How embracing technology can improve your cleaning business
The cleaning industry is a competitive and saturated market. Any facilities or building manager knows this. We’ve all experienced the weekly barrage of flyers, emails and cold calls introducing a new cleaning service which will change your life.
As a commercial cleaning company large or small, there is a constant need to evolve, follow industry trends and stay ahead of your competitors. Technology and the benefits of embracing it can bring is a current industry trend. However, technology should never take the place of people; what it should do is improve the way your people operate and deliver. Cleaning is, and always will be primarily a people-driven service business. However, there are ways to streamline, increase efficiency and productivity and provide added value and data to your clients.
Three ways technology can improve your cleaning business
Online scheduling tools for cleaners
Online scheduling tools take away the headache of finding out way too late that a shift can’t be covered, or a supervisor has booked three weeks holiday. Having access to a scheduling dashboard also gives you visibility across all of your sites on one screen. The benefits of this are two-fold. Firstly, you invoice your clients accurately and provide them with a schedule of staff hours which gives them comfort that the cleaning service has been carried out as per the agreed contract. Secondly, you can do some data analysis of your own, i.e. Why do two similar sites have different staff numbers and scheduling? If a site is getting complaints, is it because the staff are spread too thin? All of this data will help you to cost out jobs more accurately, and create a template for sites, creating consistency.
What’s App for cleaning teams
Yes, the humble (and free!) WhatsApp mobile service is a quick and easy way to check in on your cleaning team. Create groups for different sites, and you’ll immediately see benefits. If staff are told to communicate within the group, the level of communication quickly becomes transparent and immediate. We have all fallen foul of an issue where a staff member shrugs and says ‘but I told so and so’. By keeping the lines of communication live and across a whole group, you immediately create a culture of looking out for each other and feeling part of the bigger picture. It’s also a quick way for supervisors to let staff know if they are going to be a person down due to sickness at short notice.
Feedback and reporting to your cleaning clients
A cleaning team may be there to clean, but they are also the eyes and ears for your clients. By creating an online portal for your supervisor to complete after each shift, you do two things. One, you give ownership and accountability to your site supervisor. Secondly, you provide useful added value data to your clients such as broken lights, plumbing issues, loose carpet tiles and suspicious behaviour. Providing these reports and feeding them back to your client strengthens the client/cleaner relationship. It also creates trust and delivers extra value which will become invaluable when the contract renewal comes around.
There you have it. Three cost-effective and easy ways to bring efficiencies, build relationships and deliver valuable, measurable data for your cleaning clients.