- Customer lists: A complete and up-to-date file should be kept on each past customer to determine buying patterns, etc. and to be used to solicit additional work during the year. Customer lists can be kept on a computer program if you use a computer or on a 3″ x 5″ index card and kept in an index file if you don’t use a computer.
- Customer track sheets: If you use a computer you will automatically have access to previous cleaning dates of past customers very easily. If you don’t use a computer, past customer cleaning dates can be easily accessible by using “customer track sheets”. This is done by simply writing or typing all customer information including name, address, phone number, last cleaning date, areas cleaned and price for cleaning on a specially prepared form that coordinates all jobs by day, month and year. In this way you can determine past cleaning dates month by month for your yearly “reminders”.
- Qualifying the job: Qualifying the job with the customer is done by simply sitting down with him/her after the inspection has been made or before cleaning begins and explaining all problem areas, permanent stains, wear areas, etc. and letting her know exactly what results you expect to achieve from the cleaning. This keeps the customer’s expectations in check and prevents many dissatisfied customers. After the cleaning is completed it is harder to convince the customer that the best job was done and she may feel that you are only making excuses for a poor job.
- Driving courtesy: Sounds like a small thing, huh? But when someone sees you or your employee screaming and cursing at another driver because he “cut you off”, or sees you cutting someone else off, it reflects poorly on your company.
- Trade Organization membership: Increases your technical and marketing knowledge and shows your customers that you are committed to keeping up with the latest that the industry has to offer buy joining at least one trade organization. Benefits:
a: Helps keep you up-to-date with the latest industry technology;
b. These organizations offer technical information and marketing tips to their members;
c. Allows you to communicate with other professional cleaners;
d. Proper complaint procedures training;
e. Shows your customers that you are a true professional;
- Certification: Becoming certified by the International Institute of Carpet & Upholstery Certification (IICUC) is the best way to show your dedication to professionalism. Besides offering all of the benefits of trade organization membership, it also provides other benefits such as:
a: Industry referral program;
b. On-going training and education;
c. Access to much of the information in the cleaning industry.
- Trade magazine subscriptions: Again, you should strive to acquire as much information about your chosen profession as possible. Trade magazines are an excellent source of continuous up-to-date industry news and information.
- Arrangements with re-upholsterers: Another excellent source of referrals.
- Demonstrations: Demonstrating your equipment, process and technical expertise in a controlled environment for potential customers is an excellent way to increase job bookings.
- Past customer mailings: It is much easier and cost effective to sell your services to those who have used your company in the past (if you’ve provided quality work) than to solicit business from new customers. One very effective way to acquire additional work throughout the year from previous customers is by sending each customer in your customer list a direct mailing three or four times a year with a discount special or dollars off coupon for certain services or for a combination of services i.e. carpet, upholstery and drapery cleaning discounts. She is bound to be enticed by one or more of these cleaning service discounts during the year.
Kleen Kuip Supply Mart Inc.
New and Used Professional Carpet Cleaning and Restoration Equipment