I ran across a post on a blog site earlier that made me wonder what percentage of dry cleaning consumers actually know what to expect from their dry cleaners in terms of full price versus discount dry cleaners. This person had posted a question that asked what is the difference between a full price cleaners and a discount cleaners. As a former fellow dry cleaner, I would like to challenge the full price cleaners to answer this question.
Once you have answered this, I would then recommend making a list of those things that you feel distinguish the difference in pricing between full price and discounted pricing. The next step would be to use a mystery shopper, employee or relative to take a mixed load of dry cleaning and laundry to a discount operation near you and have it processed. After processing, return these garments to your own operation and do a quality comparison using that list that you had prepared earlier.
As a consumer, could you justify the difference in your pricing and the discount pricing? If not, what changes can you make that would justify that difference (some examples are stain removal, fabric finish, packaging, pressing, hanger quality, employee training, etc.)? If these differences are labor related, now may be the time to have a team meeting and show your pressers/cleaner/spotter the differences you would like to see.
The bottom line is that it seems that the consumer does not really know the differences between full price and discount service in the dry cleaning industry. They feel that dry cleaning is generic. If you expect to command a full price for your service you need to provide full price service. Who knows, maybe those customers that have drifted away to the discount guy may find out about your quality improvements and realize the value in full service, quality, garment care.