Are coupon and deal sites destroying the service industry, and in particular my service industry – carpet cleaning in Melbourne?
Cheap carpet cleaning in Melbourne is easy to find, but at what cost? I was in the office the other day and happened to answer a call from a customer. She was asking for a quote to clean the carpet in her large four bedroom house and 5 seater couch. I did a quick calculation and then discounted it by 25% (it’s winter – our quiet time, so I need to be competitive in my pricing). When I gave her the discounted price, she screamed – and I don’t mean screamed in a good way!! She was horrified by my very generously discounted quote and told me it was way too much and she was going to look up her favourite daily deal provider for a better price!
This got me thinking, has the coupon industry ruined our customers’ price perception forever? Carpet Cleaning in Melbourne is uber competitive and it is really difficult to stand out from the crowd. We try to by offering fantastic service and results every time and highlighting our uniqueness. I discussed this in my last blog “carpet steam cleaning in Melbourne – why use us?”. Price is often a crucial deciding factor for our customers, that is why we try to keep the price as low as possible without selling ourselves short. But how can we compete with “4 rooms of carpet cleaning for $50” and do we really want to?
Confessions of a carpet cleaner…
Before I get into this, I have a confession to make. When I started this business a few years ago, I signed up to several coupon sites and I sold 4 rooms of carpet cleaning in Melbourne for $50!! At the time it seemed like a great way to get exposure, build our list, get people to our website, to try our service at a super low price and then book us again next time at the true price. Sadly, we found we were flat out servicing coupon customers and had no time for regular customers and these coupon customers were not keen to return to us without the same discount. They all raved about our service and sure some did call us up again next time they needed carpet cleaning, but they wanted the same discount again!! When we couldn’t offer this price a second time, they went back to the deal sites to find another carpet cleaner offering another unbelievable deal.
Carpet cleaning in Melbourne is something many cleaning companies offer, but very few of them are actually carpet cleaners. It takes time, experience, training the right equipment and knowing how to use it, to clean carpet properly. This all comes at a cost to the business and contributes to the pricing. When we did coupon deals, of the $50 charged, we only received $30 and the coupon company got the other $20. That $30 barely paid for our petrol let alone our cleaning supplies! We looked at it as a short term marketing campaign rather than a money making exercise.
You really do have to question what sort of result you will be getting from someone charging these types of prices. Your carpets and lounge suites cost a lot of money, why risk using someone based on their pricing alone? Would you take your designer dress or Italian Suit and throw it into the washing machine with your socks, just to save money on cleaning? No, of course not! You would take them to a professional dry cleaner. Just imagine how your outfit would look after a good spin in the washing machine! Do you really want your carpet to end up water logged, shrunken, stretched, damaged, or have the dye run? These are some of the things that can happen if you choose a carpet cleaner on price alone. Why would you trust your valuable soft furnishings to anyone other than a professional?
I am not for a minute saying coupon carpet cleaners are all cowboys, I just want customers to be aware that price isn’t everything. I am sure a lot of these coupon deals are from businesses just like ours, trying to make ends meet in tough times, generate a quick cash flow and build a list.
Before you hire a anyone for carpet cleaning in Melbourne, coupon or otherwise;
- read the fine print
- have a look at their website
- ask about a guarantee
- check out their accreditations
- read reviews of the business on other sites (Google +, True Local, Service Seeking, etc.)