ICS Magazine

Do I Really Need a Spotting Kit?

October 1, 2012
cleaning red spot on white carpet
Not very long ago a “professional” carpet cleaner expressed, “I don’t need no spotting kit - I just give the spot an extra squirt of pre-spray and then kick it with my foot a couple of times.” Besides the fact that he wasn’t very proficient with his grasp of the English language, he also missed all the value points of having and using a professional spotting kit. I’m about tools and gadgets and as I see it, a good professional spot and stain removal kit may be your best tool on the job. While it is more than obvious that a spot and stain kit is necessary to remove a myriad of problem spots from carpet and upholstery, I believe a great benefit is the impression it leaves with the customer, both in the pre-inspection and as a great marketing tool.  
Our technicians were required to 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 is always important to make sure the spotting kit is clean and professional looking. Upon entering the home and beginning the pre-inspection, the technician would explain to the customer, “This is my professional spot and stain removal kit. Are there any particular spots or stains which you would like me to pay special attention to?” 
At this point the customer would invariably think of a particular spot that really bothered 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. 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. Neither is she sure that you really care about the carpet and furnishings she so loves. This question and the presentation of your kit with several miracle spotting solutions shows your customer that you are not only concerned about her furnishings, but are willing and interested in bringing them back to a pre-spot, pre-soil condition. 
One of the basic creeds in our cleaning company was “under promise, over perform” – and we practiced it with zest. Another reason for asking about spots in the home was to give us 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 spot and stain class, we can get out almost anything. The key word here is “almost.” Since we can never be sure, we would take this opportunity to explain to the customer that this particular problem spot may be a challenge for us, but with our complement of extensive ammunition (our professional kit) we are sure that if it is at all possible, we can get it out. 
By stating, “if at all possible” we leave 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. 
There is at least one other important area where you can get mileage from your spotting kit: 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 made it a point to make sure our customers saw us at some point during the job, down on our hands and knees working on a spot with our spotting kit. 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.