An attendant is really part of your customer service program for your Laundromat, whether you like it or not. Returning customers are a key to making money in this business. All customers have a choice about where they wash their clothes and you must consider what makes them choose or avoid your Laundromat. Customer service through your attendant plays a role in your success.

Most customers will judge your store on how well you keep it clean and how well the equipment works. You tell your customers how much you value their business by how you take care of your store. When you are not in your Laundromat, your attendants represent you and your business to the customers.

Make sure your attendants know how important their role is in your business. This should begin as
early as their job interview. Be very clear with your examples during training, and afterwards. Let
your attendants know how they are expected to dress properly and neatly when they are in your
Laundromat. Explain that cheerfulness and courtesy to your customers is part of their job descrip=
tion. There are an untold number of workers desperate to get a part time job. Finding an attendant
for your Laundromat should not be a problem. Placing a note in your store asking for help will result
in a number of responses. It may take a little time to find the right person, but it is important that you
find someone who is attentive to their work and has a pleasant personality.

A single customer can spend several hundred dollars in your Laundromat each year. How your attendant responds to a valid refund request or a complaint may determine whether that customer continues to use your Laundromat in the future.

Keeping attendants happy and motivated will promote a pleasant impression of your Laundromat. Motivation starts by setting a good example. Good attendants learn from how you treat customers and model their behavior after yours. Be a good role model by arriving on time, having a good work ethic, being pleasant, dressing neatly, and properly treating customers. Attendants will learn by your attitude and example so treat your customers correctly.

Provide the training that establishes the standards for your store. Effective training is a must to show new attendants their basic responsibilities, as well as the standards you expect them to maintain. It's a good idea to have a training manual that explains standards for processing drop off orders, handling customer complaints, method and frequency of cleaning various areas of the store. Train a new attendant yourself before leaving them on their own.

Provide financial incentives. Provide a bonus for any attendant that gives an idea or tip that you use to improve customer service. Your attendants probably have some good ideas and should be encouraged to share them with you. Give attendants the authority to make decisions. This will let the attendant know they are important in their dealings with customers. Take the time to evaluate and discuss each attendant's performance on a regular basis. Give compliments when they are due, pointing out both positive and negative aspects of their work. Suggest ways to improve their performance and how they can win bonuses for excellence in making your Laundromat successful.

Conduct regular meetings with your attendants where you pass on new information or policy changes. Meetings also serve as an opportunity for attendants to share their ideas. An occasional meeting on a particular topic or problem may also be needed. Periodically surprise employees with something fun. Spontaneous gestures like bringing in donuts one morning go a long way towards keeping the atmosphere light and letting attendants know their dedication is noticed and appreciated.

Every Laundromat owner should note their sales breakdown by week according
to washer revenue, dryer revenue, fluff & fold and vending. In some profitable
Laundromats, the attendants generate income by performing "fluff and fold"
orders. Your net on these services (what you make minus your supplies) should
cover the attendant's salary, plus make a profit. Compare your average weekly
net on your services to your attendant's weekly pay.

Use these records to evaluate whether you should eliminate services. The demo-
graphics in your service area may have changed so that most of your customers
are now self-service. In some cases you can make a higher net by doing away
with services. Eliminating services eliminates supply costs and a part time "clean-
only attendant" costs less than a full time "full service" attendant.

A good rule of thumb is that attendant labor should be about eight (8%) percent of
your gross income. Making decisions about labor, hours of operation and services
is easier if you learn to focus on your net profit after paying for the services. This is
the most effective way to determine what services to offer or if a fully attended
Laundromat is profitable and needed.
Edited and a special thanks to Commercial Sales for content  


Here are three suggestions to help you get the best from your attendants. First, you need to know how to train attendants. Second, you need to know how to motivate attendants. Third, you need to know how to evaluate attendants.
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