5 questions you should always ask a carpet cleaning company (and 5 questions a carpet cleaner should be asking you)
1. Will you provide a quote in writing prior to commencement of any work?
A quote should always include price, a scope of works, a work guarantee including conditions, reference to appropriate insurances, and should include reference to relevant qualifications and certifications.
If you have a quote in writing ahead of the day, it also means you will not be surprised by so called ‘bait and switch’ tactics when you have responded to a very inexpensive carpet cleaning rate (often on a flyer or in a newspaper advert), only to hear on the day “It’s going to be an extra $60 (or much more) because…(place your favourite excuse here)”
2. Do you have formal industry training and carry certification, and may I see proof?
Basic industry training and formal certification is relatively easily obtained, yet very few carpet cleaners hold any form of certification. A certified carpet cleaner should know what they are cleaning, follow best practice, get better results and know what to do when things don’t go to plan. The certification you need to ask for is called the “Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification”, or IICRC.
3. What process(es) do you recommend and what are the steps involved and equipment involved?
There are many different cleaning processes offered by different cleaning companies. The exact process is often dictated by a cleaner’s equipment list, but it really should be dictated by your unique situation. There will always be one particular cleaning method that is most appropriate for your cleaning job.
4. How long will the work take?
Whilst every situation is different and therefore time taken may vary greatly, one thing is true for all jobs – spending enough time on a job is absolutely critical to the end result. If a carpet cleaner is not prepared to allow adequate time to do what they say they will, then your result may be compromised, and avoidable mistakes and accidents may occur.
5. What guarantees do you offer?
If you are not happy with the result, you need to be confident that you have some recourse for correcting issues. A good guarantee offers a return to correct and then if you are still not pleased then a money back offer. After one attempt to correct issues a good carpet cleaning company will have been able to correct any problems and should not have to return again. A reputable cleaning company will always allow you to recover your investment if you are still not happy.
And 5 questions a carpet cleaner should be asking you
Here are five questions we always ask when we are asked to assess a cleaning job. And one question we never need to ask! Make sure that when you interview a carpet cleaning company that they ask you these five questions. Otherwise you are almost guaranteed not to get the best job.
1. What is the situation that requires carpet cleaning?
There are many reasons why carpet cleaning may be required – is this a tenant property vacating or is it a clean for aesthetic or other reasons? Sometimes a person may require cleaning for more specific reasons such as allergy reduction (cleaning for health), or stain removal.
Not very many carpet cleaners are able to offer specialised services due to either a lack of knowledge, or not having the right equipment or the appropriate chemicals. A quality service provider will be well connected and will be able to refer you to (or work with) the right company that can give you the best results.
2. Are there any specific areas of concern?
Whether it is your home, your office or your commercial premises, you are there for a large part of the day and you know what bugs you the most! If a carpet cleaner doesn’t address these specific issues for you, you may feel the process was not worth the effort.
3. How long (if ever) has it been since you had your carpets cleaned?
If you did have them cleaned, were you satisfied with the job? Do you remember the processes involved? How long did it remain “clean” for? By understanding the cleaning history (or lack of), a quality carpet cleaner will be able to make the right recommendations regarding what’s required to make sure you get the best service possible resulting in a cleaner, healthier and longer lasting clean.
4. Do you have any family members with allergies or asthma?
There are fantastic products available to help minimise the impact of household irritants for allergy and asthma sufferers. It is very important however that cleaners are qualified to use them (and you should ask).
These products have been proven to be helpful in reducing the effects of such conditions (please ask us for more information). Also some standard chemicals used in carpet cleaning may cause irritation to sufferers and those affected should not be present while cleaning is being carried out.
An example of this is the use of deodorants. Deodorising in a standard carpet cleaning situation is unnecessary, as the process of cleaning itself should remove odours. We only use deodorants on request and then we only use plant-based natural deodorisers.
5. Would you like to know what processes we use, or do you have any other questions about our processes or other services?
We want our customers to know they are in capable hands, as any good carpet cleaning company would want to. We invite questions, inspections of our equipment and we want to be confident that customers are aware of both advantages and possible disadvantages of different services and products.
You are in a much better position to compare different services and service providers when you have an understanding of the cleaning processes themselves.
“And there’s one question we never need to ask.” says Elite franchisee for Brisbane Bayside, Steve Buttigieg. “ ‘What sort of carpet is this?’ Any cleaner asking this question is not worth his salt! All good carpet cleaners should know very quickly what type of carpet they are dealing with after a short inspection. They shouldn’t need to ask!”