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  • There Is More To Communication Than Talking Back

    This is the fourth question in our series on ‘Critical questions to ask your Janitorial Service Provider’: What is Your Communication Process?

    Communication that is clear and precise is key for receiving quality service. If you have worked with vendors of any kind, including Janitorial Service Providers (JSP’s – custodial/janitorial), you know how important regular ongoing communication is. You also know how frustrating it is when the process is too difficult to use. At some point we have all been sucked into ‘phone menu hell’ and felt like if you have to choose one more menu option or talk to one more person who transfers you to another department, you are seriously going to hurt someone. I’ve been there and so have you. Making the process simple and quick is key to any good communication plan.

    Ask your potential janitorial company to explain the process to you. Is it written out so that everyone is aware of the process? If you don’t understand it you won’t have a good successful relationship with this vendor. If on the other hand the process has clear cut steps with checks and balances along the way and is accompanied by a clear time line for resolution, you can feel pretty comfortable about working with the company.

    What Are My Options?

    Another question to ask is how many different ways can you reach the cleaning company? Having multiple options and channels of communication is critical since we all ‘hear’ information differently and prefer different modes of communication. Some like a call, others prefer email and still others will appreciate more technical tools like online programs and tools. So some additional questions to ask may include: What happens after hours? Do they have an emergency number? Do they have an email system or are they using Facebook or Twitter to handle service concerns? Have you met the people who you will be communicating with? How long does it take to respond to your requests? Minutes or hours? Knowing every possible avenue of communication is essential for a good, long term relationship with your JSP.

    How Does Technology Play a Role?

    Technology is available to your potential JSP to allow for very comprehensive and clear cut communication, the only question is whether they are using it or not. Any communication system that isn’t available to you 24/7 is seriously limited. Having an information system that allows you as a client to review inspections, schedules and the details of your contract is essential for your confidence in the JSP you hire. Find out everything you can about not only the communication tools your potential JSP uses but also how effectively they use the tools available. Ask for references and ask about the process specifically. If you are uncertain about the process stop right there, it won’t improve over time.

    Bottom Line.

    You really cannot say enough about the importance of communication. Clear communication determines whether an issue is simply a concern or becomes a crisis. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes, but not engaging in full disclosure and attempting to avoid the obvious will only lead to distrust and a broken relationship. If the custodial team or the janitorial company you are looking at does not have a written plan in regard to how they will resolve your concerns, I would give serious pause to even beginning the service. When there is a concern or an issue, and there will be, it is that plan that will help both parties navigate the process and come to a satisfactory conclusion.

    Previous posts in this series (#1 Here), (#2 Here), (#3 Here).

    Admin
    Jan 30, 2017
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