Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned

by Compass Cleaning Solutions • November 21, 2016
Lessons learned

Recently I was involved in helping resolve a flooring issue for a good client. As we were working to remove the built up dirt and grime from the textured floor, several questions occurred to me. Was this a typical occurrence on most floors? What could we have done differently to make sure that this ‘free’ floor work wasn’t necessary? What should we have told the client that would have prevented this in the first place? The more I thought about the circumstances surrounding this situation it occurred to me that there were actually three things that should have been addressed more effectively in the beginning; Cost, Durability/longevity, Quality. Let’s address each of these items.


“How much will it cost?” In this economy that has to be the most common question we get asked. The answer isn’t as simple as it might sound at first. Obviously there is the actual cost of maintaining a floor based on the square footage involved, but that isn’t the whole story. There are hidden costs for not doing something that need to be addressed as well as added benefits and reduced costs in the long run for doing the work. In this case we should have recognized that a textured floor would be more likely to accumulate dirt and grime than a smooth finish with no texture at all. Our sales advisor should have educated the client about the floor and should have recommended a regular machine scrub to keep the floor clean. There would have been a small extra cost involved but in the long run the cost incurred to do a much bigger scrub job and the reduced life of the floor would have exceeded the cost of monthly service. The price isn’t always the price.


Operations managers don’t want to have their business schedule interrupted repeatedly and frequently. The longer a carpet cleaning, or in this case, floor work lasts the less inconvenient and disruptive we are to the client. Furniture doesn’t have to be moved as often and schedules don’t have to be adjusted. However, sometimes we have to be realistic regarding the expectations and desires of a client and the reality created by the volume of foot traffic and type of floor involved. In our example the floor is a rubberized ‘wood look’ product which wears well and is relatively easy to maintain with the proper procedures in place. This client also receives a fairly heavy amount of foot traffic. Going forward we are recommending a machine scrub once per month to manage the soil transfer and to achieve the level of clean expected by the client. While the cost has increased slightly in conjunction with the increase in work to maintain the floor, the client gets a clean floor, adds life to the floor (always a good thing) and actually saves money when compared to major scrubbing and cleaning procedures that would be required if the maintenance was not done regularly.


This is probably the least measurable of the three client concerns but might be the most critical. Using quality products, quality equipment and quality procedures will always produce a quality result. For most of our customers, how they present themselves to the public is critical. First impressions can result in long term relationships and repeat business as well as recommendations. Janitorial Companies who provide quality floor and carpet work are major contributors to that effort. Quality also includes how information is communicated, when it is communicated and what options are presented so that the client has an opportunity to make an informed decision. While our work has been ‘quality’ work our initial communication and presentation of options lacked sufficient information to allow the client to see the need for the maintenance program.

Sometimes the poor condition of the floors are due to inadequate tools and poor procedures and nothing to do with a lack of floor maintenance. In our example our technicians were using Microfiber flat mops and changing the pads regularly, using proper mopping techniques. The tools were ‘quality’ and the process was correct.

The next time you look at your office floors you might ask yourself if cost, durability, and quality are part of your maintenance program. Are you getting the results you want? If not,contact Compass Cleaning Solutions, maybe we can help.