Out of Their Minds


You’d like to think your customers want to see you, enjoy your upgraded lobby area, or listen to their favourite tunes while they wait in the drive-thru line. Not true. They just want clean clothes every time they open a closet or drawer, and they want the dirty ones whisked away before they become overpowering.

So one way to look at Value-Adding services is to look at your business like your customers would like to look at it: they don’t want to think about it at all. If you are out of their minds, but handling their needs, that is perfect service to a customer.

Show and Tell

What does a customer-centric, value-added dry cleaner or laundry look like? (Hint: it has nothing to do with bricks and mortar.) Most customers select and interface with a cleaner these days via the internet. So websites are a great place to track down the companies that have thrown their efforts into doing what customers want.

In this article, we’ll take a look at Martinizing.com. Though they only have a few locations in Canada (Coquitlam BC, London ON, Bolton ON), there are locations all across the U.S. and beyond. (The site also lists Calgary, AB, but we have a report that location is closed.) What is important is their approach to customer wants and needs. What can you learn from just their website?

From the outset, the website has several things going for it.

  • The logo with the big 75 incorporated into it gives customers a feeling of solidarity.
  • The rolling video that takes up the page has beautiful images of the delivery van in a lovely neighbourhood, clean clothes on racks and happy customers.
  • The headline, ‘Dry Cleaning Never Felt So Easy’ and the subhead ‘Consistent, convenient dry cleaning that you can count on’ make a stressed consumer begin to relax.
  • The immediate call to action (Schedule a Pickup) is prominently displayed.
  • There is a counter that says they have had 16,247 5-Star reviews. If you don’t think that catches the online customer’s attention, you need to think again.

When the curious customer scrolls down, he or she is presented with a comprehensive list of services.

  • Professional Dry Cleaning
  • Wash Dry & Fold
  • Comforters & Household Items
  • Alterations & Repairs
  • Gown Preservation
  • Shirt Laundry
  • Shoe Cleaning & Repair
  • Leather & Suede
  • Rug Cleaning
  • Professional Wet Cleaning

It’s a great list and gives customers ideas for things they might not have thought of having cleaned previously. In addition, clicking on any one of the items brings up an expanded list that just goes on adding to the value of the service.

For instance, if we click on Alterations & Repairs, we see a nice graphic of a garment with repair tools. Below it is another in-depth list of services:

  • Seam Repair
  • Button Replacement
  • Formal Dress Repairs
  • Fur Repair
  • Zipper Replacement
  • Lining Repair
  • Sleeve Adjustments
  • Leather Repair
  • Hemming

Brief text below the list of items just seals the deal.

“In addition to these services, we also offer custom tailoring for men’s clothing, women’s clothing, children’s clothing, and wedding dresses. This means they can create personalized alterations and adjustments based on your specific measurements and preferences.”

At this point, the customer has thought of at least three things in the closet that she doesn’t wear because that sleeve lining is uncomfortable or that needs a zipper replaced or that lost some buttons. Great suggestive selling!

A subliminal but powerful message is conveyed by a box that appears in the bottom right corner of the screen sometimes. It shows a photo of a family relaxing at home. A running counter purports to show ‘Hours given back to families’ by not having to do their own fabricare. The number advances more than once a second. How they derive the number is not important; the photo and the concept are clear.

Make it almost too easy

When it comes to pickup and delivery, the website makes it so easy that a customer would be crazy not to schedule one. The page emphasizes, ‘No Need to Be Home’, ‘Same In-Store Prices’, ‘Convenient Billing’, ‘No Minimum Order’ and ‘Save Time and Gas’. These are all question marks in the mind of a customer when he or she considers using a laundry or dry cleaning service. They are all dealt with efficiently on one page.

In particular, the payment method is left up to the customer. Whether it’s online payment, in-store payment or being billed, it’s whatever the customer wants, not what is best for the cleaner.

And on every page, somewhere, there is a link to ‘Find Your Store’ so you can get started with an order.

We know what we’re doing

A tab on Fabric Care Tips takes the customer to pages of topics that will show how the Martinizing cleaner knows his or her stuff.

Tips on cleaning polo shirts, or preparing shoes for storage, or the truth behind invisible stains, convey a message of competence. They also subconsciously convey the message that the customer doesn’t want to be doing all this work himself. Turn it over to the Martinizer.

As if that weren’t enough

The Martinizing.com website completes the check boxes of a great Value-Adding program with a section called ‘The Perks of Being Our Customer’. These include:

  • VIP Express Service – “Complimentary for all Martinizing customers. Receive your own VIP Bag that can be dropped off 24 hours a day. No waiting. Your clothes will be ready the next business day at 5 p.m. Sign up for automatic payment to ensure speedy pickup!”
  • Automatic Rewards – “No need to sign up or maintain your frequency rewards. Automatic Rewards are our way of thanking you for your continued patronage. For every dollar you spend in the store, you will receive a credit towards a future incoming dry cleaning order.”
  • Refer-A-Friend Savings – “Tell a friend about us and you both will benefit. As a customer, you will receive a $25 credit to your account, and they will receive 25% off their first order. It’s a win-win!”

That sounds like a lot of work

If you are a dry cleaner or launderer looking at that site, and your site does not measure up, you may well be thinking, “That sounds like a lot of work! I’m not doing all that.” Oh, really? Then why are you in business?

You are not in business to clean clothes.

You are in business to meet customer needs.

Companies that hit as many hot buttons as this website does will attract and hold customers (so long as the work behind the scenes continues to be good quality). Spending the day buried in dirty clothes and just trying to process the loads will not grow your company or your customer list.

Perhaps you think, “My customers just come to the store.” Again, oh, really?

According to a GE Capital Retail Bank study, 81% of consumers go online to find information and answer any questions about the product or service before heading out to the store to make a purchase [or make the purchase online].

If your online presence doesn’t reflect your devotion to customer service and make you something they can put out of their minds, you’re missing out on vast potential growth and success.

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