Called Clean and Sanitise, Poppies outlines the process to ensure that clients’ homes are serviced to the highest standard
In May, when the UK was preparing to exit the first lockdown, domestic cleaning franchise Poppies had already developed a strategy to ensure cleaners could manage the new way of working and clients understood the benefits. Franchisor, Chris Wootton, sprung to action in response to the impacts of the pandemic and implemented a simple programme for all of the Poppies network to follow. This quick-thinking initiated an impressive response from both franchisees, their cleaning teams and clients.
In the programme, called Clean and Sanitise, Poppies outlines the process to ensure that clients’ homes are serviced to the highest standard. As clients’ peace of mind is created by more attention to detail than ever before, ensuring that potential traces of the COVID-19 virus are removed from the home, this process has been hailed as the reason Poppies returned to smooth operation as soon as it was allowed to do so in the summer. Chris is thrilled with the programme’s reception across the board.
“We knew we had to create something to put clients’ minds at rest for how safe and secure our service was,” said Chris. “Although the majority of our client base is extremely loyal, it was still our duty to provide them with a COVID-safe experience. This two-step programme was implemented, with the help of franchisees and their teams of cleaners, with their clients’ best interests at heart, and I’m so proud of how well it’s gone so far.
“The Clean and Sanitise programme is just as much an education piece as a cleaning system. To help with sharing the details of the programme with everyone, educational material was created. As part of the cleaning industry for four decades, we know what actions need to be taken to successfully reach a level of sanitisation of surfaces in homes and workplaces. What we needed was something that simply communicated the difference between cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting.”
This removes dirt or grime from any surface and is crucial preparation for the next step. Put simply, a dirty surface cannot be sanitised.
This step uses a disinfectant to make clean surfaces ‘safe for human activity’. Whilst it requires less dwell time to deactivate viruses such as Sars-COV2, leaving the solution on for a longer period of time will protect against other tough pathogens too.
This final stage is to deactivate or kill ALL pathogens (germs, viruses, bacteria and mould) to ‘laboratory’ levels and usually requires leaving a disinfectant in constant contact with a surface for three to five minutes.
“Whilst it’s easily caught and spread, the virus which causes COVID-19 is also often quite simply deactivated with soap and water alone. By taking things one step further and sanitising a clean surface, it significantly lowers the risk of viral load compared to just completing the first stage. This is why our Clean and Sanitise programme consists of these first two stages and why people at home should feel safe in the knowledge that they can achieve this result themselves.
“We’ve introduced new protocols for staff including wearing a mask on arrival and then taking two steps back after knocking on the door, whilst we’ve also placed more emphasis on the use of PPE, ventilation equipment and social distancing throughout.
“Even as the country takes another lockdown in its stride, this programme has been great for empowering those who don’t have a Poppie - the name our cleaners like to refer to themselves as - to approach cleaning at home. Many people even say that cleaning is therapeutic, which is great for wellbeing too,” added Chris.
In the year where Poppies celebrated its 40th anniversary, it has experienced similar challenges to the rest of the franchising industry. Luckily, thanks to the resilience of the franchise network, the speedy response from the franchisor, dedicated work of its cleaners and understanding from clients, Poppies has continued to bloom.