A question I am often asked when visiting dry cleaning plants is what can I do to increase my sales here? And lets face it, rents are high, dry cleaning volumes are down, who couldn't use some extra revenue. What I find interesting about that question is that the answer is more often than not, already in place, it just needs to be cultivated and even furthermore, it is usually something that will not require any cash investment or a small one at most. These are usually actions that will require very little extra effort. What do I mean by this?
Quite often the dry cleaner has the additional services that can increase sales already in place in the dry cleaning establishment, but the dry cleaning consumer may not know these services are available and furthermore these services are often overlooked by the customer service personnel working at the point of sale (the front counter). That's right, the front counter is the point of sale and there needs to be more selling taking place. It is surprising how often I see a customer run into the cleaners, drop his clothes on the counter and run out, without any interaction or upselling taking place. While it is a very desirable to have this kind of relationship and trust by your customers, the owner of the dry cleaners is missing the opportunity to build sales. Think of how many restaurants or fast food establishments ask if you want a dessert item with your meal or if you would like to upsize to a larger size. Other types of business may ask if you would like to extend the warranty period with your purchase and so on.
Some "extra" services that require little or no investment and are offered in many drycleaning plants.
- Comforter Cleaning
- Drapery Cleaning
- Wedding Gowns
- Water/Stain Repellency
- Shoe Repair
- Leather Cleaning
- Garment Storage
- Moth Proofing
Most of these items are already offered by the dry cleaners that read this blog. The problem is that we are not getting the message out to the consumer that uses your service. They just do not know that you have these extra services. There are many ways that we can get the message out and make these potential sales. Some of these are:
- Word of mouth. The csr needs to explain to every customer what services or specials may be going on. This may be awkward, as not everyone is comfortable in a sales position. However, if they just start practicing and learn to ask pertinent questions, they will soon be off and running.
- Signage. Does your store have signs explaining additional services that you may offer?
- Printed material. Hang tags, pamphlets stapled to the order or on display on the counter are all great ways to inform the public.
- Email and text. If you have permission and the email/text addresses of customers, sending a regular promotion or information text regarding those "add on" services that you offer is a great way to build this part of your business. Again, this is a very low cost investment if you already have a database on your customers.
There are many ways that a dry cleaner can add simple extra services to their already existing way of doing business. There are many ways the dry cleaner can get the message to his customers and inform them of these extra services. With a little training of the counter sales personnel and persistence, these small services can add to the bottom line and pay off.