One of the main reasons I like to get new cleaning customers for drycleaners is that it allows you to show off your superior skills. As we all know, it is easier to maintain a happy customer than to lose one and try to get them back. The same goes for stains. It is really a great deal easier to maintain these stained garments after gaining the customer as a new opportunity. Cleaning them a time or two will hopefully (if your skill level is good and you have taken training from DLI/CCA or your local association classes), to get the clothes to the point where most stains are gone and you are now maintaining the clothes.
“Golden Opportunities Abound For Those Who Take Advantage”
The clothes that come in from a new customer are often a mess. Why? Because the previous cleaner did not do a professional job, and the customer has dumped the old cleaner in favor of someone who might treat them right, This also goes for Customer Service Representatives (CSR’s). Always realize that this is a golden opportunity for you to gain and keep these people with your superior service. Now, this is not mediocre service or stain removal, this is doing an above average job of treating them right both on the stain removal/CSR and wetcleaning or restoration service you offer.
“Few Of Today’s Average Drycleaners Have A Working Knowledge Of The Removal Of Tough Stains”
Once you are set up with a proper wetcleaning department, with all the tools and knowledge, you will be a hero. I’m not talking about throwing them into a home washer (heavens forbid – our worst competition – the home washer). No sir. This means soaking those yellow stains and dingy clothes in one of the seven choices of bleaches and digestors we have available. Sadly, according to my guesstimation, about 70+% of these cleaners today have no idea what true wetcleaning and restoration is and they certainly never heard of Sodium perborate, digesters or Yellow-Go (A.L.Wilson Chemical Co.), which is a great stain remover in and of itself. Not just a dye stain remover, but also a trustworthy stain remover on the board as well, when used properly and with caution, as you should, with any chemical. Street’s also has a great line of new wetcleaning products out there and that too is your modern chemistry for being the best at your craft!
“Nothing Cleans Well In Dirty Or Poorly Maintained Solvent”
Everything we have ever been taught by experience and drycleaning schools is that with perc or hydrocarbon, we have a pretty decent chance of removing the majority of all stains. The exception would include how really nasty and dirty they might be, the inexperience of the spotter person, little or no prespotting and/or the limits of the particular solvent you are cleaning with. This could be the type or condition of the solvent. Poor maintenance will yield poor solvent, thus poor cleaning and stain removal. I don’t have enough data or knowledge yet to support a theory of just how effective the alternative solvents are yet. But I am reasonably sure they all clean pretty well, if you do proper pre-spotting and maintain your system.
Once again I find as always, that we rush our work far too much. I detest special and poor or incompetent service. Specials or red tags are a nuisance and disservice to your craft. I know you think it is necessary to rush things to keep the customer happy, but there aren’t that many who are really in that big of a hurry. Truth be told, most hang on the conveyor an extra few days or more. Everybody in society today is in a hurry. Would you want anyone to rush something you paid good money for? Of course not! We must train our CSR’S to offer alternatives to rush service such as “what do you really need today” or “we can do a better job if we have more time.”
It galls me every time I see an ink garment or some messy ugly stained garment come to the dry cleaning or wetcleaning department with a rush tag on it. Unacceptable! Unless, of course, you wish to join the growing league of mediocre cleaners. I urge you not!
Friends, for personal reasons I cannot travel as I once did. Most of my work is done from my home office. I am here for you by phone, fax, e-mail or Skype Video.
If some of you have been served notice as a defendant in the latest scam about AAD woes, please call me and/or CCA for advice. We are working for YOU!
I’m headin’ to the wagon now, these boots are killin’ me!
Kenney is a longtime drycleaning trainer and advisor. He is here to help you with your training needs or just a friendly call for advice. His specialty is environmental problems. He is at (800) 429-3990; e-mail: kslatten@ aol.com or visit: kstraining.com for dates or info.