How should cleaning contractors respond to the Coronavirus? Now being called a global pandemic, the coronavirus is causing panic across the country. While I do think some of the panic is a bit overblown, the reality is that many businesses are concerned about the spread of the virus and attempting to take preventative measures. My company has received calls from several of our larger customers asking for help. My goal in this short post is to help you think about how you can better serve your customers during that time of perceived crisis. Here are five specific steps you can take as a janitorial contractor.
Get educated about the virus
The first step in helping your customers is getting educated about the virus. If you want to offer a service, you first need to understand the need. Know what the virus is, how it is effecting businesses, and how it spreads. Here are a couple of links with reliable information:
Understand what cleaning processes & chemicals can help
The second step to help your customers is understanding what cleaning chemicals and processes can help prevent or limit the spread of coronavirus. Keep in mind that many chemicals and equipment designed for disinfection are on back order, so plan accordingly. Here is a link to help you better understand best practices for cleaning during this time.
Reach out to your customers
The key to being able to help your customers is first understanding what they need. What challenges are they facing? Likely, many have already contacted you. Some may need decontamination after an employee has a confirmed case, whereas others may want ongoing protection to prevent spread from individuals who aren't symptomatic. This is a great time to show your level of service and value to the customer.
Don't be afraid to charge extra
It is possible that some of your customers may have the expectation that building disinfection is part of your ongoing cleaning program. However, this is likely not the case, as true disinfection requires long dwell time for chemicals and a greater thoroughness of cleaning than normal. Be prepared to explain to customers the differences between routine cleaning and thorough disinfection. Also, you will want to have a plan for how to price additional services in a fair and reasonable way.
Protect your employees
Last but not least, be sure to protect your employees. Make sure they are fully informed about the work they are doing, the chemicals they are using, and the risks involved. Additionally, make sure all employees are equipped with proper PPE. In fact, it may not be a bad idea to have employees sign a waiver if they are doing disinfecting or decontamination work.
Remember, be safe and serve well.