Research shows that it costs six to seven times more money to get new customers than retain customers.
Although you shouldn’t abandon advertisements for new customers, they won’t stay around long enough if you don’t care for your current customers.
Customer retention in the laundry business is essential, especially with so much competition. Here are some ways to boost your retention while increasing your revenue and improving customer satisfaction.
Keep Your Store Clean
In the laundry business, your store cleans garments–I know, pretty obvious, but think about this: who wants to wash their clothes in a dirty store? It doesn’t make sense.
If you want people to come regularly to your store, you must exceed their cleanliness expectations.
Start with ensuring that your store is clean from top to bottom. You don’t want dust and lint to collect in corners. Regularly clean the floors with a mop.
Additionally, keep your bathrooms clean. Families come to your store for at least an hour, so there is a high likelihood that someone will use your bathroom. You don’t want to gross them out.
One way to shock your customer base is to keep the surrounding area clean. Keeping your parking lot and storefront clean speaks to your attention to detail and stands out to customers.
If people feel clean and safe when they come to your store, they’re sure to return.
Focus on Great Customer Service
One of the easiest ways to lose a customer is to treat them poorly. Customer service is one of the essential components of customer retention.
Your washers and dryers can work great, but if people don’t feel welcomed or your employees are rude, they won’t return. It’s as simple as that.
One study showed that as many as 61% of consumers have switched brands because of poor customer service.
So, how do you treat your customers when something goes wrong?
Taking the extra effort to be kind and helpful will keep customers around, and they’ll provide free advertisement by sharing how great you are to their friends and family.
Exceed a Customer’s Expectations
Whether or not you’re aware, every customer walks through your door with a set of expectations.
They’re looking for a clean establishment with good customer service and working machines at minimum. Do you meet their expectations?
From there, do you try to raise the bar? Are there detergent and dryer sheet options? Snacks for sale? A community library or free entertainment/wifi?
All of these can go a long way in meeting an expectation or exceeding it.
And then of course — how do you track your performance over time?
Briefly, let’s talk about Net Promoter Scores (NPS).
NPS surveys are a one-question request. Customers are asked rate from 1-10 how they feel about recommending your business to a friend.
Detractors can provide valuable insights on how you can improve in major areas, while passives might illustrate the need for fine-tune changes.
Once you know your score, you can ask yourself some questions about the experiences of the people who score your business lower:
- How can we help them?
- Are we consistent in our service?
- Do we reward our returning members in ways that keep them coming back?
- Is our store always clean?
- How do employees treat customers?
Customers care about how you treat them.
Implement a Rewards Program
Customer retention is about keeping new customers around and sustaining a steady flow of customers who continually return.
If someone consistently spends their hard-earned money at your store, isn’t it only fair to reward their loyalty? You can use various methods for loyalty and rewards to encourage customer retention.
Provide Punch cards
This simple reward system is excellent for customers and doesn’t cost you a lot to incentivize. Punch cards can be for visits or money spent. For example, spend $20 or more on four trips, get the first $20 of your fifth visit for free.
Maintain a Membership club
People love exclusivity. Your patrons pay a monthly access fee if you offer a membership club. So what do you do to reward them? You can offer discounts and early access days. Once a week/month, members come in before the store opens to wash their clothes, so they don’t have to wait for an available machine.
Prepare a Points system
More often than not, stores use a points system. It requires little upkeep for the store owner and requires the customer to remember to enter their phone number.
After so many visits, customers can rack up points and cash them in for rewards–higher value rewards cost more points, and vice-versa.
Customers can earn points by posting about the business, tagging the company, or spending a certain amount of money at the laundromat.
Customer retention is essential for staying in business because it’s more affordable than a revolving door of new customers. But to keep people coming back, you have to offer something that stands out–that makes you different and better than other laundromats.
When creating a customer retention plan, consider your cleanliness, customer service, expectations, and rewards program.