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Good First Impressions.

Sunday, May 1, 20110 comments

It is often said that you only get one chance to make a good first impression.  Let's face it, people's first impressions last a long time and it is that first impression that may or may not keep them coming back to your dry cleaning business.
I have seen some cleaners that have done outstanding quality work, but their counter personnel had very poor attitudes or the lobby had not been updated in 20 years.  Is this the impression that you want to leave with your customers?   The bottom line is you may be the best dry cleaner in the world, but if you do not give that impression, all the work you put into your quality may be have gone to waste. 

Some things you can do that will help to give a good first impression:
  • Update your lobby on a regular basis.  Fresh paint, new signage, new pictures and posters, new carpet can all go a long way to improving that first impression.
  • At the very minimum, keep the lobby clean, dust free, no cobwebs and uncluttered.  Definitely do not have piles of clothes laying all over, on the floor, etc.  
  • Train your counter personnel.  They are the point of sale and the face of your business.  
  • Well groomed and uniformed counter personnel project a very professional image and will help to leave a good impression.
  • Keep the plant clean, especially if it is visible from the counter.  One idea that I like was something that One Hour Martinizing used for their "open" plant design in smaller stores.  They had signage over each of the work stations describing what the key functions of that position where, from spotting to pressing to inspection.  The customer was able to read these while waiting in the lobby, which helped them to better understand the components of quality dry cleaning.
Lastly, you might want to consider hiring a mystery shopper, asking your distributor sales reps, manufacturer's reps, friends or family for their impression of your lobby area.  Do they feel it is attractive?  Do they feel it projects a good first impression?  Listen to their opinions, while they may be tough to hear, it is hard to overcome our ego and look objectively at our own businesses.

With today's economy you need to be looking at every aspect of your business, including the first impression that you make. 


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