How to Communicate Better with Janitorial Contractors
Janitorial contractors can be one key to a successful cleaning business. But if you can’t communicate efficiently with them, you’re asking for mistakes.
When you operate a residential or commercial cleaning business, janitorial contractors can be essential. They can fill in the gaps when you get a jump in business that your permanent employees can’t cover. They can take a week or two of shifts while someone on your team is on vacation. They can help you expand your business as a regular part of your team. And some contractors may be qualified to do specialized cleaning jobs that your regular team isn’t trained for.
However janitorial contractors help your business, there is one thing that you absolutely need to ensure high-quality work and customer service. It is vital that you can communicate easily with them. That starts with you.
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Communication 101: Improving communication with your janitorial contractors
The dictionary describes communication as the exchange of information. Think about what that might look like on a typical day with your janitorial contractors.
“The Johnson residence asked you to skip the kitchen today, as they just had the floors redone.”
“The Phillips building moved the janitorial supply closet last week due to a water leak. It’s on the second floor now.”
“The Redwood Apartment building just called. Can you go to the lobby? One of the residents just broke a bottle of wine on their white carpet.”
It’s easy to see how this might be vital information to share. It’s also easy to see how a failure to communicate this could lead to some bad results. Your contractor walks all over the new floor. They can’t find the supplies they need to do the job. Or that wine soaks in and ruins that beautiful carpet.
Communication, for our purposes, isn’t just about delivering information, though. It’s about providing the right information to the right person.
Imagine that wine soaking into the carpet. You dig through the contacts on your phone, find someone on the Redwood Apartment team, and send them a text. They don’t write you back immediately, but you aren’t worried; they’re probably taking care of the spill. Then 45 minutes later, you get a text. The janitor you sent the note to is off today, but he thinks he knows who’s at that location. Things are not looking good.
Now suppose you have a location-based communication app. You type in your message, and everyone on the team at Redwood Apartments gets it. Better yet, your client used the app to communicate with you and your on-site team, so someone was on the way to the lobby before you even had a chance to reply. That’s a better outcome for both you and your client. Nevermind the fact that it’s a lot less work for you.
Like with so many things in the janitorial world, having the right tools can make the job a lot more efficient and successful. And a communication app built right into your janitorial software can streamline the entire process. And with location-based messaging, this is especially helpful in the event of an emergency or if you need to look back at conversations regarding a specific job site.
But there’s more to communication than just having the right tools. Excellent communication with your janitorial contractors can help you build a stronger business. Here are five ways you can make that happen.
1. Keep an open-door policy. Your janitorial contractors are your eyes and ears for a location. Be open to feedback from them about what might make the work better or if they have insight into the client. If you shut down those conversations or respond defensively, you won’t have the opportunity to improve your business.
2. Be clear about responsibilities. Your contractors can’t do a good job if they don’t know what you’re asking them to do. Maintain a thorough checklist for each location (which you can create and update easily with Janitorial Manager). Make sure your onboarding and training process is detailed, too.
3. Be quick to offer thanks. Yes, your janitorial contractors are getting paid to do their job. It’s still nice to thank them for their hard work. It doesn’t take much effort to thank someone, but it goes a long way in establishing an environment where people feel appreciated. And always remember, a happy team leads to satisfied customers. It also leads to a happy you, because people will want to continue to work for you. When your team stays with you, you’ll spend a lot less time and money trying to find and hire new people.
4. Be quiet with criticism. No one likes to be criticized, especially in public. That’s not to say you shouldn’t point out when your contractors aren’t meeting your expectations. But do it quietly and privately. There’s no advantage in making a spectacle of critical feedback.
5. Own up to your mistakes. This might not seem like a communication skill, but it is. When your team sees that you can admit and correct your mistakes, it gives them confidence in your leadership. Plus, it makes it easier for them to accept criticism from you.
In short, communicate with your janitorial contractors in the same way you would want someone to communicate with you. Be clear, thorough, and approachable. You’ll find that goes a long way in benefiting your entire business.
One more crucial point here is that it’s worth noting that communication is about a lot more than language. However, language is an obvious factor. That’s why Janitorial Manager’s JM Connect App has built-in translation capabilities for multiple languages. So you can send your message in your preferred language, and your team can read it in their preferred language.
That takes away some of the awkwardness of trying to figure out how to say or understand things in a language you aren’t familiar with.
Remember, excellent communication is the key to creating a good business.
Manage projects, stay in touch with clients, and more with Janitorial Manager. Contact us for a free demo right now and see how it works!