5 Simple & Quick Spring Cleaning Tips

Posted Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Simple & Quick spring cleaning tips

It’s springtime in Michigan, and you know what that means: most people are spending a good chunk of their free time cleaning and organizing their homes. People are proud of their homes and want the spaces where they spend most of their time to be organized, clean, and comfortable. Spring cleaning takes time, however, so here are a few Simple & Quick Spring Cleaning tips to help you clean more effectively and efficiently. Utilize these and you’ll get more out of your time spent cleaning and you’ll have more time to spend doing fun things!

Make a Cleaning Caddy!

Using a Cleaning Caddy saves you from running back and forth to the kitchen cupboard for cleaning supplies, which ends up saving time and energy so you can get more work done and move on to fun activities! All you need is your most commonly used cleaning supplies and something easy to carry to store them all in!

A Cleaning Caddy is very simple to put together: it is just an easy way to transport all your supplies at once. Some grocery stores make cloth bags designed to hold wine bottles that have 4- 6 little compartments sewn right into the bag.

These work really well because they are very light, washable, and will separate your supplies. If you can’t find a cloth-sectioned bag there are other options! Many stores make cheap plastic cleaning totes, and you can always just utilize a regular cloth tote bag if you cannot find a sectioned one.

Fill your tote with your most commonly used and favorite cleaning supplies: all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, wood cleaner, paper towel, plastic bags (for any trash and used paper towels) and a duster. Take your caddy and have at it.

Dress for the Occasion!

Cleaning can be tough work and can wear you out quickly! One way to make the job easier is to clean in the right clothing. With all the reaching, carrying, scrubbing, and running up and down the stairs, you can heat up quick and get uncomfortable. And discomfort can really slow you down!

Pick clothes that you don’t care too much about. There’s really no reason to wear your best yoga pants while picking up the house, they are definitely going to get covered in dust and grime! Choose some loose sweat pants and a breathable t-shirt. You won’t overheat as quickly and when you are done cleaning just toss everything in the hamper.

Pro tip: If you know you’ll be working on your knees cleaning the tub or organizing cupboards wear knee pads or buy a kneeling pad from the garden section. It will save your knees and you’ll be able to spend more time working on those areas.

De-Clutter before Cleaning

To make sure your cleaning time is spent as efficiently as possible de-clutter the areas beforehand. Work room to room. Clear counters and tabletops or items and papers, then clear the floor. If you don’t have time to organize at the moment make a pile of items to organize and put away later. Removing this clutter clears the path for you to come through and clean surfaces without having to stop to move or re-arrange items.

Clean Top To Bottom

Regardless what room you are cleaning in this can help you save time and energy! Start from the top and work your way down. Dust crown molding and clear cobwebs before washing the walls below. Wipe out cupboards before cleaning the countertops below. Wipe crumbs from countertops and tables and save sweeping or vacuuming for last. If you follow this top to bottom principle in every room you will avoid dirtying areas you have already carefully cleaned. Make a little checklist for each room of what to clean, working from top to bottom.

Make Multitasking Work For You

Most cleaning lists have a lot of different tasks on them, some you may be able to complete while working on others. Before moving on to any other tasks get some items going in the laundry and dishwasher. If you do not have a dishwasher soak some hard to clean pots and pans in hot soapy water!

Now not only are you working on the task at hand but laundry and dishes are getting done at the same time! Listen for the buzzers or set a timer on your phone to check on the laundry or dishwasher, that way you can keep those machines working while you are working.

If you have an essential oil diffuser run that in the rooms you are cleaning to leave them smelling fresh and welcoming. A little bit of multitasking, if carefully done, can go a long way!

You have your Spring Cleaning tips, you have your Cleaning Cubby organized, it’s time to turn on the diffuser, get some laundry started, and get to spring cleaning!

For over 45 years, Modernistic has been making Spring Cleaning in Michigan Simple & Quick. If you want the freshest carpet, upholstery, tile, and air ducts this season, call or click today!  


How To Clean With Vinegar

Posted Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

how to clean with vinegar

Do you know how to clean with vinegar? You have probably heard that vinegar and baking soda can be safe and effective household cleaners. And they can be. But not when you mix them together! Vinegar is a strong acid that can break down soap residue, oils, hard water stains, and glue from stickers. Baking Soda is an alkaline, and can loosen baked-on grease, absorb odors, and brighten teeth. Adding one to the other will neutralize their effectiveness and knock out all of their power.

