New & Used Professional Carpet Cleaning Machines, Automotive Detailing Extractors, Equipment, Restoration Supplies, Training, Parts & Repair Service (416) 429-0401

Posts tagged ‘handling customer complaints’

101 Ways to Advertise, Promote and Sell a Carpet Cleaning Service (Tips 91-101)

    1. Commercial newsletters: Again, a great way to help you keep the commercial accounts that you have worked so hard to acquire and to acquire new accounts by sending a newsletter to potential customers that you are trying to obtain. These companies will produce a quality newsletter for you so you don’t have to spend the enormous amount of time and energy that it takes to produce one yourself.
    2. Note pads (with name, phone number and company logo):
      Distribution:
      a.
      Give a couple to each customer;
      b.
      Real estate agents (very effective);
      c.
      Insurance agents, adjusters.
    3. Targeted brochures: These brochures are designed so that the entire brochure is dedicated to one specific service or aspect of your cleaning service, such as:
      a. Commercial cleaning brochure;
      b. Apartment cleaning specialty brochure;
      c. Real estate specialty brochure;
      d. Upholstery cleaning brochure;
      e. Fabric protection brochure.
    4. Phone solicitation machines:
      These machines automatically do the telemarketing for you while you’re out doing other things. Due to the large number of calls these machines are capable of , with the right ‘script’ they can produce a large volume of job bookings. The downside to these machines are that many people may be insulted and annoyed by them.
    5. Sandwichboard signs: These are designed to be placed in front of the home or commercial facility where you are cleaning to let everyone know who is doing the cleaning and should contain a short sales message. One effective use for signs is you can attach a small box on the front to hold your company brochures or business cards (Vehicle Pockets Business Card Advertising Kit) with a sign that says “Please take one”. This is an effective way to get the most advertising with the least amount of effort.
    6. Spotting charts: These charts are useful items that your customer will keep around for a long time. Printed up in large quantities with you company name, phone number and logo, they are effective and cost effective marketing tools.
      Distribution:
      a. Give one to all of your customers;
      b. Hand out at home shows/exhibits, etc;
    7. Coupon packet (coop) advertising: This is where a number of businesses advertise through the same direct mailout to save money on postage, etc. One example is the Val Pak advertising that is prevalent in many cities and larger towns.
    8. Customer briefing sheets: This is a simple form that can be given to the customer after the inspection that describes the customer’s responsibilities before you come to her house to perform the cleaning. This form will inform the customer to remove all breakable items from furniture to be moved, move all small furniture from the areas to be cleaned, pin up drapery and chair flaps, etc.
      This will not only help you process each job more quickly (saving you much time), it also involves the customer and makes her feel a part of the cleaning process.
    9. Fabric protector “blotter cards”: These are demonstration tools and will greatly enhance your ability to sell fabric protection treatments to the customer as demonstrations are the greatest sales aids. You can acquire these blotter cards from your supplier of fabric protection treatments (Scotchgard, DuPont Teflon, etc.).
    10. Appointment calendars: Bought in fairly large quantities these appointment calendars are very reasonable and are very effective at keeping your name in from of the customer throughout the year.
    11. Selling environmentally safe cleaning; With growing concern in this country about health related issues and the environmental impact of chemical use, pollution, etc., one very effective way to set your company apart from the competition is to use environmentally sound products (Benefect 100% Natural Disinfectant) and procedures in your cleaning process and promote your company as an environmentally friendly company. This form of “specialized” cleaning will attract the very best customers and will allow you to charge a somewhat higher price for your services.

*** EXPECT TO SUCCEED AND DO WHATEVER (HONESTLY AND ETHICALLY) IT TAKES TO ASSURE THAT SUCCESS!!! ***

Tips 1-10Tips 11-20Tips 21-30Tips 31-40 – Tips 41-50Tips 51-60Tips 61-70Tips 71-80Tips 81-90Tips 91-101

Kleen Kuip Supply Mart Inc.
New and Used Professional Carpet Cleaning Equipment and Water Damage Restoration Supplies

