We’ve spoken to a lot of people in Sedgefield – and something that we hear quite regularly, is a complaint about the hourly rates being charged by cleaners, especially private cleaners.
One elderly customer, we’ll call her Mrs N to protect her anonymity and who is in her mid 80’s, told us she’s been forced to take on the services of a number of different cleaners mainly because of their unreliability, this she found surprising, because as she told us, she was normally paying circa £15 + per hour and expected to obtain a superior quality of service for that price, more so because she was predominately taking on people who were on benefits and not running a bona fide business, paying tax, NI or providing insurance cover or guaranteed temporary replacement, so their overheads were small, but this wasn’t reflected in the hourly rate, or the service they supplied – or didn’t supply – dependent on your point of view.
Mrs N went on to tell us that she found most of the private cleaners seemed to spend more time talking to her as opposed to cleaning and she found herself being regaled with stories about their private lives plus their own personal problems, as she went onto say, “I have enough problems of my own and I don’t need to listen to other people’s issues and neither do I need to pay someone at £15 an hour to talk to me, I can pop down the shops for a natter if I need to, free of charge”.
We often hear of unreliability issues too, but in fairness, although we are told this a lot about private cleaners, we’ve heard it about others too.
So Select House Cleaners are well aware of these potential problems, to obtain our present database of more than 160 cleaners, we’ve had to discard literally hundreds of applicants, a lot just at the telephone application stage, a large number are claiming benefits and unfortunately we know that many are applying because they think house cleaning in people’s homes is easy, or they’re under pressure from the DWP to avoid sanctions, or they simply have the wrong attitude, but others are rejected for a variety of other reasons too.
That said, we’ve turned down applicants who’ve asked someone to ring us on their behalf – because they don’t speak English, further proof that some people think anyone can undertake professional house cleaning, even if they can’t understand what the customer is saying.
We would say that we reject 9 out of 10 applications, mostly for the reasons given, but as intimated, there are others as well. One person (who needless to say didn’t pass the telephone screening application) said that she couldn’t see what all the fuss was about because, “it’s only a cleaning job”, we brought that conversation to an abrupt halt.
So we take a considerable amount of trouble to find the right calibre of person to provide cleaning services – the telephone screening is just one area of several that we use to weed out time wasters, but we also insist on home visiting all potential cleaners too, so we can take definitive identification to prove they are who they say they are – and they live where they say they live.
But police checks are asked for as well, references, both personal and professional are – and verified – plus a long interview is undertaken where we get straight down to the nitty gritty and ask blunt questions (where required) regarding their commitment to the work of professional cleaning to other people’s standards – not just their own!
Rest assured, we have completed a LOT of work before a cleaner is accepted onto our database be that in Sedgefield, or anywhere else in our coverage area.
But they’re also reminded that everyone of our clients who has access to a computer can send us an instant update regarding their present cleaner’s standards via our on-line feedback form, we use this ongoing system to keep an eye on how things are progressing between client and cleaner.
We also award a points system to each cleaner for every positive feedback we receive about the standards they achieve, the top 5 are given a token of our appreciation twice a year as our way of simply saying thank you – and we’re proud of what they’ve achieved as someone who is regarded as an ambassador of our company.
We take more steps too in order to make certain that we are truly supplying a ‘Selected’ cleaner, an individual who has proved they have the necessary skills, professionalism and commitment to supply a service which is far superior to that being offered by cleaners in the private sector – and elsewhere.