In the past few years, significant changes to the traditional dry cleaning business model has changed, for the benefit of both the consumer and the business itself. The nature of the industry, for both the business in question and its customers, has been boiled to it’s core element: the service. Technology has made it easier for a business to provide the highest quality service to it’s customers. Here’s how these changes have occurred and more importantly, why you should join the movement too.
1. Demand Changing Business
There has been an increase in the number of dry cleaning companies that operate under or provide a Concierge style model, meaning they offer the same ease, simplicity, and a little bit of exclusivity, that the front desk of a hotel would. Businesses are extending their services to being more considerate of their customers’ busy lives. Rather than having customers drop off their clothes at the shop, businesses offer the option of picking up and dropping off the clothes for them. Making it this easy means it’s more accessible and desirable, inevitably making demand for it grow. This Concierge style service is being offered by both traditional dry cleaning businesses and up-start location-less companies, meaning they only operate under the concierge model.
This kind of service increases the amount of people a dry cleaning company can cater to. Under a traditional storefront model, a customer would generally choose a company based on their location (i.e. close to work or home). Applying this concierge model, however, gives dry cleaning companies the ability to absorb customers from far more locations in a given city. Concierge models are typically empowered by technology solutions that include Fleet Management technology, web ordering, pass codes to open lockers and mobile applications that are discussed in the next section.
2. Improved Customer Experience with Mobile Applications
Another tool that makes the process of the concierge model easier for the consumer is the tools brought on my mobile apps. Seemingly demanding, this transition brings customer experience to another level.
Once clothes have been dropped off, customers automatically receive notifications with information about pick up, estimated date and time of drop off. A mobile app will also send customers the total cost of their transaction in advance and give them the ability to pay through their phone. Every transaction and piece of information that was previously printed on paper is now digitalized, which also means it’s centralized in one place: the app.
But the benefits of mobile apps go even further, also improving update and communications between a business and its customers. Apps like Gata Hub provide a convenient Concierge feature for both the Consumer and Merchant while also offering impressive tools that give live updates to the business owner (such as when payments have been made), but also gives customers the option of contacting the business through an incorporated chat tool.
Another useful tool that’s offered in Gata Hub considers loyalty programs. The app will automatically keep track of how often customers use the service, offering coupons and promo codes to generate further loyalty. Making it easier to collect benefits, customers are bound to come back for more.
3. Cloud Based POS Systems
Technology advancements don’t only affect consumer experience, but also the operations of the company itself. New Cloud-Based POS Systems (often designed to work on a tablet) are replacing the ever so archaic traditional POS computing systems. Other than taking up way less space on the front counter, they make running your business more efficient too. They automatically contact customers via email or SMS reminding them of when their clothes will be ready. They also collect customer data behaviour, send invoices and keep track of the businesses performance. Each software provides slightly different or additional tools, but all of them are specially catered to the needs of a dry cleaning company and the services that it offers. These kinds of interactions ensure improved customer experience, but is also attractive to those customers that appreciate tech savvy businesses. It suggests a commitment to improved service and keeping up with the updates available to the industry.
Do you know of any other technology trends that are affecting the dry cleaning industry? Leave a comment below or tweet us, we’d love to hear your thoughts!
— Gata Labs (@GataLabs) November 26, 2015