Why Commercial Cleaning and Disinfection Quotes by Phone is Dangerous

You may want an estimate over the phone so you can book a cleaning and disinfection right away. Maybe you are just doing some preliminary research and just want to get an idea of potential costs. We get why you want a quote by phone, but if cost without context is your goal then prepare yourself or your boss for a big disappointment. Here’s why.

Due to COVID-19, the commercial cleaning industry has significantly and permanently changed. Unlike in the recent past, there’s many more factors that we now need to consider when estimating the cost of cleaning and disinfecting a facility. We outline those factors below.

The Bright Shiny Object

Commercial cleaning and disinfection quotes by phone are similar to a blind date … yes, you may have some preliminary background information to start but you can size him or her up much better, faster when you meet in person. Unlike a blind date, your company cannot afford calamities and false starts. In today’s COVID era, there are lives and livelihoods at stake.

There are plenty of cleaning companies that will give you a low ball estimate by phone. Any company that provides a quote by phone shows either a clear lack of experience or respect for your company’s safety. There are certain types of companies that are willing to provide quotes by phone. Beware of the …

  1. The Drag Racer: They will quote by phone because they have simply one agenda: get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. They’ll cut corners without regard. Think of them as a one-night stand. They’re not interested in a long-term relationship.
  2. The Carpetbagger: While this term is associated with a political candidate who seeks election in an area where they have no local connections, it can apply to many cleaning companies whose primary residential cleaning business is in jeopardy because of COVID-19. Homeowners do not want random service people coming into their homes. Rightfully so. These businesses have shifted their model to commercial cleaning and now offering disinfecting services out of desperation. They are not formally trained nor certified to mix or dispense chemicals. They do not understand how certain chemicals interact with certain surfaces. They are “COVID Cowboys” who spray and pray approach does not incorporate science with commercial cleaning and disinfecting. They prioritize the survival of their business over the health and safety of your employees and customers. And when the novel coronavirus infections eventually decline, they will return to where they came from. They’re in this space temporarily.
  3. The Fisherman: This company is more than happy to give you a low ball quote by phone because their goal is to win the job and get on site. It all sounds and looks great at first but once at your facility, they’ll point out all the things your facility really needs that was not included in their quote by phone. You’re caught and they know it because you had an employee that tested positive for COVID and you need to get the facility disinfected. And, you may even pay more. One of the skills of a great fisherman is initial deception.

As the leading professional commercial cleaning and disinfecting solution provider in South Florida, we hear these stories too often as many companies come back to us after initially pursuing that shiny object … the quick low ball quote by phone. 

The Right Approach

“The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. — Sun Tzu.

We cannot state this enough … lives and livelihoods are at stake. We feel a moral responsibility to help our South Florida economy survive, but thrive. To achieve our mission, we will continue to do what has worked best for the companies we’ve served over 30+ years in this business … to provide a detailed quote after conducting a comprehensive and free Site Risk Assessment of your facility. There are many factors that need to be considered (and seen) for us to determine what will effectively mitigate the spread of viruses on surfaces and airborne pathogens.

Eyes on your facility is the only path forward. We need to be there first so we can access the density of objects in the building and the level of detail required for pre-cleaning, disinfection and ongoing preventative maintenance. When we’re onsite we also analyze the various surfaces and environmental conditions to determine how we prepare our team with the proper gear, equipment, and chemicals for your particular facility. This requires a plan to set up and stage every area of the building. This is not and should never be a one-size-fits-all approach.

We review:

  • The number of hotspots (tables, desks, chairs, & light switches)
  • Sensitive and expensive equipment like computers, servers, audio/visual
  • Final finishings
  • Entry and exit points
  • Storage areas
  • Air vents
  • Ceiling heights
  • Reachable and unreachable spots
  • Chemical interactions with different types of surfaces
  • Cross-contamination risks
  • Environmental and anti-allergen sensitivity

The Challenge with Cost Per Square Foot Quotes

For many years, our industry has used a cost-per-square-foot metric to calculate and submit estimates. It is simple and easy for business owners and facility managers to grasp and compare quotes. However, in this new COVID era, the cost-per-square-foot quote can be misleading. The cost to clean one commercial square foot of space can vary between $.12 and $2 because of all the factors that we listed above. Some buildings have many more hotspots, hard to reach areas or more densely furnished than others. Some EPA-safe chemicals will be effective on certain types of surfaces and not others. Moreover, a property’s square footage includes more than just surfaces. It also includes the air you breathe which cannot be calculated by the standard cost-per-square-foot.

Recent scientific research on viral and bacterial pathogens like the novel coronavirus live and transmit through the air more than on surfaces. In order to mitigate the threat of infection spread, we need to account for how populated your building is, air space, as well as the state of your HVAC system.

So any company who blurts out a number over the phone is either dishonest and/or inexperienced. Either way, they may be setting your company up for disaster by basing a quote on many factors they can’t possibly know without inspecting your facility first. 

Quotes Should Include Ongoing Infection Control

One-time deep cleaning and disinfection services are valuable but they won’t protect your business from the ongoing risk of contamination. If just one person contracts coronavirus at your company or brings it into your facility after disinfection, everyone at your workplace is potentially exposed. That’s why our team provides an actual comprehensive plan for ongoing cleaning and disinfection. It’s not required but it comes standard with our free Site Risk Assessment. It’s a blueprint for our team to execute against to help our clients stay in business during this pandemic. 

Need for Speed

We understand that companies want to get a quote in hand immediately. They want to open their doors or perhaps had an emergency positive COVID case at their facility. We have a large team of technicians who can be scheduled to visit your facility and conduct our free site risk assessment within one business day. Depending on your location in South Florida, we’ve been able to schedule same day appointments. While we do not provide pricing over the phone, we have been delivering detailed quotes in 1-2 business after the facility walk-through. We’re talking 2-3 business days total to get an accurate and thorough quote. The quote almost never changes, and includes a comprehensive, customized plan to clean and disinfect.

Unlike many of the yahoos that are out there giving quotes, we’ve been doing this for 30+ years. We have the industry certifications, training, experience, and processes to mitigate the spread of pathogens in your place of business.

Many members of our team, from the executives to the technicians, are certified by the Global Risk Advisory Council. We know how to prepare and prevent the spread of many different strains of infectious agents and, in particular, the novel coronavirus. We understand how mixing and deploying chemicals interact with different surfaces, heating, and ventilation systems and their roles in disease transmission.

This is why we are hired by some of the largest employers in South Florida including airports, municipal buildings, court houses, shipping ports, hospitals, public and private schools, cruise lines, and showrooms. We’ve tailored plans for each one to keep their doors open.

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