How Do I Know if a Cleaning Company is Good?

Please raise your hand if you’ve ever wanted to find a “good” cleaning company. My guess is that by the time you even begin getting to the answer you’re exhausted.  Well, help has arrived.  First let me tell you that you’re not alone. The reason it’s exhausting is because there are so many varied factors that go into deciding what constitutes “good.” Get ready to get it all right here in this 1 location.

First things first – what is the definition of a good cleaning company? Is it the company that provides the best quality? I can hear you yelling out your YES! Well, what if they charge by the year instead of per visit – are they still the best? What if they only work on Saturdays? What if you have to be home while they clean? What if every time they clean you must remove everything from your home so that they can do that very precise cleaning? I’ll bet I’m making my point here. There are many things to consider other than just quality.

So, what’s the first thing you need to do BEFORE you start trying to figure out what a good house cleaning company or maid service is? The first thing is to figure out what is important to you. Sorry, I know that’s a pain, but trust me, the pay-off is worth it!

The chances are good that you have a lot of things that are important to you and maybe you even feel like you want them ALL. Chances are equally good that you don’t care about everything equally. My experience is that some people care more about quality than price. While other people clearly care more about price than quality. There is no right answer. There is only the answer that is right for you.

Some people care more about quality than price. While other people clearly care more about price than quality. There is no right answer. There is only the answer that is right for you.

Now you already know about some of the things that cleaning companies offer and do. But there is a pretty lengthy list of differentiators that you may not even know that you care about. Here’s my TOP 20 LIST. Let’s go through them quickly just so you know what’s what.

High Quality Cleaning

This could mean anything from cleaning the inside of your refrigerator every time to taking the clothes out of your closet to wipe the wall behind. Make sure you know what your definition is and make sure to convey it well. Give specifics to make sure you are talking apples to apples when talking about high quality cleaning.

Consistency of the Cleaning

How important is it to you that they company provides the same service or level of service every time? Do you like them to change it up, maybe do a bit of deep cleaning in one area and a lighter clean in others? Or do you prefer that they do the exact same thing each time? Look for companies that have excellent training programs, long-term employees, or can send the same people out each time.

Low Price

There’s nothing wrong with trying to save a buck, just remember that there is a price to pay for that low price. Make darn sure you are willing to pay it or you will be miserable and will definitely NOT feel like you have the best company cleaning for you. It could be anything from not being a legal company to not having experience.  You get to decide.

Quality Customer Service

If you have a cleaning service for any length of time, there will be issues that will crop up. Some of them will be very minor. Maybe they leave the toilet seat up when finished and you like it closed. Some of them will be larger. Maybe it looks like someone was in your drawers – nothing’s missing, but… Excellent customer service means that each one of these issues will be treated the same. Respectfully, thoroughly, and to completion. Look at responses to negative ratings for an indication of the company’s stance on customer service.

Trustworthy Company

It’s hard to know if a company is trustworthy. Who do they hire? Who manages the people who will actually be in your home – or are they managed at all? Check to see how transparent the company is about things that have gone wrong in the past and how they fixed those issues. The most trustworthy companies will have no problem talking about their strengths AND weaknesses.

Your Family’s Health Matters to Us

At Castle Keepers House Cleaning, the #1 way we prevent the spread of infection in your home is by using PerfectCLEAN® microfiber cloths. These cloths remove 99% of organic matter from surfaces. They also contain anti-microbial threads, which kill any germs caught in the fibers. 

cleaning technicians

As an extra precaution, we color code our cloths to prevent cross-contamination between rooms. 

Get an Instant Price in a Minute!

Get a quick online quote and schedule an appointment now. Our online booking is easy and convenient.

GET INSTANT PRICING

Length of Time in Business

Cleaning companies come and go almost as fast as the rain. If you don’t want to be going through this process all over again in a few months or even years, this is a good bit of information to find out. Check the web site. They don’t have one? Question answered.

Locally Owned or Franchise

Lots of reasons to hire on either side of the equation. Do you know what they are? Are any of those reasons even important to you? Don’t get caught up in issues you don’t care about. But if you do, the website is a quick place to find that answer.

Licensed, Insured, Bonded

Would you check to make sure your electrician was operating legally and with the correct business framework?  If not, this may not be a concern for you. But if so, ask. Now keep in mind that bonding for cleaning companies is NOT the same as bonding for construction companies and other trades. There is a lot less protection for you as the home owner. That might make license and insurance more important if you are looking for that assurance. Another bit of info that is easily found on the website.

Ease of Booking Service

Booking cleaning service can be done in multiple ways. Some companies require an in-home visit to meet you and talk with you directly. Other companies may require a phone call or possibly text messaging to get you on their schedule. Still other companies may not require any interaction at all from you, allowing you to book your own service through their website. Only you can gauge how much time, energy, and care you are interested in putting into the booking process.

What Must be Done Before They Come

Some companies will expect/require you to do anything from wash your dishes to pick everything up and put it all away. They may also require you to provide tools, equipment, or other supplies. Other companies may not require you to do any type of pick up at all or provide anything either. Look for companies that claim maid service as a starting point for these types of services but be prepared to have a conversation for a thorough understanding of what is expected of you.

Arrival Time

Are you going to be home on the day the cleaning company is coming? If so, it may be convenient to know when they will arrive. Most cleaning companies will have systems in place to let you know when they will be arriving. These reminders may be by email, text, phone, etc. and may come any time between the initial booking and the morning of the cleaning. Most companies are able to massage their systems enough to accommodate your special requests. Keep in mind that even good systems are at the whim of the other customers on your cleaning day and may cause changes to the schedule. If this is important to you, ask about their systems in advance and look for a system that will work for you.

