Clean Carpet Quality Control System

Quality Control Is Critical For Commercial Steam Team

Quality control has been the biggest boost in my company (Commercial Steam Team).  Our quality control system has proven to be both effective and less stressful.  Most people don’t look forward to quality control calls and the probable fires they will need to put out as a result.  For us, that’s not a problem. In fact, we’d much rather make quality control calls than not!

This method has changed the entire face of our quality control and made a huge difference for Commercial Steam Team in this tough economy.  I am confident this method can be applied to any service industry.

The Clean Carpet Quality Control System (CCQC)

Quality control calls:

  • Must be made the week after the cleaning.
  • Must call all jobs. Here’s why:
    1. Not doing so is cherry picking and will skew the results.
    2. One disappointed client is one less job next year.
    3. One less than thrilled client is one less cheerleader referring us to their friends and neighbors.
  • Calls must be short with an upbeat attitude.
    1. Just like you clients are busy and don’t have time for depressing long winded calls.
    2. Clients don’t want to hear about your day or your life unless they ask you.
    3. A great opening line is to say, “Just calling to thank you for your business and make sure you are happy with our work.”
  • If someone has a concern, schedule a redo (return visit) right away.
    1. Unhappy is unhappy, you can’t talk someone into being thrilled, so just fix it.
    2. Peace of mind is what people are looking for and fixing the problem gives them just that.
    3. Your work is worth the money as long as they know they are not getting the short end of the stick.
  • Your goal needs to be “finding the truth” not“avoiding redo’s”.
    1. Redo’s will happen.

I.  Even if they are not technically necessary, they are still necessary to the client’s peace of mind.

II.  A well handled redo can turn an unsatisfied customer into a cheerleader.

  1. Problems will become habit if repeated over and over.  These calls and redo’s are the quickest ways to find out about problems and fix them before they become habit.
  2. Equipment problems may not be noticeable until after the job and this is the fastest way to discover those before they become a bigger issue.

I.  Reports of carpet not drying fast enough.

II. Residue left on carpet.

III.  Stains resurfacing and other misc. issues.

  1. You must reassure the client that they are helping your company by reporting this to you.
    1. People often feel bad about telling you problems with something you did.
    2. Embarrassment or guilt on either side is a negative feeling.
    3. Negative feelings skew the results.
    4. Negative feelings can cause them to doubt the effort they receive from your crew.

How quality control calls effect quality of work:

  • Quality work should always be rewarded.
    1. Make the bonus challenging.
    2. Commercial Steam Team gives a bonus for less than 2% redo’s in a month.
    3. Double bonus for 0 redo’s in a month.
  • Encourages crew members to keep an eye on each other.
    1. I wouldn’t want someone else’s actions to affect my pay check.
    2. It is not easy to do your best at 3am cleaning a bowling alley, but that job is just as important to the client as any other job.
  • The crews know they will have to go back and correct any mistakes they make.
    1. Driving 45 minutes to and from a job they aren’t making money on is not appealing.

Employees must show up to redo’s with a smile on their face.

  • Clients will think the crew is trying to prove their innocence if they show up upset.
  • The client will trust your crew if they show up in good faith and assure them they will do everything in their power to correct the spill, spot, or traffic pattern.
    1. Trust is invaluable to both you and your client.
    2. Trust is essential in sales.
  • Your crew should show them what they are doing as they do it and explain the method well.
    1.  If the problem isn’t corrected, the client still gains peace of mind that they weren’t duped.
    2. If the problem is fixed then you are not only heroes but they see you aren’t petty.

  1. Show through positive reinforcement that the team’s effort is noticed.
  2. Commercial Steam Team posts notes on the wall for only the “over the top” compliments from customers.
  3. The crews love seeing the wall grow and everyone wants to know that their effort has been noticed.

I also recommend profit sharing.

  1. Commercial Steam Team shares 10% end of the year profits with our employees.
  2. Employees have a stake in the quality of their work and how well the company does.

This method is cyclical.

  1. The better you do at this method, the harder they try.
  2. The harder they try the easier the calls are to make.
  3. The easier the calls are to make the better you can do them
  4. So on and so forth

You would think looking for redo’s and actively seeking out this information would increase the number of redo’s, but in fact it has the exact opposite effect.  Case in point, last year out of 886 jobs, we had only 11 redo’s.  This number is unheard of in this industry.  After 13 years in the carpet cleaning industry, our method of quality control has become the highlight of my week.  The response has been so overwhelmingly positive that I actually look forward to making my quality control calls.  It reassures me that we are doing things right.  If I’m having a down day, I can count on my clients and cheerleaders to cheer me up and spur me on.  I hope the Commercial Steam Team Quality Control System can boost your spirits and business as much as it has ours.