The Human Factor in Customer Service Training

Janitorial Customer Service TrainingNo matter what your industry, customer service plays a key role in how you define (and hopefully exceed) the expectations of your customers, vendors and employees. When it comes to the janitorial and building services industry, the human interaction factor is often overlooked when it comes to the roles these team members play in your customer service experience. With more than 100 years of collective management experience, here are three rules that we have identified as being key to successfully delivering exceptional customer service in the building maintenance industry.

1. Creating meaningful interactions between your employees, customers and vendors needs to be a priority at every level. In today’s digital age, we can easily become dependent upon emails, texts and automated reports. However, according to a recent study be Accenture, eighty-three percent of consumers prefer human interaction over using digital channels to solve customer services issues. Human and personal contact experiences, not just points of interaction, need to be part of a customer service strategy that should be modeled at every level. In other words, we need to communication like a human in a friendly, professional tone.

2. Whether you are training them in this role or not, janitorial and building maintenance team members are already customer service ambassadors. Beyond maintaining a spotless facility, these team members are among the first to encounter building questions or concerns, among the first to notice potential security and safety issues, as well as among the first to make an impression upon visitors. Your team members should be trained to be able to give basic building information and directions, follow dress code requirements, and to be professional and courteous in all interactions.

3. You don’t know what you don’t know. 80% of companies claim their customer service ranks “superior”, but in reality, only 8% of their customers agree, according to the Harvard Business Journal. It’s important to foster an environment that encourages accountability and feedback from all team members, clients and vendors. Be establishing regular communication channels, team members can report what’s working, or what’s not, and what might be improved. If something isn’t working or working as efficiently as it could, the team members need to be assured that it will be dealt with in an expedient manner. Regular, open communication will improve processes and skills and, more importantly, will help you solve little problems before they become big problems.

We passionately believe that it is our team, at every level of the company, who helps us build strong and lasting relationships with our clients because of our company-wide commitment to customer service. Role modeling enhances the training we give our team. Professionalism and courtesy is emphasized, and our team acts accordingly. Individually, we’re proud to employ a family of the most dedicated and hard-working people in the industry. Our people, our passion, our performance – we proudly recognize that our team members are the heart and soul of our business.

Posted in Career, Janitorial | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Benefits of Commercial Pressure Washing for Parking Garages

Parking Garage Pressure WashingA parking garage is often the first and last impression of your facility. Today’s commercial pressure washing will remove the grease and grime to help make your exterior parking garages, parking lots, sidewalks and entryways as inviting as your interior.

However, benefits of commercial pressure washing go well beyond enhanced guest experience. Oil, coolant and other spills can cause slippery, unsafe walking surfaces – not to mention the amount of extra dirt and oils visitors will track into your facility.

Today’s commercial pressure washing techniques offer many environmentally safe, Green cleaning solutions, as well as recovery of waste water and other discharge. Federal and many state regulations prohibit discharge of wastewater pollutants into storm drains and other surface run off, so it’s important to have a trained professional that can service parking structures even if you don’t have drainage.

Finally, commercial pressure washing will not only make your structures look cleaner and be safer, it can save you time and expenses by preserving the life of painted lines, which can be costly to re-paint.

Posted in Customer Experience, Green, Janitorial, Safety

Norovirus – Disinfecting Alone is not Enough

Norovirus DisinfectionThe colder, winter months are peak season for influenza and norovirus, which is often mistaken for the stomach flu, leading to vicious bouts of cramping, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The CDC estimates that each year norovirus causes 19 to 21 million illnesses, 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths.

So, what does this mean for your business? The average worker is sick 7.7 days a year, which costs employers $225.8 billion annually in the U.S, or $1,685 per employee, according to the CDC. In a clean facility, employee absenteeism is reduced by 46%, according to ISSA.

sick-employees-cost-money-issa

Source: ISSA Value of Clean

Norovirus presents a particular challenge to janitorial and building maintenance staff. A person can become infected with as little as 18-1,300 microscopic viral particles. During bouts of violent vomiting episodes, for which norovirus is known, researchers have shown roughly one million particles are released into the air contaminating anything with which the particles come in contact.

While there is not a vaccine for the norovirus, there are a few simple cleaning steps to protect yourself and others from spreading the virus.

#1 rule – wash your hands. Most people don’t wash their hands correctly. It takes about 30 seconds of vigorous rubbing using hot water and soap to wash away clinging particles of the virus. Wash under nails, too.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer does not kill norovirus, it is resistant to most disinfectants.

That’s why ESCFederal recommends a 3-step cleaning process to clean, disinfect and sanitize surfaces.

Sanitizing a surface will reduce 99.9% of bacteria on inanimate surfaces but will not remove viruses or fungi. Disinfecting destroys bacteria and germs, but it is not designed to lift dirt off a surface. As part of the 3-step process, we recommend to clean first, then sanitize and then apply disinfectant to kill the bacteria. Usually, a disinfectant product needs to sit for at least 5-10 minutes, wet, on a surface, giving it time to kill germs.

