What is the best carpet cleaning method?
If you’re a company providing cleaning services, whether for residential or commercial clients, this is a very important question to ask and answer well.
What is the best carpet cleaning method?
If you’re a company providing cleaning services, whether for residential or commercial clients, this is a very important question to ask and answer well.
Trainings are essential in every organisation. Even after years of being in business, employees still need to undergo skills and update trainings. This will keep them abreast with all the advancements continuously happening in their industry.
This is especially important for businesses…Read More
Is your cleaning company projecting a positive brand image?
How the public, and most importantly your clients, perceive your brand is very important. This can largely contribute to the success or failure of your business. This is why it is vital to project a positive business image and create…Read More
It’s no secret that the cleaning industry has mushroomed in the past few years. Here in Australia, the number of companies is staggering and more cleaning companies are opening every single day.
Whatever type of sanitation business you are looking to set up, it’s a good idea to take an…Read More
Running a commercial carpet cleaning company is filled with challenges. In fact, there are a multitude of items you need to be aware of if you want to become a leading business that people will turn to for professional help.
As the owner or manager, it’s crucial that your staff are equipped…Read More
Having a carpet can be an expensive investment. One wrong move in your cleaning practice, and you could permanently damage it and say goodbye to hundreds of dollars’ worth of money in an instant.
At Advanced Specialized Equipment, we want you to take proper care of your floor coverings, so we’ve…Read More
Carpet cleaning can drive anyone crazy. Especially when a huge cranberry juice stain is staring right back at you and you have to clean it all by yourself before the afternoon guests arrive in an hour or two. On top of that, your carpet cleaning equipment (a.k.a. 20-year old vacuum cleaner) decides…Read More
As I write this, Grant who would normally attend to these duties is in the USA, he is currently in Nashville at the RSA training academy.
Yes he is preparing the new syllabus for the all new WATER DAMAGE CLASS / STRUCTURAL DRYING Restoration class.
At ITI we work very closely with the academy and Dri-Eaz, as we have for some 17 years now.
Just for interest Grant has been an instructor for some 20 years now and as he says time fly’s when you are having fun.
That brings me to the subject that I want to share with you, Training in the CLEANING & RESTORATION BUSINESS, which when done properly is fun and very rewarding financially and professionally when you understand it , and getting great training is where it starts .
With the risk of retelling a story, which some off you would have no doubt have heard.
Some years ago when we first got started in this business I had a chap tell me that all you had to do was clean some carpet and people would refer you to their friends, and best of all you would probably finish work at around lunch time.
Well as the story goes I worked hard at the business and found that lunch time never came and sometimes I had to work late into the night.
Referrals did come and I also found that we got extra work from the customers that we were working for, but it was hard labour, simply because I really didn’t know what I was doing.
Stranger still, the further I went with the business the harder it got, it was clear that something had to change. At about this this time a chap from an American franchise group, happened to come along and spoke with both my wife Robyn and I and in simple terms said that if we we’re serious about the business, we needed to get trained in all facets of the cleaning & restoration business.
Question was where did you go? There was no industry training in Australia to be found and then he said we got our knowledge in the USA. That was a frightening thought, just thinking of going to America for training.
What about the cost?
How can we take the time away from the business?
He then said a few words that we will forever remember
“YOU CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO GET THE TRAINING”
So with those few words, a leap of faith was created, taking 10 days to visit the USA to attend a training class, visit industry operators, we came away, refreshed, a lot of new knowledge in not just the cleaning but also business.
All of the things that we learnt fell into place and our customer base grew quickly and they were the correct customers for our business.
From there we have been huge believers in high quality training. Can you imagine trying to fly an plane or being a Doctor without training, of course not, so how could you expect to be successful in this industry without the necessary education.
Today there is great industry training on offer in Australia and it is easy to get and If you will take a little advice from a happy old man who just loves this industry,
“Go and Get as much information as you can. Practice sharing your business with your customers, ask for referrals, and most of all enjoy your business”.
