Looking after the customer

21 February 2024

Following the Christmas break many of our customers may be struggling to make ends meet and of course the spring cleaning of household and furnishings is an expense that some may feel they can ill afford at this time.

It is also the case that those in our society who are less than honest, could be casting around on the lookout for an easy way to make some spare cash, just at a time when you can least afford to be paying out for a spurious claim. So, now could be a good time to zero in on counter and customer service, ioften the most neglected aspect of the work we do.

Customer service and the quality of our product are the two most important aspects of running a successful cleaning business and retaining and expanding the customer base. As customers ourselves, at one time or another we have all experienced shoddy, or just disinterested customer service, use this experience to reflect on, and assess your own customer service performance.


Not all staff are good communicators and some are just hands-on production people and dislike or have little aptitude for counter work and, through no fault of their own, can be a real put off for some customers particularly those who perhaps wish to discuss cleaning options and prices. For these customers a perceived lack of staff interest can easily lead to the loss of a sale or at worst of an irritated regular customer, when all that was needed was a friendly approach and maybe a mention of a big saving on a forthcoming household special offer. In short, counter staff must like talking to customers.

Staff appearance is critical

Occasionally throughout my career I have seen staff working on the counter in stained clothes that looked as though they had been slept in. They were of course the exception, but this is certainly not the way to project an image of a successful business. This is of course a sensitive subject, but if you feel that in this respect there is room for improvement, the introduction of staff uniforms might be the answer. We are in the business of producing clean, stain free well finished garments, staff grooming and appearance is therefore a direct reflection on the capabilities of the cleaner. The girls working on the cosmetics counters of department stores are an excellent example of this and, in terms of their personal appearance, they are a perfect example of how to sell a product.

Serving the customer

With the exception of very minor damage and moth attack which may not be visible before cleaning, failure to point out physical or chemical damage at reception can place the cleaner in a very difficult position if the customer claims compensation as it may be difficult or impossible to assign responsibility retrospectively.The opportunities here for fraud are obvious, but if faults are missed at reception some customers will be genuinely unaware of them and may not find any explanation by the cleaner credible.

Many customers like to see their garments on collection and should therefore be offered the opportunity to see their order and perhaps confirm with staff that stains have been removed or repairs such as a new zip carried out to their satisfaction. This also demonstrates to the customer that the cleaner is proud and confident of their service. Before the customer leaves with their order it is a good idea to turn up the polyrobe selvedge at the bottom and secure it with Sellotape to avoid garments that might slip off the hanger being lost in the street.

Finally counter staff should be constantly aware of the fact that customers are their employers and should always be treated with courtesy, even if at times some can be less than polite.

BIG WELCOME: Look happy to see your customers – they are paying your wages
BIG WELCOME: Look happy to see your customers – they are paying your wages
PRO IMAGE: Staff uniform helps project a professional image (Roger Cawood is the one wearing the tie)
SHARP EYES: Make sure you don’t miss anything

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