woman on her phone in Huebsch laundromat

Customer service tips amidst self-serve generations

Going the extra mile brings additional profit potential

While technological advancements, hands-free payments and all-around independence in several industries nationwide take center stage, the laundromat industry has some hidden key factors to make sure their customers remain satisfied and coming back.

Stores are different than what’s been normal in the past. Today, they are more aesthetically pleasing — warm colors, bright lighting, innovative flooring solutions, better seating. The vended laundry has gone from a utilitarian store to a full-on laundry experience.

Can an owner still make money and be successful by throwing washers and dryers in a room and flipping on the open sign? Yes. However, the flip side to this is, owners can command a premium for my services by focusing on presenting a higher-level customer experience? Again, the answer here is yes. But how do you get there?

Are attendants attending?

The greatest equipment and décor likely aren’t enough to overcome a surly, unhelpful attendant. We want staff to be helpful, pleasant and attentive. Creating that environment starts with good hiring. It extends into solid training, which is where some businesses miss the mark, and includes setting of expectations.

This is foundational, the baseline to setting the stage for high-quality customer service. However, it’s by no means where it stops. The great store owners strive for truly exceptional customer service.

Sometimes the exceptional customer service doesn’t come without incentivizing employees to be on their best behavior. Some naturally embrace the grasp of the truly inviting customer service experience while others may struggle to keep up. Providing rewards for going the extra mile or even fixing an error may be that push for employees to step it up.

Customer service employees tend to work best when their hard work is being recognized and acknowledged. It can be as simple as pulling them aside to compliment them for a situation they handled well, or for their politeness. Other times, employees could be rewarded by completing tasks for raffle tickets and the chance for a larger, tangible prize.

Don’t just put it on the employees

A clean store with good lighting is not enhancing the customer experience – go beyond that mentality.

Furthermore, never stop learning as an owner. The business will not grow unless you do. Seek out new ideas and ways to give your customers more than just basic tools that wash and dry. Work toward providing higher-capacity machines for high-capacity jobs for better retainment. Without 40-, 60- or 80-pound washer-extractors, you aren’t giving what your customers came for.

While providing these machinery upgrades, consider ease of access too. Installing automatic doors and carts will create an efficient laundromat without making the process seem like the chore it has always been assumed to be.

Make the cart system easy and streamlined for guests to know which machines can fit a certain amount of laundry. Take guesswork off the table and simplify it for them by creating a system that essentially says, “If this cart is filled, it’s a perfect 60-pound load”.

Make it easy on yourself by making it easy for your customers. Streamline the laundry process by providing a seamless and stress-free experience.