The reason you're getting a home cleaning service is so you don't have to think about cleaning anymore. But if you don't ask the right questions during the research phase, you might end up with a company that isn't there for you if something goes wrong. Here are the questions to ask, and the answers you should hear, from any good, professional home cleaning service.
What to ask: Are you bonded and insured?
What to listen for: Most companies are bonded, which simply means they will follow rules and standard practices for the safety of the client. But they need to be insured for employee accidents, crime, and liability, too. Make sure you ask for proof of insurance. If a company can't quickly and easily send you proof of insurance via email or fax, there's probably something fishy going on.
What to ask: Do you perform criminal background checks on all of your employees?
What to listen for: These people will be coming into your home, using your keys, and storing your credit card. Ask them for the name of the company they use to background check their employees. If they can't name their background checking vendor off the top of their head, they probably aren't really running checks. You should also ask them about their hiring process to ensure that background checks are run on every single employee, not just once in a while.
What to ask: What happens if something breaks?
What to listen for: This should be covered by insurance in most cases, which is why it's important to have proof that the company is insured. Ask them to specify what is covered by insurance if something breaks in your home, and make sure they have a simple, systematic claims process in place for these instances.
What to ask: How do you keep my key safe?
What to listen for: Keys should not be tied to any specific address when they are kept by a cleaning service. They should tell you that all keys are coded, locked in a safe, and only the house cleaner cleaning your home will have access to your key.
What to ask: How do you keep my credit card information safe?
What to listen for: Companies that keep a client's credit card on file have to be just as safe as Visa or MasterCard with customer information. Make sure the company stores your card number in a secure software program that uses data encryption and only displays the last four numbers of your card to employees.
What to ask: Do you have a service guarantee if I'm not happy with the job you did?
What to listen for: Every home cleaning service should offer this. You don't want to be up a creek with a messy tub! Make sure they will come back and re-clean anything that was missed, free of charge.