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

Customer satisfaction
Posted by stevej (stevej), 26 January 2004
I'm new to this game (first post - great forum!!). How often does everybody get dissatisfied customers (never they all shout!) - are peoples expectations sometimes too high.
I cleaned a filthy old playroom carpet covered in stains (spent 1.50hours on stains) - looked ok -milion times better than when I started and customer seemed happy enough. Had to go back to look at small problem in another room and customer expressed disatisfaction with playroom. Have agreed to clean it again (she's a neighbour!)
Do you often turn down jobs because you know you will be fighting a losing battle or are you always confident that you can do enough to keep the customer satisfied.  
Posted by woodman (woodman), 26 January 2004
Hi Steve

welcome to the forum you will enjoy your time on here I am sure.

This is the age old problem steve, customer expectations and your magic wand not performing as the customer expected Roll Eyes

In answer to your question you might be surprised to know that experienced cleaners do infact get very few complaints, this is because we would have inspected nearly every job before hand and if,like in your instance, it was obvious there could  be a problem we would get a pre- understanding with the customer and if thats not acceptable then your right I might turn it down (although I can't remember the last time we turned away a job for this reason)

With your job I would have informed her of the likely outcome and taken the job on that basis, if after there is a complaint and it's justified then I would clean again.If it's clear that there would be no benefit from an additional clean as I had achieved all that I possibly could, then it's pay up time I'm afraid.     Wink

Posted by Northerclean (Alex), 26 January 2004
Hi Steve,

Welcome aboard fella.

With regards to your problem explain to the customer you canít guarantee 100% to remove a stain, however, youíll do your best. I say the same about a carpet or upholstery dependant on how soiled it is.

I always (when possible) show the customer a cleaned area so they can visually see the difference that I'm making, once the carpets/upholstery is cleaned I also show them my dirty bucket before it goes down the loo this way they know how much muck has come out of the item. Get them to inspect the items before you pack away this way the customer is confirming youíve done your job and it's invoice time.

Hope this helps


Posted by squeaky (squeaky), 26 January 2004
Hi Steve,
I will always tell a customer if I am unsure about removing a stain 100%
I tell them that if a CC tells them that they can remove all stains that they are not being entirely honest.

It is better to be honest from the outset , if the stains come out all the better,but do not guarantee it.

Hope this helps

Posted by Les (Les), 26 January 2004
I would agree with all the above comments.
Is there an old saying "under promise and over deliver"?
Well there is now if there wasn't already Wink
I sometimes take a before during and after photo with the old digital camera to show the difference to a customer, ( handy for the old portfolio too ).
Showing the filthy water is also a good idea.. and I normally say I'll have to charge an extra tenner not to tell the neighbours Grin
Posted by Dave_Parry (Dave Parry), 26 January 2004
Hi Steve, Unlike the others, I always tell the customer That I cannot guarante 100% removal of ANY stain, but that I will do my best to get rid of it. I tend to call it stain improvement. Provided you know what the stain is and the customer has not tried any home brewed removal techniques you have a good chance of it going away and you smelling of roses. But you never can be 100% sure. If it was easy everyone would be doing it!!
Posted by Northerclean (Alex), 27 January 2004
Hi Dave,

Not to sure how you've read the post but I'm pretty sure we're all saying we can't 100% guarantee to remove a stain.

I think it's good that we're all telling the customer the correct thing and that we're professionals and not some quick fix in and out 2bob cleaners.

Posted by ALEXDH (ALEXDH), 27 January 2004
I am very new to this game, so take my comments with a pinch of salt if you like but I have found delight to be contageous, if that makes sense ,

Whenever the customer has caught my eye, all of them have sneaked a peak so far while i am working I say , i really can't believe how well this is coming up well  beyond my own expectations or similar I say again at the end also before they get a word in, I think as with all things we want to be happy.

If you tell them they should be happy enough times they will be.

Perhaps I am full of it and have just been lucky so far. ask me again in six months.
Posted by stevej (stevej), 27 January 2004
Thanks for all of your replies. I went on the Prochem course and they did stress that you should always tell the customer that you cannot guarantee to completely remove any stain(s).
I've made it my new resolution to tell all customers with dodgy stains or filthy carpets that they cannot expect them to look like new when I've finished.
It seeems to me that the average customer does not think about having their carpet cleaned until it is so bad that they only have two choices - get a carpet cleaner to produce a miracle or replace the carpet!!
As an aside I'm typing this on a computer that one hour ago a computer repair man told me was totally knackered and would not even start. Then tried to sell me pathetic low spec machine for £250!!
At least you can trust a carpet cleaner!!!!!!!!!
Posted by martin_606 (martin_606), 27 January 2004

Welcome to the forum and the world of cleaning.

the first words out of my mouth are..

''I cannot guarantee the stains''


''It's good but it's not Jesus in a bottle''

Qualify before every job and save yourself a lot of hassle.


Martin Cool
Posted by strakercleaning (strakercleaning), 27 January 2004
The 'jesus in a bottle' is a great line Grin
.......its not got a tm or copyright on it Wink
Posted by Ivar_Haglund (Ivar_Haglund), 28 January 2004
Under promise and over deliver

works every time

IVAR Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue
Posted by martin_606 (martin_606), 28 January 2004
Feel free to use it.

It usually get a giggle and breaks the ice.


Martin Cool

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