101 Ways to Advertise, Promote and Sell a Carpet Cleaning Service (Tips 81-90)

    1. Mobile home park door knob hangers: Because mobile home parks can provide a large volume of business with no extra travel time due to the close proximity of the mobile homes, you may want to distribute targeted door knob hangers in these mobile home parks. The hangers should provide a special price or dollars off coupon for greater response and a specific day should be set aside for these cleanings so that you can concentrate enough time per park to make the effort worth while. Write on the hangers the specific day that you will be working in that park and ask that those interested in cleaning call your office and schedule ahead for that day.
    2. Pricing charts: If you are not comfortable selling add-on services while in a customer’s home, the next best thing is to print up a large quantity of price charts to provide to each customer upon beginning the job. Simply tell her that if she wished to have any additional work done she can refer to the chart to determine the cost of the additional cleaning, protection treatments (Scotchgard, Teflon) etc…
    3. Refrigerator van magnets: Placing a van shaped magnet with your name, phone number and company logo on each customer’s refrigerator prior to a cleaning job is a great way to keep your company name on her mind, encourage referral business from friends and neighbors, and assure that she won’t forget who cleaned her carpets last time (you would be surprised how fast they forget).
    4. Coupon books:
      a. Have ten various coupons professionally designed and printed up in booklet form;
      b. Have them printed up in quantity (at least 500 – 1,000 at a time);
      c. Give each customer a coupon book after you clean for her to assure a repeat customer
      d. Coupon books should contain 1 or 2 extra coupon books for her neighbors.
      e. Coupon books should contain coupons for carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, and drapery cleaning (if you offer this service).
    5. Various advertising outlets: Yellow pages advertising, Facebook, Twitter, Craiglist, Kijjijji, Blogs, etc,…There are so many social media sites that cost next to nothing to utilize so make sure that you take full advantage of them.
    6. Thank you/critique cards: To show your appreciation for the customer’s patronage, you should send each customer a thank you card to arrive at her home the day after the cleaning job. This shows professionalism and character and is an important goodwill gesture that the customer will appreciate. You may also want to include a separate section that can be detached and mailed back to you (at your expense) with various questions on how you may improve your service to better serve your customers and ask whether she was satisfied with the service you provided and if she was dissatisfied, why. This will help you improve your services by letting you know what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. It will also give you the opportunity to correct any problems the customer may have, but was too timid to tell you during the follow up call (you did give her a follow-up call didn’t you?).
    7. Reminder cards: Each customer should be sent a reminder card 10-12 months after the initial cleaning to let her know that it is time to have her furnishings cleaned again.
    8. Billboards: Usually too expensive for the “average” carpet cleaning company, but if you do use billboard ads, remember to keep the message short and sweet.
    9. Christmas cards: Should be sent 2-3 weeks before Christmas. No sale or solicitation, just a sincere thank you for her past business and a Season’s Greeting. A great customer goodwill tool.
    10. Residential newsletters: These are a great way to keep your name in the customer’s eye all year long.

Tips 1-10Tips 11-20Tips 21-30Tips 31-40 – Tips 41-50Tips 51-60Tips 61-70Tips 71-80Tips 81-90Tips 91-101

Kleen Kuip Supply Mart Inc.
New and Used Professional Carpet Cleaning and Restoration Equipment

101 Ways to Advertise, Promote and Sell a Carpet Cleaning Service (Tips 71-80)

  1. Weekly newspaper columns: Some carpet cleaning companies have found great success promoting their company by running weekly columns in the local newspaper where people write in questions they have related to cleaning which are answered in the column each week. Another version of this is to simply write a column each week providing cleaning and fabric maintenance tips to the reader (also great for blogging). This is a great way to enhance your companies image as a true professional in your area. Many newspaper editors welcome these columns as a service to his readers and will place these weekly ads at no charge in hopes of gaining loyal readership.
  2. Direct Mailings:
    a. Mass mailings of brochures to residences;
    b. Sales letters to commercial accounts, real estate offices, etc.
  3. Residential maintenance contracts: The only sure way to prevent the competition from wooing a customer away from your company is through residential carpet maintenance contracts. This is simply done by presenting the customer with a proposal to clean her carpets 2-4 times per year at a discounted rate per cleaning. Not only will this maintenance contract “lock” the customer in, it will also reduce your cleaning time because the carpet will be cleaned before it becomes overly soiled and you will make more money per year from that customer due to the additional cleaning.
  4. The phone book: For carpet cleaning companies that provide commercial carpet cleaning the phone book yellow pages can be one avenue to take. There are a whole host of online companies that can effectively promote your business and website. A vast amount of information on businesses, owners/managers, addresses (for mailouts) phone numbers and other pertinent information can be found in either the yellow pages or online. Also if your marketing program includes telemarketing, naturally the best and most cost effective place to find all the prospects in your area is the telephone book. The telephone book can be one of your most effective marketing tools if properly exploited.
  5. Graphic designers/Illustrators: To produce the most effective ads, brochures etc., the use of a good graphic designer and illustrator is vital. The ads they help you produce (with your input, and lots of it) will more than likely be far superior and more effective than anything you will be able to come up with yourself.
  6. Business Cards:
    Distribution:

