What would your dry cleaner look like if you took a bunch of business ideas from Walt Disney and his team? I’m sure it would revolutionize it! Why don’t you give it a try?
I just got back form a trip to Disney World. I went in thinking how a dry cleaner could use Walt’s ideas and use them in his business and this is what I came up with:
1. Create Your Customer’s Experience – Disney does not leave this up to chance. They have thought of every possible twist and turn when it comes to their customers. They guide the customer in the direction they want the to go to maximize their profits. You buy the tickets from them, you stay in their resorts, you ride their transportation and, of course, you go to one of their 5 or 6 resorts. Everything is upbeat and positive. They want you in a good mood so that you’ll spend lots of money, come again and tell all your friends and family about your experience.
So what can you do in your dry cleaning business to Create Your Customer Experience? First of all, your cleaners should be spotless – and that’s your vans as well as your stores. Your decorating should be pleasing to the eye, not a mish-mosh design that you put together over the years. Your signage should be educating and/or selling them on your ideas and your services. All your communication, your letters, e-mails, texts, videos, flyers, signage and verbiage should be consistent with your dry cleaner’s goals and ideals.
2. Make It Fun And Entertaining To Do Business With You – I know Disney is in the entertainment business and it’s suppose to be fun, but you should too! Do your drivers and counter people smile when they greet your customers? If they don’t, they should. If they never smile, get rid of him or her. They’re keeping customers away. From now on, only hire people that are smiling throughout the whole interview. You can’t teach people to smile, but you can hire smilers.
One of my members, David Whitehurst has a popcorn machine in his dry cleaner’s lobby. So right away his customers are in a good mood by smelling the popcorn, which makes them think of the circus or the ball game. What can you do? I like to cook, so I create entertaining videos of my cooking and put them on my blog. I get great comments from my customers when I’m out and about. What is your hobby? Can you incorporate it in your dry cleaning business with a little humor? Let your customers see that inner child in you. Most of my members use positive quotes with their weekly voice call reminders. So instead of the reminder calls being invasive, they become a call that our customers look forward to. One of my customers, John Vance (our town judge) says that he can’t wait to see what quote I pick for him each week.
3. Maximize Your Most Valuable Asset, Your Customer – Disney does this the best of any company I know of. They take all parts of their business and sell it to their customer base. They know that the hardest part of any business is getting the customer and once you have them and they trust you, they will buy other things from you. Disney Consulting teaches how to “Disney-ize” your business. I’ve never been, but I heard it’s amazing. So they take something they’ve developed for their business and sell it to other businesses. And those customers came from people that came through their theme parks as kids.
Besides their theme parks, they have motion pictures, DVD’s, animation studios, music studios, TV production, toys, licensing (which includes everything imaginable), Disney Stores, cruises, vacation clubs, traveling shows (Disney On Ice), hotels and Disney online. I’m sure there’s lots more!
You watch a Disney movie as a kid. You bug your parents to go to one of the Disney theme parks. When you get there, you stay in one of their hotels, eat their food and buy lots of stuff. Most every dollar that is spent on your Disney vacation goes to Disney.
What can you do to maximize your assets? First of all, you can sell your dry cleaning customers more services. You can sell services like rug and carpet cleaning, house cleaning, rug doctor rentals, shoe repair, drapery cleaning and whatever else you can come up with. I recommend a landscaper, car detailer, handyman, painter and I get a commission from these businesses. Once your customer trusts you, you can sell them lots of stuff. What can you sell your dry cleaning customer?
I know this is a lot of stuff to digest. And this isn’t all that you could Disney-ize. You should visit a Disney Theme Park and come up with your own list of ideas for your dry cleaning business. I recommend that you start with one idea and when that’s in place, start on your next idea, and so on.