Copyright 2006 The Janitorial Store
You don’t have to be running your own business for very long to find out that customers are different when it comes to what they expect out of a cleaning service. There are those customers who want the best, no matter what the cost. On the other end of the spectrum are price conscious customers who are more concerned with how their cleaning expenses fit into their overall budget than anything else. Marketing to these two distinctly different groups can indeed be a challenge.
What are the differences between the “budget conscious” and the “quality minded” customers? There are always individuals who will make their final decision based on price. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that these are not good customers for your cleaning business. With the budget minded there are special issues to consider:
1. For the budget minded, regular carpet maintenance will not be high on their list of priorities.
2. They will probably only become concerned about the “soiled” look of their carpet and ask for cleaning before a special event or occasion.
3. When they finally decide the carpets need cleaning, they will want the “biggest bang for the buck”.
4. The budget minded are also not likely to ask for special services, such as carpet spotting, floor stripping and waxing, and window washing.
5. Overall, these customers are willing to have fewer cleaning services provided and deal with some inconvenience in exchange for a lower price.
Quality minded customers have a different view because they value high standards, professionalism and great service.
1. The quality minded customer believes in the value of building maintenance and the results that are achieved with a contractor who provides quality service.
2. They are willing to pay to avoid inconvenience. 3. Poor service is a big irritation to the quality minded customer.
4. They will want carpets cleaned on a regular schedule and not allowed to become so soiled that they are an embarrassment to employees, customers and visitors.
Marketing to these two distinct groups means tailoring your materials to match what they are looking for in a cleaning service. The budget minded customer has let things go for so long that they will be in a rush to find someone to do the job. They may not take time to get referrals and will search traditional advertising sources such as phone books, newspaper ads, and direct marketing materials. In addition, they are always looking for specials or discounts.
The budget minded customer’s first question is likely to be “How much do you charge?” As they tend to wait until the situation is critical, they may also be looking for fast service. Penny-pinching customers are also likely to ask for outrageous guarantees and try to get you to lower your price. The “budget conscious” are also more likely to complain about the smallest details even though they want everything done quickly and cheaply.
Quality customers will be using a professional cleaning service regularly. If they become unhappy with their current cleaning service they will ask for referrals from friends and colleagues. They are not motivated by specials or discounts. If your cleaning company does not offer the specific services they are looking for, they may quickly remove your cleaning service from consideration.
Customers who are looking for quality will want a company that has a high degree of professionalism and takes pride in its work. They don’t want any surprises when it comes to getting their building cleaned. This customer is looking for an expert and is relying on your judgment, knowledge and skills to handle their cleaning needs. They trust that you are recommending and providing what they need and not promoting services that are not needed. The quality minded customer wants a long-term relationship and wants to avoid going through that long search process of finding a cleaner that suits their needs.
It often takes a referral from a happy customer to get you in the door of someone looking for quality. When you do “get in the door” make sure that you have quality printed marketing materials. Know your business and be proud to “toot” your own horn.
As you are marketing your cleaning business keep in mind these two distinct customer types. Remember, the budget conscious customer is looking for specials and package deals. Effective marketing tools for “economy” customers will involve using direct mail, newspaper ads and door hangers. The customer who is seeking quality will most likely ignore these marketing strategies and be searching for a reliable and knowledgeable cleaner that has a solid reputation in the community. Remembering that there are two types of clients can help you market your cleaning business more effectively.