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Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.

Raise your prices and tell your customers to BOGOF

Posted by woodman (woodman), 19 February 2004
Thats right I havn't gone mad,

Tell your customers to :
Ideal time for your price increase and offer a free clean as part of your Spring Clean sales drive.

Customer are allowed to feel good about the deal they've got while you have increased value and sales.

You know the type of thing HSL and Lounge cleaned
Bedroom FREE or ALL the walk in areas only of bedrooms free.
Suite cleaned Hall free etc etc Wink

Watch the value of your sales increase while losing the cheapo market at the same time.
Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 19 February 2004
sounds like a great idea, lets all treat our customers like thickos. because they are too stupid to realise that all we've done is increase our prices to cover the 'free cleaning'

I'm starting tomorrow Wink

Posted by pre-vac_Nick (pre-vac_Nick), 19 February 2004
me too Wink
Posted by Shaun_Ashmore (Shaun_Ashmore), 19 February 2004
it's like supermarket selling, buy one get one free. It works well everyone likes a bargain but will they expect it every time?

Stringent and short cut off dates may be 30 days maximum, and make sure you put your prices up first or you'll really cop it!

There is nothing wrong with a discount and rewarding your clientel for coming back to you, please remember it costs 7 times more to find a new client than an existing one so you can afford to pass along the saving when work is a little slow.

Posted by John_Flynn (John_Flynn), 19 February 2004
I'm for that 50% increase too 15p sq ft from tomorrow.

I'll send for you Mike when I need help.
Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_Gourlay), 20 February 2004

Have your overheads been dramatically reduced Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Huh Huh
Posted by squeaky (squeaky), 20 February 2004
I have special offers on all of the time,my regulars phone me and ask what I am doing at the moment 'on special offer'
It has always worked for me and the customers love it.
And what does it cost me if I am already set up at the customers property to do an extra room f.o.c. or teflon one room f.o.c. etc! and the customer is h a p p y ! !

Mark Grin Cheesy
Posted by Scots_cleaner (Scots_cleaner), 20 February 2004
hI Guys,

Do advertise yhese promos on your wbe site , paper or leaflets.

I did it on leaflets last year and got a good response Wink Wink

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 20 February 2004
Shaun, I keep meaning to post a topic about what i believe is a myth, that it costs 7 times more to find a new customer than keep an existing one.

Woodman, My opinion of BOGOF is tainted by seeing it all the time in bars around town, (buy one Redbull get another one free). the most important point with any special offer is, it has to be believeable if the customer thinks they are being mislead they will not go for it.

your past customers know your prices, if they see you offering a free bedroom clean but notice your other price has been increased by the same amount they will think you're ripping them off.

i like to offer free stain protector but i always qualify the special offer by explaining that

"we've just bulk purchace 50gl of our advanced stain gaurd solution at a very reduced price, so we are able to pass our saving onto you"

Put like this the customer will believe that they are getting the stain protector for free because i've told them why I can give it for free ( we've bulk purchaced it)

There endeth todays marketing lesson Wink


Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_Gourlay), 20 February 2004
Not being a terribly bright pupil.

Mark Squecky

How can you say teflon protection does not cost you anything.

The stuff I buy is quite expensive so unless you are charging above the National Average Price of £2.25m  I think its going to cost you.

Mike yes you are so rich just like Tescos you can operate loss leaders.
Posted by woodman (woodman), 20 February 2004
It is no myth that it costs several times more to obtain new customers than keep your existing ones, it's a fact.

Sorry Mike I don't understand your posting.

You say you give your customers the impression they are getting the stain proof for free because of bulk buying.
Then surely if you have not increased your prices to cover this then they are getting it for free and the value of your job has just gone down not up because you have bought it in at whatever the price and not passed on the cost in the work carried out  Undecided
Unless I am missing something of course.

As for BOGOF this is a tried and tested formula that works no matter what the industry,you say it's tainted because a pub does it,  why?

Your existing customers will at some point expect a raise in prices, this will soften the blow if they won't wear it move on.
The real point is you are aiming at obtaining  new customers at a proper price for the work carried out, the incentive being they are getting something for nothing, this time

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 20 February 2004
Because something is constantly quoted does not make it a fact,  when i get time I''l go into further detail why i don't believe this.

what you say about the free staingaurd is true the customer may be getting it for free but this still does'nt meen they believe they are getting it for free. most people don't believe in a free lunch they usually think the extra cost has been hidden in the price unless you explain why its free. You can still make extra money with this offer by increasing the job price by charging for your time in applying the protector.

