Hiring a professional cleaning service can make your life easier, whether you are moving to a new home or office in North Carolina or you just need some help maintaining your current place. But not all cleaning companies are the same.
You have to do some research to find the right cleaning pro for your needs. In this guide, we will show you the main things to look for when choosing a professional cleaning service in North Carolina.
Determine Your Cleaning Needs
Before you choose a professional cleaning service, you need to know what kind of cleaning you need. Every home and business has its own unique spaces, requirements, and goals. To find the best cleaning pro for your needs, you have to think carefully about your specific cleaning needs. Here are three key things to consider when you look for your ideal cleaning service:
1. Residential vs. Commercial Cleaning
The first thing you have to figure out is whether you need residential or commercial cleaning services. These are two different types of cleaning that involve different tasks and settings.
Residential cleaning services are for homes. They usually include:
- Vacuuming rugs
- Mopping hard floors
- Dusting furniture and other items
- Cleaning kitchen and bathroom counters and appliances
- Making beds
- Cleaning mirrors and glass
- Wiping down kitchen sinks and tubs
- General tidying up and organization
You can choose between a one-time deep cleaning or a regular maintenance cleaning for your home. A deep cleaning is a thorough cleaning of the entire home, while a maintenance cleaning is a standard cleaning of the basic tasks to keep your home neat.
Commercial cleaning services are for offices, stores, clinics, event venues, and other workplaces. They often include:
- Sanitizing high-touch items like door knobs, counters, desktops, etc.
- Cleaning shared spaces like lobbies, waiting rooms, breakrooms, and meeting rooms
- Cleaning the outside and inside of elevators
- Restocking paper products, soaps, and other supplies
- Taking out trash and recycling
- Dusting and glass cleaning
- Vacuuming and mopping floors
- Cleaning kitchen and restroom areas
The specific cleaning tasks will depend on the type and size of your business and facility.
2. One-Time vs. Recurring Service
The second thing to think about is how often you need a cleaning service. You can choose between a one-time or a recurring cleaning service, depending on your situation.
A one-time or occasional cleaning service is for special situations rather than routine upkeep. For example, you might need a one-time cleaning service when you are:
- Moving in or out of a home or office
- Hosting an event or holiday and want to impress guests
- Cleaning up after a construction or renovation project
- Doing a seasonal clean (e.g., after winter weather or pollen season)
A one-time cleaning service usually takes more time and resources than a recurring cleaning service. So, it is often more expensive than a recurring cleaning service.
A recurring cleaning service is for regular maintenance of your home or office. You can have the same cleaning team come on a set schedule to keep your place clean and tidy. The common recurring cleaning schedules are:
- Weekly Cleaning
- Bi-Weekly Cleaning
- Monthly Cleaning
A recurring cleaning service has many benefits. The cleaning team will know your place and your preferences better, so they can provide more efficient and customized cleans. Also, many cleaning companies offer discounts for regular customers, which can save you some money in the long run.
3. Compare Pricing
The third thing to think about is the pricing of the cleaning service and what it includes. You should look for:
- Hourly vs. Flat Rates: Some companies charge by the hour, while others charge a fixed fee for each service. You should compare the total cost of each option.
- One-Time vs Recurring Rates: You can often get a lower price if you book a regular recurring service instead of a one-time service.
- Extra Costs: You should check if there are any extra fees that might increase the price, such as travel fees, weekend fees, or supplies/equipment fees.
- What’s Included: You should also check what the cleaning service provides and what you need to provide. For example, some companies bring their own supplies and equipment, while others expect you to have them ready.
- Discounts: Look for any deals that might apply to you, such as those for new customers, nurses/teachers, or bundled services. This can help you save money on the cleaning service.
You should aim for the best value based on the quality of the service and the average rates in your area.
Check the Licensing and Insurance of the Cleaning Companies
After you have found some cleaning services that meet your needs, you need to check if they have the right licensing and insurance. This is a very important step – if you skip it, you might end up with a lot of problems.
When you hire cleaning pros to come into your home or business, you trust them to take care of your property. You need to make sure they have the right licenses and policies to show that they are legitimate and reputable.
Here are the licenses and insurance that you should look for:
Professional cleaning companies in North Carolina need to have valid business licenses from the state and local authorities. Depending on the type of cleaning they do, they might need different licenses, such as:
- NC Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors licenses for any electrical work
- NC Irrigation Contractors Licensing Board licenses for any irrigation work
- NC Board of General Contractors licenses for any structural work
- County business license for the counties they work in
- City business license for the towns they work in
You should check if a cleaning company has all the required licenses to operate legally. This shows that they are a compliant business. You can use the NC Secretary of State licensing site to look up their registration status.
You should also check if a cleaning company has liability insurance. This covers any damage to your property caused by the cleaners by accident. For example, if a cleaner breaks an expensive lamp or stains your carpet with a cleaning solution, liability insurance will pay for the damage.
This gives you peace of mind that you won’t have to pay for any accidents. Usually, a cleaning company needs to have at least $1 million in liability coverage to operate. You should ask for a copy of their active policy.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Another thing you should look for is workers’ compensation insurance. This covers any injuries or accidents that happen to the cleaners while they are working in your space. For example, if a cleaner slips on a wet floor and breaks their ankle or hurts their back while vacuuming, workers’ compensation will pay for their medical bills and lost wages while they recover.
This protects you from any liability for accidents. Cleaning chemicals and equipment can be dangerous, so coverage is essential. You should ask for proof of active workers’ compensation policies. If a cleaning company does not have this, it is a big red flag that they have poor business practices.
