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Marketing & Advertising / Carpet Care / Sales & Marketing
March 2014 Single Truck Success

How Do High-Priced Companies Do It?

Adding a few ‘extras’ makes all the difference.

March 03, 2014
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Have you ever wondered how some companies can charge the high prices that they do in a competitive market?

For consumers who want a better experience, high-priced cleaners provide something other companies don’t. Many people will gladly pay more for services if <photocredit>ThinkStock/Iromaya Images</photocredit>they will be treated as special and can avoid problems and inconveniences.

Successful, high-priced companies have been able to persuade consumers of their ability to offer this higher caliber of service and then consistently provide what they promised.

It’s the little things

The magic is in understanding the importance of detail. Too often, companies allow the fine points of service to slip, thus lowering their perceived value.

Most companies focus nearsightedly on cleaning and lose sight of the other important aspects of service that make customers happy. They often don’t realize how little oversights, such as being late, not returning calls, having dirty equipment or bumping walls while cleaning can irritate customers.

More expensive companies create systems that ensure customers do not experience such irritations.

Add a few extras

Greater customer satisfaction is achieved by including a few strategic extras.

Adding easy and low-cost things that other companies leave off can transform a good service into an outstanding experience. The following are some tried and true favorites.

Lost and found bags

A small zip-top bag with a company-branded “lost and found” label can make a big impact. When small items turn up during cleaning, it is common for cleaning techs to place them on a nearby table top. But, instead, they can create a notable event by placing those items in a lost-and-found bag to be left with the invoice.

This added step communicates three high-value messages that are otherwise challenging to communicate to customers. The first is that you are honest. The second is that you care about the details. And third, you have systems in place to take care of these details.

This creates a substantial increase in value at an investment of about one dollar and a couple of minutes of your time.

Information sheets

Customers are impressed if you can hand them informative, printed articles when special topics and discussions arise related to your work. Examples of relevant topics can include:

  • Why carpet buckles after cleanings.
  • Why spots return.
  • The importance of restoring protector
  • Explanations about pile reversal.

Obviously, there are many others.

Information sheets should be educational and not read like a marketing tool. People appreciate receiving quality information relevant to their situation. Providing information sheets sets you apart from other companies. You get the credit for being concerned about the details and being prepared.

Booties

Leave shoe covers for each family member upon completion of a job. Booties allow customers to feel comfortable using their freshly cleaned carpet sooner. This extra service demonstrates that you are concerned about getting the family back to normal quickly while keeping their carpets looking good.

Most booties are durable and have an extended life beyond your cleaning job.

Recommend that families save these booties so that they may offer them to other service company workers to prevent them from tracking dirt into their home. This positions you well in comparison to other service providers.

Groom the carpet

Many styles of carpet look better if groomed following a cleaning. For those styles, this step should not be neglected by mid- to high-end priced companies.

There is a difference of opinion as to how carpet should look following a grooming. Some companies intentionally use a saw-tooth pattern when grooming the carpet. This method emphasizes that the carpets have been freshly cleaned. Other companies groom using a smooth, finished appearance.

The style you choose represents your objective. If it is to make the carpet as if it was just professionally cleaned, then leaving a cleaning pattern is the way to go. But, your service is worth far more if you can make the carpet look like new instead of “just cleaned.”

I have yet to see a picture of a carpeted room in Better Homes and Gardens that had a cleaning pattern on it.

Spot and spill warranty

Offer an unconditional, 30-day warranty on your cleaning. Let clients know that you will return, at no charge, to treat any new or returning spots that may appear for 30 days following the job.

A spot and spill warranty has a greater impact than a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. Under a guarantee, consumers feel they must complain in order to report a reappearing spot. Most consumers would rather live with their disappointment than make that call.

Customers value the extra service option that comes with a warranty. Customers are amazed at your willingness to return, for free, to treat a new spot made after the cleaning. They are now more willing to let you know about a reappearing spot allowing you to fix what otherwise would have been a disappointment.

Few companies go high-end

There is nothing magical about the specific suggestions listed in this article.

If you desire to charge higher prices, then pay attention to the details. Most of your competitors think that more expensive companies get higher prices due to a greater cleaning ability. What they don’t understand is that the customers who are willing to pay more rarely allow their carpet to get very dirty.

Consumers care about and will pay more for a good experience that includes those little extras.

If you can master the details, you will earn the right to raise your prices. Provide a few extras, make sure your customers feel special, and ensure their total experience with your company consistently satisfies.

Business becomes more profitable when you realize that there is more to cleaning that just removing the dirt.

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.

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