CHICAGO — The drycleaning drive-thru is a dynamic place! Owners offer their clients convenience and it’s a wonderful chance for their teams to interact. Let’s hear from three dry cleaners who each talk about their own particular drive-thru experiences.
Karen Cooley is the manager at Oshkosh, Wis.-based Oshkosh Express Laundry Center.
Cooley says: “One of our valuable features is our drive-thru. With the unpredictable Wisconsin weather, including our extremely cold winters, the drive-thru offers customers the wonderful option of not leaving the comfort of their vehicle.”
It is also ideal for elderly customers, “Who may have difficulty walking, to be able to use the services we provide with greater ease,” she indicates.
“We often have customers tell us they appreciate our drive-thru and come to our store, versus other locations, because of it,” Cooley says.
“It saves our Wash-Dry-Fold, or as we say, WDF customers time, as they can easily unload 50-plus pounds of laundry right into our work area and be on their way, instead of needing to take carts out into the parking lot to bring their laundry to us through our front door.”
She describes her company, saying, “Oshkosh Express Laundry Center, owned by Continental Girbau since 2011, is known in Oshkosh and the surrounding areas as the best laundromat in the area. We specialize in WDF and partner with a local dry cleaner as a drop-off/pickup site. As a working manager for the past three years, it is a delight to see growth in all our service areas.”
Cooley also says she appreciates the fact that their drive-thru provides customers with more ease in handling their drycleaning bundle.
“It is our desire to create an environment that makes our customers happy and desiring to return, and I believe the drive-thru assists in that regard,” she relates.
“The only real challenge with having a drive-thru that I have noticed, is when you open a door on a below zero day, the temperature in our work area has a tendency to drop.
“It’s always encouraging when customers who generally use the drive-thru come inside on the freezing cold days, telling us they didn’t want to freeze us out by using the drive-thru,” she says.
“It’s gestures of that nature that show me that valuing our customers by providing drop-off/pickup ease and good service, they in turn value us and the services we provide for them.”
Drive-thru interaction provides memorable team-client stories, as she shares:
“There are many memorable encounters I’ve had with drive-up customers. One is talking with a retired vet as he shared stories through his truck window and accepting the printed jokes and riddles he would share with our staff.
“Another is getting to pet one customer’s therapy dog as the customer picked up his order. Don’t we all need an encounter with a therapy dog some days?
“Seeing the grateful look on our disabled customers faces,” who cannot easily come inside but make use of drive-thru convenience, “is very satisfying,” Cooley relates.
Owners provide some final thoughts on having a drycleaning drive-thru:
Cooley shares: “Having a drive-thru opens up possibilities for reaching a wider demographic with the elderly, the persons with disabilities, and the families with young children and more. And a note to all those owners in the north, layer-up in the winter!”
Alex Yearout, owner of Trussville, Ala.-based Complete Cleaners reminds: “Watch your toes and remember to shut the trunk. Use your imagination, if you can imagine it then I assure you that it has happened.”
Many of you have drive-thru service but for those who don’t give it a look. You might want to get in gear and add a drive-thru. These three owners shared the benefits of their curbside service.
The drive-thru! Pure client convenience! Great client interaction! Simply dynamic!
To read Part 1, go HERE.