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

Water etiquette

Posted by ALEXDH (ALEXDH), 18 October 2003
Hi gentleman

Do you take your own water to the jobs you do or is it acceptable to use the customers sink tap.

Strange question perhaps but my girlfreind is giving me 20 questions on why i want to spend the holiday money on setting up a carpet cleaning business and I can't answer them all.


Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 18 October 2003

If I did not use the  domestic customers sink tap I would have to invent another reason to stand excuse to stand arround & chat for  a few minutes.

This time is spent catching up with family news with an established client (I normaly will know many of their relatives) and with the rare newby it is the casual get-to-know-you stage.

It is an ideal time to establish the clients' main concerns regarding the clean.

Next comes the walk-through and survey, which is more business-like, then I gently make the point that the 'socialising' is over - I have a job to get on with!

Remember that, the less of a stranger you are, the more comfortable most people will be about you wandering around their home.

Regards & good luck,


Posted by ALEXDH (ALEXDH), 18 October 2003
thanks for that , i assumed you chaps probably did . but as i am a newby to all this.

Thanks for the other tips too.

All the best


Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 18 October 2003
Concidering you'll probably want hot water its best to get it stright from the hot tap in the customers house.

if your girlfriends giving you grief over becoming a carpet cleaners get rid of her Grin there's plenty more fish in the sea,  and  nothing turns a woman on more that a man with a 12inch tool ( floor tool that is Wink)

Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 19 October 2003
Hi Guys and Gals

I 'never' take any cleaning equipment into a house or commercial property until I have completed the initial survey. If I have previously seen the job I still follow this procedure before the commencement of any cleaning.

As John says.. this time of social intercourse with the customer is so important in building and cementing good relationships with a customer.

Posted by carpet_bright (carpet_bright), 19 October 2003
On the subjes tof water I have to agree with John. I always use the customers water and usually this opportunity breaks the ice. Great time to encourage that needy cup of tea too  Wink
I also like to show the customer the waste water and identify how dirty the carpet actually was. This id a good time to blag a return visit in 6 months time  Grin

Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 20 October 2003
Hi Alex

Folowing on from what DB and others have already said, I've coined a phrase for the time spent at the sink chatting to madam, I call it "Kitchen sink marketing". This is a facet of our industry that many cannot grasp, ie one of the most important things you can give to your customer is Your Time

As for the protocol, I will always ask if madam has a utility room with a sink, and if not if it's ok to use the kitchen. I would only reluctantly use a bathroom tap as I leave my machine downstairs. I do occasionally take (hot) water with me if there is a known supply problem on site. I'll take it in 20 or 25 litre containers. A larger volume of water stays warm longer. If you wrap the container in an old jacket or similar, it will retain it's heat for several hours. Decant into a bucket as the container may "glug" causing considerable spillage. ALWAYS dispose of waste and surplus fresh solutions water down a toilet (prefered) or foul drain. NEVER into a storm drain, whether in the street or around the house. The fines are considerable.

It's always very nice to show a customer the dirty water from your machine, but when you've clocked up a few more years in the industry, you seem to take it for granted. But be careful. Madam may have had the carpets cleaned before and the recovered solution may have looked like Guiness. You may come along and by doing proper and thorough pre-vacuumiing, there may not be as much visible soil in the water so it may cause concern if she initially thinks you haven't done as "good" a job as the previous tech.
Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 21 October 2003

As an 'add on' to the 'Marigold Man' (Kenneth) I would like to say that not all customers, usually its a lady, like to see the dirty water as it causes some embarrassment.
If a situation like this occurs I always say..." But you have had your carpets cleaned, when did your neighbours have their's done?
Probably never! but it makes my client feel better that she is one up on the neighbours.
Really marketing is all about playing 'mind games' with customers and potential customers isn't it?

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 21 October 2003
This is why I always carry a carton of gravy powder on all jobs, if the water is'nt looking dirty anough I just sprinkle a bit in the bucket, Hey-spresto the customer sees the water and think she got value for money Wink

Derek if you want to play 'mind games' with your customer try changing your tie half way through a job or if its an elderly customer tell them they are lucky, "you don't normally work on a weekend" this works especialy well when said on a Wednesday Grin

Posted by acleanerplace (acleanerplace), 21 October 2003
good morning
all customers give you use of their water faciltes when cleaning for them
any other queries concerning this or other issues please do not hesitate to contact me

mike collins
Posted by pre-vac_Nick (pre-vac_Nick), 21 October 2003
The problem i come across is hot water in properties which are unoccupied, i  use a prochem heater bucket which heats up 25ltrs of water to 65 degrees, well handy Cheesy

Also if you do commuinal areas in flats for instance i fill up my old 5ltr containers at the local petrol garage and then heat up on site!!

Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 21 October 2003
Hey Mike

I said 'play with their minds' NOT give them a heart attack.  
Gravy powder indeed.....

Posted by jimmy (jimmy), 21 October 2003
Hi mike

I was wondering any particular make of gravy?
as I am new to this game should I be buying it in bulk?

Jimmy Cheesy
Posted by woodman (woodman), 21 October 2003
Don't listen to him Jimmy he's just stirring it Grin
Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 21 October 2003
We're not as sophisticated here in the Midlands compared with our Rugby League friends  up north. We still use Oxo cubes and cornflower so  it would look suspicious crumbling one into a bucket and stirring in the cornflower. Wink Wink Wink
Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 22 October 2003
on 10/21/03 at 19:20:48, woodman wrote:
Don't listen to him Jimmy he's just stirring it Grin

'Course he's stiring - as a true pro he knows it goes lumpy if you don't ! Cheesy


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