So how do you get the best quality practical training classes?
ITI (INTERACTIVE TRAINING INTERNATIONAL) PRESENT TRAINING IN OUR OWN TRAINING CENTRES IN Brisbane and Sydney.
Where we have the only certified industry training house in the southern hemisphere, not bad for an Australian Company.
This year is our parent Company’s silver jubilee year, 25 years and so to celebrate the event, we want everyone to benefit.
So we are offering an ITI cleaning class of your choice for a maximum of two people from each company for only $150.00 per person, which equates to a saving of $745.00 per person ,we will be limiting the numbers per class so be quick.
All classes are full ITI Classes; all students will receive lunch and morning & afternoon teas for the duration of the class.
For current ITI members you will need to have your 2014 registration fully paid to take advantage of this great offer.
So which classes are available?
Combined Carpet and Fine Furnishings and Leather.
This gives you the ITI Advanced Carpet Care and Advanced Fine Fabric, Leather and Curtain Cleaning.
You still get the great ITI level of teaching, but in one class instead of two, saving you over 3 days of time and $895.00.
Hard Floor Surfaces
Fire and Smoke Restoration
Specialised classes such as the MOULD and RUG CLEANING class will all be offered this year, in fact Dick Driscoll will be out here in September for one of his world renowned.
Mould Remediation School. Get in quick as numbers are limited, the cost of this class is $1495.00 per person.
Also check out are newly combined Water and Structural Drying class, 5days of intense learning theory and practical base. Remember we have the only flood house in the Southern Hemisphere.
Training has never been this easy. We want you to benefit and help us celebrate 25 years of service to the industry.
Some of the member benefits are:
At ITI we answer a massive amount of questions from all over the country and New Zealand from people who need help, this is a huge benefit to ITI members so don’t forget this service all you have to do is call 1800 068901 and best of all it free to all ITI members.
Don’t forget the web site all ITI members are listed by state with all of your certifications there for prospective clients to see.
I like to compare our industry to the medical profession , a doctor charges a fee of say $70-$80 per visit , but when you visit the specialist the fee for the visit is sometimes $450 -$500, so why would you not be a specialist in this industry.
I guess that this is the reason we spend a lot of time and funds getting new information and training.
ITI has available several new brochures all ready for you to use, they cover the following:
Introduction brochures with a difference
Thank you Cards
All you have to do is put your details on the back cover with a stamp and they are ready to go.
Call today and get a few now they are inexpensive.
We look forward to seeing you in the training room, have a great day.
Here are also a few tips that could help you along the way:
TIP 1: Speaking with your customers.
How long is it since you have complemented a customer on the way in which they look after their home? There is times where the customer may be a little wary of you, this could be from previous experience or just unsure of a new technician in their home.
Complementing the customer on their priced possession, being their house can bring comfort to them and a more willing customer to advice. Don’t fake it, as they will see right through you.
I have seen this done and done it myself, where a customer has been difficult and with this simple compliment has become a most willing and great return customer.
TIP 2: Marketing
When next you are delivering brochures to you area, try putting the brochure on the front door and not in the letter box
Most people check their mail box open the mail and dump the brochures and junk mail. Whereas the brochure on the door will be read and so the percentage of success has increased just with a slight alteration.
TIP 3: Tell them about yourself
Whilst talking to you customer, take time out to explain your services to them.
You will be amazed just what extra services you will sell, and whilst at it ask to book other services in another month, because sometimes they won’t have the budget to purchase all services in one day.
It is amazing how many businesses assume the customer knows what they do.
ITI MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS:
It is that time of the year when the renewal of our memberships become due, we are a little late with getting the renewals out to you, however once paid you will receive your NEW 2014 CERTIFICATE and your new card.
All invoices will be e-mailed separately.
We are all looking forward to working with you all again this year and trust that what we may assist in some way.
