An Opportunity To Shine

We are in the best industry that really shines and stands out with customer service. Restaurants are a good measurement of food quality and it seems everyone eats out these days. However, unlike the drycleaning and laundry industry, customer service in the restaurant business relies on quality food rather than quality service. We have come to expect lousy service in the food industry, so all we can hope for is good food, commensurate with the price, of course. Low cost in any product usually means low quality. You know the old saying, “you get what you pay for.” In our industry we get one, maybe two shots at impressing a customer. After that, only the quality of the work will keep our customers coming back. Location and convenience are important factors as well, but it is customer service that will bring a person back. Unfortunately in most industries today it is the important element that is missing.

Go Figure!

It seems the most interesting topic is, as always, customer service. We talk technical issues occasionally and a few years back it was all about the environmental woes. Today, operators in all types of businesses are scrambling for lost customers, so the topic most important, and always has been, is customer service. Most articles you will read over and over in various periodicals by writers are usually about customer service. And yet, it is rare to come upon a store that actually practices it. What a paradox! While it is the most important thing we can offer and yet is the least likely to be found. I can’t help but believe it is due to this society we now live in. I grew up in the “me” age and today customer service reps treat customers exactly the opposite of how they would want to be treated. In any industry. Go figure!

Happy As A Baby Heifer With A New Fence

How can we shine above the rest? We have the greatest opportunity to do so by virtue of the product we sell. What might that be? Customers clothes. Most people are very personal and excited about the clothes they wear. They want you to feel the same way. When is the last time you heard a CSR (Customer Service Representative) comment on a customer’s clothes? We did it all the time years ago. If there is time on the counter, why not reach out to your customers? If you engage them in a conversation about their clothes, they will be likely to be as happy as a baby heifer with a new fence! Now, if it is herd them in and herd them out as quick as possible, you have a problem managing conversations. And naturally they should be short. Just a compliment or two.

Ole Doc

Western pal Jeff Schwarz, of A.L. Wilson fame is always quick to remind me of the difference in quality and price. To quote Jeff, “Doc, there is a reason that you my friend, chose to stay at the Hilton instead of the Motel 6 hotels.” This man would know, as we both traveled down the trail of tears and hotels together for years. Jeff Schwarz is knowledgeable about traveling expenses as he flies around the southwestern Unites States and Canada pulling his wagon brand of knowledge. Jeff also sees the awful way most customers (like himself) get treated at some of these stores and other businesses.

Use Your Opportunity To Shine To Grow And Persevere

I want to remind any owner of any business that you don’t really know how your people act when you are not around. Oh, you may think you do, but only a camera or a customer (and maybe not them if they choose not to come back) knows the real story. The picture is most gloomy, my friends. Thankfully, we as drycleaners know that we have a useful product that people want serviced and they are our bread and butter more so than most industries. Take advantage of this fact if you never had, and make the most of it so you can shine. All the way to the bank. Do this and you will be busier than a rattler in August.

Have a great month of business my friends. I miss being out there with ya!

The old cowboy wagon wheels are getting rusty and these boots are still killin’ me so!

About Kenney Slatten

Kenney Slatten Training Company is a Dry Cleaning and Laundry Consulting Firm Specializing in Environmental Training and Certification. Kenney Slatten Training Company, or KSTC, is based in Texas with offices in Arizona and California. Kenney Slatten is a certified instructor/trainer for the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI), is actively involved in the San Diego Drycleaners Association, the California Cleaners Association, is an Allied Trade board member of DLI, the Executive Director of Western States Drycleaners & Launderers Association, a member of the International Drycleaners Congress, and a columnist for American Drycleaner and Western Cleaner and Launderer magazines. The Kenney Slatten Training Company provides the only complete environmental training and inspection process. Started in 1987, Kenny became the first instructor for California E.P.A, OSHA, and state regulations. Kenney publishes a 36 point plant requirement every year in trade publications which is his guide for plant training and certification. We are the only company that provides dry cleaning and laundry specific environmental training. Kenney Slatten is a third generation drycleaner/laundryman from Houston, Texas. His company, KSTC, can teach you the skills you need to have a successful plant. His wagon is found all over the country parked under a tree just waiting for the next call to come to your plant. He can be reached at (800) 429-3990; e-mail: or go to: www.