Mohawk Launches FloorCare Essentials Network
Adairsville, GA, July 25, 2007--Mohawk Industries has a vested interest in proper floor care. So do 35,000 retailers. And according to Mohawk executives, this interest goes way beyond the things you’d expect, like warranty claims. It has a direct impact on customer satisfaction.
“Flooring is the third largest household purchase,” otes Manny Llerena, Vice President of Retail Marketing for Mohawk. “And as they buy, 90% of consumers ask for information on floor care to help protect their investment. When the customer buys a new floor, it will be five to seven years before she’s ready to buy again.
“During that period, it is critical for the retailer to maintain contact with the customer,” Llerena said. “Floor care services provide the perfect avenue for that continuous contact and helps retailers keep their customers for life.”
For many retailers, however, finding a good floor care partner has been a challenge.
“We have many dealers who have simply stopped recommending floor care firms because their customers have had bad experiences or they have lost confidence in them,” Llerena said. “This completely breaks the link between the customer and the store between buying cycles.”
To solve this problem, Mohawk has partnered with Global FloorCare Solutions to establish Mohawk Authorized Service Centers across the nation, under the Mohawk FloorCare Essentials Professional brand.
Global FloorCare is an Atlanta-based company headed by Brian and Trecia Warren. The Warrens have been involved in the floor care industry for many years, and have been instrumental in helping Mohawk develop its FloorCare Essentials cleaning and refinishing systems, consumer spot cleaners, and floor care support programs.
For the past year, they have been working closely with the top floor care professionals from around the nation to develop a new initiative which allows quality floor care companies to take advantage of the power of the Mohawk brand, and will help flooring retailers maintain a connection with past customers.
“Mohawk is not a newcomer to the floor care business,” Brian Warren said. “In fact, Mohawk has been one of the most progressive developers of new ideas in floor care over the last few years. The FloorCare Essentials Professional Network is the next step forward.”
“It benefits the Mohawk retailer, the floor care professional, and—most importantly—the consumer,” he said. “Dealers can refer their customers to service companies which act as extension of their stores. So they know their customers are going to get the best service and the best experience. Floor care professionals can tap into the power of the Mohawk brand and the millions of homes who own Mohawk floors. And the consumer can easily find the proper care necessary to help maximize the value of her investment, and her satisfaction with Mohawk.”
The Mohawk FloorCare Essentials Professional Network will cover the spectrum of professional floor care, including carpet cleaning, hardwood refinishing, tile and grout cleaning, and area rug cleaning. Global Floor Care and Mohawk will carefully scrutinize floor care companies who join the network, and floor care professionals will be required to use industry approved equipment and products, and perform services according to the highest standards.
The Warrens emphasized that the Mohawk FloorCare Essentials Professional Network is not a franchise. Instead, Brian Warren noted that it will work much like authorized service centers for the appliance or automobile industries.
“Network members will pay membership fees, but at a fraction of the cost of a franchise,” he said. “They will use Mohawk approved equipment and products purchased through open distribution. And unlike many franchises, there are no geographic boundaries, although there will be zip-code specific service areas for purposes of managing our referral programs. But generally, consumers and retailers can call on any member of the network, and network members can work throughout their service areas. In addition, one of the most important aspects of our program is that network members will enhance their company with the Mohawk brand, but they will still retain their own identity – it’s a co-branded initiative.”
“This is particularly valuable to the floor care professionals as they have put a lot of time and effort into building a successful business of their own,” Warren continued. “They desire to belong to a network, but losing their identity is a huge concern for them. The opportunity to co-brand with Mohawk further strengthens their identity in the marketplace and also strengthens the Mohawk name—so it’s a win-win for everyone.”
Llerena further added: “Never before has Mohawk allowed its name to be used by independent floor care professionals. Mohawk is providing the brand power of an eight billion dollar company—the world’s largest flooring producer. Our brand has been in existence for nearly 130 years, and makes billions of impressions to consumers.
“This is a way for the Mohawk brand to stay in touch with the consumer throughout the life cycle of our product, and build an even stronger positive customer experience. And that only continues to build the value of the Mohawk brand at all levels of our industry,” he said.
Warren also pointed out that already the network has attracted some of the most respected firms in the floor care industry as members.
“We are blessed with the participation of independent floor care companies who are market leaders in different parts of the country, and we are already using their expertise to strengthen the value of this concept,” he said. Ten companies representing different regions of the nation have been appointed to the Advisory Board of Mohawk FloorCare Essentials, which hosted its first meeting July 24 and 25.
“These people have taken on the responsibility of making this network great from the very beginning,” he noted. “They are taking the concept into their markets and putting it into action, complementing their already successful businesses. We see that as a strong vote of confidence.”
“If you’re a flooring store owner, imagine the value of having a professional going into your customer’s home on a regular basis, taking care of her flooring, and reinforcing the relationship she has with your store,” Llerena said. “And imagine if that floor care professional were to report back to you that your customer is considering putting tile into her kitchen. Instead of waiting for her to go shopping at a competitor’s store, you can make contact immediately. And she already has trust in your business.
“That’s one thing we’ve been missing in the flooring business, and this network solves that problem. Retailers will be able to establish relationships with floor care professionals they know are properly authorized and trained, and they will be able to work together to not just ensure satisfaction, but open up new avenues for sales,” he said.
“With the Mohawk FloorCare Essentials Professional Network, we have found a way not just to stay in contact with customers, but a way to create an ongoing dialogue that keeps the customer and the store connected,” he noted.
For Floor Care Professionals, A Spectrum of New Opportunities and Services
In addition to licensing the Mohawk brand to network members, Warren noted that Global Floorcare is applying many of the same elements of Mohawk’s highly successful aligned dealer programs like Mohawk Floorscapes and Mohawk ColorCenter to the Mohawk FloorCare Essentials Professional Network.
“Mohawk and Global Floorcare are approaching this as a partnership with network members,” he said. “We’re continually looking for tools that will help members build business. He said that can include:
Proprietary products and technology
Local market positioning with Mohawk retailers
Increased profits through national group buying power
A complete offering of business services, products, support and training
Cobranding of vehicle(s) and business with Mohawk
Marketing tools and Brand Interaction Strategy
Member networking capabilities.
Howard Partridge, owner of Clean As A Whistle in Sugarland, TX, is one of the first to join the network. Now in its 23rd year, Clean As A Whistle operates 14 cleaning vans. Partridge said that his company has concentrated on cultivating relationships with flooring retailers, and the new network will simplify this process.
“This paves the way for the different caretakers of flooring to come together—the manufacturer, retailer, cleaner, and consumer,” Partridge said. “We see significant benefits with the Mohawk brand, and it makes it easier to work our strategy of building business through retailers.”
“For floor care professionals, this is a tremendous opportunity to grow their business by tapping into the power of Mohawk as well as the network. But best of all, everyone wins—retailers, floor care companies, and consumers,” Warren said.
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