As we move forward into a post-pandemic world, it’s time to set new goals and move forward with your laundry business. Simple coin-operated laundry equipment and word-of-mouth advertising are a thing of the past. The laundry industry is now all about offering a convenient, well-rounded experience and going above and beyond for your laundromat customers to keep them safe. If you want to put your best foot forward in 2021, here are a few things your laundromat should offer.

1. ALTERNATIVE/COINLESS PAYMENT METHODS

Fewer people are carrying cash these days — especially younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z, especially with sanitation and hygiene at the top of everyone’s minds. About 30% of Americans said they don’t make any cash purchases in a typical week, and those that do carry cash generally carry less than $20.

In lieu of cash, people are opting for the convenience of debit cards, credit cards and app-based payments. There’s no better time to jump on the cashless trend at your laundromat. Laundry customers love the convenience of credit and mobile payment options, which saves them the hassle of an extra stop at the bank and carrying additional cash and hand sanitizer around.

Not to mention, it saves laundromat owners time by minimizing coin collection and reduces safety risks since there’s less cash on-site. As an added bonus for laundry investors, it’s also been noted that customers tend to spend more when they’re not using cash.

2. MOBILE APPS

More than 80% of Americans own a smartphone, on which they spend more than 3 hours per day. Smartphones and mobile apps have become so prevalent in our daily lives, it only makes sense that they’re integrated into the laundry experience as well.

The mobile payment options noted above are just one of the many benefits of having a laundry app. The app allows your laundromat customers to easily load their online wallet, monitor wash and dry cycles, request reimbursement and more, which ultimately helps improve efficiency throughout your laundromat, reduce wait times and increase customer satisfaction.

The app also allows laundromat managers to easily engage with their customers, offer rewards and incentives, and track machine performance.

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3. ENERGY-EFFICIENT EQUIPMENT AND INITIATIVES

With protests and rallies focused on climate change and increased research, discussion and initiatives regarding waste reduction and energy-efficiency around the world, there’s no doubt that sustainability is an important topic continuing into 2021.

One way that laundromats can do their part is by investing in energy-efficient laundry equipment that uses less water, gas and electricity. If you’re operating with old equipment, upgrading can do wonders for the environment (and your ongoing utility costs). In fact, just one new Speed Queen washer-extractor can save more than 6,824 gallons of water per month!

Advanced controls, like Quantum Controls from Speed Queen, also help you reduce energy and water use with features like programmable water levels, low power mode, and leak detection. Other environmentally-friendly initiatives — such as using energy-efficient lightbulbs, selling more natural detergents and educating staff and customers about greener laundry practices — are also great ways to make sustainability a top priority for your laundromat moving forward.

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4. FREE WI-FI

We already noted above how hyper-connected laundromat patrons are today, and that doesn’t stop when they visit your laundry business. Offering a strong internet connection is a must! Offering free wi-fi at your laundromat provides an additional marketing/advertising plug to get customers in the door and encourages them to multi-task and stay longer, which means they’ll likely spend more money. Plus, they’ll be able to better utilize the technology you’re offering, such as your mobile app. Overall, it’s an easy way to increase customer satisfaction among tech-savvy customers.

5. A STRONG ONLINE PRESENCE

Did you know 40% of small businesses don’t have a website? If your laundromat falls into that category, it’s almost as if you don’t exist. Google receives more than 63,000 searches per second, including people looking for information about local businesses like yours.

According to Google’s key phrase tool, there’s 1,000,000 monthly average searches for “laundromat” and “laundromats near me.” If potential customers can’t find your laundromat online, it’s likely they’ll turn to a nearby competitor that is listed. In addition to attracting new customers, a strong website and social media presence also help you retain and interact with existing customers through messaging, comments and reviews, newsletter and email sign-ups and ongoing content that keeps customers engaged.

If you don’t already have a website or social media presence, 2021 is the perfect time to get started. If you are already active online, look at ways to improve the online experience and better connect with customers online — such as refreshing the content on your website, implementing a new online advertising campaign or just dedicating more time to moderation and customer engagement in general.

STEP INTO THE FUTURE

If you want to take your laundromat to new heights in 2021, the laundry experts at Speed Queen can help. With innovative commercial laundry equipment and ongoing support, we’re here to help you every step of the way.