National Clothesline
National Clothesline
If it’s not measured, it’s not managed
Peter Drucker is credited with the quote, “What gets measured, gets managed” and this rings
so true on every aspect of our industry.
I recently met with Carolyn
Nankervis of Marketwise Consulting
and we discussed this very notion that
our industry sometimes struggles to
measure the level of service needed
to exceed customer’s expectations.
By secret shopping your CSRs
monthly, you get measurable results
of service. The challenge that many
have is that some accept low results,
while others do not know how to react
or respond to the numbers.
Drycleaning business owners are usually pretty good when it comes to monitoring production
with PPOH data and other efficiency standards in order to be profitable.
However, what could you do with the rest of your departments in order to ensure that your
staff is producing the necessary retention results needed to maintain and grow your business?
A few years ago, several of our clients came to my hometown of Kansas City for one of our
annual meetings with the intention of creating the ultimate retention program for both routes
and stores.
While brainstorming, it was determined that retention is just as important if not more so for
growing your business.
All the marketing in the world does not guarantee that the consumer will stay with you.
The issue is that we get so buried in the day-to-day grind of running the business, retention
strategies become just that, a plan without implementation.  
One of the first aspects of retention is retaining good employees. We tend to forget that our
best resource is our people. These are the ones on the front line.
We often look at personalities and behavior first, without considering what they bring to the
table either performance-wise or in potential. I often challenge managers to delegate more to
the CSRs or route drivers because they may tend to care more about the customer’s
Finding good to great employees is very difficult and we should measure their performance.
For CSRs, I strongly recommending secret shopping programs; Marketwise is working in
conjunction with DLI.
What about routes? How do you measure your drivers?
Obviously monitoring their sales results (or lack there of) is easy. You also should hold them
accountable to their presentations.
As for servicing the route customers, finding a way to get feedback is essential since the
driver is sometimes the only one with direct contact with the customer.
This is our #23 reason for not putting your route on autopilot. Too often we just hope that the
customer will contact someone else in our business if not completely satisfied.
Usually the next person in line is your competitor waiting for that opportunity to take better
care of your customer.  
The bottom line is that retention is and will always be important. You are only as good as your
worst employee. Remember this the next time you notice missing customers appearing on your
marketing reports. Ninety percent of your customers will not tell you that they are leaving you.
Don’t wait until it’s too late.  

James Peuster offers
onsite training and all
aspects of routes.
Management, marketing
and maintenance are all
key components in
developing a million-
dollar route.  You can
listen to his radio
programs on
He can be contacted at
(816) 739-2066 or
James Peuster