No doubt that COVID-19 has us all more than a bit on edge. Vended laundries stand on the front lines, not only helping to keep the spread of the virus in check, but also serving as community centers, where customers can get information. Just as you would utilize signage, your website and social media to communicate with customers, store owners should leverage the same mediums to distribute information. Offering messaging in multiple languages will also help for non-English speakers.
Messages to communicate include:
- Open and hours. Obviously, you want customers and prospective customers to know you are open and what your hours are.
- What you are doing to respond to the crisis and put them at ease the store is keeping them safe with extra cleaning, etc. The more detailed the better – also ensure your attendants are following these procedures. Customers will certainly be watching them. Put people at ease.
- What they can do while visiting your store
- Offer additional laundry tips
These are just the basics. The keys are to communicate early and often, while staying up to date – course correcting quickly as the situation develops. Owners also may want to educate customers (and prospective customers) on the benefits of their commercial equipment, that home units can’t match. Commercial washer-extractors provide exceptional mechanical action, which, when combined with hot water and detergent, deliver exceptional hygienic results – on-par with hospital-grade machines. In addition, commercial gas-fired dryers achieve higher temperatures and proper heating to further protect garments from harm.
Tips for interacting with your store should include the basics as we know them at present:
- Keep a distance of six feet from others
- Wash hands often or use sanitizer as a precaution after touching equipment, doors, etc.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow
- Try to refrain from touching your face.
Additional laundry tips:
- Heat and hot water are your friends. Where possible, wash loads with hot water and use dryers (allow the dryer to complete its cycle)
- Avoid shaking dirty laundry (it can spread germs)
- Clean hampers, baskets, bags, carts…anything coming in contact with dirty linens
- Wash hand towels and wash rags often
- Do laundry…the more urgency and emphasis we put on keeping things clean the better.
We all have a role to play in this crisis. As we know, our vended laundries are more than laundry centers; they are often community gathering areas. As such, we can leverage that role by communicating information in a timely manner to help keep each other safe.