7 Questions to Help You Choose a Good Carpet Cleaner
Question 1: What kind of reputation do they have?
We always want to get the best work at the best price. However, many companies offer poor quality work and a good price. So, how do you choose a good carpet cleaner with so many options?
When selecting a professional carpet cleaning company you three choices:
- Choose a carpet cleaner that has a low, too-good-to-be-true price
You’ll likely get the worst experience you ever imagined.
- Choose a “commodity” carpet cleaning company.
This is typically a high-volume company that does a lot of mass media advertising. They may not be the lowest, but their prices are “competitive.” The problem is they don’t train their staff very well and they skip vital steps in the cleaning process; that ends up costing YOU in the long run.
- Choose a reputable, experienced, certified carpet cleaning firm.
Choose a cleaning firm that measures up to the seven questions in this book. You will end up with a phenomenal cleaning job AND a pleasant service experience.
The typical scenario with the first two types is to “bait” you with a low price, then “switch” you to their “dual scrub” or “deep clean” system. They proceed to soak your carpet and leave a soapy residue behind. Good luck getting them back again!
Beware cleaning low-priced carpet cleaning:
If their price is truly low, you should be concerned about their quality. What are they leaving out? How can they pay their technicians a decent wage and have the best products and equipment at the lowest price?
Many companies advertise a low price then charge you more when they get there. Be clear about what is included and what is not.
These so-called “cleaning” companies also happen to be the ones that don’t educate themselves or their employees. The result is that carpets and fabrics are ruined every day by uneducated, uninformed, and sometimes downright unscrupulous carpet cleaners.
They are facing soiling conditions they have never seen or heard of due to a lack of education. Or worse, they create a problem on a carpet or fabric, and they have no idea how to fix it. One example is they leave sticky residues in the carpet that cause the carpet or fabric to re-soil rapidly or to discolor.
Top-notch education is readily available in our industry. There is no excuse for cleaners not to educate themselves (and provide a useful education to their clients). Part of the problem is that they have fallen into the trap of viewing cleaning as a commodity, and they can’t afford to educate themselves. Education is expensive, but ignorance can result in disaster on YOUR carpet!
Our company invests a great deal in education. Not only do we spend thousands of dollars per year on education, we are heavily involved in our industry, which makes us well-connected with our industry leaders.
This way, if a unique situation arises in the field, we have experts we a can call on thereby bringing the cutting edge of cleaning technology to you.
Our industry provides courses in carpet cleaning, repair, fabric cleaning, marble and tile cleaning, area rug cleaning, customer service marketing, management, and other related courses.
Many of the organizations offer certification programs that involve testing, and ethics requirements. There is a variety of opportunities to stay plugged into; trade publication, websites, bulletin boards, and more.
We attend every course we can in order to bring you the very best. Many of these courses require travel across the U.S. and can, therefore, be quite costly. However, we believe, as fiber technology changes and as floor coverings become more complex, proper education becomes even more important.
The bottom line is that you have a tremendous investment in your textiles and flooring systems and it is our duty to know how to best care for them. Understanding cleaning technology at the highest level helps to reduce cleaning residues and creates a healthier indoor environment by eliminating invisible germs and bacteria. It also empowers the cleaner to remove more soil, thereby creating a longer-lasting fabric or floor.
Mystery Shopper Experience Reveals Poor Customer Service and Inadequate Cleaning Systems:
A reputable consulting firm in the carpet cleaning industry undertook a “mystery shop” of three very visible companies in the carpet cleaning industry. The findings shocked even us!
The first company
The first company that was called not only had horrible telephone manners but sent out the rudest, most unprofessional and uninformed crew you could imagine. They acted like they were being bothered the entire time they were there which was a total of 37 minutes! This crew did not pre-vacuum the carpet, didn’t pre-spot it and didn’t groom it.
Even though the spots were not satisfactorily removed, the crew was unconcerned and unwilling to try harder. Their one-step method doesn’t even come close to meeting minimum standards of the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Because the crew just brushed over the carpet with the cleaning tool, the soils returned before the day was even over!
At the end of the job, our consultant was required to sign a lengthy document even though the company couldn’t clearly state any reasonable guarantee. And the company had stressed their guarantee to secure the job over the telephone.
To top it off, these idiots never said thank you. Not even a smile the entire time proved that a customer was just another bother in their day. How sad.
The second company
The second company sounded more promising at first. Their telephone courtesies were somewhat better but not anywhere near what they should be. This company gave us a 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. arrival window. At one O’Clock, the consultant called to check on the arrival time. “Toward the latter,” he was told.
At 4:10 p.m. he called again. “The crew is still at their previous job They should be about an hour.
At 5:10, still no crew. Another call revealed they were still at the previous job. When pressed, the operator said, “Well, their previous job went from two rooms to two houses.”
“Oh, so you took on more work on your previous job and bumped me huh?” the consultant replied.
“Let me get the Operations Manager.”
The so-called Operations Manager said, “It’s only 5:10!” insinuating they weren’t actually late. They couldn’t give a specific arrival time so our consultant canceled the job. If a company doesn’t care enough to communicate with the client, turn down extra work, and offer alternate arrangements for their clients, they don’t deserve the work, no matter how good they are. If you’re not there, you can’t very well do a good job, now, can you?
The third company
The third company was better than the first two but was found to be very lacking for a company considered a “top” company. Booking the job was about as average as the other two. Incorrect information and ignorance ran throughout this experience. This company gave a two-hour window for arrival. They called the day before to confirm which was good. The morning of the appointment, they called to confirm the arrival time. Good.
When the technician arrived, he was very nice. But due to his inexperience, that was not enough to get them more than a “C average.” He didn’t know anything about the carpet, although he claimed to have been around carpet for a long time. He was baffled and it was a basic nylon carpet! This technician pre-vacuumed the carpet, pre-sprayed the traffic area and rinsed. Upon completion, he requested a signature beside several cleaning steps that were not provided. When pressed, we got the tired, old “well I didn’t have it on the truck.’ Duh!
Both companies that actually made it to the job site had cleaning steps on their work order that they were unwilling to do. One step was grooming the carpet. In both cases the step was on the ticket (put there by their operational system to make sure they do it). Both blew it off as unimportant.
Obviously any company has their bad days or days when employees just don’t want to perform. The scary part about these three companies is that they are very visible companies in the market they serve. The inadequacies and poor attitudes were obviously routine.
At our company, we are extremely passionate about raising the standard of our industry. We commit to being courteous, to do our very best to show up on time, to educate you, to inform you, and to give your carpet the absolutely most thorough cleaning we possibly can. If we ever fail you on that, we will not only express deep regret and concern but will insist on refunding your money if we can’t satisfy you.