RIPON, Wis. — So much is made today about the need to provide an elevated customer experience. Owners are increasingly focused on providing greater amenities, offering more services and leveraging a high level of technology – both the customer-focused variety as well as the owner-focused.
However, the acme of the customer experience doesn’t begin and end when customers cycle through your store. If your laundry is ahead of all competitors by providing something truly unique and nobody but you and a handful of folks know about it, you’re not exactly going to own your market.
GIVE PEOPLE A REASON TO FOLLOW (CONTINUED)
In the online marketing world, content is king. Think about the brands, companies and individuals you follow socially. You do so because there’s a payoff – you’re learning, laughing and perhaps even winning. Bottom line, you’re getting something out of the interaction.
So, as you begin to leverage social tools like Facebook to build your audience, plan out a calendar of posts – at least a month’s worth. Regular updates help keep your audience engaged. Think about your clientele and focus content around them. As a provider of laundry services, think about:
- Asking questions. Increasing your social presence and ultimately benefiting your business is about two-way communication. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions of your followers.
- Cross-marketing. Work with nearby businesses to build followers for both entities. Sharing content and highlighting each other is a great way to gain followers. Think outside the box. How about offering laundry service for a local spa or nail salon in return for them promoting your Laundromat?
- Online-store connection. Something as simple as a kid’s coloring contest could build traffic both online and in your store. Use Facebook to promote the event. Have customers get the coloring sheets at your store and return them there. Then, post the winners on Facebook. Better yet, engage your audience to vote for winners.
- Promoting specials. A key component to promoting your business through social is offering promotions. Let customers know that your followers learn of any specials first through the Facebook page.
- Providing service alerts. The current COVID-19 crisis has showed us just how fluid things can be. Many store owners have used their Facebook pages to communicate that they are open as “essential businesses” and what their new store usage guidelines are to protect customers and staff.
FOR THE ADVANCED
The value of social can extend well beyond just conversations with your followers and bringing them into your business. Those adept at truly leveraging social’s value will unite their social presence with marketing efforts.
For instance, utilize the Facebook ad platform to understand your customer demographics better by uploading a customer list obtained from your payment system or Wi-Fi splash page (you don’t have to run ads to use this tool).
Create custom audiences on Facebook (your wash-dry-fold clients, for example) and encourage them to come back or notify them of seasonal specials on washing quilts in spring or fall. You might also want to create “lookalike audiences” using your customer list to target new customers who share similar profiles with your best customers.
The customer experience is more than just what happens inside your store. Social media is the tool that extends the reach of your business and enables you to build stronger connections with your customers. We all want to do business with people we “know” and brands we feel a connection to. Social media practices and engagement give you the means. The goal is to create a natural two-way conversation with customers and prospective customers.
From there, it’s about leveraging advanced marketing tools to dial in content and messaging to specific customer types. This is where a robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system becomes even more important today. You can’t afford not to know your customers and how they interact with your Laundromat. Understanding their habits, both in the laundry and online, will help you become a better marketer.
Finally, a better customer experience is the new norm in our business. Like it or not, it’s expected, and people will pay more for it. So, while that may be a new(er) trend, the foundational element is the same – it costs less to retain a good customer than to obtain a new customer. Making sure they are bonded to your brand is immensely important.
Miss Part 1? You can read it HERE.