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What Do They Expect? (Part 1)

Using consistency to build customer service excellence

CHICAGO — When building customer loyalty, it’s not enough to occasionally give good service, or even great service. People who come into your drycleaning store want to have a consistent, positive experience every time they interact with your staff.

This was the message that Jen Marquardt, customer service expert for The Route Pros, gave during her presentation, “Consistency Leads to Customer Service Excellence.” Marquardt spoke at the recent SpringFest Expo, an online series of virtual learning courses sponsored by the North East Fabricare Association (NEFA), the South Eastern Fabricare Association (SEFA), the Pennsylvania & Delaware Cleaners Association (PDCA) and the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI).

Marquardt’s main point during her presentation is that consistency doesn’t happen in a vacuum — it requires constant planning, training and communication with all team members.  “If you do not have a consistent process, you are going to have inconsistent results,” she says.

Fortunately, building consistent processes doesn’t require a lot of money, or even time; Marquart believes it simply requires discipline and paying attention to how your staff interacts with each other and with customers.

Constant Communication

A team cannot build a culture of consistency without ongoing, regular communications, Marquardt says. Checking in with your team or telling them what you expect is not something to do when “convenient”; build it into the schedule.

  • Daily — When your front-counter shift changes, for example, have them check in with each other. “If the only interaction they’re having is a couple of minutes of chatter, they have no idea if there were any issues that need to be addressed,” she says. “Start implementing some daily conversations with your front counter reps.”
  • Weekly — “Communicate with your production staff weekly to let them know what’s expected, what’s working and what could be working better,” she says.
  • Monthly — While it can be difficult to get the entire staff together on a monthly basis, technology like Zoom can be helpful in this regard. “You can go over what we did this month, what we expect next month, and if we achieved our goals,” Marquardt says.
  • Quarterly/Annually — Marquardt believes that town hall meetings are crucial to long-term planning and improvement. “You can’t get done what you want for the upcoming year without giving a road map to your team,” she says.

Come back Thursday for Part 2, where we’ll look at some tools dry cleaners should provide to their front counter staff to maintain excellent customer service.

Gears

(Photo: iStock.com/Gerasimov174)

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].