Believe it or not, commercial laundry has been around since the mid-1800’s. Some people see laundry as an essential need that doesn’t change, but we all know the truth – the industry is constantly evolving.
Now, in 2017, technology (and customer expectations) are advancing faster than ever. Here are four ways you can keep your business up to snuff and gain the edge on your competition in this spin-cycle of an industry.
1. Track More of Your Inputs and Outputs
You’re tracking income and expenditures. You’re tracking employee hours. But are you tracking water waste and utility usage? Are you tracking customer activity, like what times of day are most popular? What type of load settings are more popular? Are you tracking how much time you’re spending counting coins?
No matter if you’re running an industrial, commercial, communal or profit share laundry, all of the above can be tracked – and sent to you in automated reports – with card reading laundry machines. Laundry tech has come a long way in recent years, and it’s worth staying ahead and keeping your business fit, trim and profitable.
2. Machine Upkeep
Keep your equipment running properly. It’s simple, but it’s easy to forget. Here are a few reminders to get in there and check your stock.
Don’t let your machines slowly degrade. A wobble or squeak can quickly turn into a breakdown that costs thousands – more if your washer empties its payload of water onto the floor, or damages a load of expensive clothing.
Don’t have out of order signs on your equipment. Along with being inconvenient and sacrificing capacity and revenue, it sends a bad message (we’ll touch on this some more when we talk about service).
Don’t let your laundry be a hazard to people or property. Never bypass safety devices, lid switches, door locks, etc.
Do you operate remotely? Maybe you just want to service your equipment yourself? We run a service school aimed at those who for one reason or another need to DIY their repairs.
3. Go Green
Saving energy and ‘going green’ has advanced from something only idealists once strived for to an essential business strategy, and a major reputation booster. Not only can high efficiency washers and dryers save you cash, they can also create a reason for customers to choose you over the place down the road.
Got old machines? Consider making the investment in a newer model like the Maytag MHN33PN High Efficiency front loading washer. Machines like this one save water with each load (which saves energy), and often have better spin cycles that shorten the amount of work a dryer needs to do.
If you’re running a business, that initial outlay could be repaid many times over by lower running costs. Not to mention – your customers will no doubt be impressed.
4. Friendly Service
Amidst all the advances, some businesses are forgetting customer service. Don’t dismiss it! Commercial and communal laundry is sometimes thought of as a no-frills, or even a do-it-yourself type of industry, but at the end of the day, a bad service experience will stick with a customer no matter what the context is.
Insist that your attendants are always pleasant, cheerful and courteous to your customers.
Issue prompt refunds, assistance with machine selection, helping carry loads in and out, making change with a smile, and a cheerful hello and goodbye can pay big dividends.
Provide your self-service customers with a way of contacting you. A wall-mounted mailbox for refund slips, a phone number or email contact on each machine – all these things can make the difference between a lost customer and a lifetime customer. And even if your customers never use the contact methods, the fact that they have the option sends the message that you value their business.