(Originally Published January 05, 2018)
Learning how to deal with a bad vendor is important, as you may find yourself working with a company that is a poor fit. However, it is also a good idea to try and work through possible problems before ending a contract - you might be surprised by the results! This article provides tips for dealing with various situations you may find yourself in when working with commercial cleaning companies. Do you have any questions about commercial cleaning? Contact Kitchener Clean today!
"I am very happy with the Kitchener Clean Team. I have been satisfied with consistent cleaning appointments for over 5 years. I appreciate the cleaning appointment reminders and the flexibility of scheduling to accommodate our busy family and work schedule."
-- Abby, a Kitchener Clean customer!
Working with a vendor that is not meeting your needs or requirements can be frustrating. You may want to rush into ending your contract with them at the first sign of potential conflict. However, it is best practice to give it some time and try to make it work once or twice before choosing to end a contract.
On RikkaBrandon.com, Rikka Brandon offers some things to consider before choosing to end your contract in the article How To Manage Poor Vendor Relationships.
Ending a contract can be difficult, awkward, and frustrating - especially if you still need to ensure the job gets done! These are simple steps you can take to try to repair the relationship and see if working together is still a possibility.
The first step Brandon suggests is reviewing your contract. Are you sure you are not holding your current vendor to unfair or unspoken expectations? Unspoken expectations can cause conflict in all relationships - both personal and business.
You want to carefully read over your contract and any other additional documents both you and your vendor agreed on.
You may find that the reason your commercial cleaning company has been skipping the bathrooms every other week is because that is actually what you agreed to in your contract!
The second step that Brandon recommends is to tell the vendor your concerns. As everyone says, communication is key. If you've found that your vendor truly is not living up to your contract or has had poor communication with you, it is time to bring that up. Write a professional letter or email. Ensure that you use calm, polite, and professional language. How the vendor responds to and acts on your concerns will give you a lot of insight as to whether this relationship is salvageable.
Finally, if you are still unhappy with your vendor, Brandon suggests that you should prepare to find a new one. Come up with a polite way to end the contract and have a plan in place to hire someone new. If you have a large office with many employees, it is important that you have a new vendor in place to keep your office clean and sanitary before your current vendor leaves.
Dealing with a vendor that is not delivering on promises can be frustrating. There are many common problems that customers face with commercial cleaning companies. This section will outline each common customer complaint and provide a strategy to deal with each issue.
Problem #1: Incorrect Billing - Have you ever received a bill from a vendor or service provider and wondered how exactly they came up with that number? One common customer complaint is confusing or incorrect billing.
Strategy: If you find yourself dealing with a confusing bill or a bill that looks off compared to all your others, the best thing to do is communicate this immediately to your vendor. Include all important documents: your contract, any pieces of documentation that state billing details from previous bills, and the current bill. It is likely to be a mistake and a reputable company will refund you the difference.
Problem #2: Poor Quality of Service - Poor quality of service can come in many forms. The most common form is an incomplete cleaning job. Have you noticed that areas of your office are still dusty after cleaners have finished for the day?
Are your kitchen appliances still greasy even though a clean kitchen was promised in your contract? Do the bathroom floors look less than sparkly? If so, you feel concerned about the quality of service your office is receiving.
Strategy: The best course of action is to contact your vendor and communicate the problem. You may even want to take pictures to document the incidents and show that this was not a one-time thing, and to show that you are not 'overreacting.' Ensure you include all relevant documentation, such as your contract, to show that the vendor is not living up to the standards you both agreed upon.
Problem #3: Rude/Disruptive Staff - A professional commercial cleaning company will cause little to no disruptions in your office. They will understand that everyone in the office is trying to work! However, another common customer complaint is rude and disruptive staff - either the cleaning staff themselves or those on the other end of the phone!
Strategy: If you are having trouble with the cleaning staff, write a letter or call in to your vendor. Explain in detail the situation you witnessed. Hopefully, the vendor will take your complaint seriously and inform the cleaning staff that their behaviour was inappropriate. If you are having trouble talking to someone on the phone, ask to speak to another employee if possible.
Problem #4: Poor Management - Poor management can be one of the most frustrating issues to deal with. Has your vendor arrived late on the job multiple times without an explanation? Have they lost important paperwork or forgot meeting dates?
This can cause disruptions in your office and in your own schedule. Working through poor management may be one of the most difficult problems to solve, but it is important to at least try to work through it.
Strategy: Once again, write a letter of complaint to the vendor, explaining the multiple incidents of poor management. Clearly outline the steps you would like them to take in order to avoid this problem in the future. Document all errors including late arrivals and cancellations and issues like poor customer service or lost documents.
Remember, vendors are humans too, and everyone makes mistakes. However, if mistakes continue to happen over and over again even if you have clearly and professionally voiced your concerns, it may be time to find a vendor that is a better fit for you and for your company.
If you are dealing with a bad vendor and would like to know how to send a professional and concise complaint letter, check out these tips below. Sending a proper complaint letter is important - you do not want to create more of a barrier between you and your current vendor. A well-worded letter can actually help repair the relationship. Your vendor's response to the letter will also give you a good idea of whether the relationship is worth continuing.
Tips for sending a professional letter from Consumer Information:
The following are online resources for you to view sample complaint letters for many different circumstances. These letters are good samples to work off of and customize to fit your own personal needs.
Sample #1 From Foundletters.com
Sample #3 From CitizensAdvice.Org.Uk
Want to learn more about professional complaint letters?
Kitchener Clean is a locally owned and operated family business, so we treat our customers like we would treat our own family - with respect. We value integrity, consistency and thoroughness with all of our clients.
Did you know that Kitchener Clean started out as a home cleaning company? Today we are still firmly committed to cleaning your office as thoroughly as we would our own home. We are also dedicated to great customer service, honesty, and integrity.
At Kitchener Clean, we believe that our Office Care Technicians are a key reason we are so successful. We strive to hire the best Office Care Professionals in the business. We take security seriously so all of our staff are bonded and have undergone police checks.
Our reputation is important to us, so we guarantee all of our services. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied, simply contact us and we will return within 24 hours to address your concern at no additional cost.
We even guarantee our response time. If we haven’t responded to any client communication within 24 hours of receiving it, we will offer you a free week of Office Care. That is how strongly we feel about the importance of communication and customer satisfaction. We will always stand behind our work. We guarantee it.
“Great quality and feedback, these guys are very professional
and an excellent cleaning company.”
-- Robert, A Kitchener Clean Customer!