How Laundry Delivery Service Expectations are Changing for the Better
We’ve been at this laundry delivery service thing for a while now.
We saw it grow from a side business for laundromat owners to a mainstream industry with venture capital interest. We were there for the emergence of delivery routes, no longer just a simple neighborhood drive-by. We’ve seen the high-efficiency and energy-saving machines come, go, then come again. And, we’ve watched laundry turn from a commodity to a luxury service.
In such a rapidly changing space, it’s hard not to get pulled into an ongoing analysis of where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re headed next. In this most recent round of thought, a handful of trends have caught our attention. And, unlike the Marie Kondo craze of 2018, we feel pretty confident about these trends. Let’s take a closer look at how laundry service expectations are changing – for the better.
1) People are looking beyond brick and mortar
In the beginning, brick and mortar convenience was all the rage. People were happy to use oversized trash bags to haul their laundry to the nearest brick and mortar laundromat or dry cleaner. What the process lacked in practicality or professionalism, the customer gained in the freedom to from doing laundry. It was better than nothing, right?
Unfortunately, most people never realize they are a part of something good until it is over. When it comes to laundry service trends, this has never been the case for us. We are used to the days when a laundry bag was a trash bag and custom packaging was a receipt and a piece of scotch tape. Do you remember when a picture message of your delivered laundry was a phone call from a laundromat attendant asking you to come to pick it up?
Doesn’t this make our current predicament of remembering to set our laundry outside for pickup and delivery seem almost insignificant? People interested in laundry service are now looking beyond the brick and mortar laundromat and dry cleaners in search of a better product, better service, and better communication.
For that, we’re grateful.
2) Transparency is gaining weight as a necessity with laundry delivery
Transparently communicating pricing hasn’t always been easy for delivery laundry service providers. Back in the day, wash and fold laundry services were all pretty much priced by the pound. This meant prices could vary from a dollar per pound to well over a few dollars per pound – usually with peak pricing on weekends. If you were having your clothes picked up and delivered, this means you have no idea what you will be paying until the clothes are returned.
The rise of popularity of flat-rate pricing per bag is helping lower the barriers of entry for customers interested in testing out laundry delivery services. It’s much easier to take a shot on a $40 flat-rate test drive of your local laundry service than it is to guess how much your clothes weigh and multiply that by the revolving per-pound pricing – likely changing based on the day of the week.
3) Innovation is a product – not a service
Through the years in the laundry service industry and surrounding ourselves with laundry and dry cleaning friends, we have come to the conclusion that, for the most part, customers all want the same thing – a clean, crisp, and consistent finished product.
After all, it is a product, not a service. The clothes in the order may change, but the product should not. Innovation in the laundry service industry is catering to this, maybe even promoting the odd attraction to over-doing it with product packaging, in-package marketing, and different service upgrades including drawer-ready packaging & steam treatment on hanging garments – a step closer to the traditional cleaners. Large plastic trash bags are now vacuum-sealed poly wrap and customers should no longer need to haul a big bag of laundry to every room and drawer in their house.
Laundry service companies are developing ways to treat their service more like a product. And, we’re happy to be part of that.
4) Social media is holding laundry delivery services accountable
As a commodity, unpacking your clean laundry bag used to be like eating a plain hot dog —boring. Five years ago, a clean laundry delivery consisted of one big, overpacked plastic bag with a paper ticket taped to the outside. There was nothing to share, nothing to brag about, and it never really felt clean. We have already covered the fact that evolution of quality has given customers something to brag about and turned unpacking your clean laundry bag into a well done Chicago-style hot dog.
Instead of focusing on this Cinderella story of the hot dog world, let’s instead place some value on the fact that social media outlets like Instagram, Twitter, and review blogs allow us to all share our hot dog recipes at the click of a button, taste test some ingredients, and continue to try to make a better hot dog than the last person. The industry-wide competition based on social media customer reviews is fueling innovation in service and product. And, that’s good news for you, the customer!
Who’s excited? The pace of change in laundry delivery can make your head spin these days, but that’s exactly what makes it such a forward-leaning channel for the overall growth of the laundry industry.