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We all know how tough it can be to create a janitorial quality program that allows you to identify potential issues early, but the stakes for making sure you have one have never been higher. Not being able to react to issues quickly can have a negative impact on your customer’s experience. The good news is that it also means that having a stellar quality program can set you apart from your competition.
In this post we’ll explore why including and engaging your front line staff as a part of your quality program will bring more value to your organization and communicate to your customer that your company does more than just talk about quality.
This is the Iceberg of Ignorance. It is a theory that dates back to the sixties.
It illustrates the challenge of communicating problems known by front line staff all the way up to the individuals that run the business. The key insight is this: if you’re the person in charge of running and growing the business, you are aware of less than 5% of the problems your team is experiencing. This theory is particularly relevant to the Janitorial Industry because of the large percentage of employees that work remotely. If your awareness covers less than 5% of the problems your business has, how can you realistically expect to avoid losing customers?
Your Cleaners are the Key
Look at it a bit closer. In almost every instance where there is a problem at a customer location it holds true. For example: If a cleaner breaks something, they know before you. If they’re late for a shift or don’t show up at all, they know before you do.
If a supply is needed, if they didn’t clean a section of the building for some unforeseen reason… they know about it before you do. The fact is, that in the Janitorial Industry, a large number of managers won’t ever know about it! Maybe worse, you may find out about it when it’s too late to fix - through a customer complaint.
Years ago, when we operated as a Commercial Cleaning business, we looked for a solution that allowed us to stay connected to our cleaners for this very reason.
The problem was that one hadn’t been created yet.
We knew that our cleaners were the ones who found out about the problems first, and were often the ones who ended up solving them. This is what drove us to build a tool that would allow us to support them as quickly as possible (and was still manageable at scale). Getting their engagement and endorsement for a program like this was easy once they knew that the reason we were doing it was to help them be successful, not to punish them.
Leverage Mobile to Improve Quality
This concept may not be new, but the ease and speed with which you can deliver a service like this is. For years and years it has either been too expensive or wasn’t even possible to be on the same page as your cleaners. Having access to information that was collected by your cleaners would have meant expensive processes, software and hardware. That has changed for ever.
Smartphones are now in the pocket of most people, and are one of the primary connections to the internet for low income families. This means that if you are not communicating with them, you’re missing out on a tremendous amount of information that is critical to your company's success.
At Swept, we believe that cleaners can add more value to your organization beyond just cleaning. They are an important part of every cleaning company’s quality program. The key to the success of any quality program is better communication.
The phone in their pocket, isn’t just for talking. It’s a sophisticated computer that allows you to communicate in ways that only years ago wasn’t possible. As an example, Swept offers the ability to communicate in over 100 languages. Messages, problem reports, and cleaning instructions are all automatically translated into every cleaner’s language of preference.
It’s the little things
One powerful change that mobile communication has helped with is HOW cleaners communicate. We often had conversations with our cleaners when things went wrong. The root cause of the mistake was often due to the little things that came up they felt were not important enough to tell us about. Sound familiar? Often these are the little issues that slip through the cracks only to snowball into big problems later.
In these cases they might have needed our support but didn’t have an easy way to report the issue. To show that supporting them with any issues was important we built in a reminder at the end of every shift, that prompts the cleaners as they are signing out of a location on the app to report problems. If a problem is reported, managers get a notification instantly. It’s a big win-win-win for the quality program since it allowed us to find out about issues as soon as they are detected. Our customers loved it because they rarely ever notice when problems come up because a solution is found so quickly.
If you’re looking for better and more cost effective ways to engage cleaners into your quality program why not choose a tool that was built with them in mind?