ICS Magazine

Survey Confirms Benefits of Certified-Firm Status

April 11, 2005
The next time someone asks you, "Why bother becoming an IICRC Certified Firm?" you can tell them you like the exposure.

The exposure that certified firms gain through marketing efforts to carpet and furniture manufacturers, the insurance industry and the scientific community, not to mention coverage on national radio and television news programs, or the many hundred articles and releases in national magazines and newspapers, is unbelievable. And now, you can now show them the statistics right out of the IICRC's computerized referral system.

The IICRC has compiled results from its referral systems that show the total number of phone referrals from the toll-free number for 2004 averaged 5,622 a month, or more than 67,000 referrals for the year. The number of online referrals for 2004 was 14,887 a month, about 178,600 for the year. You do the math: with almost a quarter million referrals at, say, $100 per referral, what's that say to you?

IICRC's new consumer Web site, www.certifiedcleaners.org, allows consumers to easily locate, an IICRC Certified Firm in their area via an online search. Only companies that have applied for, and have been approved for Certified Firm status are listed on the referral network. Individual certified technicians are not listed.

It is important to note the distinction between being a certified technician and a certified firm. Simply having a certified technician on staff does not mean that the company itself is certified. To become certified, the firm must complete an application process and meet stringent requirements designed to maintain the integrity of "IICRC Certified Firm" status for all registrants. IICRC Certified Firms must have at least one certified technician on staff for each advertised service, provide proof of business licensing liability insurance and consumer complaint follow-up programs, and meet other requirements as described in the application process.

Firms that are approved for the Certified Firm Program immediately find themselves in a different market position, thanks to the marketing and public relations efforts designed to educate the consumer on the importance in selecting an IICRC Certified Firm.

As more companies become aware of the tangible benefits of certification, we are seeing a surge in enrollment for IICRC certification classes. In 2003 there were 3,328 IICRC Certified Firms and 27,593 IICRC Certified Technicians registered with the IICRC. In 2004 those numbers surged to 3,627 IICRC Certified Firms and 32,300 IICRC Certified Technicians.

The IICRC Certified Firm designation represents a company's commitment to consumer protection and quality service. In return for this commitment to true industry professionalism, the firm may use the IICRC logo in all advertising and promotional efforts.

The IICRC will be able to provide even more referrals in 2005, thanks to the significant growth in certification. As the number of certified technicians and firms continues to grow, the IICRC will be able to expand its programs while continuing to raise awareness and continue setting a high standard of excellence for the entire industry.

An IICRC-Certified Firm application is available to download at www.iicrc.org. For more information contact the IICRC at (360) 693-5675.