NORTHBROOK, Ill.—January 30, 2020—Finding new customers ranks as the third most pressing challenge among carpet cleaning companies, and when it comes to meeting that challenge, companies overwhelmingly rely on customer referrals to generate new clients. According to the results of the 2019 Carpet Cleaning Benchmarking Survey Report, 93% of companies use customer referrals for lead generation. The next most common method is social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Angie’s List) at 70%.

The Cleanfax survey, sponsored by Legend Brands, revealed three distinct tiers of lead generation. At the top, customer referrals and social media. In the middle of the pack, we found owners relying on electronic media, networking, print media, and carpet retailers to connect with potential customers. In a near tie, about 34% of owners report using electronic media (AdWords, website, e-mail, e-newsletters) and networking (associations) for lead generation. For electronic media, this is down from about 40% in 2018, perhaps speaking to the growing importance of social media over other types of electronic media. About 32% of owners use print media (Yellow Pages, newspapers, direct mail) to find new customers, and 27% market through carpet retailers.

In the lower tier, our survey found the least popular lead generation methods were direct/door-to-door sales, radio ads, cold calls/telemarketing, and television ads. Among carpet cleaners surveyed, direct sales are only used by about 10% of companies. About 9% use radio ads to find new customers, up slightly from 7% in 2018. Cold calls are used by 8% of owners, with television ads coming in as the least popular lead generation method at just 4%. About 5% of companies report using other lead generation strategies not listed here.

With customer referrals commanding the field of lead generation methods, it’s no wonder customer retention is the top-ranked challenge for carpet cleaners, as it has a domino effect on generating new customers (and new revenue) as well.

As you reflect on 2019 and make crucial business decisions for the year ahead, check out our full Carpet Cleaning Benchmarking Survey results.