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Management And Training

Beating The Odds

September 19, 2010
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This month we look at an issue that many readers often ponder: When it comes to add-on services, do the pros outweigh the cons?

Is being a jack-of-all-trades really beneficial to your business, department or building?

Or, perhaps, specializing in traditional cleaning services is the best way to go.

The Obvious Benefits

For contract cleaners, the issue could be resolved in five words: What does the customer want?

And, for in-house cleaners, the situation could be dire since more and more facilities are outsourcing cleaning and maintenance services. Can the trend be reversed if you train your staff members to be jacks-of-all-trades?

Some long-standing contract cleaners, such as one case study discussed in our cover story (starting on page 12), have had success over the years by adding-on services and then eventually becoming a specialist in each area.

In these economic times, it is wise to keep customers happy, but not if it puts the account and your reputation in jeopardy.

We Have You Covered

This reader issue is a critical one.

Benefits of add-on services can include customer retention, new business, a competitive edge, profits, penetration into other markets and locations and so on.

If your employees cannot fulfill the services, setbacks can include unhealthy environments, building occupant complaints, financial losses, a bad reputation, etc.

In this issue, in addition to our cover story, we cover this topic in multiple ways.

In-house managers can turn to page 38, where industry expert Alan Bigger shares his thoughts about the evolving role of the in-house service provider (ISP).

Additionally, in this month''s "Letters & Views," Bulletin Board users sound off about add-on services and customer expectations.

"Once it becomes part of the routine, you can''t stop without getting a ton of complaints and issues," exclaims one responder.

This is not a new issue, but in today''s business environment, it is one to be aware of.

In good times, not every customer is good enough to keep and not every prospect is good enough to lure.

In tough times, smart decisions can get you through, while poor choices can be detrimental.

Send comments or thoughts on this topic or any other article that appears in CM/Cleaning & Maintenance Management® magazine, to

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