    a. Give a card to each person you come into contact with each day;
    b. Give each customer 10-12 cards after each job and ask her to refer your company to her friends and neighbors;
    c. Give a card to the manager/owner of each restaurant you eat in and one to each business owner/manager where you do business;
    d. Have a few hundred cards printed up for each of your employees to hand out during the course of the day;
    e. Place a card on the desk of each employee of commercial accounts you service.
  7. Rolodex Cards:
    Distribution:

    a. Real estate offices;
    b. Give one to your residential cleaning customers at the end of each  job for future reference;
    c. Insurance agents;
    d. Commercial clients.
  8. Brochures:
    Distribution:

    a. Direct mailouts to residential customers;
    b. Door “stuffers”;
    c. Personal handouts;
    d. Targeted brochures to commercial accounts;
    e. Place in display rack in beauty salons, businesses, etc.
  9. Flyers/inserts:
    Distribution:

    a. Local daily newspapers;
    b. Weekly “shopper” newspapers.
  10. Residential door knob hangers: Place as many door knob hangers on houses in neighborhoods where you have completed a cleaning job as time allows for area saturation and name recognition.

Tips 1-10Tips 11-20Tips 21-30Tips 31-40 – Tips 41-50Tips 51-60Tips 61-70Tips 71-80Tips 81-90Tips 91-101

Kleen Kuip Supply Mart Inc.
New and Used Professional Carpet Cleaning and Restoration Equipment

101 Ways to Advertise, Promote and Sell a Carpet Cleaning Service (Tips 61-70)

  1. Technical Expertise:The more technically proficient you are at what you do the more confidence you will have when it comes time to sell your services to the customer. Attend as many seminars, schools and classes that teach the proper techniques of cleaning as you possible can. There are many industry approved courses taught each year by the most able educators in the cleaning industry at many locations around the country.For more information on attending an IICUC approved school log on to www.iicrc.org
  2. Selling disaster repair services: If you offer water damage restoration or fire restoration services, some people you can contact will be:
    a. Insurance companies;
    b. Plumbers;
    c. Fire departments;
    d. Apartment owners (They always seem to have water problems);
    e. Construction contractors;
    f. Property management companies;
    g. Give a restoration brochure to all past and future carpet cleaning customers;
    h. Prominently display your disaster restoration service in your yellow page ads and mention it in all of your regular advertising materials;
    i. Real estate companies.
  3. Selling odor control services: Same methods and contacts as used for disaster repair, plus:
    a. Automobile dealers;
    b. Kennels;
    c. Motels;
    d. Pet grooming services;
    e. Restaurants;
    f. Refuse haulers;
    g. Pet shops.
  4. Fabric protector promotions: Those who buy new furniture and carpeting are more than eager to find ways to keep these furnishings looking new and lasting longer. Placing regular ads specifically devoted to this service and contacting home furnishing retailers, home decorators, etc. can bring many customers eager to have you protect their furnishings.
  5. Proposal/bid presentation: How you present your cleaning proposals and bids to the potential customer has a great deal of influence on that customer’s perception or your professionalism. Presenting a neatly typed proposal with your company letterhead in a presentation folder with your company logo will give your company a definite edge over the competition (who usually write a proposal on a crumpled work order form or even the back of a business card.
  6. Television advertising: Very few carpet cleaning companies can afford to use this method of advertising, but if you can afford local television advertising, it is a great supplement to your overall marketing program.
  7. Radio advertising: Be sure to advertise only on stations that your “target” market will be listening to if you decide to use this ad medium. Advertising on hard rock stations will likely produce no customers at all since your target customer does not listen to this type of music generally. Local soft rock, oldies and easy listening stations will produce the best results.
  8. Newspaper advertising:
    a.
    Social page (Ann Landers) has the best chance for readership by your target market;
    b. Use bold headlines to grab readers attention;
    c. Discount coupons and special offers produce the greatest immediate response;
    d. Stress benefits, services, discounts, etc. and place name and logo near the bottom of the ad. If they want what you have to offer, they will find your name. First you have to get their attention.
  9. Gifts for outstanding customers: Show those customers who support your company in an outstanding way i.e. large commercial accounts, real estate agents who loyally use your company, that special customer who sends as many friends and neighbors your way as she can (bless her heart), that you appreciate their support and loyalty by sending him/her a useful gift sometime during the year. This will keep them on your side and will keep them loyal to your company.
  10. Diversification: Diversifying into cleaning related areas can help keep your company busy during times when your primary service is in a slow period. Diversifying into too many areas too soon can have a negative impact on your primary (biggest money making) service due to shifts in advertising budget restraints, etc. and being understaffed to handle the demand for the diversified service can also have a negative impact on your company and defeat the purpose of the diversification. So when diversifying into other areas, proceed cautiously.

