A professional rug cleaning?
Granted, it’s not the first thing on a homeowner’s mind when that new rug is delivered. But once you sign the ticket and the delivery truck pulls away there’s only a brief moment for “new rug love.”
Then, the kids come running in from their play date, followed close behind by the puppy, and bring all of the complications of daily life with them.
Much as folks hate to admit it, at some point that new rug is going to need a good cleaning. Sure, regular vacuuming at home is a great place to start. Still, it takes the know-how and the equipment of professionals to get the most out of your rug cleaning. But how do you know that you’ve found the best cleaner to care for your investment? Follow these tips and hire with confidence.
A Professional Rug Cleaner Will Pass the Following Tests
They will Have Consistent and Thorough Cleaning Protocols.
Rug cleaning is a multi-step process and no matter which pros you interview, they should be able to explain their step-by-step approach. Every combination of rug type and soiling condition – for example a wool rug with a food stain – is unique. However, a professional team will have consistent protocols for every rug they service. Whether you speak with someone in the office or access their information via a company website, you should be able to get a clear picture of how the company cleans.
Their technicians will have specialized training and certifications.
Put simply, area rug technicians are not everyday carpet cleaners. The pros have experience specific to a range of rug types, from antiques and imported items to contemporary styles that feature natural, synthetic and blended fibers. Rug care is a specialization that requires hours of coursework taught to industry standards, like the IICRC certification classes and WoolSafe Academy. It is your right to ask about the training of the technician who is going to be working with your heirloom or new rug.
They will know that rug cleaning cannot always be done in the home.
Say your 12×15 foot Oriental rug lies on a hardwood floor. If that is the case, anything other than a vacuuming or spot cleaning is likely to damage the floor beneath the rug. Given complications like that, it is best to look for a company that offers off-site cleaning, in a space up-fitted with the equipment to do a thorough job. Many companies have a Rug Cleaning Plant at their place of business. This resource allows the company to service a variety of rugs, including antique and heirloom items. If the company can only offer in-home service, they may not be a match to your needs. For a deeper dive, see why a Rug Cleaning Plant is integral to a professional rug cleaning service.
They will provide transportation for your rugs or work with a white glove service that can pick up and deliver.
Let’s go with the example of that 12×15 Oriental rug. Not every homeowner has the means to transport a rug of that size in his or her personal vehicle. Rather than having to hire a third-party delivery company to transport the rug, it is a real plus if your rug cleaning company offers pick up and drop off service. When there are two or more professional groups handling your possessions, any damage or delay can become a blame-game where no one is willing to own up to a mishap. If your cleaning company can cover transportation, they can also insure your rug gets the best of care, from the moment it leaves your home till the moment it returns.
They will stand behind the quality of their service with a guarantee of satisfaction.
A satisfaction guarantee is just that. You are the client and if you are not completely happy with the cleaning of your rug, the best companies will want to make things right. That said, a trained technician should be in touch with you before time of delivery to walk you through the outcomes of the cleaning process. In this way, you can understand what the experts were able to accomplish and what they could not improve upon. Certain soiling events leave behind discoloration that cannot be fully removed. Other home accidents can result in color loss to the rug or structural damage. Even an expert cleaner is not set up to re-dye or re-weave rug fibers. But one of the roles that professionals take on is the job of educating their clients and managing their expectations. If the results of your cleaning are likely to fall short of perfection, you should feel prepared for that news. If the technician is willing to use a more aggressive cleaning protocol to address the problem, he or she should explain the potential risks and rewards and should get your permission.
Essentially the company should pledge to you that if you are not completely satisfied with the service experience you receive their specialists will do everything in their power to make things right. If you are still unimpressed, a no-obligation guarantee will provide you with a full refund.
From Start to Finish, the employees Will demonstrate what it means to give great customer service.
So you’ve found a company that can talk you through a consistent cleaning process for the rugs they service. They employ technicians with specialized training in rug cleaning and have a facility for cleaning rugs off site. Lastly, they are set up to provide transportation for your rugs or partner with a reputable pick up and delivery service and they offer a guarantee of satisfaction.
If all these standards are met, then your experience of interacting with the employees of the company will cinch or break the deal.
From the moment you log on to their website through the scheduling of your appointment, a company should be striving to give you outstanding service. Ask yourself how you feel after you get off the phone with them. Has the company rep been friendly on the phone? Has he or she come across as informed and concerned about your particular cleaning needs? If you haven’t already, look up what their clients say about them. Ideally you can access a “Testimonials” page online as well as standard search engine reviews. Do past customers mention whether the technicians arrived on time? Whether they were communicative throughout the process ? Whether they did what they said they would do? Do reviews mention the courtesy or professionalism of the employees? The use of identifiers like company uniforms and vehicles with company branding? Do reviewers give the impression that this company goes ‘above and beyond’?
And if your pros pass the test, what’s left?
If you have the option, choose local over franchise. Small, local businesses are not going to outsource you to a call center. They are going to know if your address is covered in their pick-up area. They are going to take the time to answer your questions and work with you to schedule a date and time of service that suits your needs. So the last test is the feeling in your gut.
One final thought. If you’ve found this great business, chances are that other clients have too. The reviews should confirm what you’ve learned with your research. If this company is one of the top rug cleaning professionals in the area, you may have to wait a bit to get on their books. But if your rug has an ’emergency scenario’ – a pet mess, a large food stain, a wine spill, for example – don’t hesitate to ask if standby status is available. Again, if you feel the person on the other end of the phone is willing to work with you to reach the best possible outcome, you’ve likely found your rug cleaning match.
To learn more about choosing the best cleaners for your rugs and carpet, check out Pro-Care’s How to Select a Professional Cleaning Company.