The Changing Nature of the Professional Cleaning Market - Part 1

Join us to uncover the changing nature of the professional cleaning market with Nilfisk Service Director, Martin Chambers. Sharing his expert knowledge and opinions, Martin will expose just what players need to stay competitive in today’s current climate.


In this first podcast in a 3 part series, we will be looking into the topic of:

How service is becoming a vital role in offering a complete product, and how consumers are demanding a much more streamlined experience than ever before.

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Hello, and welcome to the Nilfisk podcast, where I Shaun Fitheridge will be presenting a short three-part series accompanied by Nilfisk Service Director Martin Chambers. 

With over 18 years of experience in the cleaning and service industry, Martin will share some keen insights into the changing nature of the marketplace, and what challenges this poses for servicing cleaning machines in today’s climate for both Nilfisk and other service providers. And please do stick around until the end of the series to have a peek through the keyhole into what Nilfisk has developed for the future. 

So, to begin, I’ve found that there are three current trends transforming the shape and nature of the commercial cleaning industry; 1. The overall cleaning solution, 2. Financial flexibility and 3. The digitisation of the industry, and with these forces now taking shape with increasing velocity, all players must now rapidly adapt to survive. It’s now not just about the quality of the machine but, the overall cleaning solution that a business can now provide. As, today’s professional user has got used to, and expects a much higher after sales service than ever before. So, due to harsher levels of competition and the digitisation of the industry, differentiation has never been more important to consider when it comes to customer retention. 
So, Martin, with these trends appearing in the marketplace tell us how Nilfisk is staying competitive with their overall cleaning solution?

Well, until a few years ago, customers were risk averse. So, they would buy hardware from one vendor and service from another. But the varying levels of quality when it came to service left customers feeling both confused and dissatisfied. That is changing. Customers now want to simplify their operations. They want a single trusted partner who can meet all their needs. A one-stop shop solution.

Furthermore, customers would also use a machine for a few years, and then replace it when it broke down. Not anymore. Customers are becoming increasingly conscious that they need to preserve the value of the machine, that they must maximize uptime. 
For this to happen, they need access to continuous service. I compare this trend with what has always been regular practice in the automobile industry — of customers taking their cars to service centres for regular maintenance and not only for repairs. 

What this means is that the industry will need to offer a complete solution that will encompass a combination of machinery, finance options and after-market service. Nilfisk offers multi-tiered service plans with flexible finance solutions to ensure that we are working with our customers, offering them solutions that will best suit their needs and maximise their operations. So, by extending the core level of our product benefits to encapsulate an entire solution, we believe that through this augmented product approach we will gain the competitive edge we need to stay ahead. 

I agree with you there, as in the current economic climate people, in general, have been ensuring that they utilise the very most out of all their assets to stretch resources further. And offering multiple services revolving around your product base is a surefire way to differentiate your brand to position yourself as a strong competitor. 

So, this actually leads me to my next question.

How are Nilfisk meeting the barrier in keeping overall costs down, whilst still preserving the longevity of machine performance?
You’ve raised a great point there as Nilfisk is not only committed to working with product quality and ergonomics. We are also driven by the objective of reducing the total cost of ownership for all our customers. 

Through the use of our intuitive onboard cleaning features EcoFlex and SmartFlow, you can regulate and minimise the amount of water and chemicals needed to ensure a top quality clean. Not only that but, with our SmartKey operator function as well, a superuser can set parameters for specific amounts of detergent to be used, all minimising waste. We also focus on product quality, durability and the cost of general maintenance to ensure that service costs are kept to a minimum during the lifetime of the machine. And with over 110 years of knowledge and experience within the professional cleaning industry, our sales and service staff can offer suggested improvements to optimise cleaning schedules. The right solution will always reduce the cleaning time. And in doing so, reducing labour, water, electricity and fuel costs – reducing the total cost of ownership of your cleaning solution. 

Furthermore, our flexible service plans also account for a substantial part in lowering the total cost of ownership in buying a new machine. As, having a rapid response readily available from over 80+ engineers at a fixed price means no unexpected bills, less downtime and increased efficiency in your cleaning schedule. 

That’s refreshing to hear you say that Martin, as many companies are still trying to compete on this ground by lowering the quality of the machine’s parts, which drastically lowers the life expectancy of machines, as well as, causing for more service visits to ensure uptime. I love how Nilfisk has brought a 21st-century approach to this issue and thought of a much more economical and environmentally friendly solution to lowering the total cost of ownership whilst keeping the high performance of its machines.

Now, Nilfisk is an extremely strong competitor in machine innovation, however, many brands are now competing with a service solution. How is Nilfisk ensuring that they are staying ahead of their competitors in this field?

To ensure that we are offering a positive customer experience, and keeping it that way, Nilfisk has the customer feedback TNPS system in place, which stands for Transactional Net Promoter Score. So, after every service visit, big or small, the customer will be presented the opportunity to complete a survey about the visit. This gives us a true and solid grounding to deconstruct and solidify any gaps in our offering, for continuously enhancing the customer experience is crucial to us. Simply listening to the customer and appreciating their views and opinions have proven extremely valuable to ensure that we achieve our goal of creating a seamless customer journey through our service and solutions.

That’s interesting to hear, keeping an open dialogue in whatever way, is a great way to make your customers feel valued. And regarding the customer journey, I think this is something a lot of companies struggle with as, many see this as a one-time job, map out the journey, place touchpoints and job done. However, I think Nilfisk has a great approach to this for it understands that the customer journey is something that is forever changing, especially in this age of digitization where everything is developing at such an accelerated pace. New platforms and systems are being released nonstop that improve speed, efficiency and user experience, which can be hard to keep up with. 

Unfortunately, Martin, this is all we have time for in this session. So, a big thanks to you Martin for your expert opinions and a great thanks to all you listeners tuned in right now. Be sure to come back next week for the second podcast release as, we will be discussing how Nilfisk is tackling the barriers customers encounter with service, and what solutions Nilfisk has to offer. You can also join our mailing list below if you would like to stay fully updated on industry trends and receive a notification when we release the next session in this podcast series alongside with other higher value content in the future. 

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