Selecting a service provider to tackle a project in your home can be a daunting task. Inviting a company to do work around and inside of your residence raises serious questions about security, safety and customer satisfaction. Necessarily the relationship with a home service provider is one that is built on trust. To maximize the experience of outsourcing chores around your house it is best to approach the task with a long-term perspective, rather than look for a quick, inexpensive one-hit wonder.
At House Spouse, we take the services that we provide very seriously – and that includes doing everything we can to ensure our clients are happy with the services we provide, that they are comfortable with the staff members delivering those services, and that the properties we service are done so in a safe and secure manner. Whomever you chose to help around your home, we think it helpful to share some important points to look for in performing your due diligence on a home services provider. It is important to remember that a little time spent upfront can save a lot of headache down the road.
- Explore the company
- Take some time to get to know the company that will be providing the service. While it is difficult to fully evaluate a company on your own, determining if the organization is registered with the state can be easily done on the State Corporation Commission website. Determine if the company has a business address and click around their website looking for professionalism and depth. Social media reviews can be helpful, but often are not a true representation of the company.
- Ensure that the company is insured against accidents or theft that may happen in your home. A good organization will welcome a request for a copy of a certificate of insurance and a certificate of bonding – it is wise to require this proof.
- Ask how the company safeguards your personal information as well as tools used for access to your home, such as keys and codes to doors and alarms.
- Determine how the organization handles customer complaints. A good company will stand behind their work and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on the work that they have been contracted to provide. Don’t hesitate to ask what the procedure for handling complaints is.
- Learn about the people
- Make sure that a thorough, nationwide criminal background check is performed on each individual that will be entering your home. Ask what the policy is for employing individuals with a criminal history. A good company will have a zero tolerance policy.
- Find out who the company hires. Do they take anybody who walks off the street, or is there a structured interview process?
- Inquire if the company has a formal training process. A reputable organization will offer lengthy classroom and hands on training before allowing a worker to provide a service without onsite supervision.
- Discover what the service offers
- After vetting a company and deciding on a service provider, most customers who find themselves unhappy discover that it is because their expectations for the service are different than what the company provides. Find out what is included in a particular service and what limitations, if any, apply to a quote to perform that service. If you have anything particular areas of concern, ask if they are included or what additional cost there is to have the service provided.
At House Spouse, we like to “run it up the chain” to really evaluate an organization. Don’t be afraid to ask for a call from the owner or an executive of the company to get a better feel for the leadership of the organization and to answer some of the harder hitting questions noted above, as well as to discuss any specific concerns or requests that you may have. Home services are personal, relationship based services and the company should be eager to form that relationship with new and existing clients.
Doing your homework can really help to ensure that you are happy with the products provided by a home services company. After a service is performed, keep in mind that if your expectations are not met, a reputable company will make good on it following their established procedure for doing so. A good company values a good standing in the community and will do everything they can to deliver on their promises and keep clients happy – for them to do so requires a friendly notification of what went wrong and a reasonable amount of time for them to make it right.
Of course, meeting all of the above criteria is only a starting point for House Spouse and we welcome the opportunity to discuss our approach and our services with prospective clients.