The Best Ways to Grow Your Laundromat’s Drop-Off Laundry Service
#1. Professionalism and Consistency
Offering your customers a professional and consistent experience is probably the hardest thing to do because it combines everything: your employee’s performance and training, the atmosphere of your laundromat, many machines with moving parts, and it’s a combination of every process you put in place. Here’s some tips to help you master it:
- Build a system, teach the system, hold attendants accountable to the system.
- If customers know what to expect and their experience has been carefully crafted in a way that exceeds those expectations, they’ll be more likely to leave reviews, give referrals, and give you repeat business. This is doubly important for commercial accounts.
- Do NOT leave the writing of the “script” up to your attendants! What your attendants say and how they say it is a huge part of how you are presenting your business. Get feedback from your team about what works well and what doesn’t, but keep your customer experience under your control.
- Consider getting a postcard printed to include in drop-off orders:
- Include the name of the team member(s) who processed their laundry, instructions on how to write a review, and contact info in case anything’s wrong.
- A computerized POS system helps in many areas with professionalism and consistency. It can help enforce policies, processes, and pinpoint where your processes break down (such-as recording a late clock-in, pinpointing which employee or machine is in error, or preventing employee theft).
- *Bonus Tip* Consider reading “It’s Okay to Be the Boss” by Bruce Tulgan and “Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit” by Leonardo Inghilleri and Micah Solomon.
#2. The lowest hanging fruit is online
- Did you know that a whopping 68% of laundromats don’t advertise online in any way, shape, or form and that 72% don’t have a website?
- Just having a website already puts you ahead of the majority of the competition.
- Your website needs to be very clear about what to expect, the procedure, the cost, and the order turnaround time.
- Hire a photographer to get excellent images of your store and your service in action (happy smiling people – not a bare empty store!) and post use these pictures for everything! (Here are the photos and website of the laundromat where Wash-Dry-Fold POS was developed).
- Claim free listings on Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp.
- Ask for reviews! Tell your customers where to go.
- Free snack or drink from the vending machine in exchange for a fresh online review.
- Facebook WiFi: Customers “check in” on your store’s Facebook page to access your wifi. Facebook will remind them a day or two later to write a review. (Plus, when they check in to your place, it shares that info with their friends on Facebook.)
- If someone searches for a laundromat or laundry service in your area, here’s your recipe for success:
- Great Reviews
- Great Photos
- Promotional Coupon to seal the deal
#3. Send a Clear Message
- Clear signage, inside and out of your store (literally an arrow pointing to your service counter or window).
- You need attendants who want to do the laundry!
- Some owners use compensation, others use regular training.
- Attendants are your best salespeople and if they are onboard.
- Attendants are your worst salespeople if they are not onboard.
- Think about your layout from a new or non-customer’s perspective. Is it immediately obvious that you offer WDF and that you want their laundry? Where they should go and what they should do? Consider how painstakingly obvious fast food places make their service counter.
#4. Find Opportunities Where People Change Their Habits
- Most people will do their laundry in the same place and same way, week after week. Your mission is to become their habit.
- People are likely to change their habits when experiencing major life changes such as moving, having kids, divorce, or marriage.
- Advertising heavily to new apartment dwellers is the cheapest method because many apartments offer new occupants welcome packages and will happily include any materials you provide like flyers, coupons, discount membership cards, etc.
- There are other lists available such as new homeowners, new parents, etc. but those usually cost money to obtain and cost money to market to via direct mail.