The Science Behind It

Distilled white vinegar is made from acetic acid and water. When combined with the sodium bicarbonate in baking soda you get a fizzy chemical reaction. This may be fun and exciting, but it isn’t actually helping you clean!

After the foaming action, you are left with water and a small amount of sodium acetate salt; the bubbles are carbon dioxide escaping into the air. If you don’t have the exact perfect ratio of vinegar and baking soda, the water will have some acid or alkaline left in.

That mild acid or alkaline solution, the physical blotting that is usually recommended, along with the placebo effect from the foaming action, and people think it works.

Vinegar, Straight Up

When using vinegar as a cleanser, it is best to use white distilled vinegar. This is partly because you don’t want any color from the vinegar to stain what you are trying to clean. Also, because white distilled vinegar is made in a lab, instead of by natural fermentation like other culinary vinegars, the strength will be more consistent.

A 50/50 solution of white distilled vinegar and water can be used to clean many surfaces in your home. Spray on windows and wipe off with newspaper for a streak free shine. This cleanser will work great on most hard surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom.

However, do not use vinegar on hardwood floors, wax floors, granite/marble countertops, or egg spills (it will scramble the egg).

It is a great rinse for fruits and veggies because it is a mild disinfectant. You can also soak a well used loofah sponge in the cleaning solution to dissolve soap residue.

Vinegar On Your Carpet

It is usually not a good idea to use vinegar to clean your carpet. If you have a natural fiber carpet the vinegar could cause serious and permanent damage. Most soiling in your carpet is acidic, and so a commercial alkaline cleaning will be the best choice.

Pet urine has both uric acid and alkaline crystals, so it is especially best left to professionals. Adding too much liquid to a pet stain can cause it to soak in deeper to your carpet, pad, and even into your subfloor.

If you have a hard water stain, like salty winter brine from snowy boots, you might want to try the vinegar solution to break down the calcium and other minerals. If your carpet has a build-up of soap in it from improper cleaning technique, you may want to try the vinegar solution. In both of these special cases, only if you know your carpet is NOT a natural material.

Often times, simply removing surface dirt with a vacuum or brush, spraying a little water, and blotting from the outside in is the best way to treat common carpet spots. The technique is more important than the product, but you don’t want to use products that will damage your carpet.


How a Commercial Cleaning Maintenance Plan Will Save You Money

Posted Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

There are so many factors to consider when running a successful business that it would be impossible to ever cover them all. Because of this, some issues, such as repetitive cleaning for your carpet, tile, or upholstery, can get pushed off as less important. However there are several reasons that getting your business on a commercial cleaning maintenance plan can benefit your long term growth.

            The most obvious reason to be on a commercial cleaning maintenance plan is keeping your business clean. Appearance is the first thing many customers notice when they enter a business and having stains in the carpet, grout lines, or seats can negatively shape their opinion, regardless of the quality of the actual services performed. Having a clean workspace will show customers and employees alike that you take pride in your business.

Most businesses receive much more foot traffic than the average home and, guess what? They get dirtier much faster as well. While all carpeting and upholstery will eventually begin to wear with age, having it regularly cleaned will help prolong its life. Having professional cleaning done every month, or even every few months, removes the buildup of dirt before it gets deep into the fibers of your carpet and upholstery. For further protection, 3M Scotchgard can be applied after the cleaning to help prevent stains. This topical product safely coats the surface of the fabric to help prevent stains and dirt from setting in, making spots much easier to remove.

It’s not only dirt that can reside the carpet of your business. Allergens like dust mites and even mold spores will build up over time, causing allergies and promoting illnesses. Professional carpet cleaning removes these allergens and sanitizes the carpet to promote a healthy work environment. After all, a healthy worker is a happy worker (and one that doesn’t miss time!)

Scheduling repetitive cleaning can benefit your business in many ways; whether it’s improving company image, prolonging the life of your property, or protecting the health of your employees. Many of our cleaning maintenance customers find that the biggest benefit isn’t any of those. Letting us worry about keeping their office clean means it’s one less thing on their plate. That way, they can focus on what they do best: running their business!

