ICS Magazine

Quality Rating: The Essence of Your Business

April 12, 2007

Quality is defined as a general term applicable to any trait or characteristic, whether individual or generic. When customers purchase floor maintenance services, the selection is usually based on the quality of the service provider’s work, the level of expectation and delivery of services.

The expectation of the end result is the driving force of all floor maintenance. The customer’s expectation is that the floor will be cleaned and exhibit a pleasant appearance. The customer may not always know what is required to achieve this result, but they know what they expect to see. It is up to the floor maintenance technician to deliver the expected end results.

The primary reason for floor maintenance is to protect the flooring material from the harmful effects of erosion. This continual wearing down of the surface is the result of microscopic scratches caused by the combination of grit in conjunction with traffic conditions. That is why high-traffic areas lose gloss rapidly. Reducing the effects of erosion is accomplished by removing these harmful soils from the surface and in many cases applying a protective coating, polish, seal or finish to the floor.

The definition of clean is to be free of soil or dirt. However, the term may be relative, based on the environment the technician is working in. It is much more difficult to have a clean surface in a foundry than it is in a medical facility. Both can be cleaned, but the effort to clean them will change due to the volume and type of soil being removed. Assorted cleaning chemicals are used in different environments to combat these various soiling conditions; degreasing chemicals may be used in a foundry, whereas sanitizing chemicals may be used in the medical environment.

Appearance has the largest impact on meeting expectations of the end result. Once floor maintenance has been completed, what the customer sees is what they base their judgment on when determining the quality of services provided. The overall appearance of the floor, the level of gloss, the absence of soil will all impact their determination.

Delivery
Floor maintenance quality is often more than just the floor maintenance services; it is how those services are delivered. This is the essential ingredient that separates one floor maintenance service provider from the next and should be a matter of personal pride.

The customer should always receive and observe professionalism during every phase of the operation, from solicitation to billing. Sometimes it is the most subtle things that help elevate the impression of service quality, such as a professional appearance and demeanor. Communication is extremely important, and understanding and being able to properly explain industry terminology ensures that the service provider is well versed in the trade and can communicate effectively with the customer.

The physical performance of the services is also where you can increase the level of quality a customer experiences. Punctual, uniformed technicians with clean equipment can elevate your quality rating tremendously. Organization and implementation of the services also shows professionalism; the services should flow from beginning to end without interruption. The security of the building upon completion of services is an area that really contributes to the end result. The service providers should remove all items used in the process of providing the service, and doors, windows and alarms should be secured before leaving the facility.

If your objective is to be considered a quality service provider, effort will have to be made to become such. This means going beyond the expectations of the customer and sometimes beyond what you think you can deliver. When you exceed on both sides of the equation, you will have no trouble finding more customers.

There are different levels of quality expectation and delivery; that is why, for example, some folks of equal means and status drive economy cars and some drive luxury automobiles. It is up to the service provider to determine what is expected and determine how best to deliver it. If that objective is not achieved, chances are the customer will be unhappy with the quality of your service.

If the objective is achieved, the perception will be that your quality is good. If your objective is achieved at a reasonable price, you will be the hero.