“The customer is always right,” they say. This may be true, but small business owners would be wise to follow a slightly modified motto: “The customers are always right.” After all, if your customers aren’t happy with the service you provide, they won’t come back and you’ll be left in the lurch. To run a successful laundry business, you will need to focus on what customers want in a laundromat. What do they care about? Which features and services are they hoping to find? Most importantly, what will make them repeat customers?
What Customers Want in a Laundromat
Convenient Location. Who wants to lug their laundry basket across town? Nobody, that’s who! Your laundromat must be in a convenient location for your customers, and it should have plenty of parking space as well.
Clean Facility. All customers appreciate a clean facility, so take a little time each day to clean the space and tidy up.
Well-Maintained Equipment. Customers may turn away if they find “out of order” signs on washers and dryers. Maintain your equipment, and if a machine breaks down, repair it as soon as possible. Badly maintained equipment won’t just frustrate your customers; it will also affect your bottom line.
Fair Prices. If your prices aren’t fair and competitive, customers will seek out your competition for a more affordable service. Use market analysis to create a pricing structure that works for your business and your community.
Opening & Closing Times. If your laundromat is only open from 9am to 5pm, when will full-time workers be able to stop by? Many people choose to do laundry in the evenings or during the weekend, so try to accommodate their varying preferences. In some markets, it might even be profitable to keep your doors open 24/7.
New, Energy-Efficient Equipment. Old equipment can be difficult to use and rarely works as effectively as updated equipment. Invest in your laundromat by updating your worn-out machines, and choose energy-efficient models to get the most bang for your buck.
Present & Friendly Staff. Many customers refuse to use an unattended laundromat at night due to safety concerns. Especially if you are located in an unsavory part of town, hire someone to “man the fort” at all times. This person can also assist customers and complete cleaning tasks.
Large Capacity Equipment. Consider installing at least a few high-capacity washers and dryers so that customers can wash large items (king-size comforters, humongous tablecloths, etc.) or large loads of laundry.
Wash & Fold Service. For some customers, convenience is key. Busy professionals and on-the-go families may love being able to drop off their laundry in the morning and then pick it up—washed, dried, and folded—later that day.
Payment Options. Some people love the simplicity of paying for laundry services with quarters. Other people hate lugging around coins and would prefer a system that accepts cards. What do your customers want?
Free WIFI. Who doesn’t love free WIFI? As your customers wait for their laundry, they will appreciate having access to the Internet so they can browse on their phones or perhaps even get some work/studying done.
Of course not all customers want all of these features in a laundromat, so study and poll your customer base to see where their priorities lie. Then, once you know what customers want in a laundromat, use their preferences to mold your business’s services and structure.
Finally, if you’re interested in opening a laundromat, be sure to check out Laundry Solutions Company, a full-service provider of premium vended, on-premises, and multi-housing commercial laundry equipment. Since 1976, we have been providing exceptional sales support, laundry design services, commercial laundry equipment (and leasing options), and laundry equipment service and parts. To learn more about our products and services, please give us a call at 800-383-9274 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!