In an effort to increase your rental sales consider using the following marketing tips in your store.
1. Produce an inexpensive “bag stuffer coupon” for your cashiers to insert in each customer bag.
Run a special on either ½ gallons of Premium Cleaner, or on rental rates every once in a while.
2. Demonstrate your machines during store hours by cleaning the entrance mats. Demonstrations
draw attention to the machines like no other activity. Many customers have not yet rented our
“all in one” style of machines and they love to see how easy they are to operate.
3. Add a statement to all of your advertisements that say’s “WE RENT CARPET CLEANING MACHINES”
It takes up very little space, costs nothing above and beyond the original cost of the ad and
increases awareness greatly.
4. Carpet cleaning is a year round activity but does have two main sales periods. Consider moving
your carpet cleaning rack or setting up an end cap in the front of the store from April 1st till
June 1st, and again from September 1st till December 1st. The rental category relies more on
customer awareness than it does on price. Getting it out in front of the customer when they are
most likely to rent a machine will help your sales greatly.
5. Consider running a small ad in your local newspaper or your local church paper that reads “EARN
MONEY IN YOUR SPARE TIME CLEANING CARPETING AND UPHOLSTERY”. List your phone number
and name as a contact person. Whether you know it or not, some of your current renters are using
your machines to use on their customers carpet. They like the fact that they do not have to invest
in any equipment and can readily get machines in your store. They charge the customer roughly 2
to 3 times the price they pay you for the rental and chemical and they can become very loyal
6. Do periodic mailings to your local churches, schools, apartment complexes and neighborhood
businesses to remind them that you rent machines. Include a coupon or a magnetic business card
for them to hang in their maintenance supervisor’s office.
7. Keep a list of your renters and send then a post card 1-year after their rental to remind then that it
is time to clean their carpets again.
EMPLOYEE TRAINING: MACHINES AND CHEMICALS
Here are a few simple steps stores should follow to make sure their employees are well versed in the rental and use of your carpet care machines and chemical. Follow this guideline and in no time, the employees in your store will be qualified to handle your rental customers.
Make sure each employee takes a carpet machine home to use free of charge. Give them basic instructions in the store and remind them that the instructions are posted on the machine. Insist that they alone operate the machine from start to finish. Your machines are so simple to use that they will know it well by the time they complete their project. Be sure that they use the upholstery tool as well. Have them take home a full assortment of cleaning chemicals. The small amount of chemical that they will use will be paid back many times over through their better understanding of the line.
When your employee returns the machine, check for the following:
– Did they bring it back clean? Stress the importance of reminding each customer to
bring the unit back clean.
– Ask them to show you how to empty and fill the machine.
– Ask them to hook up the upholstery attachment.
– Have them show you where to add the carpet cleaning chemicals and how much they
should be using.
– Make sure they can show you how to operate the switches and then how to operate
If your employee can successfully answer these questions then they have a good understanding of the unit and they are ready to learn more about the rental process. Be sure to check out the “Chemicals” section of this web site to learn specific selling techniques for this comprehensive line of cleaners.
EMPLOYEE TRAINING: RENTAL PROGRAM DETAILS
Employees who don’t understand your carpet-cleaning category will avoid servicing your rental customers. However, once they are trained on the use of your machines and chemicals they are much more willing and able to make the sale. The next step in their training process is to teach them the program details such as rental rates and rental policy.
Listed below is a suggested rental rate schedule. Of course you are free to adjust pricing to match your local marketplace, but it rarely varies more than 10% either way.
SUGGESTED RENTAL RATES:
$4.00 PER HOUR WITH A 4-HOUR MINIMUM… $20.00
24 HOUR RENTAL ……………………………………… $29.95
UPHOLSTERY KIT (FREE IN SOME STORES)…. $3.00 TOTAL
Overnight rentals run from 1 hour before your store closing time, to one hour after your opening time the next day. Example: your store closes at 7:00PM, so overnight rentals begin at 6:00PM. You open the next day at 8:00AM, so the machine must be back by 9:00AM. For each hour the customer is late you charge the hourly rate of $5.00. Most stores that are closed on Sunday rent Saturday through Monday at the normal $20.00 rate.
Upholstery attachments normally rent for $3.00 a 4 hour rental (.75 per hour). In some areas of the country they are free with a machine rental. Remember that upholstery attachments make you money. They increase the amount of chemical each customer uses as they clean their stairs, furniture and cars. In general encourage your customer to clean as much as possible with the machine while they have it. Each new item they clean presents an opportunity to sell additional chemicals to do the job.
Here are a few tried and true policies to help build your program.
Machines are only rented to persons with adequate identification. Get 2 pieces of I.D. before you rent. If you have your doubts as to the reliability of the renter call the phone number given to you and ask for the renter by name. If the phone number is phony chances are the renter is also. Always try to take the machine out to your customer’s car for them. Not only is it good customer service, but that way you can jot down the license plate number of their car on the rental form.
Every machine coming back from a rental is inspected for cleanliness or damage. If it needs cleaning it is removed from the floor before it is accidentally rented dirty. Some stores charge a cleaning deposit that is only returned to the customer if the machine comes back clean. A common cleaning deposit is $5.00 to $10.00.
Stores must properly maintain their machines. Most machine problems are avoided with proper maintenance. Have a trusted employee follow our maintenance schedule found in the machine information section of the website.
Carpet cleaning is a weekend warrior project. That means that your demand is concentrated into a shorter time period and you may run out of machines. In general, you should have enough machines so that you are rarely out of units on a Saturday morning. If you find yourself out of machines often you are loosing substantial business. Remember, you cannot increase your sales if you do not have a machine to rent when your customer wants it.
Do not allow your customers to transport machines in freezing temperatures without protection. The residual water in the pumps and hoses will freeze and cause damage. Machines transported in pick up trucks or stored in a car overnight suffer the greatest damage. Do not allow machines to freeze.
Inform customers that only your cleaning chemicals can be used in your machine. Occasionally renters will try to use multi purpose household cleaners in your machine to save a little money. In general these cleaners create much more foam than your machine can handle. Excessive foam can damage your vacuum motor and must be avoided. If you can verify that the detergent they would like to use is designed for a water extraction cleaning machine (Rug Doctor, Bissel etc), you will have no problems. Otherwise make sure they use only your products. Never let your customers apply either bleach or carpet dye through your machines for any reason.