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An interview with Murray Whelehan from Wellclean Carpet Cleaning in Oxford

About Murray Whelehan

We offer high quality carpet cleaning in Oxford and the surrounding towns and areas of Oxfordshire.

I work for Wellclean Carpet Cleaning in Oxford

The Interview

What steps do you take to stand out from your competition?

We're heavily focused on customer service. We make sure our customers are always happy with their clean, and we offer a 20% discount on all jobs.

What's the most unique way you market your business?

We offer a referral program and also rely on word of mouth. Good customer service can't be beaten and it's honestly the best form of marketing there is.

Do you find social media effective in marketing your business, or do you think it's overhyped?

We don't actively use it, but I believe it could be. We're hoping to explore it further later this year.

How long have you been marketing your business online? What changes have you seen in this time?

Since 2018. Google now requires high quality content to rank well which is a good thing we think.

How much do you rely upon word-of-mouth marketing?

We don't rely on it as such, but it definitely helps us build our customer base.

When did you launch your website? What changes have you seen on the internet since launching your website?

2018. As above, Google require high quality content these days rather than low quality thin sites.

What do qualities do you look for in an employee?

Reliability can't be beaten. It's hard to build a business when you don't have reliable people turning up to build it with you.

What made you get into the business you're in?

We've been in the industry for many years and already knew the processes etc. It made sense to branch out and create our own service.

What's the thing you hate the most about the industry you're in?

Travelling between jobs is a bit of a pain. Also the seasonality of the industry is not ideal, as it gets rather slow over Xmas / Winter time.

You can change three things about the industry you're in - tell us what you'd change.

The seasonality of the industry, the travelling between jobs and the fact that some customers don't appreciate that there needs to be a minimum call-out fee for some jobs to cover travelling and wages.

What's the most annoying type of spam email that clogs up your inbox?

We get a lot of SEO emails offering to help us rank in Google. It would be great if we could turn those off somehow.

Do you think the internet is heading in a positive or negative direction?

Definitely positive. I think we're only at the tip of the iceberg and that in years to come it will continue to grow even more.

Is your business a lifestyle business, or are you always looking for continious growth?

Continuous growth. The more people we can serve, the more value we can add to the Oxfordshire area.

Describe your office! For example, do you work from home, or do you have an office full of employees?

We're home based as we're a fairly small company. Other than that though, it has all the usual things such as desk, chairs, computers etc.

What is unique about your business?

We believe our customer service is unmatched and we offer a 20% discount on all jobs.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Focus on meeting your customers needs. People are amazed by customer service and it is still very rare to find customer service that is above and beyond, so if you can do this you will have an instant competitive advantage.

What's the biggest problem you are currently facing with running your business?

It's been challenging during Covid19. Due to the lockdown business has been haulted, but fortunately it's on the rise.

What works best when talking with your clients/customers - an informal or formal style of communication?

Definitely an informal approach works best for us. We're trying to build a friendly relationship with our customers in the hope they will use us again and again for many years to come.

Is the customer always right?

Yes definitely. The last thing we want is unhappy customers. We'd rather give their money back than have unhappy customers.

Have you ever 'fired' a customer?

Not had to yet thankfully. All our customers are really friendly and great people to work with.

What extra lengths do you go to when looking after your customers that your competition don't bother with?

We follow-up on every job we do to make sure they were happy with our service. (c)2009 - 2020