Tips 1-10Tips 11-20Tips 21-30Tips 31-40 – Tips 41-50Tips 51-60Tips 61-70Tips 71-80Tips 81-90Tips 91-101

Kleen Kuip Supply Mart Inc.
New and Used Professional Carpet Cleaning and Restoration Equipment

101 Ways to Advertise, Promote and Sell a Carpet Cleaning Service (Tips 51-60)

  1. Sales to apartment owners/managers: Again a constant source of jobs. All of the methods listed above can be used to sell your services to these accounts as well as advertisements in the local apartment owner’s organization magazine. Most apartment owners subscribe to these magazines and you can obtain information on who to contact to advertise in the magazine by simply asking one of the local apartment owners/managers how to contact them. You may even pick up a new account.
  2. Sales to commercial business facilities : Commercial cleaning work can be a continuous source of business since these facilities usually have their furnishings cleaned on a regular basis due to heavy traffic use. Some ways to sell your services to commercial/business facilities:
    a. “Sales letters;”
    b. “Direct mailings (brochures);”
    c.“Personal visits to ask for opportunity to provide an inspection;”
    d.“Demonstrations of equipment and cleaning capabilities;”
    e.“Inspections;”
    f.“Provide three different cleaning options for best results.
  3. Sales from employees of your commercial accounts: Acquiring a commercial cleaning account presents the opportunity for sales of residential cleaning to the owner of the business as well as all employees working there. Present each employee with a discount cleaning coupon or provide each employee with a business card”.
  4. Government contracts: If you are willing to reduce your normal cleaning prices for the (usually) large volume of business that government contracts sometimes provide, you may want to look into contracting these government accounts.
  5. Person-to-person sales: There is no more effective way to sell your services than face to face with a potential client. Set aside a specific time each week to sell person to person, especially commercial work, and you reap the long and short term benefits.
  6. Referral from carpet retailers.
  7. Reference from beauty salons: Every one of your potential customers visit them on a very regular basis. What better place to get your name out.
    a. Provide salon owners with a large stack of brochures each month and ask that one be given to each customer;
    b. Offer to provide free carpet cleaning in her salon for this privilege;
    c. Inform the salon owner to write her name on each brochure and that you will pay her a commission of $5.00 (example) for every brochure that she hands out to her customers that results in a job booking for you.
    d. Be completely hones in paying commissions or suffer the consequences!
  8. Club/organization bulletin advertising: Advertising in social and civic club newsletters and online bulletin boards and discussion forums are a very good way to reach your “target” market. For best results the more affluent the members of the club/organization, the more eager you should be to advertise with them. These people are willing to pay top dollar for a quality cleaning service and are very likely to do business with people who “do business with them”.
  9. Magazines: Advertising in a local home improvement or home decorating magazine or website will bring in the more affluent customers who are willing to pay a fair price for a quality cleaning service.
  10. Sports teams: Sponsoring a local little league baseball team or a softball team, etc. is a great way to get your name in front of a large number of people for only the cost of a small sponsorship fee.

