30 Nov Lonnie’s Place: Image Is Everything
This time in Lonnie’s Place, I thought we would briefly cover the topic of “image”. Image, you say? Yes, image (the downfall of many carpet cleaners). We will start with a quick inventory:
1. Your vehicle.
2. Your personal appearance.
3. Your equipment.
4. Your work.
5. Your invoices.
6. Your advertisements.
7. Your client relations.
There are more things we could cover, but this is a good start.
1. Your vehicle:
Your vehicle is the first impression that many people have of you. It should be kept cleaned and waxed. The inside should be neat and organized. It should have some form of professional lettering and/or advertisement on its sides. It should also be free of any dents and in good repair. Your vehicle sends both a visual and a subconscious image to the client of the type of job you will most likely perform.
2. Your personal appearance:
The old saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression!” is true. Body odor, bad hygiene, and unpressed clothes are big mistakes. A clean, pressed uniform displaying your name and some certifications go along way towards putting a new client’s fears to rest. New clients fear “the unknown”; we are an unknown factor to them.
3. Your equipment:
Your equipment is your livelihood. It should always be kept clean, shiny, and in good repair. A dirty or broken piece of equipment (due to lack of proper maintenance) projects a very bad image in the client’s home. The client will also judge you by what you bring into their home, so let that judgement be a positive one.
4. Your work:
The quality of your work speaks volumes! Do not “cut corners” (clean them instead!). Wipe down the baseboards and the backs of furniture and inform the client that you do this because you care. When you start the job, be organized. When you finish the job, walk the client back through for their final approval.
5. Your invoices:
You are a professional. Use a professional looking invoice with your company’s name, phone number, and physical address (NOT a P.O. Box!). A P.O. Box can lead new clients to think you are not an established, trustworthy company.
6. Your advertisements:
Your ads should always be in good taste. Likewise using a consistent “theme” that runs through all of your marketing material is a very good idea. By “consistent”, I mean (for instance), if you have a sign on your vehicle that shows a picture of a Chemstractor, then it is a good idea to have that image as part of your other advertisements. This allows people to recognize you quickly.
7. Client relations:
This is “the big one”. How you interact with your client is absolutely critical! For example, by showing concern for the areas they are concerned with and by following up with a walk-through to check those areas with them, shows that you do indeed care about their concerns. You really need to do this. Make that client a “cheerleader” for you! I know you can do it; make them love you!
I know there is so much more to building a “World Class” image than just these points, alone. However, I believe that thinking and executing on them will dramatically improve your image.
President/CEO of LeatherPro
Integrity Carpet Cleaning Inc.