If a commercial cleaning maintenance plan is right for your business, contact Modernistic today for more info.


Fun Healthy Lunches for Kids

Posted Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

We love to have fun with our kids, and kids love to have fun with their food. Instead of trying to stop kids from playing with their food it’s a great idea to re-harness this energy by bringing them into the kitchen. Getting children engaged with ingredients and dishes they really like and involving them when you prepare meals will benefit everyone in your household, and you will all have fun cooking together! Here are just a few ideas for fun healthy lunches for kids to get you started!

School Lunches

If you make your children’s lunches the night before, have your kids help! Below are some simple recipes for lunches that are fun to make, taste good, and are good for your kids!

Meat and Cheese Roll Ups

  • Favorite sliced lunch meat
  • Favorite sliced cheese*

These roll ups are simple to make, very filling and you are practically playing with food as you roll them up! These are delicious, protein heavy, and gluten free!

-Lay a slice of meat on a clean surface, lay a slice of cheese on top and then cover the cheese with another slice of meat.-Fold one end over and begin to roll up.

-Place 2-3 in a sandwich bag.

*If you don’t have sliced cheese don’t fret! Cut a rectangle of cheese and wrap the meat around it. Just as easy and delicious!

Cookie Cutter Sandwiches

  • Large cookie cutters
  • Bread
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly

Sandwiches are classic and delicious. No reason to change what’s great about them, but you can make them way more fun with fun shapes! Kids love to use cookie cutters and this is a great solution for little ones who don’t like crusts.

-Make your kids favorite sandwich (We are using PB and Jelly for this example but this would work for practically any sandwich!)

-Place finished sandwich on a flat surface.

– Press cookie cutter into sandwich to cut out shape. You can make them all the same shape or get wild and use different cookie cutters. The more shapes the more fun!

– Wrap in plastic wrap or put in a sandwich bag for portable yumminess!

Veggies on a Stick       

  • Favorite veggies
  • Skewers 

A little novelty can go a long way with kids. Pick out some favorite veggies with your child and show them how to push the veggies on a skewer. This is great for a bag lunch or a snack at home. Serve with a sauce that compliments the veggies. Here are some yummy veggie/dip combinations:

-Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots on a skewer with ranch to dip

-Red and green pepper slices, cucumbers and celery on a skewer with hummus to dip

-Mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes on a skewer with pesto to dip (a kid friendly version of caprese salad!)

-Mix and match your kids favorite veggies and dip! Get creative!

Home Lunches

A day at home with the kids is the perfect time to gather up your little ones, get into the kitchen, and experiment with lunch! Have fun, be creative, and don’t fret if it gets messy!

Tortilla Pizzas

  • Tortillas (corn or flour)
  • Pizza sauce
  • Shredded cheese of choice
  • Mini pepperonis or sliced ham
  • Other favorite toppings:
  • Olives
  • Red or green pepper diced
  • Sliced mushrooms  

Most kids love pizza, and kids love having options when it comes to food. Lay out ingredients for them to choose from and assist them in creating their own pizza!

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees

– Cover cookie or baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay tortillas on baking sheet

– Spoon pizza sauce onto tortilla and spread out to cover most of the surface.

– Show your child how to sprinkle shredded cheese on top and monitor to make sure it’s not too much! The pizza will be hard to handle if there is too much cheese!

– Once there is the right amount of cheese it is time to choose and arrange other toppings! Arrange them on top of the cheese, then sprinkle a little more cheese on top so that when it melts the other toppings are secure. Have fun with this step! You can make faces or designs with the toppings or just let your little one have at it and place the toppings as they choose.

– After they have added everything on that they desire put the cookie sheet in the oven and bake until the cheese is fully melted!

– Remove from oven and let cool. Once the pizza is cool enough, use a spatula to transfer to a plate and cut into slices that are easier for little hands to handle.

Quesadillas

  • Your favorite tortillas
  • Shredded cheese
  • Canned black beans
  • Canned corn
  • Mexican style chicken or beef**
  • Taco seasoning

Nothing quite hits the spot like warm gooey cheese and crispy tortilla! This is a simple black bean quesadilla, delicious and filling. Meat is optional and a great way to use up leftovers from taco night!