You should always check the licenses and insurance of the cleaning companies before you hire them. Do not risk your property and liabilities – unlicensed, uninsured vendors can cause you financial and legal problems. By doing this vetting step upfront, you can be confident in your partner!
Read Reviews and Ask for References from each Cleaning Company
After you have a list of cleaning pros who have the right licenses and insurance, you need to check their reviews and references. Customer feedback can help you learn more about the quality, reliability, and service of each company.
You can also find out if there are any problems or issues that you should be aware of. You can also see which companies have made their customers happy consistently.
Here are some tips for using reviews and references to make your hiring decision:
Read Multiple Online Reviews
You can learn a lot about the real experiences of customers with each cleaning company by reading online reviews. There are many websites where you can find online reviews, such as:
- Google – search the company name and read the reviews on Google Maps
- Facebook – look at the reviews on their business page
- Yelp – popular for local services like cleaning providers
- Nextdoor – a platform for neighbors to share their experiences
- Industry sites like Care.com for home cleaning providers
A good cleaning company will have many 5-star ratings over a long period of time. This shows that they provide consistent and high-quality service.
You should also look out for any bad reviews that show some common problems, such as:
- Poor Cleaning Quality – If customers complain about dirty surfaces, streaks, stains, missed areas, etc., it means that the cleaners are not well-trained or they are in a hurry.
- Damaged Property – If customers report damaged furniture, broken decor, or surface stains, it means that the cleaners are not careful or skilled.
- Hidden Fees – If customers are charged extra for additional tasks, supplies, or travel fees after the service, it means that the pricing is not clear or fair.
- Missed Appointments – If customers say that the cleaners did not show up, it means that the management is not reliable or organized.
- High Turnover – If customers mention different names of cleaners every time, it means that the staff turnover is high. This can affect the quality and consistency of the service.
No company is perfect, so you should also see how they respond to bad reviews. If they are responsive and accountable, it means that they care about their customers and their reputation.
Ask for References
Besides reading online reviews, you should also ask each company for references. These are either past clients that you can call or written testimonials that they can provide. Talking to past customers can help you get more detailed and personal insights. You can ask them questions like:
- How happy were you with the quality and thoroughness of the cleaning crew?
- Did the cleaners damage your property in any way?
- Did you have the same cleaners every time or did they change often?
- Did the company charge you any extra fees or miscommunicate about the services?
- Would you recommend them to others?
Pay attention to the experiences and feelings that the references share. This can help you get a sense of each company. Positive references and reviews are good signs that the company is reputable, experienced, and customer-oriented.
But be careful – not every service is perfect for every customer. Use the feedback as one of the factors when making your decision.
Interview Potential Cleaners
Before you hire a cleaning company, you should interview 3-5 of them to ask some important questions and see how professional they are. Here are some key questions you should ask them:
How long have you been in business?
You should look for companies that have a lot of experience in cleaning in North Carolina. They are more likely to have good processes and skilled cleaners.
What training do your cleaners receive?
You should look for companies that train their workers well and regularly. This ensures that they follow the best procedures and methods for cleaning.
What cleaning methods and products do you use?
You should look for companies that use effective techniques (like microfiber cloths for dusting) and green-certified products. This shows that they care about the quality of their service and the environment.
Will the same team clean every time?
You should look for companies that send the same cleaners every time. This makes them more familiar with your place and more thorough in their cleaning.
What background checks do you perform?
You should look for companies that check the background of all their workers. This ensures that they are trustworthy and safe to have in your home or office.
What is your cancellation policy?
You should look for companies that have reasonable cancellation policies (24-48 hours of notice) and easy rescheduling. This shows that they are flexible and respectful of your time.
You should also pay attention to how each company communicates and acts. Make sure you feel comfortable with them.
Confirm Their Service Area
Before you hire a cleaning service in North Carolina, you need to make sure they can serve your location. Some companies only work in certain cities or areas near big cities like Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, etc.
Trust Your Gut
Pay attention to how the cleaning companies treat you as a customer. You can ask yourself these questions:
- Are they easy to reach and responsive? Or do they ignore your calls and messages?
- Do they show up on time and ready for meetings? Or do they cancel or reschedule often?
- Do they listen to your needs and customize a cleaning plan for you? Or do they try to sell you fixed packages?
- Do they have safety procedures for COVID or other risks? Or do they take shortcuts and risks?
You should choose a company that makes you feel valued and respected. A company that is unprofessional or dishonest now will probably not provide good service later.
Prioritize Green Cleaning
Many people today prefer cleaning solutions that are eco-friendly. This means that they use fewer chemicals and have less impact on the environment. You should look for cleaning companies in North Carolina that offer green services, such as:
- Plant-based, non-toxic products
- HEPA-filter vacuums that capture dust and allergens
- Microfiber cloths and mops that reduce waste
- Energy/water-efficient practices
- Recycling programs
A green-certified cleaning service can help you achieve your health and sustainability goals.
Read the Fine Print
Before you sign any contract with a cleaning company, you should read the fine print carefully. You should understand:
- The price and the services included
- The payment method and the billing process
- The refund/cancellation policy
- The liability for damages
- The privacy protection of customers
A clear contract protects both you and the cleaning company. Do not sign anything until you are sure.
Trust Natural Zen Cleaning for Awesome Service
If you are looking for a professional, reputable cleaning service that you can rely on, you should consider Natural Zen Cleaning. We can take care of your cleaning needs for your home or office in North Carolina. Our cleaners are fully licensed, insured, and bonded, and they deliver a meticulous clean that you can trust.
We use eco-friendly methods and products to provide a professional service that respects your health and the environment. Contact us today for a free quote and see the difference that Natural Zen Cleaning can make! We would love to be your cleaning partner.