Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Spotting Kits: Beyond Spot Removal

As I have mentioned in previous articles, a good professional spotting kit may be your best tool on the job.

While it is more than obvious that a spotting kit is necessary to remove myriad problem spots from carpet and upholstery, I believe the impression it leaves with the customer and the opportunity it gives you for an effective pre-inspection is of tremendous benefit. And, believe it or not, it's a great marketing tool.

Technicians should always carry the spotting kit with them when first approaching the door on a new appointment. This helps create an immediate impression of professionalism for the customer. Of course, it's always important to make sure the spotting kit is clean and professional looking. Upon entering the home and beginning the pre-inspection, the technician explains to the customer, "This is my professional spotting kit. Are there any particular spots or stains to which you'd like me to pay special attention?" At this point, the customer invariably thinks of a particular spot that really bothers her.

Why do you think this might be such an important question? Surely you would become aware of the spot while you are cleaning and take care of it without input from the customer. It's because this question isn't really for you! You are capable of detecting and removing most spots and stains. However, the customer doesn't know this, nor is she sure that you really care about the carpet and furnishings she so loves. This question - and the presentation of your kit with its arsenal of miracle spotting solutions - shows your customer you are not only concerned about her furnishings, but are willing and interested in bringing them back to a pre-spot, pre-soil condition.

Another reason for asking about spots in the home is to secure an opportunity to pre-inspect and consider the difficulty of the cleaning job. As is clear to most of us who have been through a spotting class, we can get out almost any spot. The key word here is almost; you can never be sure, so take this opportunity to explain to the customer that this particular problem spot may be a challenge, but with your complement of extensive ammunition (the spotting kit) you are sure that if the spot is at all removable, you will be able to remove it.

Stating, "if at all removable," leaves a bit of doubt in the customer's mind; just in case this turns out to be one of those impossible stains, we have given the customer notice. But as you know, in most cases you will remove the stain, thrilling your customer while practicing the important customer satisfaction creed: Under Promise, then Over Perform.

One other important way in which you can get mileage from your spotting kit is to turn it into a marketing tool. Most people love to talk about companies who have given great service and proven their interest in going above and beyond normal service levels. We would make it a point to make sure our customers saw us down on our hands and knees working on a spot with our spotting kit at some point during the job. Today, with the power of our equipment and the excellence of pre-sprays and emulsifiers, it may not always be necessary to do hand spotting. Make it necessary! Let your customer know you are willing to suffer discomfort and extra time to make sure you have done everything necessary to remove all the spots from her carpet. She will, in turn, make you satisfied by telling her friends and family about the awesome company who cleaned her carpets. Word-of-mouth advertising is the most powerful kind. Your spotting kit is a key tool in helping you get it.

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