Customer satisfaction. It’s all the rage. And with good reason. Satisfying customers generates repeat business, boosts references, and develops positive word of mouth advertising. It also increases profitability and provides a competitive advantage.
If you own a dry-cleaning business, you’re right in thinking that customer satisfaction helps your operation succeed. But customer satisfaction isn’t the same as customer loyalty. So, don’t confuse them. Business people sometimes do when talking business strategy.
Customer Loyalty and Retention is More Important than Ever
While customer satisfaction generates repeat business, customer loyalty is far more potent than customer satisfaction when it comes to the success of your dry-cleaning business. In fact, it’s arguably the most critical factor in a retail operation.
According to a study by Customer Insight Group, 55-70% of sales at a business come from loyal customers. In addition, a study completed by Bain and Co shows that an increase in customer retention of just 5% boost profitability by 95%. Those are impressive numbers.
Increasing Loyalty Boosts Profits
Increasing customer loyalty, then, is the key to boosting profits at your dry-cleaning business.
Below are seven proven ways to create loyal customers:
Build a personal relationship:
Likability is a factor in boosting loyalty. So, develop good rapport with every customer that enters your dry-cleaning business. Customers will stay loyal to you if they feel it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Also, be caring and expressive. Ask about their son’s graduation or their new jobs. Send SMS messages when you can. Make them feel like their presence makes a huge difference.
Go above and beyond
Most people are busy these days, so go the extra mile to help your customers out. Drop off someone’s dry cleaning at their offices if needed, meet with them in person if the situation arises, and take your time to answer questions or solve problems when required. The more you go out of your way to help customers, the more loyal they’ll be. Do the little things, and customers will appreciate it.
Offer them deals they can’t refuse
Want to catch your customers’ interest and engage them? Offer great deals, especially during the holiday season. Make them as lucrative as you can. Coming up with a great deal during Christmas time that saves your customers time and money, for example, is ideal. Customers also love surprises and gifts in all forms. A personalized thank you card or access to a special event goes a long way with customers. Offer rewards that go beyond discounts.
Prioritize customer service
Make customer service a priority at your dry-cleaning business and customers will keep coming back. Customers keep score. So “WOW” them every time you or any employee helps them. Work on cutting down wait times in line, answer their questions on Facebook, and go out of your way to solve customer problems. Taking advantage of a dry cleaning POS system is a great way to boost customers service. It will help you process customers quickly.
Invest more in regular customers
Research shows that 80 percent of a company’s business comes from 20 percent of its customers. So, recognize regular customers and invest in them—especially if they stick around during a low-period in business. Treat them with extra care. Give them special discounts. Be warm when they come in, address them by their first names, and be approachable. Tell them that you miss them when you can.
Institute a loyalty program
Creating a loyalty rewards program these days is a must. If you’re not, your competitors are. Make sure the program provides gifts, discounts, and exclusive offers. According to a CrowdTwist survey, more than 70 percent of people asked said they are likely to shop at a business that has a loyalty program. It makes them feel appreciated. After all, they choose you to do their dry cleaning. That’s not a small gesture. Reward it.
Hold a customer appreciation event
Sure. Selling your dry-cleaning services pays the bills. But don’t look at your customers as just a source of money. If the only time you connect with a client is to sell them something or ask for money, they’ll bolt when a better offer comes along. Hold a customer appreciation event to show your gratitude, forward them links to helpful articles on their jobs or hobbies, or feature a local charity.
Implementing these seven ways of generating customer loyalty can help your dry-cleaning business grow and prosper. Boosting customer loyalty increases profitability spreads word of mouth advertising and provides a competitive advantage.
But don’t confuse customer satisfaction with customer loyalty. Customer satisfaction is great. But customer loyalty is a more critical when it comes to the success of your dry-cleaning business.