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Measuring Customer Service for Better Management

Mystery shopping program data shows improvements among participating members. By Carolyn Nankervis, CEO of DLI's Mystery Shopping partner, MarketWise Consulting, reports on how the program helps cleaners improve their game at the counter.

Good news for customers of DLI members who participate in the customer service mystery shopping program. The scoring increases prove the adage, "You can’t manage what you don't measure."

Drycleaning is service driven and personal encounters are the legend and bane of most drycleaners. Cruise though Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram you'll see the ongoing crisis in handling customers fact-to-face or on the phone.


Mystery shopping allows CSR's and staff to practice service at the counter and learn what's working for their customers and what’s not. Ask John Albert at Citywide Cleaners in Cedar Rapids, Iowa or David Whitehurst at Champion Cleaners in Birmingham, Alabama, about their reward and incentive programs that use mystery shopping scores. After a reviewing the scoring results from a series of shops, we often hear from managers and owners "Yes, I expected that, now we can do something about it."


Asking customers about spots or stains went up 12%. Participating DLI members are training their counter staff to ask this very question. Your customers believe you are an expert, so act like one. Customers are bringing you items because they need to be cleaned – otherwise they wouldn't show up. At the counter, ask why they are there. 


Use of the customer’s name increased by 14%. This is going to sound so elementary, but it’s the simple things that make a difference. People like to purchase from people they like. Making sure the counter staff uses your customer’s name instead of, "920-735-4970?" Using mystery shopping to be sure this is happening. Don’t buy for one second that customers don't like to be called by their names. Focus group and research indicate it is the simplest way to show a customer they are appreciated and valued. It’s so much easier to keep the customers you have!


Head to head scores compared from July 1, 2013-June 2014 and July 2014 to June 2015 show that average drop off, pick up and cleaning evaluation scores were up over 3% compared to the previous year. The most striking improvement was a four percentage increase in pick up scores. Drop off scores went up too. With drop off and pick up scores nearly the same; customers are having similar experiences during both visits.


The only decrease in scoring was in cross selling at the counter. This is an area for attention and improvement since both drop off and pick up evaluations require an attempt to introduce or explain a product or service.  We are not talking hard sales here.  MarketWise Consulting has developed a series of three on-line videos that are available to DLI members. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP0dTL_qahQ&feature=youtu.be to watch a snippet. Call DLI at 800-638-2627 to order.


MarketWise Consulting in Appleton WI administers the program and publishes overall mystery shopping scores twice a year. The end of year results will be published in early February at the same time the "Best of …. 2015" winners will be announced. 


For more information about how to participate in the DLI "Essential" mystery shopping program, click on http://marketwise.shopmetrics.com/iwr.asp?project=DLIRegistration

MarketWise Consulting will email you details and pricing information.

Suggested Reading
DLI Silver, Gold, and Premier members may access more information on this topic in the following bulletins available in DLI's Encyclopedia of Drycleaning Online:

  • Any/all of the 19 Counter Sense Bulletins
  • Industry Focus: Training CS Personnel
Posted By Harry Kimmel | 9/17/2015 10:20:27 AM