- THE MAGAZINE
Studies show that floor appearance has a direct impact on customers, hence, the popularity of high gloss floors and the “wet look.” Bright and highly reflective floors give the impression of clean, and if people feel the building is clean, then they’re more likely to shop or visit the facility more frequently.
When we meet building owners or property managers, we tell them that by procuring our services, their investment is protected by prolonging the life of the floor covering. Through maintenance, we provide a cleaner, healthier environment that is safer for their customers. Most importantly, we tell them that the maintenance provided improves the appearance of their floor, which encourages more customers to come to their facility.
Potential clients may acknowledge the above statements, but what really rings their bell is the attractive appearance that could increase the number of customers who come into the facility.
What About Your Image?You’ve worked hard to let the customer know how you’re going to improve their image, but what are you doing about your company’s or your own. I travel a great deal and instruct many technicians on the intricacies of performing hard floor maintenance and it never ceases to amaze me that some of these individuals (no matter their technical prowess or desire) will never get past first base because of their company and/or personal presentation. If you are an entrepreneur, company or corporation the image that you portrait is what you are marketing. So, what can you do to improve and maintain your image?
Start on the InsideRegardless of your title or position, the image you pursue begins on the inside. A positive attitude is the most important ingredient of an improved image makeover. As people, we love to buy from individuals and companies that display an air of confidence and the ability to get the job done. This comes across in a professional manner when we adjust our attitude from negative connotation to positive action. When it comes to hard floor maintenance, a potential customer doesn’t want someone that whines and complains about the previous company, the job or the facility. That’s the kind of attitude that will loose you more work and opportunities than anything else. Once you have developed a positive attitude, it will permeate into every other aspect of your business.
Personal AppearanceAppearance is everything. Improving the appearance of the floor is the primary reason you were selected, and you never get a second opportunity to make a first impression.
Make sure your personal hygiene is in order and your grooming reflects the desired image of your business. Being unclean, having body odor, halitosis or soiled unkempt clothing are all things that can drag your image down. Make a conscience effort to present your employees and yourself in a professional manner at all times. If you have employees, get uniforms and make sure they are clean and pressed. Uniforms can and are a prerequisite to being awarded some contracts. Besides, just the presence of a uniform sends a very strong message about your company and their attitude.
The Company VehicleThe company vehicle should also be kept clean and tidy at all times. The bright, crisp signage on your vehicle isn’t so appealing if it’s hidden by soil. Refuse piled in the cab or throughout the vehicle can also be an embarrassment. Organize your vehicle, make sure everything has its place and everything is in its place. You never know when a customer or potential customer will want to look inside. It’s not uncommon for a client to want to look at your vehicle and its contents; it can tell them a lot about you and your business.
Equipment and MaterialsThe hard floor maintenance business is not a clean one, but that doesn’t mean that your equipment or materials need to reflect that. It doesn’t take much effort to clean and wipe down your equipment after each use. In fact, there is time to perform that preventive maintenance service while you’re waiting for individual coats of floor finish to dry.
Keeping your 175-rpm rotary floor machine, wet vacuum, buckets and wringers clean improves your image considerably. Additionally, make sure that you rinse your wet mops regularly to ensure they are clean and don’t smell bad. If you have old soiled mop heads, replace them with new ones. Launder and change your dust mop heads regularly to ensure they are clean and presentable. If the customer sees that you spend time on maintaining your equipment it will reflect on your professionalism.
PunctualityAmong one of the things to consider when presenting a professional image is punctuality. Tardiness is never good for your image. Everyone is aware of time constraints and the impact they have on their calendars. If you know you’re going to be late, call the customer and let them know what’s going on. They may have another engagement or meeting more important than your appointment.
Tardiness creates a negative image of your company, especially if the client is waiting for you. Conversely, being on time or a little early solidifies your professionalism and demonstrates your concern for the customer’s time.