Clean Image in the Carpet Cleaning Business
Why is Image important in the carpet cleaning business? What the prospect or customer thinks of you on first impression will affect present and future business dealings. Personal grooming, care of equipment and good manners are as important as knowing how to do the job. As Don Terry, our chemist and one of our school instructors says, “An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance”.
How your carpet cleaning company’s image can set it apart from your competitors in our highly competitive industry:
- Your cleaning vehicle should show that you are a professional carpet cleaning company:
- A CLEAN, well-lettered truck in someone’s driveway is not only good advertising; it is a testimonial. Be sure your rolling billboard (truck) is clean, neat and well marked!
- Your cleaning Truck must be clean and well lettered for customer security and peace of mind. Be sure there’s no oil leaking onto your customer’s driveway!
- Be sure to park your cleaning van in the driveway as close to the street as possible for two very important reasons:
(1) Your customer can see the van from his or her window and is more comfortable knowing that who is ringing the door bell is the carpet cleaner and
(2) people driving by more easily can see the name of your company, phone number, web site address and email address if they are thinking of having their carpets cleaned - It’s a rolling billboard!
You can later move the van closer or even into their garage if needed.
- If we looked into our truck right now, would you be proud of it? Has it been washed recently? Are there remnants of last week’s lunch amid empty pop cans and last week’s mail? Could I smell your van a block away? Is your equipment clean and the truck well-stocked and orderly?
- A dirty, battered, foul-smelling carpet cleaning service vehicle will lose business opportunities. If your van looks as though it has been through a war, you will raise doubts about your ability to provide professional cleaning services.
- Your cleaning tools and accessories should look clean, professional and suitable:
- You bring into your customer’s home yourself, your floor tool, hoses, electric cord(s) and accessories. What does the customer see and how does he or she feel about them?
- Do you clean your hoses and cords as you wind bring them into your customer’s house? Dirty hoses don’t belong in your customer’s house!
- Do you clean your floor tool (cleaning wand) after each job? If your customer sees pet hair and carpet fibers on your cleaning tool from a previous job, she or he may throw you out - and should! No one wants someone else’s dirt, bugs and bacteria dragged into their house!
- If you are removing any spots or stains, one of the things that distinguishes you as a “professional” carpet cleaner from the run-of-the-mill carpet cleaner is your spotting kit. When you walk into the home carrying the Bane-Clene professional spotting kit, the customer knows that the “carpet stain expert” has arrived to solve his or her problem that the last carpet cleaner could not fix!
- Are your spotting towels clean, fresh smelling or are they contaminated with “stuff” from a previous job?
- Do you use “furniture sliders” such as the Bane-Glides® to move furniture to avoid damaging the carpet and the furniture?
- Do you “tab and block” moved furniture? After cleaning the carpet and putting furniture back in place, do you place them on furniture protector tabs or foam blocks to avoid furniture stains and rust? Do you explain to the customer their purpose?
- Do you place upholstery on a furniture blanket before cleaning the upholstery to prevent overspray from getting on the floor?
- After cleaning the carpet and possibly applying protector, do you “rake” it for a more professional look using the Grandi-Groom®?
- Do you have proper labels on all the sprayers and bottles that you bring into the home? Are the sprayers clean?
- Do your tools and equipment look like they’ve been in a major war? Why not touch them up to look like new again! Bane Blue Aerosol Touch Up Paint is specifically formulated for touching up scratches and nicks on Bane-Clene blue floor and hand tools and carpet cleaning equipment. On the image below, which floor tool would your customer prefer you bring into her (or his) house? The one that has the paint all worn off or the one that has been retouched with the Bane Blue Touch Up Paint to look like new?
- Your personal appearance and the appearance of your cleaning technicians. Look Professional, Be Professional!
- People judge others by outward appearance. Look at yourself in the mirror before you leave in the morning to your first cleaning job. Would the person you see instill confidence? Is your uniform clean? Blue jeans and a Harley Davidson® T-shirt might be great for rock concerts but they are not professional service attire. Do you look like a professional? Are you dressed like a professional? Are your clothes clean and free of spots and stains? How do your shoes look? If you look and act like a true professional , you will stand above your competitors.
- A technician who does not use personal deodorant may never be invited back into a nice home.
- What the prospect or customer thinks of the carpet cleaner on first impression will affect present and future business dealings.
- There should be no smoking not only in the customer’s home, but not even in the cleaning van - the odor will be on your clothes!
- Many people find someone chewing gum annoying - so don’t do it in your customer’s home.
- A study by AmeriPride and J.D. Powers and Associate found that 83% of people interviewed say employees in uniform are more recognizable and 58% believe uniforms enhance the perception of a company’s service or products.
- In a study conducted at Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School, by margins of up to 9 to 1, companies that outfit employees in uniforms and branded corporate logo apparel report that their employee uniforms outperform internet, newspaper, TV, radio, and billboard advertising as a marketing tool.
- Bane-Clene Institute has been teaching the importance of wearing a photo ID Badge for more than 25 years. A Bane-Clene identification badge with a current photograph of the technician promotes a feeling of security for customers (especially women) and is very professional looking. A must when dealing with security work.
- The ART (Authorized Registered Technician) patch and the FCT Factory Trained Technician Arm Patch on your uniform along with the photo ID badge help establish credibility and consumer confidence. Uniform patches show the customer or prospect that you are a PROFESSIONAL carpet cleaner who has been trained and certified.
- There is no better way to create a positive impression than by wearing a pair of shoe booties when cleaning or doing inspections or estimates. Show care for your customer’s home by slipping them on over your shoes before entering her house.
- Your attitude is contagious - be cheerful and positive:
- “Love Thy Customer!” should be a business commandment.
- When the consumer is asked what is most important about buying from a small business, 78% answer “excellent personal customer service.”
- When your female customer answers the door, take two steps back so that you appear friendlier and less threatening. Only shake hands if he or she offers.
- While you’re busy cleaning, your customer is watching every move you make and often has important questions if answered properly and knowledgeably may lead to increased an extra job.
- Customers, by an overwhelming majority, said they trust and buy from those who show they truly know the service they are selling and can talk intelligently about it. So, listening has its place but talking intelligently about our service is more important.
- A cheery response may take a bit of doing at first because there is much that doesn’t invite the cheerful mood. Each of us at times could do a better job of seeming cheerful even when we don’t feel that way. Look happy, seem happy, and perform happy actions. SUCCESS never fails those afraid to try. Stay cheerful and add to the joy of being alive.
- Show enthusiasm, have a ready smile, make eye contact and have a firm handshake.
- Never forget that while you’re in their home, you are “on stage.”
- Customer satisfaction is the number one priority.
- Be punctual in keeping all appointments. If you are unavoidably delayed, call your customer IMMEDIATELY.
- Emphasize special training and certification you have completed to maintain technologically advanced carpet fibers
- While crude, rude behavior may be hip in television commercials and sit-coms, the consumer seeking high quality carpet and furniture cleaning service wants clean, sweet smelling, courteous people to do the work.
- “Little things” make a huge difference and make you stand out:
- Sweep walkways or porches before or after cleaning.
- Clean that entry mat at no extra charge.
- When giving an estimate, don’t write it on a scrap of paper - use a proposal form and professionally designed brochures to help explain the benefits of our services to prospects!
- Education and Training:
- Have you kept up with technical changes? Can you explain the differences in fibers? Why is your price higher than $7.95 a room? Can you design a planned maintenance program for a large commercial account?
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