I said my opinion of BOGOF is tainted, but I still think that most people never believe they are getting something for free ( unless they are very gullable).

We should have a vote:

who really believe they are getting one for free with BOGOF offers, or do we believe its just added into the price Wink Wink

as you say customers do expect price rises so why disguise it with phoney offers

Posted by Shaun_Ashmore (Shaun_Ashmore), 20 February 2004
I think it depends upon how you dress it up, if it's a real and genuine offer and coincides with a price increase then it in my book is an offer.

As for BOGOF don't use the words just 'dress it up' differently 50% off the price of 2 carpets being cleaned or something like that.

Statistics from the experts say it costs 7 times more to find a new client than an old one, I can see the point of view but I have not done the calculations only that clients call and book no selling or trying to impress or price shopping and just froma data base mailing and the take up rate is very high it keeps me 50% full all year.

Posted by lenpg (Len Gribble), 20 February 2004
Re BOGOF I have reservation regarding this we are in a service industry, you may see this in food stores but you defiantly will not see it in a PC World buy an ink cartage get one free both are manufactured along same line (volume the more you make the cheaper it becomes in some cases except consumables) but saying that the big cleaning companies work on a similar scenario volume (I wont go into the details of this)

The only free cleaning & I say cleaning I do, depends on the job say a lounge I will then run the wand over the hallway on my way out no pre spay, but if it’s a bedroom no way am I doing the HSL for free! Stain protection free I leave that down to the ½ people they probably uses water or fairy. I charge the going rate on what I buy the protection at!

Re bulk buying define this? Most customers know you are a one-man band as most cc.   Buying 4 cases of 4x5lts or 100 cases of 4x5lts from you Jan supplier you probably get a discount but it’s different to buying direct most chem. companies. These companies have agents if you are not one they may give a small discount, it’s not in there interest to sell to one to off’s as they know the independents like us do not buy in such volume. (This is not a knock against them)


Posted by Phil_@_Deep_Clean (Phil_@_Deep_Clean), 20 February 2004

Dose anyone on this board believe that you really get 50% of carpets @ Carpet rite or 1/2 price Hygina units from MFI.

Also dose anyone believe you get 0% credit on suites, Furniture or any Electrical items.

I dont believe a word of it, there's nothing for free, with interest free credit the interest is built into the price, as for Carpet rite and other retail companies I dont know how they get away with it.

Whats the point in giving offers anyway, iam sure over a 12 month period we get plenty of work, so why give money away, makes you look like a cheapo as well.

Posted by Shaun_Ashmore (Shaun_Ashmore), 20 February 2004
I think it depends on how you sell yourself and your service, discounts are probably the greatest way of getting your client to have their carpets cleaned when YOU want them too, but if marketed correctly can you can still maintain the high looking quality of your company.

ie a great % of my stock is imported from the US because of the strong pound against the dollar I am able to pass on this beneficial buying rate to my preferered clients.


STOP PRESS: due to bulk purchase of professional cleaning products for ever carpet you pay to be cleaned I am going to pay for 1 other of your carpets to be cleaned.

Just some examples

It's very close to what Mike said earlier but has the desired effect, personally 50% off or BOGOF is too great a discount but you can always play with the numbers to suit, I have heard of cleaners offering 5-10% off which I don't think will turn many heads although money off vouchers like £10 would probably be better.


Posted by Dave_Parry (Dave Parry), 20 February 2004
I've been offering free hall/stairs /landing when 2 rooms inc lounge cleaned. I find this works well, does'nt really cost anything, stairs dont usually have furniture on them so time to do is minimal. Customers think they are getting something for nothing and are happy.
Posted by Shaun_Ashmore (Shaun_Ashmore), 20 February 2004
It's a lot easier when you are TMed to offer discounts on multiple carpets as the set up is the same for one carpet or 100 carpets with hardly any fatigue and no running out of water and when you put the turbo in on the 1st carpet when you are doing the 3rd one your original room is dry!

Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_Gourlay), 20 February 2004
To do the hall stairs and landing takes your time.

I realise with a truck Mount you can work faster,but by offering this you are cutting your hourly rate.

Fine, but do not pretend you are getting £3 a metre when with all the free stuff you are probably back to £2.25

Note prices for illustration only.

How much to get a customer.

