A few weeks ago, as I do every year about this time, I began preparing for someone to come to my home and clean my carpet for the holidays. Over the years I have used several companies and until now had not found one to which I felt compelled to offer my customer loyalty. To be frank, my experience has been like a crap-shoot. Sometimes the carpet is clean; sometimes it is not at all. I can never remember the names of the companies. They come and go. Mostly I just go with some ad or card left at my door, whatever is handy. I would just hope to get the best possible job done and be done with it. Besides, my carpet is old and after years of disappointment, my expectations have been pretty low.
One thing I KNEW I didn’t want was the experience I had last year with up selling. I had carpet cleaners come to my home, and when showing them a very dirty and traffic worn area, they cleaned a small spot to prove to me it could be cleaned and then proceeded to tell me how much more it was going to cost if I wanted the carpet actually cleaned; otherwise I would be stuck with dirty carpet with some steam water thrown on it and vacuumed up. Since I had not budgeted for more than they had quoted me I was stuck with the dirty carpet and one clean spot.
This year, with no flyers or junk mail available (I had trashed it all well before carpet cleaning time), I just got online and searched for Stainmaesters. Actually, I was looking for the local Stanley Steamer. I was fed up with dealing with smaller companies who make promises they will not keep at low costs. I was fed up with companies sending out 3 or 4 guys when only 1 would clean the carpet and the others would stand around, walk around my home, going in and out the door… doing what? I wanted to go with a well known reputable company in hopes of getting a better job done. Ok, it will cost more… but you get what you pay for, right?
I was very disappointed by the Stanley Steamer website. Finding information on it was impossible. It was even more impossible to find a local phone number.
In another tab, I had also opened the stainmasters website. In contrast it was easy to navigate. The only issue I had was there was no phone number in actual text. And since I use Skype it would have been great to be able to just click the phone number or copy and paste it into Skype phone.
Frustrated, I had just found a number on the Stanley Steamer website and was about to call them when somehow I ended up dialing the number for stainmasters unbeknownst to me.
This is where my TOTALLY AWESOME experience with stainmasters began. On the other end of the phone was the sweet voice of Doris. She was kind, personable, professional, and extremely understanding.
I told her all I have mentioned above. I told her the one thing I DO NOT WANT is up selling. “Just tell me the price it will cost to actually get my carpet cleaned”, I said. Before giving me a quote, Doris asked really good questions so she could determine exactly what needed cleaning, what needed deep cleaning, what needed more work and so on. I was so impressed that I set an appointment right away.
Then I said to her: “There are three reasons I am making an appointment with you instead of calling around for the best price as I had planned. They are:
1. Because you are Stanley Steamer I expect to get the best quality service from you.
2. Because you are Stanley Steamer I expect the job to be done right the first time around with no up selling, so you can live up to your reputation.
3. Because you Doris, are one of the best Customer Service Reps I have ever spoken with and you represent your company so very well”.
Doris’s reply was, “Thank you very much… but, we are not Stanley Steamer.”
I shook my head in surprise and then thanked her, kept the appointment and waited for stainmasters to arrive.
But, in the days before you arrived I began to get very nervous. What had I gotten myself in to? I just knew it was going to turn out badly with up selling carpet cleaners who would not do a good job; men standing around idle or walking through my home aimlessly while I have to watch to see what they are doing and a final job done only half way. So on the morning you were to arrive, I finally gave into my fears and called Stanley Steamer.
I was surprised to learn their quote as not much more than yours. I told their phone rep about my past experiences. She promised me no up selling, clean carpet or they will redo it until it is clean, and bonded and insured cleaners. Since your company was due to arrive in only a few hours the Stanley Steamer Rep and I decided to have Stanley Steamer as a back up plan… The plan was, if your carpet cleaner attempted to up sell me or did not do a good job, or if I was uncomfortable with too many people showing up who had no actual function for the job, I was to call her immediately and she could get someone out to me the same day within hours after my call. With that in mind I was ready.
Erik arrived on time and with a big smile. I was delighted to find that he was going to work alone and that there would not be people running all over the place. Then, Erik recognized me and I recognized him. Oh my goodness, these were the same people who had been to my home last year! I tried not to show it to Erik but panic began to set in. I just kept reminding myself that Stanley Steamer was standing by.
It was Erik’s warm personality and professional approach to the job that calmed my fears almost immediately. He just set about reviewing the carpet around the home to ascertain the job at hand. Once he had made his determination he set about performing the task and never stopped until the job was done. I have never seen anyone work so hard. I couldn’t even convince him to take a break. He was alone but he did the job of 3 men in less time.
And you should SEE my carpet! When I purchased this home 7 years ago, the carpet was already 5 years old. After Erik cleaned the carpet it looks BETTER NOW than the day I moved in. No one… I mean NO ONE has ever gotten this carpet to look like this. For example, I have 13 steps that needed cleaning…no one has ever gotten those stairs clean. I have been told because the carpet is so old it was impossible. Erik got them so clean they look brand new. (I told Doris there were 17 steps and paid for 17 but I don’t care). I am so happy with the job that was done on them. I don’t know how he did it. One year a carpet cleaner spent hours on those stairs and worked on them so long that the carpet began actually pulling away from the step. It was impossible to clean them. Erik spent a lot less time but you should see them… they ARE REALLY CLEAN!!!
The heavy traffic areas are so clean they look new. I had to show my neighbor who has the same problem as me since she has light carpet too. The first thing she asked me was if I had had a new patch of carpet installed in the walkway. When I told her it was stainmasters and she took your number immediately. Expect a call from Mandy she will be wanting Erik too.
By the way, I called Stanley Steamer back and said, “There is no reason to stand by any longer. My carpet looks fantastic and I have found my carpet cleaning company. I will be using this company from now on. Thanks anyway for your offer to help.”
Together, Doris and Erik really MAKE your company stand out above the rest. I can safely say I have finally found MY VERY OWN Carpet Cleaning Company. I have even added your phone number to my Skype contacts and I only do that with special companies. As long as Erik and Doris are there, I know I will get the very best service and the highest quality work done in my home. I can not begin to tell you how pleased I am with the job Erik did on my carpet. I only wish I had taken before and after pictures so you could see for yourself.
Because of Erik and Doris I am now a lifelong customer. But, in the future, when I call for service, please make sure that you send me Erik and ONLY Erik. If you are as smart in business as I think you are, you will end up promoting Erik and make him a Training Supervisor. That would be a smart thing to do. But, when he is taking a team around to train them, please make sure Erik comes alone to my home as I do not want a team of trainees here with Erik. If Erik is too busy to come when I call… I will wait for him as I absolutely do not want anyone else.
Nathan, I had to write you to thank you for sending Erik to my home and please tell Erik I said thank you for doing such a FANTASTIC JOB. I will be telling everyone I know about stainmasters and Erik and Doris.