Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Improve Your Customer Service By Teaching Your Staff How To Prepare ‘Elevator Speeches’

July 12, 2001
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
This deceivingly simple task will do more to powerfully cement long-lasting customer relationships than all the coupons or give-a-ways you can come up with!

Most professional carpet cleaning services feel that they provide an excellent level of service for the prices they charge. However, we must also be reminded that we are usually not as good as we think we are. Remember the “Lake Woebegone Syndrome”?

The Problem

Management and office staff, as well as cleaning technicians, usually do little to create value in the customers mind. As an example, even such a deceivingly simple step as explaining the importance of each procedure in the cleaning process is consistently overlooked. This is a case where familiarity with a repetitive process devalues the process in the minds of those who do the same thing day in and day out, week after week.

On the other hand, the customer cannot place a true value on what they are paying for if all they see is a change from dirty to clean for an agreed dollar amount. You and I both know it’s not that simple, but your customer doesn’t! Therein lies the problem.

Another cleaner comes along and explains everything they’re going to do and why they’re going to do it—and takes your customer away, often at a higher price than you charged. To top it off, they didn’t do any more than you would have.

The Solution?

Help everyone (you, your office staff and the technicians) in your company learn how to prepare an elevator speech.
Delivering the “Elevator Speech”
The purpose of an elevator speech is to answer the questions, “What do you do?” or “What will you do?” in the time it takes an elevator to go from one floor to the next! That means 30 seconds or less, with a 20-30 word limit. It’s amazing what you can explain in this short time period with a little practice.

Once a person realizes how little it takes to give a good answer, they’ll be ready to add value to every job your company does.

Here is an important tip: Don’t prepare a canned script for your staff! They must each develop their elevator speech themselves, with your guidance of course.

The Strategy

Provide staff members with a copy of the IICRC S001 Carpet Cleaning Standard as their information resource. Have each one prepare their elevator speech on the same subject, using the following subjects, one at a time: Pre-inspection; pre-vacuuming; pre-treatment; grooming; and carpet protector application.

Allow them adequate time to read up on the subject and to develop their own elevator speech.

Also, suggest that they start by completing this sentence. “I have been trained ____________.” Be sure the answer is crystal clear so that the customer will instantly recognize the added value of the process described.

Next, have each participant share their results out loud, and ask the other staff members to offer helpful suggestions for improvement. Have them write down their final elevator speech draft for reference. This deceivingly simple step will do more to powerfully cement long lasting customer relationships than all the coupons or give-a-ways you can come up with!

As Harry Beckwith says, “There are no ordinary jobs. There are only people who insist on performing them in ordinary ways.”

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to i Cleaning Specialist Magazine.

Recent Articles by Lee Pemberton

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

The 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition

A look in photos at the 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition, which was held from April 24-26 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center and Spa in Frisco, Texas.

1/27/15 2:00 pm EST

Grow Your Business and Improve Operations with New Payment Technology

Attend this free webinar to learn how new developments in payment technology can help you close more jobs, increase upselling opportunities and improve operations.


The winter slow season is a great time to pursue commercial cleaning accounts and stay busy. John "the Hitman" Braun solicited questions from thousands of cleaners across the country regarding their questions on commercial cleaning accounts and answers them in this episode of the show.
More Podcasts

ICS Cleaning Specialist Magazine


2014 Nov/Dec

The Nov/Dec ICS features content on how to get better meter readings, a roundtable on truckmount development, neighborhood marketing and more. Also included is the annual Buyer’s Guide and Directory.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Janitorial Work

In addition to residential and commercial carpet cleaning, do you do any janitorial work on the side?
View Results Poll Archive


The Carpet Cleaner's Book of Unlimited Success! (ebook)

Don’t worry about the recession or about your competition.  Now you can be the owner of over 400 ways for carpet cleaning professionals to make more money and get more jobs!

More Products


Director_Buyer.jpgThe premier resource and reference guide for the cleaning and restoration industries.

Click here to view


facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png youtube_40px.pngcrc logo


Truckmount.jpgEquipment listings and specifications from the leading industry manufacturers.

Click here to view