- THE MAGAZINE
Going green is a hot topic these days. Nearly every type of company imaginable is putting on the “green” banner, so would it be wise for a small cleaning company to go green?
Before you get too far into changing your entire marketing plan, I strongly suggest you survey several of your best clients. Find out if your clients value green cleaning. The value of green varies from city to city. For instance, consumers near big cities tend to be more responsive to a green message than a consumer in a rural area. Additionally, states such as California may be more green aware than perhaps Alabama.
Don’t simply jump into green cleaning because it’s the latest thing to do. If you want to use green cleaning as a marketing advantage, survey your clients by sending out an e-mail asking for feedback. One free survey tool I’ve used is www.Surveymonkey.com. Tell your clients that you’re considering using green cleaning agents and that you’re wondering what their thoughts are on the matter. This will first and foremost show your clients that you care about them. Second, they will feel more connected with your company after they engage with you and give you feedback. And last, you’ll find out if offering green cleaning will be something your clients actually want.
Ask questions like, “Would you use a cleaning company who offers green cleaning services over a company who does not offer it?” Another good question would be, “How concerned are you about using green cleaning agents in your home?” And maybe even ask, “Has your health or breathing ever been affected by cleaning chemicals?”
In October 2010, 113 professional cleaners all over the U.S. participated in a survey I conducted where they gave their opinions about green cleaning. Approximately half of the cleaners said their clients ask about green cleaning products before hiring them and 48% said their clients were somewhat to very interested in green cleaning products. Keep in mind that this study was completed nearly four years ago, and it’s safe to assume that even more clients are likely asking about green now. You can download the entire “Green Cleaning” report at www.Hitmanadvertising.com/greencleaningreport.pdf.
If your own survey results determine that your clients are interested in green cleaning, let your clients know. Go ahead and tell them the results of the survey and give them your plan for offering green cleaning. And then begin educating your clients with your client newsletters and postcards about the benefits of green cleaning over the other cleaning agents other cleaners use.
What are a few of the benefits of “green” cleaning?
- It’s safe for kids, pets, and the elderly: Everyone wants to protect their family from harmful substances. This is one benefit most everyone desires.
- It’s safer for people with chemical sensitivities: One story I always like to tell is that I had a client who broke out in hives after she had one of the local franchise companies clean for her. But when she called us for our green cleaning system, she was perfectly healthy after the cleaning.
- It’s safer for your carpet, floors and upholstery: In most cases, green cleaning products aren’t as harsh on the items being cleaned. This can prevent spots from returning and help the flooring and furnishings last longer.
- It’s environmentally responsible: When convenient, most people want to do what they can to help the environment.
When you talk about green cleaning to your clients or advertise it in company mailers, tell them about the benefits. Most of the time, when I see a company announce that they do green cleaning, I only see a blurb that says “green cleaning” on their website or postcard along with a picture of a baby. For most of your prospects, the mere mention of green means nothing. But when you give them even the most basic benefits listed above, they’ll have a clearer picture of why green cleaning is important. Your clients will never know the benefits until you educate them. Cute baby pictures may help draw attention, but don’t forget to educate and give benefits after you’ve drawn the attention.
In addition to educating your prospects and clients through your company newsletters, you can also take out ads in the newspaper and send your message to targeted neighborhoods with Every Door Direct Mail. Other free means of marketing would be to announce your new green cleaning services in a press release. You can submit your release free at www.Prlog.com. Another free source is Facebook. Announce it in a big way by holding a Facebook contest where one lucky winner gets their entire home cleaned free with your new green cleaning system. Also use online sources such as Twitter, Pinterest, Craigslist, Google Plus and a host of other sites to get your message out.
If you choose to make green cleaning your unique selling proposition, you have a big responsibility. It’s your job to tell prospects and clients about why it’s important. Be an advocate for the environment through your marketing. And be an advocate for the well-being of your clients. Consider starting up relationships with other green-related companies and organizations. Ask them what you can do to get the message out to your community. Perhaps interview them or allow them to write an article for your newsletter or blog.
As you can see, green marketing is more than just using environmentally safe cleaning agents. It’s about adopting a different company policy. When your prospects and clients see that you are genuinely passionate about their home environment and health, they will gladly hire you over another company.