By Pascal Berardozzi,
Consultant / Master dyer
As a dry-cleaning store manager, how do I win customers’ loyalty?
Loyalty concept in general
Key elements of winning dry-cleaning customer’s loyalty
Which IT tools for which improvements?
Presentation of Pascal Berardozzi at the CET general assembly on March 20, 2017
A big thank you to CET Auvergne Rhône-Alpes for this presentation: “How to win customers’ loyalty?”
To download the full version of the presentation click here.
Current methods for winning customers’ loyalty in the dry-cleaning profession
- Credit card - counting of checkouts and accumulation of a percentage of consumptions- Legacy of paper cards to stamp- Allows to offer a customer discount proportional to his loyalty and consumption- Currently much used in the profession, including in the traditional neighbourhood stores- Possibility to limit the scope to certain services or products
- Credit card – credit recharge- The customer recharges an amount, with or without store contribution, and uses this credit as he wishes on all services sold- Facilitates greatly the cash management, but leads to a deferred income management that requires a specific accounting treatment.
- Card – direct discount- Charged card that enables a discount during the card validity period- Hard to implement because the customer has to pay for the card
- Item plan- The customer pays in advance a certain quantity of a specific service at an attractive price- Identical to the credit recharge, but limited to only one item or a selection of items- Mainly used for shirts
Goals and main trends
TRENDS – The credit recharge card
New technologies in the service of customer loyalty: mobile applications
For example, there is a project in the Parisian region currently in the validation process, about “Uberisation of delivery”. The customer receives a SMS alert proposing the delivery. If he is interested, he clicks on a link (in the SMS) that leads to a page where he can validate a request for home delivery. Then, he just needs to accept the payment of the fixed amount for the delivery. His request is then transmitted to the closest network member (delivery with a bike in an adapted delivery bag). This member picks up the items at the dry-cleaner’s and delivers them to the customer. For more information, visit the web site of Tousfacteurs.
Elements of winning dry-cleaning customer’s loyalty
- The priceIn reality, the price itself is not so important. But the customer feeling or his perception of the price do matter.There is a quick story about a dry-cleaner’s located in a shopping centre with many visitors: the duvet sales were weak. The store manager decided to do a promotion and displayed a banner on the front window to announce a big discount on the duvets, without writing the price. The reaction was pretty much immediate: the duvet sales strongly increased. After several weeks, he decided to remove the banner because he thought he had finally found the right price for duvets: the sales went down again. Once he realized that sales were decreasing, he put the banner back in place quickly. Sales went up again.
- Time spent in the store by customersThe dry-cleaning business is mainly reserved to the upper socio-professional category. The customers don’t want to spend useless time in a dry-cleaning store. They are looking for a quick and efficient service, with as few waste of time as possible. Consequently, you must do everything possible to reduce the treatment time and the time spent in the store by customers:- Respect of return dates- Pre-packaged items- Quick payments- Quick deposits and returns- Clear and easy-to-understand promotions
- The geographical situationDry-cleaning is an activity of local service. The customer will first go to a dry-cleaner’s answering his needs located in an area he usually goes to. He can exceptionally go further, but a loyal and profitable customer is regularly active. The easy parking is a key priority directly linked to the time spent in the store. The fastest the rotation is, the less the issue of available parking spaces will be.
- The service qualityAs the price, it is here more about a customer feeling rather than a technical fact. Every dyer is able today to offer a high quality service to his customers. The subjective elements of the customer’s quality experience are the following:
- Store cleanliness
- Decoration modernity
- How clothes are packaged and returned
- Human quality of the reception
- The perceived price related to promotional offers displayed
- Additional servicesA well-run store also selling products specialised in textile care may reinforce its quality and advice image. Obviously, this sale section must be well-stocked and correctly presented. It is better not to do anything rather than presenting 3 old and dusty products. It is also frequent to complete the dry-cleaning activity with another service activity such as shoe repair, warehouse, parcel drop off point, etc.
Which IT tools for which improvements?
- Reduction of research and return time
- Improve working conditions by limiting the movements
Automatic garment dispenser
- Limits the waiting time during returns
- Expands the return time-slot (24/7 models)
- Customer identification
- Order research
- Know immediately if an order is ready or not
- Know exactly where an order is stored
SMS or e-mail alerts
- Linked to the implementation of a specialised software
- The customer comes only if his order is ready, which increases his satisfaction and reduces the waste of time in the store
A showcase site for a dry-cleaner’s is a plus, but doesn’t really brings additional and attractive services for a customer. So it may only have an interest for a chain or a brand present at the national level.
Dry-cleaning 2.0 is coming soon…
About dry-cleaning 2.0...
For over 20 years, Inforum has been providing you with software solutions specialised in dry-cleaning. Considering the importance of the new technologies, we wish to bring you tomorrow with GestiClean Up’ all the necessary tools to win your customers’ loyalty.