The norovirus can survive on surfaces for weeks at a time, providing ample opportunity for the spread of infection between employees, so it is important to use products that are EPA-registered to kill germs of most concern.

The value of cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing will keep building occupants healthy, productive and reduce absenteeism costs all year long.

Posted in Community Interest, Customer Experience, Janitorial, Safety | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ready to Start Your Management Career?

Join the ESCFederal TeamAre you ready to start your career with the ESCFederal team?

We’re looking for motivated, quality-driven individuals at all levels to join our team.

ESCFederal is national, fully-integrated building services provider. We believe that our people are our most important assets and are the reason we have the highest customer retention rates in the industry. Our people and our company take pride in delivering world-class building operations, facility maintenance and janitorial services.

We provide careers, not just jobs

We offer competitive pay and benefits that meets or exceeds the industry standards. Our people, our passion and our performance are the core values of our company. We treat each of our employees as an extension of our family and work hard to ensure your success!

Are you ready to start your career?

In addition to the below opportunities we are ALWAYS on the lookout for talented Project Managers and Regional Operations Managers across the country!

We are currently looking for:

  • Regional Operations Manager – Houston, TX
  • Regional Operations Manager – Denver, CO
  • Project Manager – Dallas, TX
  • Project Manager – Atlantic City, NJ
  • Bi-Lingual (Spanish) HR Assistant – West Chester, PA

Regional Operations Managers are expected to be an ESCFederal representative embracing the mission, vision, corporate culture and values of our company. They are key in communicating our story throughout the organization and marketplace. Regional Operations Managers guide and direct the activities of Project Managers assigned to each specific location throughout their region and are responsible and accountable for the operations of their region. Travel will be required.

For more information about joining our team, please contact us via email or telephone at 1-800-610-2210.

 

Posted in Career

We’re Growing! Ready to Join Our Team?

escfederal_job_opportunity_180Have you heard? ESCFederal is hiring!

We are a fully integrated building services provider known for the highest customer retention levels in the industry. Quality is not just a catch-phrase at ESCFederal, it’s in our company DNA. We’re looking for motivated, quality-driven individuals at all levels to join our team.

We are a national, privately-held, leading employer and provider of janitorial, and maintenance services. We deliver world-class building operations, facility maintenance and janitorial services by providing clients with state of the art equipment and expertly trained highly motivated employees!

We believe that people are our most important assets.

To best serve our customers, we must first invest in the best training in the industry for all our team members; to provide careers, not just jobs. Our internal training and safety programs teach the skills needed to provide the level of performance our customers expect while establishing a strong foundation for advancement and success at ESCFederal.

Why join our team?

We offer competitive pay and benefits that meets or exceeds the industry standards. Our people, our passion and our performance are the core values of our company. We treat each of our employees as an extension of our family and work hard to ensure your success!

Ready to start your career with ESCFederal?

We are ALWAYS on the lookout for talented Project Managers and Regional Operations Managers across the country!

Currently, we have a number of career opportunities including the following:

We are currently looking for a Facilities Manager. The ideal candidate will be trained in and possess a working knowledge of electrical, mechanical, HVAC and Plumbing systems. The ideal candidate can troubleshoot, to the component level, air handlers, lighting and lighting controls, irrigation systems, hydraulic actuators, pumps and pump controls.

We are currently looking for Regional Operations Managers in CO and TX. We are looking for Project Managers in TX, CA, TN, MN, CT, GA and FL. Regional Operations Managers are expected to be an ESCFederal representative embracing the mission, vision, corporate culture and values of our company. They are key in communicating our story throughout the organization and marketplace. Regional Operations Managers guide and direct the activities of Project Managers assigned to each specific location throughout their region and are responsible and accountable for the operations of their region. Travel, on occasion, will be required.

For more information about joining our team, please contact us via email or telephone at 1-800-610-2210.

 

Posted in Career

3 New Year’s Resolutions for Facility Managers

new-years-resolutions-for-facility-managers_180_110Here are a three New Year’s tips to help your facilities look their best, streamline your budget and improve your operational health.

1. Take a Walk
Inspection checklists and quality assurance reports are critical tools to prevent injuries, record hazards for corrective action and keep your facilities looking their best. However, there comes a time when you need to put down your phone, leave your desk and walk the facility yourself. There is no substitute for regularly conducting site inspections to maintain quality control.

2. An Ounce of Prevention
The great thing about preventative maintenance is that it is performed while the equipment is still working, helping prevent unexpected (and costly) breakdowns. We all know that we should be adhering to preventative maintenance schedules, but all too often it falls to the bottom of our priority lists in the hustle and bustle of daily activities. Make preventative maintenance one of your New Year’s resolutions. As a result of an effective preventative maintenance program, you can improve operational efficiency and save yourself from unanticipated and costly repairs. Preventative maintenance can save you 33-50% in equipment maintenance expenses!

