Chances are good that if you have looked in the Yellow Pages or in online directories for a cleaning company, you probably felt a little surprised and overwhelmed. Who knew there were so many? If you are like most, you were probably expecting to flip a coin between a handful, not a dozen pages full of them. Do you go with the big name chain company that you always see in commercials, or will a small local company suffice?
It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a company to come in and clean weekly or if you simply need your old place cleaned after you move so you can get your security deposit back, you need someone you can trust. This is especially true if it is for a weekly service because these people will have access to your belongings, pets and even children, if you happen to have a new baby and plan on being there while they clean. Therefore, you are forced to put a great deal of trust in someone you don’t even know.
Ask for Referrals
Has anyone in your family or circle of friends used a cleaning service that they were happy with? This is often the easiest way to pick a service, especially if you know that the person giving the referral is pickier than you. They may even be able to tell you a company or two you should stay away from.
If no one close to you has a referral, then you can ask coworkers or even your neighbors, although you may not choose to accept a recommendation from someone you don’t even know.
There are sites that can match you with a recommended cleaning service in your area based on your needs. Sometimes, if you simply ask on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, someone can point you in the right direction of a good one as well.
Research the Company
Before you hire a company, you will want to find out if they are listed with the BBB, and if there are any listed complaints about them. Keep in mind that not all businesses are listed. Sometimes, a small service owned by a local couple or friends will do a better job than a franchise, but may not necessarily be listed with the BBB. You need to find out if they have insurance. A business of any size should be able to supply you with a certificate. Keep in mind that liability and workers’ compensation is far more important than bonding insurance.
Ask for References
Ideally, the best time to ask for references is if they are at your house already giving you an estimate. This allows you to see how they react, and doesn’t give them any time to call their friends and tell them to pretend they are customers when you call. When you call the referrals, find out answers to important questions, such as:
- Do they arrive on time?
- Do they cancel at the last minute?
- Are they polite?
- Do they like to talk to you while cleaning, or do they keep to themselves?
You don’t really need to ask if they had any problems because chances are pretty good that if they have, they will be more than eager to tell you.