Most enquiries start with the potential customer asking ‘how much to clean my carpet/sofa/rug?’ If only I had a fixed price list then this would be easy to answer. I can try and give an estimate or better still pay a visit and give a free, written quote.

At this point it becomes clear that a significant number are only after the cheapest price. That is the only variable they are concerned about. The search terms that take people to my website include the word ‘cheap’ more than the word ‘quality’.

Their mistake is to buy a service as though it was a product. A tin of beans is a product and can be bought from a variety of suppliers. Supermarket A this week is 2p cheaper than supermarket B. All other things being equal you buy your tin of beans from supermarket A.

But buying a service is different. You are not buying something off the shelf, you are buying into a person, their training & experience, their skill and equipment as well as their attitude to customer service. It is a much broader package.

I get a regular leaflet through my door. It is offering a fixed price deal to clean all the carpet in my house for a ridiculously low amount. They will also clean a three seat sofa for £25. Naturally I take an interest. The leaflet offers no name, address, landline telephone number or email address. Your only means of contact is a mobile telephone number. Who are these people and where are they coming from? What recourse do you have if there is a problem?

So back to the original point – how much will it cost to clean my carpet? With experience it is possible to give an estimate but a fixed quote can only be given with a site visit and inspection. There are too many variables for it to be otherwise.

If I may use a few examples:

Mrs X. How much to clean my three piece suite?

After asking a few questions I estimated that the clean would be £125 and take two hours. Mrs X replied that she already has two quotes. The first of £60 and her husband thinks that is too expensive. The second quote that was similar to mine (they are a reputable, family business). I wished Mrs A good luck with the cheapest option but that I would not compete on price.

Mrs Y. How much to clean my four bedroom house, there are some rugs as well?

We talked in general terms and agreed an appointment for me to visit and provide a written quote. I inspected the carpet and rugs, discussed how I would treat each type of carpet and answered questions. Finally I gave Mrs Y a written quote and left her to consider it. I was booked a little while later and the clean went well.

Later on Mrs Y showed me the quote from another company. I was more expensive (by about 10%) but I had taken the time to inspect, explain and left a quote with no pressure to make a decision. A third company had quoted over the phone and was even cheaper still.

What might these examples explain?

There is certainly a market for selling cleaning services to the lowest price possible market. However, with the pressures of time and volume, I believe they cannot offer the best service, best quality clean or good value. And customers looking purely at the cheapest option will show no loyalty –next time they will go with the cheapest option again.

Certainly there are customers who value service and quality and are prepared to pay for it. They won’t pay for second rate work and will be quick to ensure that the quality reflects the price. This is good for both parties and if you do a good job for them you hope that you will retain their custom next time.

As with so many things in life you buy into a service at the level you feel comfortable with. Just remember that cheaper does not mean value and certainly not better.

For a free, no obligation quote for your carpet, rug or upholstery cleaning please contact me, Neil Worsnop, on 01926 492696.

All Square Cleaning offers a variety of services in Warwickshire, including