Get Referrals From Family and friends
Start by asking friends and family who they use – referrals give you an inside look at what a company is all about – not just what they say on their website. Companies can make themselves sound amazing, credible, and experienced, but a referral from a friend or family can paint a different picture and carry more weight.
Take Online Reviews With a Grain of Salt
Happy people don’t tend to write as many reviews as unhappy people who feel compelled to shower the world with their terrible experiences. Remember, oftentimes, those reviews are people using it as an opportunity to vent, blow a story out of proportion, or try to damage the reputation of the company. If a company has all terrible reviews, that’s definitely a red flag, but if they have mostly good reviews and a few bad ones, that’s pretty average. No one is perfect.
Bonding & Insurance
Does the company have the ability to cover the costs of any damage done to your home, any theft, or if an injury occurs on your property? If they don’t have this coverage, you could be on the hook for money, items stolen, property damaged, or an injured worker. A company should be willing to tell you if they have this coverage and provide copies of their policies at your request.
Experience, Affiliations & Accreditations
How long have they been in business for? Does the company have any awards, accreditations, or affiliations with professional organizations? I like to look out for this because it makes me feel reassured that a company is trustworthy and concerned with its reputation.
Does the company take requests or offer a fixed service? How detailed will they get? Depending on what you want to be done, inquire as to what level of service is offered. If you can customize it and hire someone to come and tick a bunch of things off your to-do list, or if you just get the same service each visit irrespective of what you want to be done, or, if you can do a combination. Companies offer a variety of options; none are right or wrong, you just need to find what suits your needs and your lifestyle.
Be sure to ask about breakage, damage, and satisfaction guarantees – a company should stand behind its work and its workers. If you’re not happy as a client, what are they prepared to do for you, how will they make it right?
Understand Who You’re Hiring
Who is actually coming into your home and how are their references checked? Is it a bona fide service company with a consistent roster of employees, or is it a sharing economy company with random people popping up? Remember, when you hire a cleaner, you’re letting someone into your most sacred space which houses your most valuable things; potentially when you’re not home! Who can you really trust? Ask the company how, and if, they interview and background check their staff, do they do background or criminal checks on their staff, and how they plan to schedule you with the same cleaner as often as possible.
Do they use their own cleaning supplies and tools, or do you have to supply your own? Do they use products good for the environment? Get those answers before agreeing to a deal.
Terms of Service
Find out what the policy for canceling or changing your service is. This policy should be in place so that you don’t get slapped with any surprise fees. Many companies charge a cancellation fee because it can be hard to reschedule cleaners at the last minute, and the company has to cover their lost wages. So, if you know this information, you can better plan and prepare for any scheduling issues.