start, and regularly re-trained while on the job to keep them at the top of their game because things change, like pandemics that require extra care and new “best practices.”

So it is essential that your cleaner is always up to date.

Does The Cleaning Service Have Any Specialties?

Is there anything that they do that is above and beyond what the others do? Are there particular services that they are experts at?

It is pretty easy to find cleaning companies that can do day in and day out cleaning, but what about services such as:

If the service has a specialty, you can be confident that they are experts in their field and will do an excellent job on your home or office space, going beyond just basic cleaning.

Does The Cleaning Company Do Green Cleaning?

If it is important to you, be sure to ask if the cleaning service has a green cleaning program. What does that mean? The number one component of a green cleaning program is whether or not cleaning companies use eco-friendly cleaning supplies?

Beyond that, a green cleaning program might touch on whether they use any disposable products like paper towels instead of reusable towels, how they dispose of waste, and so on.

If green cleaning is important to you, be sure to ask for details.

If it is important to you, you should ask them if they bring eco-friendly cleaning supplies.

At First Class, we use non-toxic cleaning products, such as Method Organic cleaning products, wherever possible.

Does The Cleaning Company Have Their Own Quality Assurance?

When picking a cleaning company you should make sure to ask about your prospect’s quality assurance measures and what their policy is if you are dissatisfied with their work in any way.

Some cleaning companies will send cleaners to your home and office and expect that they will do a good enough job to satisfy you, knowing that if you aren’t happy you will let them know. Others will send supervisors to check on cleaners and regularly inspect their work, preemptively correcting any problems. And with some smaller companies, the owner might come to check up or even be a part of the cleaning team.

It is best when they are proactive so ask your prospective cleaner how they ensure that you get great quality of service.

Does The Cleaning Company Guarantee Their Service?

This is a big one.

Always remember that you are not paying the company to clean. You are paying them to clean well. Let them know ahead of time that you expect excellence and ask them what they will do if you are dissatisfied with their service.

The best cleaners will guarantee their clients satisfaction promising to come back and take care of anything they didn’t do well.

Are Their Other Customers Happy With Their Service?

Be sure to check their customer satisfaction reviews online and don’t just check the stars. Read customer reviews.

See what people say that they like and what they don’t like about the company’s service.

How Do I Conduct An Interview When Picking A Cleaning Company?

Doing the interviews in person is always preferable to doing them over the phone because you can look at a person’s body language while they answer your questions. But regardless of whether the interview is in person or over the phone, there are a few important things that you need to get out of each interview when you are picking a cleaning company:

  1. Did they answer the question to your satisfaction?
  2. Did it sound like they were making their answers up as they went along or were they confident and direct with their answers?
  3. Were their answers better or worse than the alternatives?
  4. Can you picture yourself dealing with these people as they provide service for you in the future?

Beyond that, there are no real tricks. If you like a company’s answers the best and you trust them then they are your best prospect.

We are really confident that you will like our answers to all of the above questions about picking a cleaning company when talking to us at First Class about housekeeping service in New York City and would be glad to refer you to other great companies for commercial cleaning services.

Give us a call at 212-231-0215 or contact us on our website and we would be happy to answer your questions about First Class service or make a recommendation for a commercial cleaning service.

For a consultation with A home care consultant

Related Articles

For a consultation with A home care consultant