Thursday, June 18, 2009

Locating Seal of Approval -SOA- Carpet Cleaning Service Providers

I had the opportunity to speak to the local Dalton Rotary Club this week, and as is often the case, it's amazing the little lessons you sometimes learn if you’ll just sit back and listen … even when you’re the one speaking!

The topic of my presentation was actually the work Carpet and Rug Institute is doing in the asthma and allergy community. As I took the attentive audience through our plan and our hope that we can steer doctors and nurses into making informed cleaning recommendations for the carpet as an alternative to prescribing the removal of carpet when asthma and allergy symptoms present, a nice lady interrupted and asked me the most basic of questions.

“How can I find the information to make sure I’m using the proper folks to clean the carpets we have at the day care I operate?”

The lesson here is that while we work really hard at educating the world about finding good service providers through our Seal of Approval Program, obviously there was still work to be done on the home front of our little “Carpet Capital of the World” here in Dalton.

Unfortunately, I’m as guilty as the next party when it comes to taking things for granted. The local newspaper has done a superb job of making announcements each and every time CRI adds or enhances our programs and since we’ve gotten signed agreements with several local entities including the Chamber of Commerce and the Whitfield County School system to use exclusively SOA products, I assumed most of our hometown heroes had a working knowledge of how to find these right service providers.

We’ve talked a lot about the SOA program on this blog and how it distinguishes cleaning products such as spot removers, pre-sprays and in-tank solutions from those that work and those that do not work effectively. We’ve talked about the SOA extractor program and the importance of a machine being able to not only clean, but also remove all that water it puts onto a carpet. We’ve touted the SOA Green Label vacuum cleaner program and the way it designates vacs that remove soil, keep it contained and out of the breathing zone and guarantees your carpet won’t be damaged in appearance. [See Werner Braun Discusses Seal of Approval [SOA] Program.]

Our SOA Service provider program enlists those professionals behind the cleaning in a way that ensures you are getting the best cleaning experience possible. These firms sign agreements with CRI stating that they will use “only” those products and equipment certified under the SOA program. A recent enhancement to the SOA Service provider program also means that signature on the dotted line comes with an acceptance of a code of conduct the service provider promises to adhere. It basically says that the participant agrees to uphold the basic principles of consumer satisfaction. It also states that bearers in good standing of the CRI Seal of Approval subscribe to these three basic principles:

• The Service Provider shall ensure customer satisfaction by cleaning, and/or maintaining in accordance with carpet manufacturer’s instructions.

• Manufacturer warranties are conditional upon compliance with these requirements to use exclusively SOA products and equipment

• The SOA Service Provider Plus Program strongly recommends that participants (companies) become IICRC certified firms.

It is important to understand that cleaning a carpet requires three legs of a stool in order to stand upright: right product, right equipment, right hand guiding that equipment. That’s why our cleaning and maintenance issues management team went so far as to “strongly” recommend become certified through the IICRC.

Now to get back to the lady who asked the question about finding the right person. We now have over 700 SOA service providers in the program. To find the one closest to you, simply type in your zip code on our website and one should appear. If there is not one in your zip code, go to the person who has been cleaning your carpet over the years and ask them how come they haven’t subscribed to this SOA program yet.

After all, the one thing standing between you, your carpet and a voided warranty might be the person cleaning it.


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Aaron said...

The majority of people do not have the time required to clean their carpets to a high-quality standard.

Bethany Richmond said...

Thanks for your comment, Aaron. It's true - good housekeeping takes time. One of the ideas behind CRI's Seal of Approval is "do it right the first time". Choosing Seal of Approval products, equipment, or Service Providers takes out some of the guesswork - SOA products have already been tested for effectiveness. So...less time searching for answers and more time enjoying clean, beautiful carpet.

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