Is it possible that you’re alienating your customers? While the majority of business owners would say no, you may be surprised by the answers. We work with a lot of laundromat investors and owners that are out of touch with their customers’ wants and needs. They may not realize it, but they provide inadequate products, services, and customer service. They come to us, confused as to why their laundromat isn’t thriving and growing. You might be making some of these typical mistakes at your laundromat if you’re noticing a decline in customer loyalty and satisfaction.
A Dirty Laundromat
If you walked into a dirty hotel room or restaurant, how would you react? If you’re like most people, you’d either walk out or complain to management. Laundromats are no exception. Nobody likes to wash their laundry in a dirty store, especially during the COVID pandemic where cleanliness and sanitization are top of mind. A dirty laundromat is a quick way to lose new and potential customers.
When you’re dealing with the day-to-day responsibilities of running a laundry business, it’s easy to overlook cleaning tasks. However, it’s important to schedule a time to clean frequently, such as washing down laundry equipment, mopping the floors, and emptying garbage cans. Existing consumers will enjoy the changes, and new clients will be attracted to your laundromat. The first step in improving customer service at your laundry is to keep it clean.
Poor Customer Service
Remember the last time you had poor customer service. It probably put you in a bad mood, caused you to vent to friends and on social media, and may have been enough that you stopped spending your money at that business. According to research, 89 percent of customers have moved to a competitor as a result of poor customer service. Great customer service, on the other hand, is likely to have transformed a poor experience into a positive one and strengthened your loyalty to a certain brand or company. Mistakes happen, but how you respond to them reflects what your business is all about. In fact, Americans are willing to spend 17% more for a company that provides excellent customer service. When it comes to customer service at your laundromat, quick response times, polite and knowledgeable employees, and incentive programs are all excellent ways to stand out from the competition.
Lack of an Online Presence
Let’s imagine you’re hungry and want pizza. If you’re new to the neighborhood or haven’t had pizza delivered in a long time, you might be unsure where to order from or whether your favorite pizzeria is still operating, or what their hours are. So what do you do? The first thing that consumers do is grab their phone and do a quick Google search for pizza delivery in your area. Customers looking for a laundromat and likely to go through the exact same process.
According to Google, “near me” searches have risen significantly as customers look for services that are open and close by – businesses like your laundromat! You can’t only rely on word of mouth alone any longer. People conduct research online before visiting a business like yours for the first time, according to studies, so if you don’t have a strong online presence, your potential consumers may be heading to your competition.
It’s time to get on board if you’re one of the nearly 40% of small business owners who don’t have a website. At the very least, your website should include your laundromat’s name, address, contact information, price information, and hours of operation, as well as pictures of your washers, dryers, and ancillary accessories. You may also utilize social media platforms, online review sites such as Yelp and Google My Business, and online advertising to help you attract and keep customers.
Lack of Payment Systems / Technology
In a poll regarding payment methods, over 80% of respondents said debit or credit cards were their preferred way of payment, while just 12% said cash was their preferred method of payment. With that in mind, it’s important to think about your customers and make visiting your laundromat as quick, easy, and convenient as possible. They may leave or start doing laundry at another laundromat if they don’t have the cash on hand.
Card vending systems like CCI and FasCard, on the other hand, let them use whichever payment method is most convenient for them, eliminating the need for extra stops at the bank and keeping loose change. Customers may even pay directly through an app on their phone thanks to new smartphone technology. Providing extra payment methods for clients and laundromat owners like yourself allows for a simple, secure, and convenient experience.
Dexter utilizes the latest technology to help improve the laundry experience for you and your customers. The DexterLive cloud-based management software seamlessly connects with Dexter machines to provide unprecedented analytics and control so you can manage your store anytime, anywhere, from any device. Since its launch in 2014, the system has continued to evolve, making those original machines even smarter than the day they were purchased.
Not Enough Machines
Waiting in lines is inconvenient, which is why online shopping and order ahead alternatives have become popular. We’re all busy with work, family, friends, and other commitments. Customers don’t have much patience for waiting for machines and wasting time, so it’s important that you do everything you can to cut down on wait times. The following are a few ideas for reducing laundromat wait times:
- Upgrading your laundry equipment to washing machines with faster cycle times.
- Adding more washers and dryers
- Offering rewards or incentives to get customers in during non-peak hours or days.
Overcrowding and long wait times at the laundry may be avoided from the start with proper planning and design. The experts at Scott Equipment can assist you in determining the number of machines you’ll need at your laundromat.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that your equipment is the reason people come to your laundromat. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant with bad food and long wait times especially if there are other (better) options nearby. So, why would anybody go to a laundromat with older or subpar equipment or a long wait time for machines? Consumers want top-of-the-line equipment that gets their clothes washed and sanitized quickly and efficiently. If you can’t provide that, they’ll go to the competitor who does.
Contact our laundry specialists or explore our selection of commercial laundry equipment from leading manufacturers like Dexter if it’s time to upgrade your laundromat’s equipment.