A boring industry some might say
The cleaning industry is admittedly not one of the sexies industries to disrupt, but new technologies definitely have a place in it. As a company that always aims to improve in all possible ways, we decided to explore the options which Virtual reality has to offer and how we could take advantage of them.
Before we got started with virtual reality, it took quite a while to decide which would be the best combo of technology for our specific needs. Some VR sets are still way off anything that ever resembles reality, but there are sets such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive that are really immersive and don’t make you nauseous after a few minutes. Thinking of the well being of our employees and doing things the way they are supposed to be done was crucial, which is why we went ahead with the Oculus Rift set. An investment of 350 pounds that we got back in spades back, which is exactly what you’ll read about below.
Improving our sales pitches with letting agents
One of the first things that came to mind was showing the clients what we can do and use virtual reality as a sales pitch, but as we have thousands of residential clients that want to take the phone and book a session in the easiest way possible, a sales pitch that has something to do with virtual reality was a no-go. That’s why we decided to go into another similar direction and use virtual reality to showcase our business to real estate agencies that need end of tenancy cleaning in London, which we often work with and show examples of jobs that we have completed with detailed reports on what the cleaning sessions include and how it’s better compared to the one other companies offer.
Showing the clean properties itself isn’t something spectacular and it’s far from an amazing VR experience, but the sole fact that you as a company are willing to push the boundaries of what a cleaning company is, was the thing that caught the attention of most of the people we decided to test this sales approach on. Obviously the Oculus Rift wasn't an option here, as it requires serious computing power, which is why we purchased an Oculus Go for the job. The result was signing 5 major letting agencies from North London, who had never used our services in the past.
Training and improving the service quality
Without devaluating getting new clients in any way, this was actually the thing that was least important to us as a company. We found a few other implementations which have helped us grow as a company even more.
The cleaning industry in the UK isn’t one that attracts many native english men or english women, which is why a lot of our labour force consists of people from Eastern Europe from countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and Poland. Onboarding and training of these people has been really easy using a virtual reality headset. We had a video which shows all of the requirements for a high quality cleaning job with embedded audio in those 3 languages. That way nothing was lost in translation and people starting work at our company had the right idea on what will be expected of them.
The video (VR Experience) was created with the help of a 360 camera - more specifically a GoPro Fusion 360 and the video was created by following a professional cleaner in our company with a solid experience, which was a perfect example of professionalism.
Becoming a more sustainable business with the help of VR
Another implementation that we later came up with was the option to supervise new additions to our crew. With the help of a 360 camera upon completion of a job, we asked the team leader to go around the property that we just cleaned and the supervisor was able to check the quality of the work while being in one place. That way we are able to reduce our carbon footprint, as there’s no need for the supervisor to go around London and check all jobs one by one, as looking through the eyes of the person on site is just as good. Obviously nothing beats being there and going through some classic ways of finding out whether or not a certain surface is clean, but Virtual Reality is definitely helping us in many ways we originally didn’t think of. We are constantly trying to come up with new ideas in which it could potentially help out even more, but so far the benefits are undisputable. Hopefully more companies in many other industries will embrace this technology, especially considering how affordable it’s becoming.
For us at Royal Cleaning it’s literally invaluable and it has opened new possibilities for expansion in many other. There a few other implementations of virtual reality that we already have in the works, but we’d like to keep those as a secret to be able to beat our competitors to the punch once more. In this day and age you simply cannot afford running your business ineffectively as clients are constantly trying to get better prices, while looking to hire environmentally conscious companies. Companies which are still being managed and run “the same old way” because it has worked are in for an unpleasant surprise. Millenials are soon to be the main part of the workforce and consequentially the majority of the customers as well.