Our very own Mark Mills was interviewed for the March 2014 issue of “National Clothesline Magazine,” a leading publication in the dry cleaning industry. Read excerpts of the interview, and find out a little bit of the history behind Sir Galloway Cleaners, and what sets us apart from our competitors.
“I make it a policy to reach out to two customers a day,” he (Mark Mills) explained. “I look at a stack of paid invoices and I call two customers a day to thank them for the opportunity to serve them. Then I ask them: how’s the customer service?”
The quote above sums up a lot of what Sir Galloway Cleaners stands for, and it also demonstrates Mark Mills’ commitment to the business he started almost 30 years ago (at the age of 24). An avid fan of watersports, Mr. Mills spends his (little) spare time in the Bahamas with his family.
Here are some excerpts to the interview, which can be read in its entirety here: http://www.natclo.com/1403/profile.htm
A handful of years ago, around the time that the economic downturn had reached its low point, Sir Galloway Cleaners owner and founder Mark Mills faced a tough decision with his Miami drycleaning business.
In order to stay successful, he reasoned he should focus most of his time and energy on one of two strategies. He should either keep trying to bring in new customers to keep revenue from plummeting or make a concerted effort to go well above and beyond the expectations of existing customers in order to keep as many as possible. He opted for the latter option.
“We went the route of taking care of our existing customers by rolling out a program called Beyond,” he recalled. “We identified the top 20 percent of our customers by volume and we created a little personalized letter for them that said: ‘We want to thank you for your loyalty. We are moving you up on our service level to our Beyond Program, with our compliments. That will entitle you to emergency delivery service. If you’re running late and can’t get to your drycleaning and need your clothes by tomorrow, call us up and we’ll deliver what you need to your house — no charge for the delivery. It’s like having a private drycleaner.’”
The program, among other things, also implemented a new call ahead service where customers could call on their way to picking up their clothes and the customer service representative would charge them to the credit or debit card on file and have them all ready to go and waiting at the drive-thru for when they arrive.
“So, we rolled out that program and that has helped us retain a higher percentage of our customers,” Mark added. “We roll out a little appreciation gift every year. Last year was some flowering seeds for their gardens, just more of a ‘thank you’ for their loyalty. This year, we’re rolling out a do-over will be delivered instead of having the customer come back. After all, they came in once to pick it up. They brought it back. We’re not going to make them come in again for it.”
The customer service team also began closely tracking the volume of the Beyond Program clientele to make sure nobody has disappeared.
“As soon as they fall out of pattern, we pick up the phone,” he noted. “Just the call itself goes a long way in shoring up that relationship.”
In fact, Mark often uses the phone as a tool to go above and beyond what other cleaners might do and keep his company on the right path.
“I make it a policy to reach out to two customers a day,” he explained. “I look at a stack of paid invoices and I call two customers a day to thank them for the opportunity to serve them. Then I ask them: how’s the customer service?”
It’s a good way to solicit feedback both positive and negative. He can then relay the information to his CSRs on the things they are doing right and the other things that might need improvement.
“I just hung up with a lady this afternoon. She said: ‘We used to go to somebody else and the difference is like going from Wal-Mart to Nordstrom’s’,” he added. “I think that summarizes everything we try to do and be.”