-Put shredded cheese in a bowl and keep close by

-Mix half a can of black beans and ¼ of a can of corn together in a small saucepan and heat up.

– Mix in a small amount of taco seasoning into warmed black beans and corn. Not too much if your children are adverse to spicy foods!  Once fully mixed take off heat and set to the side.

-If you are using meat re-heat slightly and set to the side

-Get a larger pan nice and hot and warm both sides of the tortilla.

-Once tortilla is slightly toasted lightly sprinkle cheese on one half. Spread evenly.

-Spoon a small amount of your bean and corn mixture on top of cheese. If you are adding meat to your quesadilla, add some on top of the veggies and cheese.

-Evenly sprinkle cheese on top of the added veggies and meat; without this cheese the quesadilla won’t stick together!

– Flip other half of tortilla over and toast on both sides until cheese is melted! Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Fruit Puree Popsicles

  • 2 cups fruit of choice, fresh or frozen (strawberries, watermelon, peaches, blueberries)
  • Honey

What kid doesn’t love a Popsicle? These are a bit healthier than store bought versions and you can make all sorts of varieties with different fruits. You can pick up Popsicle molds at almost any grocery store.

-Blend 2 cups of fruit and honey in a blender. Start with 2 tablespoons of honey and add more to taste.

-Pour into Popsicle molds and let freeze for several hours.

-Hand out to treat hungry kiddos!


Spring Weather Causes Burst Pipes

Posted Thursday, March 15th, 2018

It always happens around this time of year. Our Michigan springs are notoriously volatile, with temperatures ranging from sunny and warm one day, to cloudy and freezing the next. While Detroit and Ann Arbor residents don’t have to deal with lake effect like Grand Rapids and Lansing, they still have to contend with weather systems pushing up from the south, which can leave them even colder than the rest of the state! (minus the U.P., of course, since they’re basically tundra until May). Springtime in Michigan certainly isn’t gentle, and this fluctuating weather can be incredibly harsh on your indoor plumbing. This sort of spring weather causes burst pipes, leaving us Michiganders with water in our basements and a mess on our hands.

Freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw – the weather cycle we experience in spring causes a major strain on your water pipes. Why does fluctuating weather cause pipes to burst? Well, when water freezes, it expands. Ice will take up more volume than water, which is a huge problem in confined spaces – like your plumbing!

If you’ve ever had the ice cubes in your ice tray freeze together, you’ve experienced this effect. Even though you put the exact right amount of water in the tray (and it didn’t overflow), the cubes all froze together on the top when you pulled it out of the freezer. What gives? When the water froze, it pushed upwards and out. Having this happen in your ice tray is a minor inconvenience; having this happen in your plumbing can be a disaster!

Expanding ice will push against the barriers of the piping, and, given enough pressure, will actually split the pipe. Not good. The worst part is that you won’t even realize it until the water thaws and starts flowing again. Even a tiny, ⅛ inch split can spill up to 250 gallons of water per day!

Luckily, there are a few Simple & Quick steps you can take to help prevent burst pipes from happening:

  1. Locate and insulate any vulnerable plumbing
  2. Keep your thermostat at a steady temperature – day and night
  3. Let your faucets slowly drip when the temperature drops
  4. Close the garage

That’s why Michigan spring weather causes burst pipes; the up-and-down temperatures make it more likely that your pipes will freeze, which puts them at risk of bursting and causing a massive flood in your basement. Or bathroom. Or kitchen. Or any room that plumbing runs through. While you should be vigilant all year long (like in the winter, for example), springtime is prime time for burst pipes and water damage in your home.

From burst pipes to flooded basements to toilet overflows, Modernistic has been helping Michigan recover from water damage for over 45 years.


You’ll Be Shocked How Dirty Your “Clean” Chair Really Is!

Posted Friday, March 9th, 2018

We sit on it, lay on it, play on it, and even eat on it. So why do we think it doesn’t need to be cleaned as often as our floors? Your furniture can collect just as much (sometimes even more!) dirt and soil as the floor. Even though it may look clean, upholstery can hide all sorts of nasty stuff you can’t see with your naked eye. Don’t believe us? Try the White Towel Test for yourself!  

