What can carpet cleaners learn from Disney?

disney-clean-for-carpet-cleanersYou are a cleaner.  But after seeing more than an average life’s worth of carpet cleaning companies and truck mount rigs, I can say that being a cleaner doesn’t guarantee you are CLEAN.

When Walt Disney decided to build Disneyland, his wife asked why he wanted to build an amusement park. She felt they were all so dirty. Walt said that was exactly the point. What Walt envisioned wouldn’t be like any other park.

Despite the economy and the dropping attendance at all of the other southern California parks, attendance at Disneyland increased by 8% last year. A big part of this goes back to Walt’s initial passion and yes, even obsession, about cleanliness.

To keep the park always looking like opening day 600 custodians, painters, gardeners, and carpet cleaners work 365 nights a year keeping the park spotless. It is the little things like a piece of gum on a sidewalk. Just like a coffee spot can ruin the appearance of a long commercial carpeted hallway, so does the one lonely piece of gum destroy the image of Disney. Walt set the bar so high it is almost impossible to impress people with the cleanliness.  However, just one napkin on the ground destroys all that work.

In the world of carpet cleaning we have similar concerns. Because we don’t always see small changes in our equipment it appears invisible to us. But to our customers it is as obvious as that piece of gum on Main Street.

So is your company ready for an objective once over? As Steve would say it is time to put on our “Customer Eyeglasses” …

Start with your truck.

Is it clean?

Are the decals or paint fading?

Do you have trash on the dashboard?

Does your truck leak oil or water?

Can your customer (and your potential customers) hear the howl of your truck 2 blocks away?

How about your tech?  (Or you!)

Is he groomed?

How’s the uniform look?  He does have a uniform, right?

How about his shoes?

Does he smell like tobacco?  (Or worse?)


My personal pet peeve is the “nasties”  (fiber, hair, dirt) on the scrub wand manifold.

Is your vacuum hose covered in duct tape?

Are your sprayers functioning properly?  (In other words actually spraying, not dripping!)

When you turn on your vacuum cleaner does it smell like the same bag has been on for the last 6 months?

Walt thought of Disneyland as the most special place on earth and he expected it to look that way all the time. Your customer thinks of her home the same way.

So take a good, hard and long look at your vans, equipment, and technicians. Then look again!  Ask yourself just one question, “Would Walt approve?”

2 thoughts on “What can carpet cleaners learn from Disney?”

  1. speaking of gum spots … Disney stopped selling gum on resort property. The profit was out weighed by the cost of scraping it up. Smart move Uncle Walt.

  2. Disney has had their ups and downs with the recession affecting all discretionary spending. But no one “manages the experience” of their customers better than Disney and we can learn much from them.


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