Digital transformation is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Most consumers today consult the internet to find local services and read reviews before making informed decisions. For brands and firms, analytics is changing the way customer data is organized, analyzed, and deployed to grow a business. Although this could be true for any industry, laundromats in particular have a lot to gain from the ongoing paradigm shift.
Laundromats are mainly sought after for two reasons: convenience and cost-efficiency. When these are short in supply, footfall at a laundromat slowly begins shrinking. But by analyzing customer feedback and user data, laundromat owners can craft new initiatives to keep customers happy. Offering the convenience of digital payments via an app, for example, could influence a decision. Maybe providing discounts and loyalty points to recurring customers could increase consumer retention. Perhaps adding a TV might give users something to watch while folding their laundry. Seems like the opportunities are endless, doesn’t it?
However, as a laundromat grows, some challenges are inevitable. Acquiring customer information has never been easier, but processing data of that volume is any data scientist’s nightmare. And while it is certainly possible to manage data through an Excel sheet, leveraging analytics can simplify customer acquisition, optimize business and elevate customer experience to a whole new level, saving time and costs.
Building holistic customer journeys
You might think that the average experience of a customer visiting a laundromat is uneventful at best. But there’s always more than meets the eye. You never know which customer is waiting for their Evelyn Wong moment, hoping a gateway to the multiverse will pop open. Movie references aside, analytics truly can help businesses build a holistic picture of a customer’s experience while interacting with them. Instead of focusing on a portion of the experience, a complete customer journey records the full experience of a customer, giving laundromats a complete picture of where costs can be reduced and redirected.
With an analytics ecosystem, laundromats can track consumer data in real time and understand user sentiment across small windows. Customer journeys begin right from the moment someone’s laundry starts piling up and extend until the point when their newly washed clothes sit folded in their homes. While starting from home after a long day at work, do tired consumers believe that a pick-up service might save them some effort? Could user experience improve with the provision of additional parking space? Is the laundromat equipped to meet the needs of a community facing temporary water shortage? An analytics ecosystem can prompt seemingly simple solutions that give a laundromat an edge over competitors. And by boosting customer retention, laundromats can reduce the cost spent on acquiring new customers.
Furthermore, analytics can indicate the best day and time to offer lean-period discounts, attracting customers and minimize waiting time on peak-usage days.
And that’s only the tip of the laundry pile. With IoT sensors, it is possible to track the status of machines in real time. A faulty machine can be identified and fixed in a jiffy, saving time and cost. Simple solutions like this can fully address an issue before it gets worse – and costlier to fix. Similarly, businesses can switch to high-efficiency machines to reduce monthly electricity bills by detecting high-energy and low-output machines with IoT.
IoT sensors can also detect idle machines and highlight vacancies on the laundry app for consumers to decide when to visit the laundromat, attracting more footfall. Plus, with GPS, laundry delivery vehicles can calculate the best transportation path and re-route terminals quickly, optimizing efficiency and enhancing customer experience.
Personalized in-house marketing with analytics
For laundromats looking to save money on marketing, analytics enables outreach campaigns based on real data. Not only does it yield a higher ROI, but also gives the laundromat a sound understanding of their market. Learnings from data and analytics can trickle through the business, offering new and relevant insights to each department.
If recent outreach phenomena have taught us anything, it’s that personalization is the future. This often extends beyond seasonal greetings and birthday wishes and requires a thorough understanding of user demographics. With analytics, laundromats can understand which detergent is popular with new parents to wash their baby’s clothes, or which customers in the 30-45 age group can afford to pay a nominal fee to have their laundry folded and delivered. When messages speak directly to the life of a customer, they are motivated to build an association with the outlet.
It comes as no surprise that analytics unleashes a world of possibilities for laundromats. By tracking operations and managing customer data on a unified analytics ecosystem, laundromats have a surefire data-led strategy to clock higher revenue. After all, today’s early adopter could be tomorrow’s data leader.