That would be an interesting debate Shocked Shocked Shocked
Posted by Dave_Parry (Dave Parry), 20 February 2004
Ian, was using a ninja when I did these offers. I accept that it does take a little time to do H/S/L but compared with lounges inc moving furniture etc its a small amount, and the customers (excepting bungalow'ers) like it.
Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_Gourlay), 20 February 2004

To be honest I do the same, but do it as a value added,

Either to sell when I visit, or if Ive solution left in the machine to illustrate to customer they got value for money.

However the offers by Carpet companies are usually bogus.

They just have a range of carpets some of which are on offer this week and others that are not.

They really sell those that are not as price is sky high for what you get.
And then they just keep swoping product around.

On  promotion off promotion
Posted by lenpg (Len Gribble), 20 February 2004
I use both t/m and a portable at the end of the day I want too earn a good living, I’m not into charities apart from my wife’s! One dose what, what one dose too earn a living, every marketing strategy has its place, sell your self short this will cost you in the long run!


Posted by Alan_Harrison (Alan_Harrison), 22 February 2004
I’VE JUST finished an analysis of our January sale promotion and I just thought that you might like to take a look. It was by far my biggest campaign. Remember that I am a rug retailer. Cleaning oriental rugs is just a part of what I do.
Draw your own conclusions
Sponsorship of Aladdin Pantomime.
Press coverage from my store, full page colour ad in the programme for 8 weeks, Logo’ everywhere, “Oh! Aladdin where did you get that magic carpet” line in the panto. Plus lots of other social events.
Cost about £3500.
Response………..2 definite sales

Quarter page colour ads in Period Homes and Country Living
Response…….. 2 definite sale 5 or 6 enquiries

Half page colour on local free paper (circ 98000) 3 consecutive weeks
Cost …….£1750
Response……… no more than 8 sales

Mailshot 4200 existing customers A5 full colour glossy postcard
Response……..100 to 120 definite sales

Overall the sale was successful. Turnover was more than double the normal. And I don’t think I finished work before 9pm. more than half a dozen times throughout January. It nearly killed me. I didn’t promote the cleaning in the sale but jobs doubled in the same period.
It clearly illustrates the high cost of getting new business. Those new customers are added to the database and should become high response customer over the next few years. Of the 4200 mailshot, 170 were returned by the post office as gone away. That’s why new customers are important.

As for BOGOF and other offers. That’s just Marketing. If you don’t do it you’ll always come second place. I haven’t a clue what my local cleaning operator charges so I wouldn’t know if I was getting a good deal or not. But if I saw an offer like that, I would certainly give the guy a chance to quote. So I pick him and one other out of the yellow pages……Looks like the BOGOF man gets a lead on the other 150 cleaners in the Yellow Pages I didn’t ring.

Hope this is helpful to some of you.

Posted by Shaun_Ashmore (Shaun_Ashmore), 22 February 2004
Respectfully I think selling a rug is different to cleaning them, I'll try and expand on this, mark up on a rug may exceed £100s to £1000s and larger advertising campaigns can be beneficial, although you may have to nurture your potential customer for may be 5 minutes or 6 months they perhaps never take up all of 1 day therefore you have the potential of selling as a figure 100 rugs in 1 day although repeat custom will not happen on as regular basis as cleaning would

As cleaners looking after your customer will relate to 6 monthly or 12 monthly cleans where as rug sales may only happen for replacement or redecoration or new furniture but as an average not on a 6-12 month basis, and as a service industry we get paid on hour time only so to make good money you want to make good time by charging your normal hourly rate on a regular basis where rug sales equations aren't really done by the hour.

I'm not sure where BOGOF comes into rug sales equations

I could go on but getting tired and I don't want to get accused of doing a Ken Wainwright

Posted by woodman (woodman), 23 February 2004
Hi Guys

A lot of interesting posts and info on the subject and a lot of contradictions.

Alan Harrison: I've just  realised I have been in your shop Smiley We must talk some time Wink

Your illustration is a perfect example of how  important it is to keep in touch with your existing customers the life blood of your business.

Mike you do BOGOF but just don't realise it, if your Stainguard is offered FREE but you raise your prices to apply it then 'it's buy my cleaning at increased price level and get something free'.Whats the difference?
Is yours a phoney offer ?

The whole point about this offer is to raise your prices to a realistic level (and keep them there) and give your customers a freebie at the same time, nothing wrong or immoral about that, it's business and were all in business to make a profit.

If you want to get the phones ringing and new customers on board then you have to market your business using all available tools. Wink

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