We certainly wish you all the successes possible and trust that you have a great year.
On behalf of the ITI team
“Cleanliness is next to godliness.”
We’ve heard this line so many times it’s hard to argue whether it’s true or not. But let’s face it. Cleaning isn’t exactly on top of everybody’s “fun-to-do”…Read More
When I was asked to write a piece for INCLEAN
about training and its benefits, this started to
conjure my memory of all the previous schools
that I had sat in, some good and some not so good;
and classes that I have taught over the years, again
some good and not so good.
It made me think of the benefits I had taken out of the classes and
what had helped me in business and what hadn’t.
The conclusion I came to was that every training class I sat in or taught,I had increased my knowledge greatly.
At the end of the day, I took the training course
for what it really is – an invaluable learning experience.
We can become very naïve working in the cleaning industry and
readily forget how times change and with that technology changes
We forget that as change occurs, and for the hope of betterment
to everybody, that processes and systems also alter as equipment
standards and educational based standards increase.
It is interesting to speak to people who have done particular training
course a few – or many – years ago and when there’s the option to
re-train, the response is: “I have already done that one”.
Even though the information may not have altered a great deal, what you take from the class may be priceless.
I have the enjoyment of being able to see both people and their
businesses grow through education and have noticed that the ones
who come back over the years for more training tend be the businesses
which are growing and succeeding.
This does not end with the owners of the business; as they are the ones who train their staff.
In their own rights, staff are an investment for all businesses and if
the staff are invested in progressively then the flow-on effects for the
growth of the business is exponential.
With any investment we want to make sure that money is utilised
wisely and correctly. We don’t have the funds to just throw away for
the fun of it.
As with any investment, there has to be a return. This
means making the right choices in staff is critical.
One of my mentors who I considered family was a gentleman by
the name of Ralph Bloss, and he used to say, “change is inevitable,
growth is optional”.
This has always remained close to my heart and is
a poignant reminder that no matter what, change will happen.
It is up to us if we want to change and grow too, or remain stagnant.
People have always been scared of change; which is a perfect point
in proving the benefits of training.
Through training schools we talk about the reason for change, we show the reason for change and we offer the benefits of change.
Whether it is learning how to use more efficient equipment,
practices or systems; how to market better to your customers or a
clearer way of looking at your work or business as a whole, training
schools can help you to look at things differently.
Sometimes for the good and sometimes not so good, but it motivates you to be thinking about your business rather than letting it flow on its own merry way.
I am always surprised when we have somebody who has been in
business for a long time and they are concerned that it’s not going in the
right direction but, when offered a solution of training or sitting down
with somebody to evaluate their business, the answer is I’m too busy or
I can’t afford it.
Maybe they really are or can’t, but if the business isn’t improving then it’s
time to change so they can’t afford not to make time or find the budget.
So, while the benefits of training may differ for each individual, the
reality is that we need to continually update our knowledge, alter our
systems and change our ways because as Ralph would say, change is
inevitable, growth is optional.
*Grant Hickey is managing director of Advanced Specialized Equipment,
Here’s a plan for a very frustrating challenge.
By Steve Marsh from Cleanfax Magazine
February 07, 2013
The fear of spots reappearing after cleaning a carpet haunts many technicians. Cleaners work hard to please customers, but are then frustrated when they receive a call informing them that spots have returned.
If returning spots are a mystery, it can be embarrassing to not be able to explain it to customers. Understanding what causes them is vital to confidently communicating with consumers.
A spot-clean warranty can help keep lines of communication open. In most cases, these spots are not the fault of the cleaner.
What is causing spots to come back? There are four reasons spots seem to return.
1. Improper cleaning
There are some ways that cleaners can cause this problem. Improper cleaning procedures can create an environment in which spots reappear.
First, some spills can saturate carpet yarns down to the backing. If the cleaner fails to do a thorough and deep cleaning of the spot, the dirt is only removed from the surface portion of the yarns. The deep soil can now rise to the surface during the drying process, causing the spot to appear to return.
