One key to owning a successful small business is to understand your customers and what motivates their decisions. This is much easier said than done, but luckily the Coin Laundry Association surveyed customers and found that cleanliness, safety, and convenience are among the top factors people take into consideration when deciding where to do laundry (source). If you learn how people choose a laundromat, you can make decisions that will turn one-time customers into loyal regulars.
How People Choose a Laundromat
When visiting a laundromat, all customers have the same intention – to leave with clean clothes. This is why the last thing patrons want is to see inside a machine is soap residue and random objects left from the last user. And of course, they also want the facility itself to be clean and free of dirt, dust, and grime.
Guide your attendants by making a cleaning checklist:
- During each shift, have the on-duty attendant do a quick sweep, wipe the soap trays, dust surfaces, and maintain a clean restroom.
- Ask the closing attendant to do a detailed sweep and mop of the floors, wipe soap trays, and deep clean the bathroom.
- Assign the opening attendant to pick up litter in the parking lot, clean the windows and door, and wipe the inside of each machine.
- On a slow day each month, ask attendants to do a detailed cleaning of each machine, including the outside of the machine. If you have a sorting room, take time to organize and clean that as well.
There are a variety of ways you can ensure that your customers are safe. Have clear safety rules and communicate them with signage. Keep the parking lot well lit and put up security cameras. For additional security, you could install an alarm system or a bell that rings each time a customer walks into the laundromat. Finally, your customers will feel more comfortable if an attendant is always on duty; consider the pros and cons of keeping your laundromat staffed during all open hours. Depending on your neighborhood and store hours, it may be worthwhile.
Location and Convenience
Many patrons will first enter your doors based on the convenience of the location. If you are opening a new business, consider that you will have an advantage if you move into a low-crime neighborhood located near many apartments and lofts without on-site laundry services. You want to make your establishment the first choice for your neighbors, and one way to do that is to be a good neighbor. Join your neighborhood’s association and put up a community board for people to display posters and information about events. Whether you own a new or old laundry business, put effort into making your presence known and being involved in the community.
As far as convenience goes, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. How can you make their lives easier? Make sure you have enough washing machines and dryers available and that they aren’t constantly hidden behind “Out of Order” signs. Then, post large signs explaining how the equipment works. Especially if you don’t have an attendant on duty during all store hours, be sure to post your contact information in the store in case customers have a problem, complaint, or suggestion. Finally, make it a point to keep reliable store hours.
Learning more about what your customers want out of their laundromat experience will help your business thrive. To get feedback from your own customers, consider placing a suggestion box in your laundromat.
Finally, if you are opening up a laundromat of your own, Laundry Solutions Company is here to help! Laundry Solutions Company has the laundromat tools and resources you’ll need to turn your entrepreneurial dream into a reality. From the most technologically advanced laundry equipment to excellent customer service and support, we’ll assist you every step of the way. Call us at 417-862-8464, or send us a message today.