What is the real purpose of a janitorial inspection? Is it to find fault, point fingers, let your customer know where you’re lacking? No, it’s to be proactive in finding and fixing the little problems before they become big problems that your customer finds.
The #1 way to keep your customer happy is to keep their facility clean! Don’t ever forget that fact. Yes, your customer needs to like you on a personal level and you need to maintain a friendly, professional relationship, but don’t rely on that to keep you there.
The #1 way to keep a facility clean is to do regular Janitorial Inspections for quality control! Let me just touch on my Top Ten, time tested Inspection Tips that have served me well in 25 years in this great janitorial industry. Remember, people do what you “inspect”, not what you “expect”!
- Keep it simple!: One or two page inspections. i.e., Don’t grade every single toilet individually, but give an overall grade of the whole restroom, with comments to your staff about specific deficiencies, like “Restrooms are good overall. Toilet bases and partitions need improvement”, etc.
- Frequent Visual and 1 Formal Inspection: Do frequent walkthru visual inspections for you and your staff only and 1 formal inspection for your customer to show that things are up to standards or have been brought up to standards by your inspection date.taking care of things you need to inspect it after it’s been cleaned and before your customer uses the building again.
- Have an Inspection checklist: Know what you’re looking for and check off what’s up to standards and what’s deficient.
- Inspect it after it’s been cleaned: This may seem obvious, but don’t inspect at the beginning or the middle of a shift. To see how your staff is taking care of things you need to inspect it after it’s been cleaned and before your customer uses the building again.
- Know your customers hot spots: Know your customers top priorities. Restrooms, glass doors, dusting? Put extra emphasis on these areas and make sure your staff knows as well.
- Fix things now! : When you find deficiencies, fix them yourself now! If a trash can was missed, empty it, if a soap dispenser is empty, fill it. Mark it in your inspection and let your staff know, but take care of it now.
- Praise the good!: It’s perfectly acceptable to point out deficiencies, but don’t demoralize your staff. Let your cleaners know what they’re doing right!
- Let customers know you’re doing regular Inspections: It strengthens your relationship and shows that your company is serious about taking care of them!
- Send your customer a monthly report: This shouldn’t be the inspection that you share with your staff. You don’t want to point out where your staff is lacking, that’s for you and your staff to see and fix. Their report needs to show that things are up to standards or have been brought up to standards by your inspection date.
- Do it again: Be consistent! Do inspections this month and next and so on! Whether your customer ever looks at your Monthly Inspection Report or not, they will look at the cleanliness of their building. Remember, the #1 way to keep their facility clean is to do regular Janitorial Inspections for quality control!
If you want to see your customer retention rate skyrocket, do consistent inspections!
A Janitorial Business Leader Manages Systems and Procedures!
The simple definition of Management is, “the act of managing something”. O.K., sounds simple, but exactly what is the “something” that you manage and how do you manage it? If you think it’s you personally managing your business, operations, employees and customers, etc., you’re partially right and completely wrong! Hear me out..you “CANNOT” manage people, operations, payables, receivables, etc.., you can ONLY manage the “System and Procedures” that manages people, operations, payables, etc.!
Business 101 and every successful business franchise model will tell you that they have systems and procedures in place for everything! Look at McDonalds for example. If you eat a cheeseburger and fries in California and one in Georgia, it tastes exactly the same and all their worldwide customers get the same consistent experience. It’s not by chance I can promise you…, it’s because they have systems and procedures in place that cooks the fries exactly 7 minutes and the cheeseburger has the exact same meat size, amount of ketchup, mustard, onions, etc.
Every business type (that wants to thrive and grow) must have specific systems and procedures in place to provide consistent predictable results! When something goes wrong, which is inevitable in any business, the corrective action should be to look at what Systems and Procedures have failed and implement corrective action. There’s countless management books and expensive seminars (which are fine and helpful) on this topic. I could write whole chapters in detail about these systems, but let me just touch on my Top Ten free, time tested Systems and procedures that have served me well in 25 years in this great janitorial industry.
- ORGANIZATIONAL SYSTEMS! You must establish a personnel organization chart. From Owner, President, Managers, Supervisors, Team Leaders, general cleaners, etc. Take the time to write out a “Position Contract” for each position, defining responsibilities, duties and who they report to and who reports to them.
- HIRING SYSTEMS! You can have the best systems and procedures in the world, but they won’t work without the right people. Before hiring, don’t just rely on a good feeling. Have an initial checklist of initial interview questions i.e. “tell me how you solved a conflict at a previous job”, etc.., check references, do background checks, call former employers, etc. Get the “right people”!
- EMPLOYEE SYSTEMS! Telephone clockin sytems with caller ID to track showing up and hours in bldg, dress code, conduct code, call out procedures, time off request procedures, employee/customer interaction procedures, verbal warnings, etc., etc. All this should be in an employee handbook that each employee receives and signs that they will adhere to it. Also, don’t forget affordable Employee Incentives!
- TRAINING SYSTEMS! Safety training, new hire training, supervisor training chemical training, floor care, carpet care, etc. Your staff should know and be trained in exactly how it’s expected to be done here!
- INSPECTION SYSTEMS! For Quality Control. Scheduled routine and formal building inspections to find and fix deficiences is the #1 Way to keep quality up. Be Proactive. Remember people do what you inspect not what you expect!
- CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SYSTEMS! Have a specific customer contact person, keep them informed of what your doing to take care of them through monthly reporting of inspections, floor work, carpet cleaning, supply deliveries, etc. and ask them how you can serve them better through satisfaction surveys and/or face time at least once a month. andThe #1 Way to keep the customer satisfied is to keep their facility clean!
- OPERATIONAL SYSTEMS! The day to day operations. How are supplies ordered/delivered, machines and vehicles repaired? Create schedules and procedures for all the mundane things that need to get done. Then delegate and manage the system!
- FINANCIAL SYSTEMS! How do you pay for it all? What’s your exact overhead fixed expenses%, variable expenses%, labor%, net profit%? Know exactly what it costs you to run your business monthly, then have systems in place for cash flow, budgeting, accounts payable, receivables, payroll, taxes, etc. Count the costs!
- SALES AND MARKETING SYSTEMS! Word of mouth new business is not enough. What’s the most “cost effective” way to systematically market your business and create steady new sales. Believe it or not, I have for years and you can also generate leads with customers calling you to place bids each month with the “right” direct mail marketing system for less than $100 a month! See how in the free bonus, marketing materials section in my CleanGuidePro.com janitorial bidding software!
- OPERATION MANUALS! Document all your systems and procedures in operation manuals. Everything should be written in these manuals as if you’re creating a franchise model. Review and update as needed for a “turnkey” business that has actual resale value whether you ever want to sell it or not!
In business the system is the solution!