Fortnite, by Epic Games, has raised over $1 billion from investors for Metaverse real estate to establish a dominant presence in the gaming sector of virtual play. The gaming industry paves the road for many companies to follow suit, like Nike Metaverse Platform (formerly Facebook), Microsoft, and others.
But with all these heavy hitters in the ring, do laundry businesses stand a chance? Better yet, do laundromats belong in the Metaverse?
The short answer is yes! Laundromats belong in the Metaverse, but your business practices and virtual interactions will be drastically different from those of the gaming industry.
If you need to learn more about the Metaverse before continuing with this article, check out our post on Meta marketing.
If you already know about the Metaverse, here are a few ways laundromats can thrive in the Metaverse and provide helpful virtual interactions.
#1: Offer Virtual Tours of Your Store
Every successful business has returning customers–retention is a huge part of long-term success.
However, you shouldn’t ignore new customers, especially if they walk through your doors and want to use your service. A new customer can quickly become a returning customer with exemplary customer service and experience.
But the challenge for many laundromats is getting people to choose their store over a competitor. With so much competition in your area, what makes your business stand out?
Although you can’t control proximity and transportation, you can manage your store’s influence and presence in the neighborhood by sponsoring events and doing things that bring your business to the forefront of people’s minds.
But with the development of the Metaverse, how can you, a laundromat owner, provide the next step of immersion and improve your community?
Use the Metaverse to offer virtual tours of your store for new customers.
Since the Metaverse operates as a 3D virtual experience, you can quickly provide new customers with a self-guided or guided store tour.
An essential part of this tour is that you allow your customers to see everything about your store in the virtual world as it is in the real world.
This kind of experience gives new customers a literal peek into your store without having to step foot through your front door.
It would help if you let customers interact with the virtual store to maximize this opportunity. Create a space where customers can do several things, like:
- Using your washers and dryers,
- Inspect the cleanliness of the store,
- Navigate through the store to find the restroom and other machines,
- And practice or see anything else they want!
The quality of their virtual experience can encourage them to visit your store in real life. As more people use virtual reality in their daily lives, it’s critical for businesses, like laundromats, to meet people where they spend a lot of time.
People get nervous when walking into a new place, even a store. Why? Because they don’t know where everything is and have to ask many questions.
Although you and your employees are there to help, social anxiety prevents some people from even trying. If you offer virtual tours, you allow all customers to learn at their speed and get familiar with the store.
So when they come to your store in real life, they can act like they’ve been there before and feel comfortable in the social setting.
#2: Offer a Live Q&A or FAQ “Page”
Over 70% of people prefer speaking with a living person on a customer service call to working with a computer.
And there are several reasons why we prefer people or machines for customer support, but the biggest reason is that speaking to another person provides a customized support experience.
In other words, when we speak to a person, they can help us with our exact problem and talk with us versus going through a series of prompts and dialing numbers with a robot. The conversation is organic and personal–just like in real life.
We expect a person to resolve our problem because we can talk through it. Virtual customer service doesn’t change the preferences of shoppers. You have to adapt to the medium and make it work for you.
In the Metaverse, your laundromat can offer a live Q&A or FAQ page.
In this area, you, the owner, can record yourself answering commonly asked questions, which gives visitors a sense that you care and helps them put a name to a face. Additionally, visitors are more likely to listen to your response than read a long written answer.
With the expansion of the internet, attention spans have shortened over the last few decades. And on the internet, the attention span is much shorter since information is abundant.
Offering a “real” conversation in the Metaverse is a great way to encourage people to listen to your answers and find the information they need.
Here are some examples of questions you can answer to assist your customers:
- What are your hours of operation?
- How many different machines do you have in store?
- What is the average wait time?
- What are your accepted payment methods?
- Is there an ATM in or near the store?
- Do you offer eco-friendly detergent?
Offering a virtual FAQ experience in the Metaverse increases your business’s engagement and virtual interactions. It also provides your visitors with the answers they need.
Regularly updating this virtual “page” with new questions and updated answers also helps improve your SEO rating, which means more potential customers will find your store.
Are You Ready for the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is an unprecedented area. It will take many years for companies to adapt to the ever-changing environment.
But as a laundromat, you can optimize this opportunity and find ways to improve your business.
Use the Metaverse to offer virtual tours to new customers to see what your store is like before spending their money there.
With a live FAQ page, your visitors can find the answers they need to their questions.
And if you’re considering implementing new products or services in your store, consider ways you might test them out in the Metaverse first.
We’re still learning about this technology and how to use it. As we know more, you’ll know more!