Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Check and Re-Check Your Professional Appearance

March 10, 2003
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Let the busy season begin. It is March, and the annual homeowner ritual of Spring Cleaning has arrived. My question is, do we look and act like professionals? In my opinion, too often we do not.

Take a moment and examine your equipment. Did you take advantage of the slowdown during the last couple of months to perform any necessary maintenance? Don’t make any excuses; we all need to go through our trucks and equipment and make sure that they are clean. It always amazes me how we can clean a client’s carpet or furnishings with dirty equipment. How professional do you look going into their home or office with dirty equipment? It only takes a few minutes at the end of the day to wipe down your equipment and keep it sparkling clean.

When you are in the client’s home, quite often your clients will have looked in or at your van. Is there signage on your vehicle? Is the outside clean? Is there garbage lying around inside your vehicle? How about your cleaning supplies? Are they lying about haphazardly in there? Your customer notices these things and they influence their opinion of your company.

Look at yourself and your employees’ appearance. Are you wearing T-shirts with who knows what verbiage or image on it? Does that give a professional appearance of your company? And if your employees do wear T-shirts, have your company name on them. Why on earth would you advertise for someone else? What do your pants look like? Are they clean? Are they full of holes? I prefer that a company have uniforms. They give a much more professional image. Uniforms can either be purchased or rented from a uniform company; it is worth weighing the benefits of each option.

Have you or your employees had any kind of formal training? I worked for a company that was in business for 35 years when I first came to this industry. The owners felt that they knew everything about cleaning, and therefore saw no need to send their employees to any formal training classes. We did get training from our supplier about the “new” equipment being purchased, along with the sales pitches for the accessories and supplies we were told “had to go with it.” When my wife and I started our company, we went to a local association convention and for the first time heard of the generic educational seminars and programs presented by the IICRC. We went to our first class a few weeks later and discovered how much we did not know. That was after being in the industry for eight years! Sending your employees and yourself to training builds confidence in your people and your clients. This will become evident when you talk to your customers.

By making your company more professional, you raise the bar of the whole industry. If you look at other service industries that have developed and promote a more professional appearance, they are more respected and make a better living. It is time that we as professionals step up to the plate and make our industry better. Take a look at your company now, and examine how you can work to improve its image.

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