What do customers want most from their carpet care solution? Are they seeking a thorough deep clean, or would they prefer a cheap quick fix – and how important are factors such as hygiene, efficiency and sustainability to today’s clientele?
Most of us would prefer to walk on a clean carpet than a scuffed, stained one that is decidedly the worse for wear. And a pristine floor covering will inevitably give us a better impression of an office, hotel or restaurant than a carpet spotted with unsightly drink or food stains.
So ensuring the carpets are clean and well maintained is an important aspect of facility management. However, the term ‘carpet cleaning’ covers a wide range of options. What does the average customer actually expect from their carpet cleaning technician? Are most of them in search of a deep-cleaning solution that will completely renovate the carpet and remove all soiling? Or do clients generally want a quick fix that will simply leave the carpet looking slightly better than it did before?
The answer to this depends very much on the environment in which the carpet is situated. For example, a good result will usually be required for an end-of-tenancy cleaning operation, but the client will often be happy with a carpet that merely has an improved appearance in preparation for the new tenant moving in.
However in some offices, such as those situated in industrial locations, the carpets will require a major overhaul in order to rejuvenate them. But carpet cleaning is like any service industry and the professional carpet cleaner will want to give clients full value for money and provide the best possible result for the amount charged.
Commercial clients tend to wait until their floor coverings have become heavily soiled before contacting a technician and asking them to “clean the carpet”. This can lead to difficult conversations because while the carpet may be capable of being cleaned, it will probably not be possible to clean it as quickly nor as cheaply as the client expects.
Some of our technicians have been asked by a client to ‘refresh’ a carpet that is described as being ‘not that dirty’. However when they turn up at the property ,a whole new conversation needs to ensue because the carpets are so heavily soiled that only a complete renovation or restoration will rescue them.
Factors such as cost-effectiveness, sustainability and cleaning efficiency all need to be weighed up by the customer when choosing a carpet care system. The cost-effectiveness of the carpet cleaning products themselves should be a definite consideration, and many customers will also bear in mind the higher dilution ratios of the products as well as the quality of the raw materials used in the blend.
Key to operational efficiency is the type of cleaning method selected. Most carpet cleaners prefer to use a hot water extraction system and will opt for this solution throughout their careers. But to apply such a system on an entire open-plan office floor would be time-consuming, expensive and back-breaking.
Alternative carpet-cleaning methods such as bonnet cleaning, shampooing and encapsulation are more cost-effective when cleaning larger floor areas. The office manager needs to be involved in the discussion from the start and be made to understand that he or she should not rely on a one-off clean every few years.
Besides a concern for efficiency and productivity, many of today’s customers also consider sustainability when choosing a carpet maintenance system. Enquiries for sustainable products have increased over the past few years, but a sustainable clean can often be carried out without actually changing the carpet cleaning method. Instead it might be that the regularity of the clean should be discussed and the client should be advised to lean more towards regular maintenance.
However, periodic maintenance is most effective when considered as part of a schedule to improve the visual appearance and to extend the life of a carpet, particularly in areas of heavy traffic.
It is all too easy to ignore the importance of bridging the gap between daily maintenance and the need to deep-clean carpets. A decision to wait until the carpet has deteriorated into a very poor condition is a false economy.
While it is clear that efficiency, cost-effectiveness and sustainability are all key requirements for today’s carpet care customers, it is impossible to ignore the elephant in the room. The advent of Covid-19 has changed the shape of the world and led to a far greater focus on factors such as hygiene and safety. So, how will this impact on carpet cleaning?
TheCovid-19 pandemic will result in an increased demand for hygienic cleaning. We use products such as D500 MICROSAN biocidal cleaner to be effective against viruses such as Covid-19 while B125 CLENSAN multi-surface biocidal sanitiser can kill a range of bacteria and viruses including the norovirus.