Cleaning & Restoration Association News

When IICRC Answers the Phone

May 13, 2002
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When you call the IICRC, do you know who's answering the phone? Most people think they are talking to the IICRC. Well, not exactly.

The number you dial connects you to IICRC headquarters, but it is a management company that actually handles our day-to-day operations. The people you reach on the phone are the very capable staff of Kenway Consultants, Inc. KCI's daily administrative functions include processing technician- and firm applications, coordinating inspector programs and coordinating the monitoring of approved instructors and schools. They also handle complaints and violations, operate the IICRC referral line, manage the accounting and financial record keeping, facilitate communications and coordinate industry relations and marketing efforts.

Tom Hill, a former IICRC shareholder, is in the process of purchasing KCI, giving owners Kenway and Pat Mead a much-deserved break. We are looking forward to working with Tom in the same way that we have worked with the Meads for all these years.

At times there is a bit of frustration from our registrants who wonder, "Why can't I get an immediate answer to my question when I call IICRC headquarters?" The IICRC Board of Directors has established a protocol for KCI to follow if they are unable to answer your question directly. If a request varies from the established policy, KCI will refer your question to the appropriate IICRC committee.

Remember: KCI does not have the authority to change policies, only to follow them. As IICRC committees are manned by volunteers with businesses of their own to manage, it may take some time to compile a response. Be assured though, most committee members respond as quickly as possible.

I often hear, "I have never gotten a referral from IICRC." I usually respond with several questions:

  • Is your company an IICRC Certified Firm? The reason that I ask is that the referral line is a benefit for being an IICRC certified firm.
  • What categories are you and your technicians certified in? You will only get referrals in the areas that you and/or your technicians hold certification.
  • Do you ask your potential customers how they heard about you? Close to half of the people I ask this of don't know how their customers learned about them.
  • Have your received a call from DuPont, Shaw, Stain Safe, Guardian or Armstrong? These are just a few of the organizations that use the IICRC referral line to find qualified technicians.
  • Do you live in a rural area, a suburban area or in the city? You will probably receive more referrals in a more densely populated area than in a sparsely populated one.

    I have discussed the referral situation with some of the different organizations using IICRC's referral system. Interestingly, they track the claims they get from different geographical areas to determine who receives IICRC referrals and who does not.

    One final note: IICRC is in the process of installing software that will notify you by e-mail when you receive a system referral. It will be up and running in the near future.

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