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Case Studies & White Papers

Case studies & white papers for the cleaning professional


Carpet Care: A Green, Quick Dry Time

As Specialty Divisions Director for Potomac Floor Covering, Phil Roberts must have a strong green policy to meet his clients’ requests for environmentally friendly services.

“We are right outside the DC Beltway. Here everything is 'green.' Some people look at that first. They don’t care if it takes 6 days to dry, it must meet environmental policy at all costs. I have it all with Whittaker’s SmartCare® chemicals. I don’t have to substitute something green just to get a contract.”

He uses CRYSTAL DRY® EXTRA, which is Green Seal and Woolsafe certified and comes in recyclable containers. Whittaker’s low-moisture soil encapsulation process uses less chemical and water than other methods, avoiding mold growth caused by over-wetting. Improved indoor air quality and fast dry times make Whittaker a good green choice.

Facility managers are accustomed to having a service come in and soak the carpets. They may have 24 hours of down time until the carpet is dry. Here’s where Roberts has an advantage. “In the beginning, potential customers are just looking for a cleaning. What sells them on interim maintenance is the quick dry times.”  

Roberts also likes to surprise customers by offering a free emergency service. Potomac is able to offer this bonus because Whittaker’s SmartCare ® System has such a fast turn around.

“Even during a catered function, while guests are in the next room, we are able to clean the carpet of food spills or stains … coffee, cake, ice cream, wine … within the better part of an hour from the initial call … the carpet is clean and dry.”

It is no wonder Roberts is able to retain clients who are impressed with that kind of service. Moreover, he knows over the coming weeks that they won’t experience re-soiling, another plus inherent in using Whittaker products to satisfy customers.

Attracting new clients is another part of Roberts’ responsibilities, and he knows how to achieve this. His sales staff routinely offers a free demo on areas where the carpeting has not yet been replaced. For these demos, which average 2500 square feet, Potomac uses Whittaker’s SmartCare System. Roberts depends on Whittaker for impressive results every time. He has complete confidence that he can get it clean and win the account, even if he hasn’t seen the facility before.

“We let the product speak for itself. We make it [carpet] look nice. I love getting out of the car at a demo. I know I’m giving a demo for a future client.”

Although customers may first notice the lack of extension cords and hoses, what really gets their attention is how fast the carpet appearance improves. Customers not only see the value of interim maintenance programs to protect their investment, they are quick to realize that the services Potomac offers could keep new carpet looking brand new indefinitely. With that kind of excellent customer care, contracts simply renew yearly. Roberts credits Whittaker products for high retention rates. “Normally we do not have to re-sign the contract. I’ve never lost a customer due to poor performance.”  

Roberts says building managers attend regular meetings, talk to one another, and share experiences — good and bad. These word-of-mouth recommendations set his phone to ringing. “I’ve been able to get 20 or 30 buildings at once that way.”

Whittaker products are easy to use, pre-measured, and ergonomically engineered. According to Roberts, Potomac has not experienced worker down time due to work-related injuries. Each of their certified technicians has a van equipped with a LOMAC ® machine and all of the attachments. The machines are lightweight and maneuverable so that individual techs, many of whom are women, handle them easily. “We clean 600 bank branches; the techs are in and out all night.”  

“Our productivity increased 75 percent [using Whittaker] without loosing quality of workmanship.”
His dedication to providing outstanding service keeps Roberts continually looking for better and more economical products. Over the past five years he has tried countless systems and chemicals. “I really believe there is nothing out there than can match it.”  

As a busy division director, Roberts is passionate about what he does and appreciates Whittaker’s dependability and consistent high quality. “It is nice to work with a product that does what it says it will do. They walk the talk.”

By Maryjo Faith Morgan