How I implemented text messaging into Comeclean.it , and how at first was a convenience that turned into the core of the business. Comeclean.it was a laundry delivery business I had started November 2010 in Brooklyn. When I had started I was on a shoe string budget and was acting as a independent contractor for a local laundromat. Having no real laundry or delivery experience I knew I had to base the business on what I knew. People.
I knew I needed to build the brand around customer service after having previously seen the Yelp reviews from my competitors. Most of them had bad reviews for lack of communication and hidden fee's. So how could I communicate with these people in an effective way that will really open their arms to my brand. So I thought how can I make this as painless as possible for people and how do they communicate normally with friends not business' ?....Text messaging!
Now, I'm not talking about mass texting your client base like some text happy club promoter shoving the message down their throat. No, more of a casual customer service tool to gain feedback and spread the word like wild fire.
When I first started implementing txt I have to admit my expectations weren't to spread the word but more to care for and engage in real conversation with my customer's. My client base was still small at this point and I thought anything could help separate me from the competition.
After about two weeks of texting pick up confirmations ect. I received my first Yelp review, and it stated :
" Last Night, 6pm, having cocktails in the village with friends.
Friends: Faye who are you texting??
Faye: Oh, just Gary- my laundry guy. Totally normal.
Yes, Gary, my laundry guy, was texting me to let me know my dry cleaning was ready and we were discussing when I'd be home to receive it."
That was it! Texting gave her trust in me by genuinely engaging her in a manner that only friends and family would do before. I am now her friend, not Facebook friend or Linkedin friend, but a friend she could casually ask questions to with prompt response.
After further analyzing it I realized how this could also spread the word faster then any cut throat ad could ever. Now the 5 people that she was sitting around having cocktails with were also instantly interested in what she was doing with her phone and what the heck she could possibly be talking about with her laundry delivery man.
Now knowing this I targeted my text messages for confirmation and such for a time I thought my customers were more likely to be around their friends and family. From 5-7 pm most of my text messaging was done . Asking my new customers how they heard about me I realized my conversion rate for every 5 conversation's I would get a new customer. Simply amazing.
As time went on my client base got much much larger. Now it was time for the naive customer service fanatic to scale his doings in a structured and similar manner, keeping up what he started. It wasn't easy i'll tell you that, averaging 2600 business related text messages a month was no small task and for sure was 90% of my work.
End conclusion really caring is scalable and now in all of my future endeavors an absolute necessity. I parted ways with Comeclean.it in the end of september this year.
For anyone looking for an edge in a competitive market in an extremely competitive time. Don't rule out Text messaging or any other means of building real relationship's with your customer base on a genuine level, because thats all it was genuine.