CHICAGO — Emails, emails, emails,” says Sassan Rahimzadeh, president of Chula Vista, Calif.-based ARYA Cleaners, in describing one of the effective ways he reaches and connects with his customers.
There are many ways to market your garment care operation. Just because you’ve perhaps only tried one way — for instance sending out flyers — doesn’t mean you can’t try other methods, such as social media, or those emails, emails, emails!
Remember, if at first you don’t succeed…. try, try again. It’s true in life and certainly true in marketing your garment care business. The only thing stopping you is you.
There are lots of channels you can explore to try to reach your clients in the most effective way — so you can be where they are. Two drycleaning owners are going to share their experiences with you.
Now let’s hear from another garment care owner with experience trying various marketing channels.
“Our customers are very familiar with our in-store customer service teams and feel like their route specialist is part of their neighborhood and often their extended family. We lead with this idea in our marketing messaging,” points out Kurt Lucero, owner of The Cleanery in Albuquerque, N.M.
“Our social media presence consists of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter primarily,” he says. “This way we are able to be available to our clients wherever they are.”
Lucero notes that they have a robust Pinterest board that is heavily focused on brides, “As we have a loyal customer base for wedding and gown preservation.”
His business is owned and managed by the second generation of the Lucero family and he says that, “The Cleanery has consistently offered what larger dry cleaners can’t — personal attention to every garment. Since 1984, our company has serviced thousands of discerning, satisfied customers; from leading political figures to Hollywood productions across metropolitan Albuquerque and Santa Fe.”
Lucero explains that in terms of marketing, a lot has changed since his family opened the business.
“Historically, successful dry cleaners needed to have several physical brick and mortar locations in order to serve a large metropolitan area,” Lucero says.
His operation has maintained several stores throughout the city but as their business evolved, he notes, their route service expanded, and they found that customers loved not having to make frequent stops at the stores. They saw this as a real opportunity, and built an expert customer service team in their route specialists.
“Our website is a great tool for helping people get signed up for route service and helping to answer their questions about our service,” notes Lucero. “We are able to share with them our Green Business commitment as well as community partnerships that we participate in.”
Also, he points out that the state of New Mexico is loyal and supportive of its local businesses and he says his business tries to reflect that and promote what his fellow New Mexicans love, such as chili, hot air balloons, and beautiful vistas.
“Interestingly,” Lucero relates, “Hollywood has ended up being a fun and rather big part of our business since so many movie and television productions have come to New Mexico. Our bags have been spotted on set and even in final productions which has been great to share on our social channels.”
He indicates that he belongs to several industry peer groups who meet several times a year to share best practices and brainstorm where the industry is heading and how to best navigate things like customer service, marketing, economic fluctuations and opportunities. “I highly recommend joining a peer group like America’s Best Cleaners or something like it.”
About deciding on the type of marketing communication channel he uses, Lucero says they have worked with the same advertising agency who did a rebrand for them back in 2007.
“Together we identify creatively where the opportunities are for promoting our company and getting our message out. We recently hired a new social media company that is dedicated to helping manage our social media presence,” relates Lucero.
“Having a solid brand that we have built on year after year makes our marketing decisions much easier. You know what you do and what you don’t do. Sure, we have tried things and gotten terrific results and some things have mediocre results. You simply have to try, track, measure and repeat,” he advises.
For a tip to readers, Lucero says the best part of online marketing is its measurability.
“Unlike broadcast, such as TV or radio, where there is no data to provide marketing insights or track actual conversions. We can see if we acquired a customer from Facebook or online search through analytics.”
His concluding thoughts are that: “My service team is really the best marketing channel I have. They are the ones representing The Cleanery every day. They are the ones who delight and take care of our clients. Our clients then spread the word about us and word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful and least expensive marketing of all.”
Rahimzadeh concludes that, “The best benefit for me obviously is higher sales and higher profitability. To my staff, I think it is just easier for them to communicate with customers.”
And for his customers, they just want to make it easier for them to get the info they need much more conveniently and efficiently, he notes.
Last word from Rahimzadeh: “Do not be afraid to try new channels and programs. Just make sure that whatever you sign up for, you are not locked into a long term contract. If it doesn’t work, it’s ok. Just stop that program, but don’t ever give up on new systems.”
That’s the try, try again adage of using different marketing channels, applied at your business, told by two owners sharing their experiences. Now it’s your turn to go out and try, try again!
To read Part 1, go HERE.