Carpet Cleaning Business Management

Will You Grab Your “Golden Opportunity?”

“I think everyone is an opportunist if they have an opportunity.” – Katharine Hepburn

April 3, 2014

You love carpet cleaning. I did too. So I’m happy for both of us!

But someone who does not love carpet cleaning is your customer. At best, he or she views the cleaning of their carpets (and their carpet cleaner) as a tolerated irritation. Can you blame them? After all, you are invading their inner sanctum - their precious home - and interfering with an already jam-packed schedule!

As we learned in last month’s To Your Success your first time residential customer is “feeling irritated, scared, intimidated, vulnerable, invaded, suspicious and/or even angry and hostile!” All these negative feelings mean a homeowner feels very, very out of control!

If you can consistently calm your customer’s panicked emotions, they will become an incredibly loyal cheerleader! Do this with my 80% Principle: 80% of how the homeowner decides if it was a “good job” or a “bad job” is based on how they feel about the person doing the actual work!

Now if you personally are doing the actual work, I’m sure your customer feels great about you! In fact, they probably fall in love with your sparkling personality (not to mention your rugged good looks). But what about your “don’t-give-a-darn” employees? How can you clone yourself using your technicians?

Remember that you (and your employees) have some golden opportunities to build relationships while working in your customer’s home. For example, one reason the homeowner feels out of control with their carpet cleaning is they don’t know how to tell if you are doing a “good job” or a “bad job.”

Golden Opportunity No. 1

Help your customer define the ingredients of a “good carpet cleaning.”

That’s right - educate your client on how to judge a carpet cleaner. Do this and you will:

  • Build a professional relationship with a grateful client, while also
  • Establishing your company as both an expert and a role model in the cleaning industry and
  • Coincidentally setting up your methods as the “Gold Standard” in carpet cleaning!

The problem? Too many techs (and sadly even owners of carpet cleaning companies) hide out from their clients instead of communicating with and educating them. The solution? Make it easy to do it right for your employees.

So here are some sample scripts to help your technicians get started with their “customer teaching process” while actually cleaning the carpets:

  1. “Mrs. Jones, I’m placing these special blocks and carpet protectors to protect your carpet during the drying phase.”
  2. “Now I’m going to use this special commercial vacuum before I start the deep cleaning to remove as much of the dry soil as possible.”
  3. “I’m pre-treating your carpet to help loosen the oily, sticky soils that bind the dirt to your carpet fibers. This is much the same process as when you ‘pre-soak’ some especially dirty laundry.”
  4. “Now that we’ve moved out your furniture from the walls, is it OK with you if I wipe down the baseboards at the same time?  It’s included in our service and is a lot easier than for you to have to do it later.”

Note: Do you see in point No. 4 how you can call attention to a special value-added service you are including free to the client by phrasing it in the form of a question asking permission? This technique can be used on many other things you’re doing anyway in the home to get maximum appreciation from the client and to make a cheerleader!

Many business owners struggle with motivating the new crop of employees entering the workplace. For a free SFS Special Report on how to hire, train and motivate a “Millennial Generation” worker just write Steve at and put the word “Millennials” in your e-mail subject line. 

5. “I’m going to ‘set the pile’ of your carpet now with this special grooming tool. This speeds drying and removes any cleaning marks I’ve left, as well as giving your carpet a beautiful finished look.”

6. “Now that I’m leaving this room, if it’s OK with you, I’m going to set up this special air mover.  I’ll keep it moving behind me as I work through the house and it will really speed up the drying of your carpets.”

Think about it. You are very likely doing all of the above carpet cleaning steps right now. But unless your customer recognizes them as “special” then you and your techs won’t get the credit you deserve! But now after educating your client it is time to add some serious drama!

Golden Opportunity No. 2

Help your customer take a “mental snapshot” of the contrast between the dirty and the clean carpet.

You will do this with my dramatic “Magic Squares” cleaning technique!

  1. As you do your initial walkthrough with your customer look for a “Magic Squares” area that a) will provide a dramatic contrast during cleaning, b) has decent lighting and c) provides adequate space for you and your client to see this incredible transformation!
  2. Set up the job normally but loop your hoses back to your chosen Magic Square area. Pre-spray and pre-agitate a square exactly 24” by 24”. Now simply clean away and leave an impressively dramatic contrast between the sparkling clean Magic Square and the filthy dirty carpet around it! Wow!
  3. Groom and fluff the clean area being sure to leave the dirty surrounding area matted down. Now just call the homeowner and explain, “Mrs. Jones, I wanted to do a test cleaning of this area we were concerned with. Can you see the difference?” (A blind man could see the contrast!)
  4. Now start cleaning the far reaches of the home while your customer stays marveling at your Magic Square that displays your cleaning prowess. (And hopefully snapping photos to post on her Facebook page and sending them to all her friends!)

So we’ve reviewed two golden opportunities to create a delighted cheerleader out of your residential client.

  • You get to help your customer define what a good carpet cleaning job is simply by educating them on your processes. And then…
  • You immediately blow your client away by creating a dramatic show and tell Magic Square of sparkling clean carpet!

Hey, maybe your best golden opportunity was reading this article! Now please… just “git ‘er done” by actually implementing the two great Cheerleader making ideas I’ve shared with you! 

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

Recent Articles by Steve Toburen

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