Here are some points to think about if you're considering hiring a cleaning service. For some folks the only factor is cost but there are many other things to think about, my objective is to bring these to your attention to protect you. When interviewing a cleaning business for your home, don't be afraid to ask these questions.
Q: Are you bonded and insured?
Skipping this question could cost you. A company should carry both liability and worker's compensation insurance, at minimum. Ask for proof.
Worker's comp is especially important, since without it, you could be held liable for job-related injuries. You may be held responsible for injuries sustained in your home. Don't think your homeowners insurance policy is a backup, either, as some do not cover people working in your home.
Q. What products do you use?
Look for a company or cleaning lady that uses her own cleaning products, instead of using yours. Cleaners know how to use familiar products safely and effectively, so they're less likely to damage surfaces. Plus, it's less money and headache for you. Of course, this question is even more important if you want to be sure only non-toxic cleaners are used.
Q: Can I get some references?
It's smart to ask home cleaning services or a cleaning lady for references from current clients. At the very least look for reviews online. Ask friends or your Facebook community, and search for Yelp and Google reviews.
Q. How do you screen your staff?
Ask about employee background screenings. A rigorous screening process scares off many bad applicants from the very beginning. Ideally, employers should check references, and all of their employees should have criminal record checks performed, considering they will be trusted to work in peoples homes. If you're hiring an independent cleaning lady, certainly Google her, and do your own background check online, too. It's amazing what you can learn on Facebook about some one! It could potentially save you an immeasurable headache.
Q: How much do you charge?
When calling around for cleaning quotes, know that home cleaning services or a cleaning lady should be able to give you at least a rough estimate over the phone so you get a general idea of whether or not they're in your budget. If they can't or won't on the first call, save your time and energy and find another provider. It's easy to find a cleaning lady who charges $15-$20 per hour, but how protected is the home owner? If your cleaning lady is an employee of a local cleaning company, that service will cost more but at least there will be insurance and coverage in place to protect the homeowner.
Q: What's the easiest way to get ahold of someone?
Often times, home cleaning services work hard to gain your business in the beginning. Once they book that first appointment, however, you may find they're not nearly as friendly and responsive. If that happens anytime, especially early on, run.
What happens when you really need to get a hold of them? You want proactive communication. Cleaning reminders, calls on your cleaning day, and follow-ups by phone or email after each visit are a great way to tell if your new provider really wants to keep you in the loop. Open communication allows you to relay any problems, which helps your service grow better over time, as well as thanks for a job well done.