3. Go Green
Being environmentally responsible not only protects employees, tenants and customers, it can also add up to long-term cost-savings. The janitorial services industry has made huge strides to reduce the impact on the environment on a daily basis. This implementation and promotion of more environmentally-friendly chemicals, energy-efficient equipment, water reduction, chemical-free products, recycled paper, reduction of pollutants and microfiber all aid in support of environmental initiatives. Plus, tenants are increasingly demanding owners conform to high performance green cleaning standards and LEED Certification. LEED Certification demonstrates an owner’s commitment to using resources widely and creating occupied spaces that are healthy and sustainable.

Posted in Customer Experience, Green, Janitorial, Safety, Sustainability

Wishing you a very Happy Holiday!

1-escfederal-holiday

Image | Posted on by

Smarter Inspections, Better Quality Control

inspectionAn effective quality assurance program is essential to not just measuring, but to continuous improvement in janitorial performance. Smarter inspections offer better quality control.

Today, advancements in technology have allowed for useful alternatives with much lower costs than in the past. Smart Inspect is one of those programs. Smart Inspect software is configured to your facility’s exact cleaning specifications. Everything is digital! With only a touch on the device’s display screen, you can select locations, buildings, rooms and area types specific to your facility.

Janitorial maintenance details are imputed into a handheld device and then uploaded to a PC. Results are provided to the Account Manager so they can review the findings with the crew, and take corrective action, if necessary. A copy is also given to the client. This is a valuable tool for assisting in building maintenance continuous improvement. Smart Inspect has key performance indicators related to a percentage of tasks performed in an acceptable manner. Other features of this software include crew scheduling, estimating, job completion monitoring and job tracking.

The best way to prevent problems is to build a quality assurance cycle into your cleaning program. Part of the cycle will be to perform routine cleaning inspections, but you should also then spend time going through the data that you have collected. Take advantage of any available reports and drill down into the data to see what the true root causes of cleaning quality issues might be. Once you know what the issues are, then make the necessary corrections and adjustments within your program or staff. Most likely, some issues will pop up each month due to many different factors, but by maintaining a quality assurance cycle with Smart Inspect, the most major issues should be put to rest and prevented.

smart-inspectionSmarter inspections, better quality control and improved performance are the reasons ESC has adopted Smart Inspect to better ensure superior customer service and deliverables.
In addition to rigorous quality assurance programs and supervisor spot inspections, our regional managers visit each facility at least once per month for onsite visual inspection to ensure the highest standards are not only met but exceeded.

Posted in Customer Experience, Janitorial

Do you know who is cleaning your building?

who-is-in-your-buildingDo you really know who is cleaning your building at night? You may never get the chance to see or interact with your night time janitorial team. So how can you be assured that the people servicing your building are worthy of your trust? Here are three tips to ensure peace of mind about the identity of your nighttime cleaning crew.

  1. Confirm the name of the company that is servicing your facility. If the company with whom you have contracted and carefully vetted has subcontracted any portion of the work, make sure it is disclosed. You’ll want to investigate the reputation of the subcontracted company, how long they have been in business, their certifications and capabilities. You have a right to know the names of nighttime janitorial crew and for whom they are working.
  2. Make sure the company you hired runs background checks and drug testing on all team members (and is willing to provide documentation to that effect upon demand).
  3. It’s important that the company servicing your building is fully bonded and insured. You never know when an accident might happen.

A commercial janitorial company should be a partner that you can trust. If you ever have questions about the work being performed, the quality of the work, or who is performing the work, you should contact your service representative immediately for resolution. If the company is unwilling to provide the information you request, it may be time to start looking for a commercial janitorial partner who understands how the importance of trust and transparency.

Posted in Customer Experience, Janitorial, Safety | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Benefits of Commercial Pressure Washing

gum-on-bottom-of-shoeCommerical pressure washing exterior building facades, entrances, sidewalks and windows will lift the dust and grime to make your property shine. Regular commercial pressure washing of your exterior will keep your building looking fresh, welcoming and professional for your tenants and their visitors.

Other benefits of pressure washing include the removal of graffiti, gum, dust, mildew, dead bugs and unsightly bird droppings.

But, commercial pressure washing will do more than enhance your building’s exterior appearance, it can also help delay the need for expensive and time consuming restoration. Certain building materials, like brick, can deteriorate over time if bird droppings (which are acidic), grease and mildew are not removed.

Areas we recommend for commercial pressure washing include:

• Windows and building facades
• Windows
• Parking lots
• Parking garages
• Walkways
• Post-construction clean up
• Graffiti removal
• Gum removal

Today’s advanced pressure washing techniques will safely remove dirt, grime, gum, rust, oil, grease, mold, mildew and more. There are even terrific Green power washing solutions!

To learn more about the benefits of commercial pressure washing or how we can help keep your offices, facilities and properties in top condition, contact us today for a FREE service analysis.

Posted in Janitorial | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,