Second, the problem may stem from spotting agents which require special rinsing. If the proper procedures are not followed, a sticky residue can be left in the carpet. In this case, the original spill has been removed but the cleaning agent left behind is now the cause of re-soiling.
2. Consider the source
Some consumer spills can penetrate beyond the face fibers and into the carpet backing and pad. In this situation, even though the face fibers are thoroughly cleaned, the source for re-soiling lies beyond the reach of standard maintenance cleaning procedures. A portion of the original spill is still present and can come to the surface, causing a problem. Common examples of this are pet urine or oil spills.
Unless the customer informs the cleaner that a deep penetrating spill has occurred, there is no reason for the cleaner to anticipate a problem. It is otherwise reasonable for cleaners to assume that if the face fibers are clean, then he has successfully accomplished his job.
3. Sticky spots
There are certain spills and products that in of themselves are not visible but are sticky and collect dirt. The visible spot is not the original spill or product, but the soil it collects.
Here again, unless the cleaner is informed of the more complicated nature of the spot, it is reasonable to assume the problem is resolved when it can no longer be seen.
A common example is when consumers use inappropriate products to clean their own carpet. These products may clean the original spot but then leave an invisible sticky residue causing spots to return.
4. New spills
In some cases, there is no re-soiling problem. What gives the illusion of a returning spot is actually a new spill.
Consumers often cannot account for what caused the original spots. It is possible to clean the carpet properly and still have the source of the spots continue to produce new ones.
A common example of this is when a child wanders the house dripping apple juice on the carpet. The apple juice spills are not detected, but over the next few days dirt from dust in the air or from shoes will bond with the sticky drip spots and become noticeable.
For most cleaners, unless there was a failure to follow standard cleaning procedures, returning spots are booby traps. The technician did not cause them and cannot reasonably be expected to know that a problem existed.
There should be no feelings of failure on the part of the person who properly cleaned the carpet. Unless the cleaner was the cause of the problem, an apology is not appropriate.
Explaining booby traps
However, it is the cleaner’s responsibility to explain these situations to customers. It is important to stay calm and professional. Keep in mind that the problem was previously unknown.
Now that the problem has been revealed, appropriate questions can be asked to determine what is causing it. Once the cause is found, a plan can then be formulated to solve it.
Many of these cases can be avoided with a thorough pre-inspection and customer interview for each client before a cleaning.
Good questions can expose many of these situations prior to cleaning. Is the consumer aware of what caused the existing spots? What spot cleaning solutions have been used? Are there pets that could cause spots? Have there been any previous instances of spots coming back?
A spot that returns is always inconvenient. Attempting to avoid the truth of this problem will result in unhappy customers. A professional cleaner should always be on the lookout for these situations.
Even though it takes additional effort to resolve these problems, they create opportunities to demonstrate expertise and professionalism.
Spot cleaning warranty
Consumers are uncomfortable if they feel they must complain to solve this problem. They often tolerate it until the next time they need a cleaner. Unfortunately, they will probably choose a different company.
Offering a 30 or 60 day spot-cleaning warranty helps customers feel more comfortable informing you of these situations. It is worth going out of the way to resolve these issues once and for all to avoid losing a good customer.
Reappearing spots are a part of the cleaning business. Realizing they are often booby traps instead of the fault of the cleaner helps provide a strong and professional position from which to solve them.
Cleaners will still have to face the inconvenience of dealing with a problem they did not create, but understanding what caused it makes the process go smoother.
Steve Marsh is the creator of the Be Competition Free Marketing Program. He is a 30-year veteran of the carpet cleaning industry, an IICRC-approved instructor and a Senior Carpet Inspector. Marsh is a marketing and business consultant who provides a turn-key program for attracting better customers. For more information, log on to www.BeCompetitionFree.com.