Looks Can Be Deceiving

At Modernistic, we have all sorts of tricks up our sleeve to get your home clean, but this one is a eye-opening test to show you how much you need your upholstery professionally cleaned. Our White Towel Test is a sure fire way to show you what you’ve been unwittingly sitting on. All we do is utilize four key elements to show you the dirt and soiling that you and your family may be lounging on.

The White Towel Test

1.) A white towel (preferably one of ours to save you the extra dirty laundry).

2.) A piece of seemingly-clean upholstery in your home.

3.) A trained and certified Modernistic Technician.

4.) A Modernistic truck-mounted vacuum system.

Here’s what happens:

 

When you get all 4 of these things together, you’ll see that what you thought was clean upholstery is definitely NOT so clean.

The Modernistic White Towel Test is one of the easiest ways to see all the dirt you may be leaving behind when you think your cleaning is done. We place a simple white towel between your upholstery and our powerful truck-mounted vacuum equipment. Next, our technician will run the vacuum across your upholstery. The white towel acts like a filter and will reveal the soiling hiding in your upholstery. You will be surprised at how much dirt you can’t see on your sofas, chairs, ottomans, and sectional seating.

What Does This Mean?

The proof is in the pudding! That’s why, when you want to get your upholstery truly clean, you need the professionals at Modernistic. Many people believe they can easily clean their upholstery themselves, but as the White Towel Test proves, no cleaning method in the world can compare to the power of a truck-mounted hot water extraction. Not to mention all of the different types of upholstery fabric there are today; it takes an experienced hand to use just the right amount of water and pressure to avoid damaging delicate fabrics!

What About Your Furniture?

Dust mites, microbes, and other contaminants will invisibly accumulate in your upholstery over time, so if you want to see your furniture cleaned right, then hire a professional like Modernistic. You bring the upholstery, and we’ll bring the white towel!


Meals You Can Make With Your Kids

Posted Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Do your kids know how to cook? It can be fun and educational for kids to help make delicious and nutritious food. Doing a little prep beforehand (or while the little ones are washing up) can make things run a lot smoother. Using pre-chopped veggies and baking mixes make it easy to have meals you can make with your kids without getting bogged down with knife skills or too much measuring. What should you make? Here are a few Simple & Quick suggestions!

Simple & Quick Breakfast

You might already make breakfast with your little ones on the weekends. But, wouldn’t it be nice if the kids could actually make breakfast a little bit easier for you? Microwaved mug meals are the answer!

Make your own instant oatmeal mix (or buy them from the store) and it will be easy for kids to add water and mix-ins and microwave themselves. Berries, chocolate chips, and freeze dried fruit are all excellent additions.

You can even make a savory oatmeal using leftover veggies from dinner last night. Using unshelled egg mix and pre-chopped ingredients can make mug omelets easy for kids to put together. You can also make an easy French toast in a mug by tearing up a slice of bread, adding syrup, eggs, and milk, (you may want to mix up the custard beforehand) and microwaving until set.

Kid-Friendly Lunch

For lunch bento boxes can be really fun! Use cookie cutters to make fun shaped cheese and meat, and eat with crackers. Baby carrots and other fresh veggies are fun for kids to dip in ranch, hummus, or salsa. Watermelon is also great for cutting with cookie cutters, add some blueberries or grapes for variety.

You can even find egg molds and flags to make bento boxes extra special. These boxes can seem fussy for an adult to put together every night, but having your kids put it together turns making lunch into a game.

Dinners For Days

Who doesn’t love pizza? You can make easy pizzas by using flour tortillas, pitas, naan, bagels, French bread, or even sandwich bread, bell peppers, or eggplant slices as the crust. Simply top with sauce, cheese, toppings and bake on at a high temperature. You will have customized personal pizzas in no time.

Encourage your kids to use as many colors as possible to ensure they eat a variety of veggies. Use the toppings take faces, rainbows, houses, or whatever your imagination wants to see on a pizza.

Snack Time!

Getting bored with the same old snacks? Mix things up with donut apples! Just core and slice apple into donut rounds. Add peanut butter, cookie butter, nutella, frosting, or yogurt and top with sprinkles, granola, or whatever your kids like. It will feel like a treat, but it will be full of fiber and vitamins.

