5 Ways You're Driving Your Laundromat Customers Away
Updated June 6, 2022. When was the last time you stopped and took a good hard look at your coin laundry business from a customer’s perspective? Transitioning from your business owner hat to a laundromat customer hat can be a challenge, but it’s important to do so every once and awhile. By taking a step back, you can get a better perspective on what seems to work well at your laundry facility and what issues may be driving customers away. Below are just a few of the common issue laundromat owners find that can cause laundromat patrons to head to the nearest competitor.
1. A dirty facility.
How would you react if you walked into a dirty hotel room or restaurant? If you’re like most, you’d probably walk right back out or complain to management. Laundromats are no different. It doesn't matter how modern your laundry equipment is if your facility appears to be unclean. Not only do customers want to avoid spending time in a dirty place, they may automatically assume your laundry equipment is unclean and unsanitary too, which defeats the purpose of doing laundry in the first place.
It’s easy to overlook cleaning duties when you’re dealing with the day-to-day pressures of running your laundry business. However, it’s important to take time to keep up with routine cleaning tasks, like wiping down the laundry equipment, mopping the floors, and emptying the garbage cans. Existing customers will appreciate the improvements and you’ll attract new customers to your business. Improving customer service at your laundromat starts with a clean laundromat. A clean laundromat is the foundation of customer loyalty.
2. Limited or inconvenient payment options.
According to a recent study about payment methods, nearly 80% of respondents chose debit or credit cards. Only 12% of respondents said they prefer paying with cash. It’s important to consider these preferences in order to make your laundromat as convenient and accessible as possible. By offering a card payment option of mobile payment app, in addition to traditional cash and coin vending, you can appeal to a wide range of custmers and avoid driving away the multitude of potential customers who don't keep cash on hand.
Bonus: Not only do card vending systems appeal to customers, but they also simplify business management by eliminating the need for multiple stops at the bank, helping mitigate coin shortages, wrapping loose change, etc. Digital payment options help provide a simple, safe, and convenient experience for customers and laundromat managers alike.
3. Long wait times/not enough machines.
No one wants to waste their time waiting in lines, particularly laundromat customers, most of whom will not tolerate waiting to use your washers and dryers. While it's great to operate at maximum capacity, consider these ideas to help alleviate congestion and keep your customers happy:
- Add more commercial washers and dryers if space allows, or replace single units with stack units to increase capacity
- Upgrade and replace your existing coin washers and dryers with modern laundry equipment with faster cycle times
- Offer incentives, during non-peak times, such as promotional pricing, to reduce congestion during high-traffic hours
Proper planning and design can help you avoid overcrowding and extended waiting periods at your laundromat from the get-go. A trusted laundry distributor, like Martin-Ray Laundry Systems, can help you determine how many machines you’ll need at your facility.
4. Lacking strong online visibility.
These days, potential customers rely on the internet for local laundromat recommendations. According to Google, there has been a significant increase in "near me" searches as people try to find businesses that are open and nearby—businesses like your laundromat.
Not only should you list your business on Google and other sites, you must ensure the information is accurate and complete. If you don’t have a strong online presence, or your listing doesn't accurately reflect your business hours, etc. your potential customers may head to your competition.
Start by listing your business on Google and Yelp. And if you’re part of the almost 40% of small business owners who don’t have a website, it’s time to jump on board. Your website should include your business name, address, contact information, pricing information, and hours of operation, as well as high-quality, visually-appealing images of your laundromat. Take advantage of other social media platforms, as well, along with online advertising tools you can use to attract and retain customers.
5. Outdated or unreliable commercial laundry equipment.
Technology changes fast, as does commercial laundry equipment. There’s no doubt old, outdated, and broken down equipment can cause a lot of headaches for you and your customers. You lose money and customers leave unhappy. That’s why we’ve talked a lot about the benefits of upgrading your commercial laundry equipment. Not only will you have fewer maintenance issues, increased energy-efficiency and lower utility costs, new commercial laundry equipment can also have a significant impact on the aesthetic appeal of your business and will improve the overall customer experience.
6. Learn New Ways to Boost Customer Loyalty
If you're worried you're attracting an insufficient number of new customers or driving existing customers away, contact the laundry experts at Martin-Ray. We can help assess your overall laundromat appearance and customer experience and provide recommendations for improvement, thus helping to boost your bottom line.