Sunday, August 26, 2012

What is included in our price?

We provide a written quote (via email) to our clients. We include below things into our prices:

  • All cleaning tools and chemicals
  • Public liability insurances and workers' compensation cover
  • A written confirmation of booking as well as a service explanation
  • An email reminder for weekly/fortnightly/monthly clients with no extra cost, if the clients require
We do not require any upfront payment.
For new clients, we prefer our jobs to be assessed before cleaners leave the property to avoid any misunderstanding.
For any confirmed booking, we normally do not let customers down. If emergency happens and we really can not arrange a backup, we will provide a really good reason.
If we can not accommodate certain request, we will put clients on our waiting list. We will inform you when you desired spots become available. 

Compare quotes wisely. Apple to apple or apple to orange?

If you find a really LOW price compared with others when sourcing a cleaner, be careful  as there may be some tricks here:
  • The cleaning service does not provide any tools or chemicals. If you do not have the right set of materials ready, it seems to be your responsibility not having a job done within the time you expect. Do not forget efficient cleaners have their own preference on tools. The well organized sprays, brush, wet and dry cloth, vacuum cleaner, mop etc are all in clean and working condition is part of professional cleaners' daily job. Of course, good cleaners should be flexible to use clients' tools per request. This is nothing more than some time for the cleaner to get used to the tools. Indeed,  commercial back pack vacuum cleaners are more efficient than consumer brands which are on wheels. 
  • Cheap cleaners normally do not have any necessary insurance.
  • Cleaners do not have a valid ABN tend to be cheap. If you really know them well, it is probably okay. Otherwise, they may be nowhere to be traced when you wish to. 
  • Cheap rates sometimes are for very basic tasks only.
  • Due to limited resource or manpower, cheap cleaning services may let you down by not showing up on the appointment day. Sometimes they give you a short notice with a reason but more often there is no notice at all.
  • Freelance cleaners are people who working on their own, therefore, there is no backup solution when they are sick, during school holidays, or when emergency happens.
  • If you search online for a cleaner, some agent who claims cleaners FROM $18/hr is just playing a word game with you. Do not be disappointed if your quote is $35/hr as no one can check with them if there is a rate is as low as $18/hr. Do not believe there are more than X0,0000 service suppliers ready to quote since 90% of them may not in the same state.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Checklist for hiring a cleaner

To find the right cleaner is easy......and not that easy if you really want to maintain a good relationship. Since cleaning is a service instead of a standardized product, there are more facts to consider other than just to compare the price. To ensue a good experience, please check:

  • Is the candidate police cleared?
  • Is the candidate insured? If you have bought the insurance for whoever cleans for you, it is not necessary. Otherwise, keep an close eye on the cleaner whenever he/she is at your home. Even so, it is still risky.
  • Does the candidate have an ABN? If not, the cleaner may disappear completely under certain circumstances which you do not expect.
  • Is the candidate fully equipped? This is tricky if you only compare an hourly rate as no good cleaner can do an efficient job without proper tools with very good organization.
  • Is the candidate always reachable? Can they offer any backup plan? This is vital if you need to reschedule, or pass on some urgent information, or when emergency happens.
  • Does the candidate have good reputation? This should be REAL customer feedback. Sometimes 100% positive comments are too good to be true.
Above are some basics service seekers need to consider. There are more details to decide whether the price you have is the best or not. Just like air tickets, economic class and business class seats are different in price, although in the very same airplane.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday lucks - bad and good

Bad luck this morning one of the team arrived in Dalkeith at 9 and found the client was not home. Good luck we were able to reschedule this cleaning to 15 with another team by constantly making a couple of phone calls. Thanks Michelle for the flexibility to allow us to finish by 15.30!

Bad luck again when another cleaner arrived Duncraig at 13, the client was not home either. Since there was no cash left, we could not be sure if the client needed the cleaning without a phone call confirmation. Good luck finally the client called us back and rescheduled to coming Monday.

A new number ringed us saying her cleaner just let her down today and asking us if we can make an urgent booking. Bad luck we are pretty full today, (and almost every Friday actually). Bad luck again we saw this new number quite familiar. She once booked with us for a weekly cleaning then canceled it before the first visit, according to our booking system. She must have found someone else with lower rates.

Cleaners from $18/hr, really?

Someone sent us an email with pre-set user name and password to invite us to become a member so that we might get cleaning jobs from the company. We dislike this kind of unexpected offers but still clicked-through to find out what is happening. There is a big headline on the top of its homepage "compare cleaning quotes from18/hr" which upsets us immediately. Well, we do not like the tone which this company is using to attract its customers since the number it used is really below industry average. There was a true story about shopping center cleaners' strike hit Christmas shoppers in 2011 taking place in South Australia, NSW and Queensland, luckily not in WA. Jess Walsh, state secretary for United Voice, the cleaners' union, said cleaners were being paid $16.50 an hour, which was a "poverty wage". (Levy, 2011). Furthermore, we believe people using this website to find cleaners are mostly domestic needs. Due to the higher standard requirement than office cleaning tasks, the hourly rate should be a bit higher to cover extra training demand, insurances, and cleaning equipments.  

Of course we won't take any action to become its member although the membership is all set. Maybe the company's sales people should try their best to get freelance cleaners online. However, they may have some difficulty using the internet to manage their business or booking as freelance cleaners are cleaning and driving all day. Or even freelance cleaners are too busy to do this - their hourly rate should start from $25 in Perth, which is quite normal as labor cost here is a bit higher than in the east. Why should they bother to pay this company to get a job at a lower rate?

I am not quite me today to post this. Normally we are reserved and silent. Thinking people buy our services. Trust most of clients are clear when they are sourcing their service suppliers. The lowest price is not always the best choice.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

See what we have missed!

We created this blog 2 years ago with only few contents. Due to no man power and strategy, we have left it what it was from the beginning for 2 years, thinking probably nobody cares. Then today, when we logged in by accident, we found out actually there were hundreds of people viewed this boring blog, surprisingly. How much have we missed!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

blogger, twitter and facebook

The world is complicated!
Why there are so many social networking tools that I do not know what to use at a specific time.

At this moment I only know that these 3 are popular. Blogger should be the oldest one but is it too old to use?

Finally I figured out today that if I post on blogger, there can be an auto update on both twitter and facebook. Facebook can automatically update twitter too.

So is it easier for me to start with blogger, the oldest one? Let us wait and see.