Cleaning Industry Fights Covid-19, and for Survival
The year 2020 has turned out to be a harbinger of doom; people from every part of the globe are suffering from the health and economic impacts of the deadly and persistent Coronavirus. 5 months into the pandemic, we still don’t have a cure, and so preventive measures remain our best bet for survival. Although effective, preventative measures across the globe have lead people to practice social distancing, which has affected almost every industry, especially tourism, hotel and restaurants, transport, and SMEs.
The cleaning industry is no different. The spokesperson for the European Cleaning and Facility Services Industry (EFCI) claimed that the cleaning industry is in a double-bind. On the one hand, more than 60% of businesses across the world are closed due to Coronavirus, which puts the industry at financial risk. On the other hand, the buildings that remain open require specialized cleaning and disinfection services, which makes it necessary to train employees.
Furthermore, providing cleaning services during the pandemic is a risky business; employees are risking their health and the health of their families to disinfect and clean your buildings. Despite these challenges, cleaning crews and services across the world remain open and active to provide their professional services and chip in to curb this virus.
In this article, we will see how the cleaning industry has been affected by the Coronavirus and the steps it’s taking to make a positive difference. These are:
Impact of Coronavirus on the Cleaning industry
Most of the world is in self-isolation and quarantined in their homes for the past few months. The only way to protect yourself from the virus is to stay indoors; hence people have minimized any and all interactions. Professionals are working from home, kids are off from schools/colleges, and gatherings are restricted to contain the virus.
These shelter-at-home precautions mean that most buildings are closed for business. Since they are closed, they do not require cleaning. Professional cleaning businesses that provided janitorial services to schools, universities, dorms, offices, courts, hotels, restaurants, and even city halls are out of commission because there is no work to be done.
Research shows that there are over 3 million people in the US who are employed in cleaning businesses. These employees are suffering as COVID 19 shuts down cleaning companies.
Small and medium cleaning services are suffering the most; a spokesperson for Carpet Cleaning Windsor reported a visible decline in customers after the spread of Coronavirus. She stated that although people are more conscious about cleanliness than ever before, they also want to restrict the number of people coming into their homes. Therefore, most homeowners have taken up cleaning their houses themselves.
Local cleaning businesses reported that cancellation calls started in early March, and there has been minimal new booking since then.
Why is the Cleaning Industry Suffering during COVID-19
1. Threat and fear
According to the social distancing precautionary measure, you should stay at a distance of 6 feet from other people, do not gather in groups, and avoid any gatherings. Due to this, people are staying indoors and avoiding people from outside to come to their house with the fear that they might be Corona positive.
This is the biggest reason why people are avoiding cleaning services to clean their homes. Most people are afraid that these cleaners might carry the virus with them. A lot of people believe these cleaning services should cease to work as they can be a massive reason for the virus to spread.
The origin of Coronavirus remains a mystery; no one fully knows about the origin, causes, and cure of the virus. Because of the uncertainty and lack of factual information about the origin of the virus, people imagine the worst.
Unfortunately, this has given rise to racism and xenophobia, and they are having a hard time trusting others. People just don’t trust the cleaners to come in their homes and disinfect it properly; they mistakenly think that people belonging to certain races are carriers or are intentionally contributing to the spread of the virus.
Proposed Solutions for the Cleaning Industry to Stay In Business
The Cleaning industry can use the following tips to survive in this challenging business environment:
1. Re-Strategize and Get with the New Normal
One way to stay in business for the cleaning industry is to change the way your company does business. The effect of Coronavirus has lead people to stop sharing, avoiding human touch, and minimizing unnecessary interaction. Therefore, the cleaning industry needs to consider this new normal and propose cleaning solutions to people while considering all the necessary protocols of hygiene and cleanliness.
Think creatively; how can you provide a cleaning service that consumers will trust in this environment?
Some practical tips are:
Adopt the revised cleaning standards proposed by the national and regional cleaning industries.
Train your employees in the new standards rigorously.
Ensure that you have the recommended cleaning products, gear, and equipment required to clean and disinfect during COVID 19.
Communicate these measures to your consumers creatively. Assure them that you will provide safe cleaning services.
Make use of social media to connect with consumers and develop a trustworthy relationship.
2. Change Your Niche
If you analyze the market situation, you will realize the following:
Homeowners are avoiding cleaning services because of social distancing and a lack of disposable income.
Hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, senior citizen care homes, and other health institutions require cleaning services at a higher frequency.
Businesses and industries that are open also require cleaning and disinfecting services with more frequency.
So what does it tell you? If you were in the home cleaning business, then change your tune. Modify your business offering and start targeting the businesses that are actually looking for cleaning services during COVID 19.
Cleaning industry professionals can offer services to buildings with altered packages, including hourly sanitizing and cleaning duties, in compliance with the necessary protocols. Cleaning companies should adopt new cleaning guidelines issued by relevant authorities.
Acquiring one or two commercial businesses would be enough to get you through the tough times. Even after things shift back to normal, it is likely that people would be vigilant about cleanliness more than ever. That is the time to provide them exactly what they are looking for.
3. Customer Experience
Customer experience can help you gain business even in times of crisis. Adapt to the changing expectations of your customers to keep them satisfied. Redefine the customer experience by giving them contact-less delivery. This is the time where you need to be innovative and alter your existing services according to the needs of the customer. Customer experience has a massive impact on your business, and catering to dynamic needs is one way to make your business flourish.
· Adapt according to the situation
· Reevaluate your existing practices
· Deliver high customer value
· Provide personalized services