Ways to Build Laundry Customer Loyalty (Part 3)

CHICAGO — Attracting someone to try your self-service laundry business or wash and fold service for the first time is fine.

Convincing that unique customer to come back a second or third time is better.

Captivating this semi-regular customer so that he does not go anywhere else is better.

Improving customer retention is largely about building relationships, including your ability to understand your customer’s needs and create a consistently great experience every time they interact with you. Mutual esteem and understanding can lead to what every smart laundry owner is looking for: customer loyalty.

In pursuit of this goal, laundromat operators often use a variety of tools to build a repeat customer base. Part 1 of this story looked at loyalty programs and Part 2 discussed discounts and freebies. We will continue:


Can accepting payment options other than coins influence customer loyalty? Store owners surveyed saw many benefits to offering a variety of payments, as they can drive business in different ways.

“People use credit cards a lot these days, so it’s easier to do that than carry around a bunch of coins,” says Hank Nelken, owner of three Half price laundry locations in the San Fernando Valley of California. “But some people still want to do their shifts. I think offering multiple (payment) options is key. »

Customers visiting Lloyd Silver’s Sage Laundry Detergent in Woodland, Calif., can pay in a number of ways: “Our machines accept quarters and we have typical bill changers in there. All our machines are Dexter, so we use the… DexterPay system.

He stopped short of putting card readers on every machine because of the expense, he says, but there is an alternative.

“We accept credit cards at our cash register,” says Silver. “People load the machines and tell our attendants they want to use machines 19 and 21. Our attendants add it to their tab and start the machines for them. When they’re done, they pay with a credit card at the checkout.

“From the owner’s perspective, it’s much easier to know when (the software) is keeping track of it for us,” co-owner Kristyn Van Ostern says of wash the streetof the cashless payment component. “We can go in and see how many customers are using their loyalty points, then send messages like emails or text messages to remind people when they’re not using them.”


Keeping customers and prospects informed about what’s going on in your store can help build loyalty, and social media has made that easier than ever.

“I use all of that now,” says Nelken. “Facebook and Instagram are kind of what I use the most. The other big one is the (my company’s) website itself. I’ve also set up a…live chat on the website… and it also goes straight to my cell phone. As I evolve it will be someone else, but right now I’m not getting a lot of text messages.”

The screenwriter creates short videos for his store’s Instagram followers: “I have one every other day and it’s just fun for me to do. What I can’t do is quantify how much this actually affects my business. … But I just feel like it’s out in the world, people are sharing it, more people are seeing it, that’s gotta help.

Wash Street uses Facebook, Instagram and Google Business (now Google Business Profile), the latter of which Van Ostern says “isn’t really a social medium but you post to it. You post special offers, you post photos. The owners have recently launched a series of Instagram videos to help answer frequently asked questions about their service.

“I will say social media is good, but email is where we get the most people using our discount codes,” says Van Ostern, who adds that she’s happy to message containing a code and then watching to see how long it takes someone to redeem it.

“Sometimes it’s in half an hour and that makes me very, very happy.”

“These social media channels, they play a small role,” says Todd Ofsink, CEO of Todd Layne Cleaners and Laundry At New York. “Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, at the end of the day, these laundry businesses, they’re not the sexiest businesses, where people are really eager to follow you. But we’re out there.

The most experienced marketer, Silver, finds organic posting on Facebook to be quite inefficient due to the low percentage of your followers who actually see your posts. He frequently uses advertising on Facebook.

But the channel he found most effective was Google Business Profile: “When you post updates there and people search for your business, those updates will show up in your business’s knowledge panel.”

See you Thursday for the conclusion!

Missing the first parts of this story? You can read them here: Part 1 — Part 2

Joseph P. Harris