What things would you change? How would you change them? And how fast would you put those ideas into action?
It’s a very good question – “If you were competing with yourself, what would you do?” – Isn’t it?
This is how the best dry cleaners get better. It’s how they stay leap years ahead of their competition. No matter what their competitiors copy from them. The competition can’t keep up, because the best dry cleaners are always innovating.
Are you happy with your employees? Are you keeping some because you think it’s hard to find someone better? Do you have an employee-training program in place? Do you have systems for your employees to follow? Do they know what to say when they answer the phone? Or someone walks into your store? How do they handle certain objectionable questions?
What would you do differently with your whole employee thing? Decide, and do it!
How about your look and feel? Are you happy with your vans and your plant lobby? When prospective customers see your van, do they go…wow! And do they clearly know what you do, and how you do it? Can they easily find your phone number in huge letters so they can call you?
Is your lobby shabby? Could it use some elbow grease? How’s the signage? Is it clear to everyone that walks into your lobby, what you dry clean and launder, and what other services you provide? Is there a message from you with your smiling face hanging where your customers or prospective customers can easily see it? Is there signage prompting your customers to give your delivery service a try? Is it clean? Do your employee’s wear uniforms—freshly starched cotton shirts would be the best (to show off your work)? Does your lobby say…wow! Do you give them popcorn? Cotton candy? Espresso? Coffee? Candy? How do you make your lobby inviting and exciting?
Is your bathroom exceptionally clean? And I don’t want to hear that it’s not for your customers! That’s BS! What if a customer really, really has to go? Do you turn them down? No, you don’t! You take them back and make some excuse that it’s only for the employees. So, your customer is thinking…they don’t care about their employees, so they must not care about me, or cleaning my dirty clothes. Stop it! Clean your darn bathroom and clean it now! Some things are a must and this is one of them. My daily chore when I was growing up was to clean the two bathrooms in our house everyday. My mother used to say that, “cleanliness is close to Godliness.” I took it to heart.
What image do you want to portray to your customers and potential customers? Do you want it to be a dilapidated attitude, or do you want your customers to be excited inside when they think of you? I like the excited one. I would think that you want your customers to get a very positive feeling every time they deal and think of you. This promotes word of mouth advertising and referrals.
What kinds of things can you work on to levitate your image and the way others (being your customers and prospective customers) think about you?
Besides cleaning up your joint (especially your bathroom) and getting your employees to smile and greet as soon as someone walks into your lobby, there is lots you can do. Back in the old days before our lives got so complicated, you’d send a note when you met someone you liked. And in business, it was common too. The hand-written note has gone the way of the dinosaur for most people and businesses. You ought to think about bringing it back? What do you think would happen if you sent a hand-written thank-you-for-coming-into-my-store-or-delivery-route note to all your new customers? And inside that hand-written (and I’m going to say hand-written a lot, so it sinks into your head) note is a discount of 20% to come back into your store? Do you think you’d retain more customers than you do now? I know you would for a fact. I see it every day with my members.
Do you send out a newsletter? Do you e-mail your customers at least a couple of times a month? Do you send out a welcome kit? How about a welcome video? It’s easy to do now with smartphones. How do you handle mistakes you make? Do you drag it out or do you give your employees the go ahead to make those decisions?
What would you do differently in your dry cleaning business if you had to compete with yourself? It’s a good question, one you should ponder often. Hopefully, this little article is getting you started.
To find out more quirky ideas on how to raise your revenue, go to my blog: DryCleaningMarketing.com or call (888) 661-7992.