Confessions of a Malvern Cleaner – A Quality Control System.

Published on 3 October 2017

I have been working in cleaning in Malvern and throughout Worcestershire for nearly ten years now. From starting my own business as a sole trader I have, over the years, learned how to structure a cleaning program for my clients which ensure that nothing is forgotten or neglected – a process which comes from my background in Quality Management for various industries including the nuclear industry starting in 1990, becoming a member of the Chartered Quality Institute.

I would like to share some of these processes and the reasons for them in order to show you I take seriously my reputation in the cleaning business. The truth is that since 2008 there has been a surge of competition in the local industry and cleaning in Malvern, and more so in Worcester itself, has become more cutthroat in a race to the bottom with some cleaning companies competing on price alone. Such a squeeze on margins is, in my view, not sustainable, and not good for long-term service commitments. How can it be?

The first thing in any quality assessment is to ensure that the simple instruction of the client is understood and that realistic expectations are established. This gives a benchmark for performance to be evaluated which, in the cleaning industry, and carpet cleaning in particular, is paramount to judging our effectiveness.

At Malvern Cleaning Services, we ensure that this first requirement is met by an onsite visit to inspect the clean of our prospective clients before we begin any cleaning. Cleans and visits are scheduled in and confirmed and a quote is provided after inspection. This gives the client a decent understanding of how long the clean will take and also gives clear visibility of costs.

Then the next step in our quality program is all about staff: making sure they are trained, and making sure that they have everything they need. Failure to do this is the surest way to fail in a cleaning schedule – and it is also an area where it is easy to make mistakes, for errors to creep in the hectic daily management of cleaning staff. Again, my experience is key to making sure that staff are both trained, and that they have the right equipment to do the job. What this means is that I arm those who work with me with a complete cleaning set before any job, with checklists of stock levels and feedback forms to ensure that they have what they need.

Furthermore, on inspection of the properties to be cleaned, be it a carpet clean or a standard clean, I make sure that the client informs me of what cleaning products, if any, that they would like us to avoid using on their fixtures and fittings. This is key to any successful clean as well – for it avoids any potential damage by using the wrong products inside the property. These concerns are then fed back to my cleaners to ensure that they are aware of what the requirements are and that they are confident of what they can and can’t use.

The final element for quality assurance in my cleaning business is a post-clean check with the client to gauge their overall satisfaction and to highlight any areas where I might have fallen down – all part of the feedback mechanism key to being able to correct anything if this is the case. This is not as formal as a questionnaire but rather asking or post-inspection of the property with the client for me to point out any areas with which we had trouble, or for them to point out anything they feel was overlooked. This is more effective than any questionnaire as it is less formal and more immediate and face to face, and thus is far more an instigator for corrective action than any emailed form.

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