It might be 2020, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be a little old fashioned. Online advertising and cyber solutions might help get customers in the door, but you’ll need tried-and-true human interaction to round out your customer outreach strategies for dry cleaners.
The convenience of e-commerce and local listings have made many customers gruff, tightly-scheduled individuals. Worse yet, many businesses view their customers like living reviews. Walking on eggshells around your clients or just using them for their feedback will only get you so far. If you want to create a strong reputation for your business, you’re going to need to know who you’re talking to and how to connect with them.
There are many brick and mortar solutions for becoming the best in your field, and we’re here to share them. Follow along for our top tips on how to win over new clients and influence your competition.
Know Your Customers
Many would be surprised by how few business owners actually interact with their customers. It’s important for you and your staff to recognize regulars because they’re the ones powering your business. Every time they return through that door, they’ve chosen to give you their business, so why not make their experience a little easier?
Knowing your customers can allow you to connect on a human level, but it can also help you improve your business. Obviously, you’re doing something right, so find out why those regulars keep coming back. Is it because of your drive-thru pickup, competitive pricing, or 24-hour turnaround? Whatever it is, it may be enough to center an advertising campaign around and win over new customers.
Plus, once you can anticipate your customers’ needs, you can center your business around them. Promoting or even doubling the features or programs that they return for can mean even more business for you and greater convenience for them.
Say Thank You
If you’re a “Thank You” person, this comes naturally — but you’d be surprised by how many people aren’t. Regardless, it’s important to thank your customers because it helps bridge the professional gap in your interaction and humanizes you and your staff. If you’re not a social butterfly, this little hack may be enough to melt back even the iciest of customers.
If that seems too easy, take it up a notch. It seems sentimental, but you should consider giving out thank you cards. Combine these with a coupon or promotion, and customers will be all the more grateful. Plus, once you have that coupon design, you can distribute it in any print campaign you want.
If you’re really feeling fancy, you can create a double-coupon campaign. Create two coupons that look like they fit together like puzzle pieces, distribute each through different platforms, and advertise each as rewarding a customer with 10% off.
Customers will be thrilled to find they can combine the two and receive 20% off. Make sure to note that customers can only redeem a max of two coupons in your terms and conditions, and insist that it must be one of each coupon — not two of the same.
That way, you can take advantage of other print platforms like grocery store advertising and test how many customers receive and redeem coupons from local stores. IndoorMedia allows for Coupon-Receipt advertising, which allows you to print your coupons on the backs of grocery store register tape. This means you can save a ton on printing costs and reach every customer who checks out at the grocery store. With around 20,000 customers visiting grocery stores every week, that’s a huge audience for the right supermarket advertisement.
Outshine Your Competitors
If you’ve felt skeptical about how far a relationship with your customers can really get you, ask yourself how far it could get your competition. Imagine that your rivals are taking the same steps to reach out to their regulars and ask yourself why you don’t feel comfortable doing the same. Unfortunately, the truth is that other businesses are definitely taking these steps and likely developing their own advertising and outreach campaigns.
Moreover, your competition may succeed because they have better features or technology. There will always be a larger company or national chain impossible to keep up with. At that moment, you’ll need to rely on the relationships you’ve formed with your customers and hope that is enough to keep them coming back.
Create a Loyalty Program
If you need a way to track and quantify how many regulars you really have, you should create a loyalty program. This is also a super-easy way to incentivize a customer’s next visit and ensure they’ll think of you first the next time they need their clothes dry cleaned.
Encourage ongoing business with simple rewards like “Get one free coat cleaning after three visits” or offer a punch card that customers can eventually redeem for a free cleaning. That being said, today, there are several options for tracking your customer’s purchases. You can get sophisticated and integrate a customer loyalty platform with your POS and management platform. Or, you can get as down-and-dirty as recording customers and their phone numbers in a spreadsheet and asking them to repeat it at the time of purchase.
Build The Perfect Coupon
If you’re considering creating a coupon for the first time, we’ve got a great resource here. Not only does IndoorMedia’s register tape program mean a huge audience for your business, but we’ll also help you hone in on exactly how to advertise your company. By following our program steps, you can identify your market, design the perfect offer, and publish your coupon.
From there, you’ll be able to monitor the campaign’s success by seeing how many customers redeem the ad. This can help you modify your program to emphasize what is working and take a step back from some of the ideas that are not.
All in all, the most important thing is that your business remains open to improving and tries to take a few steps forward every day. Incorporate new ideas when you can, and don’t stop doing what works for you.