Posted on August 22, 2010 by Jena Dyco
Very often I speak to business owners who provide an excellent service to their customers. When we start talking about their business processes they commonly talk about the fact that they do not want to bother their customers by calling them to remind them of future services they have expressed an interest in. All of you who already deal with Jena Dyco will know that we have a very proactive approach to customer service – if a customer has asked that we keep them informed of a particular service we ensure that this is carried out.Customers are genuinely grateful that we have remembered what they have told us and that we are organised enough to know exactly what their interests are.
This brings up quite a few issues. The first matter is that you need to have a system in place to keep customer details and what they want in future. This can be done through a fancy database, or can simply involve writing notes in your diary and going through last years diary on each day to see if customers wanted to be re-contacted to receive your services. We use a database called ACT – it allows us to record each phone call with a customer, as well as any tasks that we need to do associated with the customer. It takes away the need to remember what a customer wanted and allows us to focus on the providing them with a high service.
The next factor a lot of businesses need to deal with is the fear of being rejected over the phone by a customer. If you know you have provided an excellent service to a customer the first time why would they abuse you on the phone when they call back. I always say to my staff – the worst thing a customer can say is “NO – I am not interested”. That is far from a disaster. “Well then Mrs Jones, thanks for you time and please be aware that if you do need anything I am just a phone call away.” Once you start making the calls, it gets easier and easier. The other option of course is to get someone to make the calls who is very good on the phone and can book the work in for you.
A lot of customers are complaining that business is very quiet at the moment. It is a good opportunity to re-connect with last years customers. Write a little script for yourself and stick to it. “Hi Mrs Smith, It is Fred here from Fred’s Carpet Cleaning, I cleaned you carpet a year ago and wanted to see how your carpets are doing?” It is great if you can add details like… I know you have little children in the house … I know you take a lot of pride in how your house looks … To provide this personal service you really need to record the details when you come to the job. It is quite easy to make a tick sheet to complete which gives you lots of details. Or simply write a note in the diary – 3 kids under 5 … dog who sleeps on rug… Write a note with any details that can later help you provide a customised service to your customers.
Let me know how you go.
Filed under: Customer Service, Starting a Carpet Cleaning Business | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 12, 2010 by Jena Dyco
Full face respirators are highly recommended for all clandestine lab decontamination jobs as eyes can be an entry point for hazardous chemicals. Anyone who knows anything about clan labs knows that there is always a chance you may come across anhydrous ammonia, which is often used to manufacture methamphetamine. And anyone who knows anything about anhydrous ammonia will know this dangerous chemical will seek moisture as soon as it is released into open air, meaning that it heads straight for your eyes, nose and mouth where it can do a considerable amount of damage.
Ammonia is found in clandestine labs when methamphetamine has been manufactured using the ‘Nazi’, or ‘Birch’, method of manufacture, so called because it mirrors the method of manufacture used by the Nazis in the Second World War. The Nazi method of manufacture involves the reaction of pseudoephedrine (found in common cold and flu tablets) with anhydrous ammonia liquid and lithium (found in many different batteries) or sodium metal. This method is highly volatile and, whilst used more rarely in the eastern states, is frequently used by cooks in Western Australia.
Before you enter a clan lab it’s important that you use the correct type of respirator. When completing a clan lab decontamination job, it’s always highly recommended that you use a full face respirator to avoid eye contact with hazardous chemical vapours. In secondary areas (areas where contamination has spread but no actual cooking took place) or in instances where contamination is very light, it may be acceptable to wear a half face respirator with protective glasses.
Certain voluntary guidelines or recommendations advise that a simple, disposable dust mask may be used, but it should be noted that these will not provide you with adequate respiratory protection and should not be worn when working in clan labs.
It is also important to consider the type of filter to be used with the respirator. Many filters only work in certain situations and you need to make sure the filter you use the correct filter for the job. Clan lab remediation jobs always call for the use of an ammonia filter (as used by technicians who with refrigeration) as well as a particle filter (as would be used for asbestos remediation).
For more information about full face respirators or to take a look at different models, we recommend checking out the S.E.A. Group website.
Filed under: Meth Lab Cleanup | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 8, 2010 by Jena Dyco
I recently had a call from a customer who has just been investigated by the Australian Taxation Office. He mentioned that the ATO had been going around to all the carpet cleaners in his area as they have worked out that they are paying very little tax and next to no superannuation. This automatically raised alarm bells for me. I know that there are many companies in this industry based throughout Australia who do not really know whether their “employment” arrangements are legitimate. Is someone an employee or are they a contractor? Everyone seems to make up their own rules to suit their situation. I know that we all want to try to save paying tax when ever possible, but is taking away staff entitlements the best way to go about this? I am no tax accountant and am no expert in ATO rules, but as a company Director I like to know what my obligation is to my staff.
What has the ATO found by investigating carpet cleaning companies?
- Superannuation was not being paid to staff who were entitled to it
- Companies received large fines and payments plans to pay back both the unpaid taxes, superannuation and the fines
- Sub contractors were classified incorrectly and were functioning as employees
- All sub contractor entitlements had to be paid back
I thought this was a good opportunity to get people thinking about this.
You can find information about if someone is an employee or a contractor in the following links:
Let us know if you have had a similar situation. What are your thoughts?
Filed under: Growing your Cleaning and Restoration Business, OH&S | Leave a Comment »