These five key principles help you get referrals and keep your customers. It costs you five times as much to get a new customer as to keep one. So you might as well take good care of the ones you have. And while you’re taking care of them, you might as well get some referrals.
Most dry cleaners get a new customer and never talk to that customer again. Your new customer never hears from you unless he pops into your store or catch you while you’re delivering his clothes. Is this the way you’d like it to be? I don’t think so.
Principle #1 – Frequency Of Communications: I want you to think about the personal relationships you have in your business and personal life. How much time do you spend seeing and talking with your closest friends? Do you only talk to them once a year? Or do you spend some time every week or month connecting with them?
What would happen if you ONLY talked to your very best friend once or twice every two years?
What would happen if you only saw your spouse or significant other one night a year (Hey, you might like that, but that is not the point. That’s a whole other article for another magazine. Ha-ha.)
If you only saw your spouse once a year, it would not last. It’s like only talking to your best customers once a year—maybe at the holidays—your relationship will deteriorate.
How are the relationships you have with people different when you speak with them on a regular basis as opposed to quarterly or annually? Outside of business, those people whom you speak to often are the people you have the closest relationships with, and those friends from the past are just people you are familiar with or share a history with now.
The longer you go between communications, the weaker your relationships is with your customers, and the more open they are to using your other products and services or simply forgetting about you altogether.
Another wrinkle in this is the type of communication you deliver. If every interaction you have with someone is you asking them for money… “Pay my bills just this one time.” Yeah, right! You’re killing the relationship.
Everyone has had a friend or family member in his or her life that is always asking for money. The only time they call or come by is because they need a favor or to borrow. “I promise, I’ll pay you back.” Yeah, right! some money. That relationship gets old real fast. You start avoiding them like the plague. And that’s how most dry cleaners operate. They never contact you unless they need some money. They never just say hi and share some valuable information. They’re always selling one of their services and/or asking for money.
Do you want to be that dry cleaner?
I don’t think you do.
So what can you do?
You can send them an email giving them some cleaning tips for their home. You can start a newsletter (a paper one is better) and share some of your insight and wisdom. You can talk about how dry cleaning works and talk about some of your employees. You can tell them some (tasteful) jokes and stories. Let your personality show up.
I write a newsletter every month for our members to use and it’s got all these ideas in it. It keeps your customers involved and they don’t forget you. If you’d like a copy of my newsletter, go to NoDoorKnocking.com/sendnewsletter and I’ll mail one out to you right away.
Principle #2 – Consistency Of Communications: I’m writing this in August. This is vacation month. Most dry cleaners are very slow and the owners are on vacation (If not really on vacation, they’re on vacation in their mind. And if you’re not hanging out at some beach, you should be. That’s another article.). This time and in December, not much gets done marketing wise in most dry cleaners.
This is not good.
Being inconsistent in the eyes of your customers and your prospects is bad for business. How you market to your prospects tells them how you’ll be when you have them as a customer. If you don’t communicate with them in July/August and during December, you’re telling them that you run your business by the seat-of-your-pants and you’re very disorganized.
If you send out your newsletter every once in a while or get it out late every month, you’re telling your customers that you’re all over the place running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off!
You must plan ahead for those months. It’s like booking a vacation for March in December. You know that you’ll be away, so you start making plans for the time you’re away. Do the same for your dry cleaning business.
That’s it for this month. I’ll get those other three key principles to you in October.
Don’t forget to get a copy of my newsletter mailed to you: website