Desserts are always fun to make with kids! Jazz up your cereal treats by topping them with sprinkles, chocolate chips, M&Ms, freeze dried fruit, nuts, or another favorite cereal.

There are many different types of meals you can make with your kids, and it’s fun to get the whole family involved in the process! Better yet, you can make it a weekly event – family cook dinner night. We guarantee your kids will better appreciate the effort that goes into preparing food and they’ll learn to cook while they’re at it!

 


Do My Air Ducts Need To Be Cleaned? A Simple & Quick Guide

Posted Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

 

We hear this question a lot. People often ask us “how can I tell if my air ducts need to be cleaned?”, which is not as easy to answer as it would seem. Having a clean HVAC system can help with allergies and lower your energy bills, but how often does the average house need air duct cleaning? The truth of the matter is that it depends on the home and the people living in it. Anyone with allergies or multiple pets might discover they have to get their air ducts cleaned every few years.  Someone without the dirt of pets or kids might find they have to do it much more infrequently.  Since there’s no such thing as the average home, here are a few ways to tell if the air ducts need to be cleaned in your home:

In Sight, In Mind           

The easiest way to check to find out if your air ducts are dirty is to simply take a look.  If you can, take a vent cover off and look at the inside of your ducts. If there is a buildup of dust and debris than it could very well be time to clean your air ducts. Be aware that the return registers in your home may not be the most accurate indicator, since they pull in dusty air and will get dustier much faster than the rest of your air duct system!

Location, Location, Location

While every home is going to gradually have dust settle in their duct system, there are countless external factors that can speed up the process. Living on an unpaved road or by a sandy beach can increase the amount of dirt that gets tracked into your home and pulled into your ducts.  Anyone with pets will who are prone to shedding will attest that they do so everywhere, with some of it undoubtedly getting pulled into your ductwork. A little pet hair of dust in the ducts can go unnoticed for years, but if you have allergies to dust or pet dander you might find that you want to have air duct cleaning more frequently.

Love The New Bathroom, Hate The Drywall Dust

Even new homes can sometimes need their air ducts cleaned, especially after the construction phase. Drywall dust, sawdust, and other fine particulates can keep getting recirculated through your home, making it seem like you have to dust very often. Air duct cleaning can remove the drywall dust and any other construction debris behind in the ductwork of your new home.

Isn’t It Time You Checked?

While there isn’t a set standard of time, there are definitely plenty of other ways to tell if your air ducts need to be cleaned. Indoor air quality is important, and it only takes 5 minutes to see if your air ducts could be the dusty, dirty culprit! To find out more about air duct cleaning, visit our FAQ page to learn more.

If you’re ever unsure if your air ducts could use a thorough cleaning, you can always call Modernistic . One of our NADCA-certified air duct technicians would be more than happy to come out and take a look for you!


What’s the Big Deal With LED Bulbs?

Posted Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

What Makes LED Bulbs Better?

It’s a simple fact: LED lights can save you money on your electric bill. But why? What makes LED bulbs better than the ones you already have in your home?

Not all lights are created equal. You may need to ditch the old incandescent bulbs and upgrade to the future to help get the best lighting in every room of your home.

Enter the LED bulb.

Unlike its ugly brother the incandescent bulb, which produces light by heating up a filament until it is white hot, a LED, or light emitting diode, bulb creates light by sending electricity through a microchip that illuminates a set of small lights.

Enough of the science talk though, let’s get real here. LED light bulbs will save you money.

How Do LED Bulbs Save Money?

Since these bulbs are designed to light up your home more efficiently, LED bulbs use almost 75% less energy than a standard incandescent bulb, and as an added bonus, they typically last 25 times longer.

That means you get to save money on your energy bill and not replace that pain-in-the-butt chandelier light as often.

If it’s too hard to believe just check out this chart from energy.gov.

But don’t worry, you still get the same brightness out of your fancy new LEDs that you would from your old incandescents. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission requires all LED manufacturers to put information like lumens(brightness), energy cost, and life on all packaging so you can make sure you’re selecting the right bulb for your home’s needs.

It’s all wrapped up for you in a nice shiny (pun intended) package.

The Latest Tech

And finally for all you techies out there, many manufacturers are creating LED bulbs that you can control through mobile devices like your smartphone or tablet.

