In a service based industry, you need systems in place to measure and manage quality. What does quality mean to you? More importantly, how do you ensure quality services? We've found that good standards and practices start with good communication. When a team works together, it's possible to improve productivity, save time and reduce costs. Below are three ways to improve communication and ultimately manage quality control.
1. Hold Team Members Accountable
Designating who is responsible for what is a key factor for the success of any operation. All team members need to be on the same page to work harmoniously, especially when there are many people working together towards a common goal. For example, if a day porter does a sub par job, it leaves a lot of extra work for the night crew and vise versa.
Encouraging team members to communicate with one another and set reasonable expectations is important. You can only oversee operations so much. If team members can effectively communicate with one another by voicing their concerns, they can hold themselves and their peers accountable.
Going into business with a cleaning provider should be viewed as a partnership and in any good partnership, both sides need to be held accountable. CMM reports that customers should acknowledge both the negative and positive outcomes of the cleaning process, maintain fair expectations and acknowledge that cleaning adds value to the organization.
Another way customers can hold themselves accountable is by understanding their janitorial bid and the services that come with it before signing a contract. Being vigilant will ensure that there are no grey areas regarding which rooms should and should not be cleaned. If additional services are needed down the line, request them in advance so that there is enough time to get it done to standard.
2. Run Regular Quality Assurance Walks
The best way to ensure cleaning is being done to company standard is by regular quality assurance (QA) walks. During a QA walk, a franchise development manger or efficiencies manager assesses every area of a facility to determine how clean the building is. First, the facility is assessed from a customer's perspective. This is when we check for high visibility issues. Next are the details.
- Equipment – Is the right equipment being used and is the equipment in good condition? Does equipment need to be upgraded?
- Cleaning Agents – Do they have the right cleaning agents required for the facility? Are the right chemicals being used for the appropriate surfaces? Are kill claim instructions being followed?
- Cleaning Standards – What condition is the building in? Is the service schedule working? Are the right methods and systems being used? Have there been customer complaints?
The purpose of a QA walk isn't to fix problems after they arise, but to prevent issues from happening in the first place. If we notice areas that need attention, there are a few possible solutions. The first solution is to improve methods. But another possible solution could be to adjust the service schedule, add a day porter to your team or schedule specialty services like floor care or carpet care to fix problems general janitorial can't solve on its own.
3. Record and Report Regularly
Quality control comes down to one major factor: communication. If you're managing a large facility or multiple locations that are all being serviced by the same provider, monthly reports may be the best way to align team members. Reports can identify reoccurring trends. You can also track complaints, customer requests and notifications to the customer.
With the cleaning technology available today, there are no excuses. Internet connected systems can tell you a lot about a facility and the necessary changes that need to be made to make cleaning run smoothly. Implementing a quality CRM system is another option every cleaning service should consider. A CRM can help you record and analyze data quickly and easily.
Make sure to go further than the report. Once you've identified what's working and what areas need improvement, discuss your next course of action and how the success of those actions will be measured.
In order to make quality control a priority, you need to make communication one too. You can manage quality control in three steps:
- Hold all parties accountable by reinforcing responsibility.
- Run regular quality assurance walks that are proactive, not reactive.
- Record and report your findings regularly, then discuss solutions and strategy.