As any good retailer will know, looking after the long term interests of customers and the products they have bought can reap huge ongoing benefits, not only by reducing the number of call-backs and complaints but by building customer satisfaction and gaining repeat sales. In the case of carpets and other flooring, providing advice on care is an important part of the sales process and should include guidance on which vacuum cleaner is best suited to the floor covering that has been purchased. Matching a floor with the right vacuum cleaner is not something to leave to chance. The vast range of flooring types available means that it is vital that the customer is given sufficient information to choose the most appropriate maintenance regime and vacuum cleaner. A carefully selected, good quality, high performance machine of the right type will, without doubt, help ensure a floor not only looks good but lasts. An example of the kind of problem that can occur if the wrong machine is used is fluffing of a wool loop pile carpet forming a fuzzy surface, a process known as pilling. Much more common is damage caused by inefficient machines that fail to clean properly, leaving grit and dirt behind. This trapped debris cuts the fibres and damages the integrity of the pile as the carpet is walked on, shortening its life. Added to this is the visual downside of a dirty carpet. When correctly matched with the floor covering, a good machine will clean quickly and thoroughly without harming the floor surface. SEBO works closely with carpet manufactures and rigorously test carpets on their behalf to establish which machines work best on each type of floor covering. The sales team visits retailers to discuss specific issues and provide training. If a previously untried carpet is being used it will be tested so the correct cleaning solution can be developed. The range of vacuum cleaners available on the market is vast but principally split into upright and cylinder models. Generally, with cut pile carpet, upright machines with a rotating brush are effective. Cylinders usually rely on suction alone to clean so are normally better for delicate surfaces and hard floors. Where a mixture of carpets and hard floors need to be cleaned, an upright machine designed to do both, is a good solution. Alternatively, a cylinder machine with the option of a power head or turbo brush may be right. For the retailer, there is the opportunity to sell appropriate vacuum cleaners, or provide added value with the cost of the machine built into the price of the carpet. Indeed, this is potentially a win-win situation with both an additional sale and a happy customer who has been helped to care for their flooring.