Any cleaning service company can gain an edge over the competition if they take advantage of modern technology. In the words of technology investor Tim Curran, “I can envision customized mobile apps having a big impact on the effectiveness and profitability of cleaning companies.”
He goes on to describe software enabled with checklists that can verify if cleaning was done thoroughly, GPS tracking to document the travel time of cleaning crews and time spent at various locations, and maid service scheduling functions to organize appointments on the spot. Luckily, that technology already exists in the form of maid service software.
The residential and commercial cleaning industry is a competitive space. There are over 800,000 workers in the cleaning industry, and it is one of the fastest growing service industries in the United States having persevered through the Great Recession. A report from Easy Simple Fast Service (ESFS) indicated that revenues are expected to reach $40 billion in 2015 alone.
The Janitorial Industry Analysis compiled by Scott-Macon found that the industry will experience a compound annual growth rate of 4.3% through 2018 that is being fueled by a rise in consumer income, increase in business confidence, and a spike in manufacturing.
It is difficult for cleaning companies to garner customer loyalty because of the plethora of choices that customers have. Nevertheless, businesses in the maid services space can distinguish themselves through impeccable customer service.
One way that cleaning service companies can enhance their customer service efforts is through effective communication practices. In a blog post titled, “7 Things About Commercial Office Cleaning Your Boss Needs To Know”, author Dale Saylor explains that sufficient communication between clients and cleaning service companies is critical for a successful ongoing relationship. Maid services businesses can offer better quality of communication with customers by emailing them “before” and “after” photos as proof of service as well as invoices with service details directly from their mobile phones.
Strong internal communication helps uphold transparency within teams and lets managers convey important information to employees who are out on the road all day. Maid service software accomplishes this through instant messaging and billboard announcements.
Having real-time access to key client data is another way that cleaning companies can deliver exceptional customer service. Cleaning crews that are aware of certain customers’ preferences, regular services, etc. can arrive on-site with the knowledge they need to surprise and delight clients. For example, if a particular customer wants their house cleaned using only eco-friendly products, crew members can make sure to honor this request by viewing the client history.
Being able to meet customers’ demands by using client history will help to foster their trust with the cleaning services company they hire. Maid service companies can also maintain trust with customers if they are using a janitorial scheduling system to ensure that cleaners never miss a visit and allows them to make new appointments while on-site.
Distribution of Resources
A primary concern within both the residential and commercial cleaning industries is how to best distribute organizational resources to serve customers while reducing waste. Managers can help cleaning crews maximize their time at work with a visit scheduling functionality to ensure that every team member is where they need to be throughout the day.
Along with efficient scheduling, GPS tracking can be used by managers to see what clients their cleaning crews have checked-in with any given time; it also helps managers to execute better territory management practices. If managers know how long it takes crews to get from place to place and how much time is spent with each client, they can devise more profitable territories.
Maid service companies can also use data collection to improve how they allocate resources. By tracking patterns of cleanliness at various locations using custom digital forms, cleaning company owners can cut costs by purchasing a more appropriate amount of products. Some maid service software includes a reporting tool that documents crews’ completed activities for a given date range. These reports can be sent to the main office in real-time for immediate analysis, allowing leaders to identify inefficiencies and make adjustments as necessary.
Cleaning crews perform better when managers have visibility over their field teams. However, leaders cannot be everywhere at once to assure their cleaning crews are getting the job done. This is where software tools become especially advantageous.
For example, janitorial software equipped with GPS tracking and instant messaging enables managers to contact team members or send backup if they notice an employee isn’t where they need to be at a particular time. This aids in mitigating the industry problems surrounding safety and security of personnel. Instant messaging allows team leaders to recognize the efforts of their crews and provide targeted feedback, both of which are integral to employee motivation and engagement.
Time tracking can be used to keep track of labor costs, which are a predominant concern in the residential cleaning industry. It can also help to uncover inefficient practices. For instance, if crews are working on two properties of the same size but one takes significantly longer to clean, managers can look into the discrepancy further to determine if it is an organizational problem (i.e. equipment needs to be replaced), or a staffing issue (i.e. personnel could be slacking or have run into a problem in the field).
The cleaning services industry is changing with the rise of cloud-based technologies being utilized in the field. Exceptional customer service, practical distribution of organizational resources, and visibility of employee activities are what makes maid service companies stand out from the crowd. If cleaning businesses hope to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, they should consider adopting a maid service software.
Victoria is a Marketing Associate at Repsly, where she leads the company's P.R. and social media efforts. You can also catch her prepping for slew of exciting industry events. A New England native, Victoria has spent time living in Italy and traveling throughout Europe before settling back in Boston. When she's not planning her next trip, V is probably tasting wine or brushing up on her Italian.