Tips 1-10Tips 11-20Tips 21-30Tips 31-40 – Tips 41-50Tips 51-60Tips 61-70Tips 71-80Tips 81-90Tips 91-101

Kleen Kuip Supply Mart Inc.
New and Used Professional Carpet Cleaning and Restoration Equipment

101 Ways to Advertise, Promote and Sell a Carpet Cleaning Service (Tips 41-50)

  1. Sales Scripts: Preparing and practicing a sales script will help give you the confidence to sell your services because you will know what you are going to say before you say it and you can get the points across to each customer that you want to stress.
  2. Business plans/goal setting: The only way you can get anywhere is to know where you want to go and how you are going to get there. Developing a written plan for your business and setting specific goals that you want to achieve is essential for long-term and short-term growth of your company.
  3. Customer relations: How you treat your customers will determine the long-term success or demise of your company. All company personnel should be reminded constantly of the importance of not “biting the hand that feeds you”.
  4. Charting your calls: This is simply keeping track of where your customers are coming from. Ask each customer how they found out about your company and write down each answer. This will help you determine which advertising medium is providing the greatest response and which one the least so that you can distribute your advertising dollars in the most effective areas.
  5. Free giveaways: People love to get something for nothing and will respond to free giveaways such as:
    a. “Free spot remover with cleaning;”
    b. “Free deodorization with cleaning;”
    c. “Free carpet maintenance kit with 3 or more rooms of carpet cleaning;”
    c. “Free box of laundry detergent with 2 or more rooms of carpet cleaning;”
  6. Pricing your services: Determine what you feel is a fair price that will be competitive and will produce an acceptable profit margin for your services and put it in writing in your business plan and stick to it. This way you don’t end up doing “charity work” (you are not a non-profit organization) and so that if two or more of your customers get together and compare prices, you won’t have to explain why you charged Mrs. so-and-so more than you charged her neighbor (see what I mean?)
  7. Reference lists: Providing reference lists to your customer or satisfied past customers greatly increases your clients confidence in your ability to satisfy your customers and will increase your chances of booking them as a customer.
  8. Open House: If you operate your business from an office outside your home, having a yearly open house is a great way to show off your equipment, talk with potential customers, hand out your brochures, put on cleaning demonstrations, offer discount cleaning coupons, have drawings for free carpet cleaning etc., introduce your customers to your employees, etc. and is a very effective way to introduce your company to a large number of potential customers. Naturally you will want to have your office, work area and equipment sparkling clean and all employees dressed in fresh, clean company uniforms to make the best possible impression.
  9. Press releases: Press releases about anything newsworthy that happens within your company are a cost effective (Free) way to get your name out to the public in a positive way and should be used as often as possible.
  10. Sales to real estate offices: Having a number of real estate offices working for you can be a continuous source of job bookings since they are constantly  in contact with people who want (need) their carpeting cleaned for quicker sale of their home. Some ways to sell your services to real estate offices:
    a. Personal visits to offices;
    b. Rolodex cards/laptop/iPad/cellphone (for continued reference);
    c. Sales letters;
    d. Direct mailings (brochures);
    e. Provide note pads to each real estate agent in the offices with your company name, logo and phone number.

Tips 1-10Tips 11-20Tips 21-30Tips 31-40 – Tips 41-50Tips 51-60Tips 61-70Tips 71-80Tips 81-90Tips 91-101

Kleen Kuip Supply Mart Inc.
New and Used Professional Carpet Cleaning and Restoration Equipment

101 Ways to Advertise, Promote and Sell a Carpet Cleaning Service (Tips 31-40)

  1. 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.
  2. 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”.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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;
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Arrangements with re-upholsterers: Another excellent source of referrals.
  9. Demonstrations: Demonstrating your equipment, process and technical expertise in a controlled environment for potential customers is an excellent way to increase job bookings.
  10. 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.

Tips 1-10Tips 11-20Tips 21-30Tips 31-40 – Tips 41-50Tips 51-60Tips 61-70Tips 71-80Tips 81-90Tips 91-101

Kleen Kuip Supply Mart Inc.
New and Used Professional Carpet Cleaning and Restoration Equipment

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: