Here’s a small story with a big lesson. We needed our carpets cleaned. Simple enough, right? Except there was one caveat. There was this spot (about 4 x 4 inches) where someone (ahem) spilled some bleach and it of course ruined that spot in the carpet. I wanted that fixed along with my carpet cleaning.
So I Googled “carpeting cleaner seattle” and came up with a sizable list of choices in Google’s ‘Local Business Results’. I picked a few and started calling them. They were all perfectly happy to clean my carpet but none of them were willing to take on the problem of the bleached out spot. It was “oh we don’t do that” with the first 4 I called and they suggested I contact someone who specializes in carpet dying – or something to that effect.
Then I remembered a flyer that was left on every door in my neighborhood by a carpet cleaning company a few months back. I kept it because it had also mentioned upholstery cleaning and I had a sectional sofa that could use a good professional scrubbing. So I called the number on the flyer and talked with Andy, the carpet guy.
Andy didn’t flinch (yes you can feel someone flinch on the phone) when I explained my bleach spot dilemma. He explained that few professionals do carpet dying any more, but offered up two other options. He said if I had a remnant from the carpet, he could easily cut out the bleached out spot and swap it with a piece from the remnant. I had actually already thought of this and had scoured the house for a carpet remnant but came up empty. The second option was to swap out the bleached out section with a section of carpet in the back of a closet where it wouldn’t be noticed.
Ok then! I hired Andy for the job. He showed up on time with all his equipment and I showed him the bleached spot and the place in the back of a closet where he could swap it. Then I left him to do his work for a few hours. When I came back, the carpet and the sofa looked beautiful and the bleached out spot was no where to found. Well unless of course you get down on your hands and knees and look in the back of the closet. And the best part was the bill – it was comparable to what the well established companies were going to charge me for just carpet cleaning! I also learned that Andy works out of his home garage which probably explains his competitive rates. You can bet Andy now has one very loyal customer who will give him plenty of free referrals.
What did he do? He just offered me a total solution for my problem where the ‘regular companies’ blew me off. They were looking for a simple carpet cleaning job that fit into their nice neat model but weren’t flexible enough to offer me any choices for the other problem. If you have a home based business, you can often beat the larger competitors like this. Think outside the box and offer your customers or clients choices that the big guns may not be able to! Note to self: Save carpet remnants next time you do a new carpet install.