This means the next time when your kids, who like to use your home as the world’s light source, forget to turn off the lights, you can do it from the comfort of your favorite chair. Necessary? Not really. Awesomely high tech? You bet!

Before you show off your new LED lighting to all your family and friends, make sure your home is in tip-top shape. Let your carpet and upholstery shine by scheduling thorough cleaning from the professionals at Modernistic, Michigan’s #1 trusted choice for over 45 years!


4 Ways to Make a Great First Impression with Customers

Posted Friday, February 16th, 2018

What reaction will your customers have?

Have you ever walked into a restaurant, looked around, and immediately thought “There’s no way I’m eating here”? They lost your business because they didn’t make a good first impression. Maybe it was the décor, or nobody greeted you when you walked in, or there was that weird smell, but you knew right away. A potential customer will decide within 11 seconds of walking into your business whether or not they like you. Those 11 seconds are critical – you only get 1 chance at a first impression, which will greatly influence whether or not they do business with you.  No one wants to lose out on sales, so here are 4 crucial ways to help your business make a great first impression with customers.

1 – Optimize your website and train your employees to answer the phone

Often the first point of contact that customers will have with your business will be on the web or over the phone. Make sure their experience is a good one that leaves them with positive feelings about your business. An out-of-date website or a confusing phone system will discourage customers from visiting you in the first place.

Is your website…

  • Easy to use?
  • Customer-focused?
  • Modern?
  • Engaging?

When a customer calls in…

  • Is there a live person answering the phone? Are they knowledgeable and friendly?
  • How long do they have to wait on hold?
  • Do they have to navigate a phone tree?

A customer’s experience online or over the phone will often decide if they visit you or one of your competitors. Consider writing a script for your employees who answer the phone, and make sure your business’s information (like address and phone number) is up to date and consistent everywhere a customer can find it online.

2 – Make sure your lobby is clean and well-lit

Your entryway should tell a customer everything they need to know about your business. The lobby is the “point of no return” for a customer. They’ve made a decision to seek out your business and, at the very least, committed to getting more information about you. Your lobby should reward them for that decision and commitment, giving your customers no reason to second guess themselves. That means your lobby should be orderly, welcoming, and above all, clean.

Orderly – Does your customer know where/how to get help? Having a receptionist to guide potential customers is key (see #3)

Welcoming – Does your lobby put people at ease? The décor, the lighting, the building materials all play a part in helping customers feel relaxed. Did you know that watching fish swim around in aquariums helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure? It’s true!

Clean – Are your floors, upholstery, walls, etc. free of dirt and stains? Nothing says “I don’t care about my business and, by extension, the problems of my customers” quite like stained carpet and dirty upholstery. It’s important to have a professional maintenance plan not only to impress customers, but to protect your investment – and your bottom line.

3 – Have a good receptionist

“You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and yours may be in the hands of the receptionist”

-Harvey Mackay

A knowledgeable, friendly receptionist will go a long way towards making a good first impression with customers. As the first employee a customer sees, they are essentially the “face” of your business; it’s important they represent you in a positive, confidence-building way.

Your receptionist/greeter/face-to-face marketing liaison (whatever you want to call them) should also know the ins and outs of your business. When a customer has a question or an issue, they will feel much more confident about your business if the first person they bring their problem to knows what to do to help.

4 – Have marketing info readily available

If a customer has decided to walk into your business to get information, have that information – and more – available to them! Be ready to make the most of every opportunity. Give them reasons to choose your company, or highlight additional products/services you offer, or why they should add on to their current service. This can be done through printed pieces, handouts, displays, or even your expertly-trained receptionist/greeter/F2F Mkg Liaison. Not only is this preparation professional, it helps maximize each customer who walks through your door. Fortune favors the prepared!

So there are the 4 crucial ways to make a good first impression with customers. Are there any other ways to impress your customers and build confidence with potential clients? Of course! Take a look at your business through the eyes of your customer and try to put yourself in their shoes. Look for ways to improve their experience and leave them feeling at ease, confident, and overall positive about you. After all, in the words of one of our favorite authors:

“A good first impression can work wonders”

J.K. Rowling

From two-room offices to 20,000-seat stadiums, Modernistic has been helping Michigan businesses make a great first impression with customers for over 44 years. Click here to see how we can help your business look its absolute best.