Merry Maids, the leading provider of cleaning services in North America, is a Fresh Wave IAQ partner and is an avid user of our non-toxic odor eliminating products. The editorial team of the Fresh Wave IAQ blog was fortunate enough to spend five minutes with Karen Hastings, Manager of Merry Maids Distribution, and Gina Kamler, Director of Merry Maids Franchise Communications, who discussed why effective odor management is important to Merry Maids.
Why is odor management important to your business? For most customers part of the perception of clean is smell. When they open the door, they want to know that there home has been cleaned visually, but they also want it to be odor free. Just as the definition of clean is different for many people, the same could be said about the subjective definition of a “clean smell.” Since so many people have grown accustomed to solutions that mask odors, Fresh Wave IAQ is a new concept for most. However, with a segment of the population being sensitive to smell, Fresh Wave IAQ offers a nice alternative. Merry Maids strives to educate our customers about the value of using non-toxic odor eliminator by using Fresh Wave products in the cleaning process.
What do you find most appealing about Fresh Wave IAQ products? We find it appealing for two reasons: first, its all-natural ingredients and second, is that it neutralizes odor rather than masking it. Odor masking solutions often do not work and they can actually make the odor worse. It is nice to be able to eliminate odors and not have a lingering chemical scent in the air. Many customers find this to be a major advantage.
What are some odor challenges that you have had to face? And how did you overcome these challenges? We find that most home odors come from pets. Fresh Wave products help eliminate those odors, by spraying dog beds or even sofas. In addition, garbage disposals are also a source of foul odors, which Fresh Wave IAQ easily mitigates. And, then of course there are the diaper odors that linger in babies’ rooms even after the soiled diapers have been removed. We recently had one franchise owner who received a call from a customer who had a dirty refrigerator in storage for three months. The customer assumed that the refrigerator had been cleaned prior to being put in storage, which was not the case. The refrigerator was so foul that the customer wanted to see if their insurance would pay for a new refrigerator, but it was not covered under their plan. Merry Maids cleaned the fridge by removing items, washing out the interior with spray and then left Fresh Wave IAQ gel in the fridge overnight. The customer was amazed that the smell had been completely removed!
How important is it to use natural odor management solutions? Consumers as a whole are continually being educated about natural cleaning products. While many seem to gravitate towards the use of scented candles for eliminating odors, there is a large segment of our customers who prefer us to use natural odor management solutions. At Merry Maids, our goal is to make the right choice. Using natural solutions like Fresh Wave IAQ is always the right choice for our associates and our customers. We do give our customers options when it comes to the cleaning products that we use and we let them determine if a non-toxic solution is right for them.
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be? Karen: I would like to be Samantha from the TV show “Bewitched” and wiggle my nose and make any dirty home clean in an instant. And, at Merry Maids, we actually aim to be that magic wand that immediately takes care of even the dirtiest of homes.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional — with whom would it be? We would want to be Steve Jobs. He was such a visionary when it came to thinking outside of the box and delivering what the customer wants, even before the customer knows they need it. He was incredibly demanding when it came to design and visual aesthetics. We read in his book that Steve Jobs actually pushed his engineers to make sure that the interior components of all products did not have any sharp corners. When his engineers pushed back on this and asked, ”Why… no consumers would know or care,” his response was: “I will know that there are sharp corners inside of my products. I care.” Merry Maids has a similar philosophy when it comes to attention to detail. A customer may not see that dust bunny in the corner, but our associates go to great lengths, with a keen attention to detail, when it comes to cleaning properties and will always go above and beyond to deliver an exceptional customer experience for our Merry Maids clients.
If you could time travel what time period would you go to? We would both like to travel to the year 2050 and see how the world has changed.
Where would you live? What would your profession be? It depends on what mother earth is like at that time, but we would like to be in a tropical place playing golf amongst echoes of “El Diablo.”