I take a sip of my Americano as I walk out of the Starbucks on Armitage towards Tide Cleaners. It’s become my ritual every Monday and Wednesday to grab a midday coffee before starting work at 4:30pm to give me the extra boost I needed after a long day of classes. I swipe my card to get into the Tide Cleaners Armitage office. Doubling as a public location for our customers to drop-off their dry cleaning in one of the on-site lockers, I smile at a customer who is there placing an order as I make my way to the back where the office space begins.
As I walk through the door, I’m immediately greeted by our Field Marketing Manager Paul, who I can always expect a warm welcome from every time I come in. The work culture at Tide is lively – with chatting and collaborating being the norm in our open office space. The synergy between the employees is one of the many reasons why I love working here and feel motivated to perform well.
Being part of a completely new industry, the employees here work extremely hard to continue the growth of the company and create innovative ideas that will set us apart from competitors. Tide Cleaners is an online, on-demand dry cleaning service where customers can drop off their clothing in one of our 24/7-accessible lockers and get it returned to them in a couple days using our app. Originally founded as Pressbox, the company was acquired last year by P&G and has seen significant growth to employing 200 people across eight different markets across the country after becoming Tide Cleaners. With the Chicago office space barely fitting the 20 full-time employees who are working out of it, everyone is getting excited for the big move to a new office in River North next month.
After checking in with Vanessa, who is the intern supervisor, I walk to the supply room where I begin to gather everything I need for my Cupcakes & Rose event that I would be heading to within the hour. As one of five interns working here, I am responsible for executing community events at apartment buildings across Chicago that have our Tide Cleaners lockers. Each intern here has their own designated nights that they work, but we are always in communication with one another through our intern’s Slack channel to ensure we are best prepared for our events by sharing ideas on how to elevate the consumer experience during them. The most unique part about this role is that we are essentially the face of Tide Cleaners by being the only interaction that customers have with our employees since the service is completely app-based. This is why the interns are seen as a vital part of the company by ensuring that customers are getting the best possible experience at these events.
Every event is different – with a variance in theme, size and what to expect. Our supervisor notifies the interns each week of the events that we will be working and the relevant information we need before going by sending out Google calendar invites and updating a shared Google sheet. From there, its up to us to be responsible for executing these events successfully. The goal for every event is to draw in new customers by explaining the service, getting them to download our app and ultimately having them place an order with us that night.
One fun aspect of the job is having the ability to get creative when it comes to how to attract new customers and build a stronger relationship with the existing customers we talk to. It has forced me to become more innovative and to push myself out of my comfort zone in order to best communicate our unique service to each person I interact with. I have learned so far that it is not only about getting the customer to place an order, but to make the experience with our brand a memorable one. This is what will result in loyal customers and in turn increased growth of the company. With supportive leaders, a collaborative work environment and opportunities to be creative with new ideas, I could not ask for a better internship for my spring quarter of my senior year.