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Meet Lisa Mason of Jan-Serve Commercial Cleaning in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Mason.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have always been one of those people that goes against the “norm”. I definitely don’t like the 9-5 work life and I have way too much energy to sit at a desk. Entrepreneurship was something that I felt would allow me to have an express my true self. I started my career in nursing as it wasn’t the time for me to have a business, raising children was my top priority. However after my children were older I said I must start my life and pursue my dreams. I was working as a nurse manager at an urgent care clinic when I discovered janitorial service. The clinic had hired a janitorial service, but the service was inconsistent, and the place was always dirty. I said to myself, I could do that and do a much better job! Of course, when I first started the business I had a huge learning curve. I didn’t know the first thing on how to bid out the job. I often overbid and couldn’t believe companies were receiving bids much lower than mine. I wondered “how do these companies pay janitors and make a living with such small fees.” I just had to learn and learn quickly to bid correctly and most importantly find a way to provide amazing service at affordable rates. I also made the mistake of thinking my business would make money right away. I learned that you must first build a reputation in the community. In the janitorial business it is all about trust. A customer wants to know their place of business is safe at night and that their janitors are going to not only make the place amazing but remember to shut off the lights, set the alarm and lock the doors. I noticed that my business had begun to take off once I had delivered impeccable service to several businesses year after year. I am not satisfied if service is not amazing. I hear story after story about bad janitorial services. And, that’s when Jan-Serve comes in. Customers who are tired of bad service will find us either via word or mouth or online-where we have all 5-star reviews from our customers.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest struggle is the competitor who offers janitorial service at extremely low rate. The problem is there are too many companies willing to forgo service excellence for a buck. They will trap a client into a contract and almost always they can’t deliver the service they promise. One of our recent customers told me about the experience of their janitor company before they fired them and hired us. They said the estimator gave an amazing presentation. The janitor company’s estimator actually presented a very nice power point presentation and promised the moon. The customer was skeptical wondering how could the janitors clean for such a low rate but they hired them anyways. That’s when the trouble began. The staff was bringing in children, dogs, and even forgot to lock the doors. After a while the janitors would either do a sloppy job, forget to empty trash or all together forget to show up. The janitor company refused to cancel the contract and promised service would get better but it just got much worse. That’s when we came in. The company called us after seeing our great reviews hoping we could help. I was able to help the customer get out of a nightmare contract. And now, several years later they are so happy with our service that they even often leave presents for our janitors. Overall, the biggest struggle is assisting the customer to understand the importance of selecting the right company. Janitorial service is often the last “thought” and some business owners don’t see the value of a clean business, even though the very foundation of their business is based on cleanliness. However, now days I see a change in the “consciousness” of the communities we serve. Many of our customers’ customers demand a clean business. Business owners realize a clean business can increase their bottom line. Jan-Serve has grown rapidly within the last two-three years, our growth rate has been amazing and continues to grow. However, we also choose to grow at a pace that keeps service consistent and amazing. We had a very busy Christmas season and do to overwhelming requests for our services, we had to initiate a wait list. I never ever want to turn anyone away, but I refuse to deliver a product that does not live up to the Jan-Serve name.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Jan-Serve Commercial Cleaning – what should we know?
What sets us apart from the competition is service excellence. Every clean should be amazing and we (Jan-Serve managers, janitors and ancillary staff) believe in the philosophy of always going above and beyond. It may be something as small as folding toilet paper in the restroom to resemble like a fancy hotel restroom. Or something important such as saving a restaurant from disaster. We were called in the night before inspection. A call came in from a restaurant owner in danger of being closed or losing his “A” rating. We dispatched an emergency team to clean the restaurant and I mean the janitors cleaned in a way it had never been cleaned before and cleaned all through the night. After the inspection, the restaurant owner not only hired us but he informed us of what the health dept. inspector said… “Who did your cleaning?” and also stated ” I am amazed at what transpired here…I have never seen a restaurant in your condition turn around and look this clean.” The restaurant not only passed but continued to receive an “A” rating. What sets us apart from others is that we really care. We always want to deliver a product that is inspiring. We want our customer to feel like they are the most important person in the world. I love the Disney customer service model which is based on the customers experience through the five human senses such as sight, touch, taste, smells, and what is heard. We teach our janitors the Disney principles such as always greeting a customer by name, smiling, or asking about their day. Our janitors wear uniforms that say “Service Excellence” bright red letters on the back of their uniforms. Scents are important and also part of the Disney customer service model…We find amazing products that deliver amazing results. Products that can be caustic by nature such as toilet bowl cleaners. We use only the best only the best toilet bowl cleaner and deodorizer. A pink solution that has a gentle fragrance. The product is not caustic but works superbly on toilet rings and can make any toilet smell amazing and look amazing versus a low end product that is caustic or has strong chemical odor. Customers want great communication and great service. Communication is key and we believe you should be able to reach your account manager 24/7. All of our service managers are available by phone and email 24/7-should there be any urgent need. We feel service can only be great if we live up to all these principles every clean. If a customer were ever have to call and say a trash was missed. Our philosophy is “every service has to be amazing or we don’t charge one penny” And, we immediately send out a team to re-do service at no charge as well. That’s how serious we are about impeccable service! We provide janitorial service for businesses large and small including major corporations or small offices. We also have a team solely dedicated to post construction cleaning. We provide emergency cleaning services 24/7. We clean for all types of businesses including the LA Rams training facility, the Standard hotel in DTLA, Cliffside Malibu Drug Treatment facility, Daisy Mint Restaurant, and many more businesses throughout Los Angeles County.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Everyone on the Jan-Serve team is committed to the customer’s experience. And we all feel at Jan-Serve that every experience must be nothing short of excellent. We really care. As an example I can give, one of our amazing service managers, Richard Moore who always goes above and beyond – helped in an emergency. One of our team of janitors was in a serious auto accident on the way to a big company office that we have serviced for many years. Richard already working day and night, stepped in and cleaned for the team. He was the only person available who knew the intricacies of the site…but instead of allowing the employees to come in to the office with trash cans full, dishes in the sink, dirty floors-Richard stayed all through the night cleaning to ensure the site was nothing short of perfect, despite an incredible emergency. The staff or employees at that particular office knew nothing was amiss. And, most importantly our janitors were safe and were not seriously injured. And, even more amazing the janitors in the accident -their car was totaled but because they care so much about their sites, they took an Uber to their assigned sites (offices they clean). They didn’t want their Jan-Serve customers to know anything was amiss…now that is commitment and a team that cares!

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