Keep in mind that even good systems are at the whim of the other customers on your cleaning day and may cause changes to the schedule.

Amount of Time Spent in the Home

If you plan on being home, the amount of time spent in your home may be of real concern to you. This time will typically be based on the scope of work in your particular home and the amount of people who are cleaning. 2 people will spend half as much time as 1 for example. Some companies may also schedule the amount of time spent in a home based on square footage or the amount you are willing to pay. If you care about this, make sure to ask or be ready to sacrifice your day.

Flexibilty With Time, days, or Cleaning

Is your schedule such that you may need some flexibility from your cleaning company? Most companies will tend to have a fairly tight schedule as they are responsible for their employees’ income. If you know you may need quite a bit of flexibility you may have better luck with a larger company that has more resources at its disposal.

The Number of People Cleaning in the Home

You can expect anywhere from 1- 4 people to show up to clean your home. The most common team size tends to be 2, but there are companies that routinely send more. There are circumstances that may require even more people to be sent to your home. This question is best answered at the time of booking if it is a concern for you.

Consistency of People in the Home

The cleaning industry is notorious for its high rate of turn over. Because of this you will find that most companies have strong systems in place to counteract what they see as the problems associated with that turn over. Those problems are consistency of service, knowledge of the job, and customer comfort. If your concerns are different that these, you might want to take the time to have a conversation with any company you are considering.

Friendly People to Converse With

As in life, cleaning technicians come in all types. Some easier to communicate with than others. Few cleaning companies hire for this skill alone, but if t is important to you it may make sense to seek out the ones that do. Having a frank conversation when looking for a company is your best chance to find the type of person/people you are looking for.

Knowledge of My Surfaces and Their Care

The average cleaning company will have basic knowledge regarding surfaces and their care. Most will have done at least rudimentary research into the topic. If you have specialty surfaces that may be particularly prone to damage, take the time to inquire about training on those specific surfaces and systems they may have to protect your investment.

Products That Are Used When Cleaning

While cleaning companies don’t necessarily have more access to “special” cleaning products, they do tend to have more knowledge about them. They are looking for the safest, most-effective, and fastest things to clean with, BUT not necessarily in that order. You can often find the products and equipment that are used on a company’s website, but for more in-depth information you will be best served with a conversation.

Safety, Germs, Cross-contamination, Etc.

If infection control is a concern for you, take the time to find out what systems and processes are used by the companies you are interested in. Do they change out cloths between homes? Do they have different equipment for bathrooms than the rest of the home? Color-coding of cleaning cloths is one way that companies control the spread of germs in a home.  It is a good first place to look.

If infection control is a concern for you… do they change out cloths between homes? Do they have different equipment for bathrooms than the rest of the home?

Pet Friendly

Cleaning companies have diverse levels of care for your family’s pets. Some may require them to be locked up, some may prefer they roam freely and bring treats as well. Still others may offer to walk your pets or clean up after them. Because the care and cleaning for pets varies so wildly – even from pet to pet, you will need to address your specific pet needs with any companies you are considering.

Most of your cleaning concerns are likely addressed above, but if you are exceptionally particular, I’m sure you have a few more! Either way, check out my system for taking all this information and using it to make the best decision for you. I use it to find the best of anything. I bet it will work for you too.

First, open an Excel spreadsheet. Put everything on this list (already inserted) and anything else you know you care about on the left.

Table 1

Next, rate how much you care about the item listed. 5, if it is extremely important, 3 if it is somewhat important, 0 if it is not at all important.

Table 2

Total and sort – use this information for scoring

Table 3

Finally, decide which companies you are going to rate. To make this decision you can ask friends, check ratings, or just start at the top of the list.  Rate each company based on how well they meet your needs. Use scoring to make sure you are not swayed by an excellent sales person or process. Your long-term satisfaction with the cleaning company you choose needs to be your objective.

Table 4

In the example above, you can see that the quantity of benefits that a service provides does not determine the likelihood of your overall satisfaction. Don’t be swayed by services that aren’t a good fit for you and what you want.

Tell the truth, you can’t wait to do this, can you? If this doesn’t sound like fun to you, another idea is just to hire a whole bunch of different companies and pray for the best. If you really want to know if a company is good – this method will tell you not only if they’re good, but if they’re good for you – and isn’t that what you really want to know?

About Castle Keepers House Cleaning

Castle Keepers House Cleaning has been at the forefront of innovation and leadership among house cleaning professionals for years. The company pioneered environmentally friendly and sustainable cleaning methods in residential cleaning. Castle Keepers is  independently owned, not a franchise, with branches in Atlanta, GA, Charleston,, SC, Greenville, SC, Portland, OR, and Dayton, OH. To find out more about us, click here.

Get started with your FREE ESTIMATE

Get started with your FREE ESTIMATE

GET YOUR FREE ESTIMATE

Get Your Life Back!

Book expert home cleaners. Just pick a time and we’ll do the rest.

GET INSTANT PRICING
Castle Keepers House Cleaning
By |2018-07-05T10:18:58+00:00June 7th, 2018|

About the Author:

Liz Trotter is a partner in Castle Keepers House Cleaning. She is also a former ARCSI board member, a partner in Cleaning Business Builders, and a charter member of Cleaning For A Reason.