People Love FREE Stuff–Even Dry Cleaning!

Mon, Nov 23, 2009

Dry Cleaning Marketing

I just got back from the grocery store. It was early and there was only one cashier. I had a full cart for my Thanksgiving dinner. I’m cooking for 24 of us, my 3 brothers, 1 sister and their spouses and kids. Anyway, I’m holding up this poor guy who’s only buying one thing–a breakfast sandwich. I tell the cashier to ring it up and I give it to this guy so he doesn’t have to wait. He had this big smile on his face and he thanked me. So this prompted me to write this today.

I am not a big fan of coupons.

There are dry cleaning businesses in my town of Rochester, NY that coupon constantly. And I know that a majority of their customers won’t go to their store unless they have a coupon in their possession. If this is their business model and they do this on purpose, and they make lots of money, then I can’t fault them.

If it’s not their model, shame on them. They are eroding their profits with this stupid marketing idea.

So what should you do?

Start a route if you don’t already have one. Route customers are a different breed. They want convenience over everything else. They don’t care about coupons. I’ve never offered a coupon to my route customers.  I might run a special on winter coats in the middle of the summer slow season, but I don’t blanket my customer base (or my town) with coupons.

“OK Greg, but the title of this blog is ‘People Love FREE stuff’. So what if the point of this article?”

I think you should use free dry cleaning to get them interested in your dry clean pick-up and delivery route. I do. And it’s the only time I give them something “coupon like.”

My offer goes something like this: $10 In FREE Dry Cleaning Just To Try Out My Pick-Up & Delivery Service.

And then I go on to say that there are “no strings attached” and that they can “kick me to the curb” if they don’t like my service and “with no hard feelings.”

So you gotta watch out the the “looky Lou’s” and the “mooch’s”. There are people out there that just do business with you once for the deal and then they’re off to the next dry cleaner for the next deal. You’ve got to stop them in their tracks.  So how do you do that? On my order form, I say in a nice way that you must have $30 in dry cleaning a month for this service to work and I also ask them (and get) their credit card number.  The getting of the credit card and qualifying them stops most of the mooches, but not all of them.

If a prospective dry cleaning customer calls and asks you, “how much are you comforters?”, they are a mooch. Why? They don’t do any dry cleaning and they want to get their comforter cleaned and they want to save $10 bucks.  If this happens, I politely ask them how much they spend per month. If they stumble or say “not much”, I politely tell them that this dry cleaner pick-up and delivery service is not for them.  Basically, I back out of the sale.

You might be saying, “Greg–a customer is a customer. At least I can make a little money and possibly they might use me in the future.” You’re wrong. You won’t make any money. After loading them into the system, sending them a “Welcome Letter”, a “New Customer Welcome Package”, and loading them into the reminder call service, producing their customer tag, and giving them two bags, you’ve LOST a ton of money already.  They are not worth it. Drop them before they drop you–which will be right after they get their comforter back.  If you own a dry cleaner franchise and you don’t have a drop store, you have to be more stringent than those dry cleaners that have plants.

How do I know this?  Because I’ve been tricked a number of times.  I was just tricked recently. This guy gave me his credit card. He told me he was trying me out to see if he liked my service, but he was asking me prices on comforters and blankets. It’s been two months and we haven’t seen ‘hide nor hair’ of him.

So people love free stuff. Use free dry cleaning to get them in and then use your superior customers service and quality to get them to stay.

, ,

Leave a Reply

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.