Here are the 4 aspects to consider about reservation management in dry cleaning...
IT tool: a daily ally
Aspect #1 - The condition of the garment dropped off
If we had to compare dry cleaning with other business sectors, it would be close to a car rental or a real estate activity. A third party leaves goods he owns to another third party, and needs to get them back within a planned period of time, in the same condition for rental or in better condition for dry cleaning.
This implies two important aspects:
1. The initial condition must be defined
2. The vision of this condition must be the same for both parties
Here is the first regular motive for complaints: the defect that wasn’t recorded at the time of drop off but will be at pick up: rips or tears, discoloration, stains… and others.
That is why it is crucial to perform a thorough inspection of the garment dropped off by the customer, and to give him a document stating formally all the defects noted.
Aspect #2 - Technical skills of the operator
A delicate fabric, misfixated dye, delicate treatment, sensitive fibres… All these elements are time bombs leading right to a customer complaint.
Here, you also need to inform him about the risks. In this particular case, only the technical skills of the operator can face the challenge. He needs to know the fabrics, the treatments, the garment care techniques.
> The training of the reception staff is the only possible method.
Aspect #3 - Psychology
Here are my thoughts I wish to share with dry cleaners… As a dry cleaner willing to do my job correctly and also earn my living in good conditions, my goals are the following:
Have a lot of customers who trust me
Highlight the work and expertise I master with adapted processes
If possible, avoid the potential conflicts with third-parties, either customers or suppliers
“If I spend my days inspecting suspiciously the garments dropped off, then I only risk losing customers”.
Here as well, experience and training are the keys to success.
With one look, a good receptionist must be able to detect a risky situation and proceed to a thorough inspection only with the following elements:
- the nature of the garment dropped off
- the “quality” of the customer (regular or not)
- the overall dirt condition of the garments dropped off
Aspect #4 - IT tool: a daily allyAs an editor of software specialized in dry cleaning, we integrated an efficient reservation management in our solutions.
How can the IT tool help me in my daily task?
Here is a good example with GestiClean, a management software specialised in dry cleaning.
Reservation management, a key feature:
GestiClean comes standard with all the kinds of reservation used in the profession.
Up to you to add as many as you like (the only limit is the list visibility on the screen).
To avoid a too long and complex list, you may use the “free” reservation. You can select it and enter text on-the-fly.
And GestiClean goes further than the “simple manual entry” of reservation…
You can take a “picture” of the garment or defect noted. This picture will be related to the order and you will be able to show it at time of pick up if necessary.
You also have the possibility to configure automatic reservation for specific items or categories. For example furniture or duvets.
You may forbid an operator to remove automatic reservation.
In addition, you can print an extra tag for each reservation for each item, which will alert the production team about the particularity of the item to treat.
And as an administrator, from your Back Office, you can analyse the reservation recorded on a given period.
As a conclusion, here are the 2 key points to remember:
- The reception staff training is one of the keys in the process.
- The management of reservation and complaints may be greatly facilitated by a good IT tool in order to help the operators in their reception task.