CD One Price Cleaners is a well known dry cleaner in Chicago and throughout the Midwest with more than two decades in operation. The business provides a different experience than typical dry cleaners. While other dry cleaners charge different prices depending on the type of garment, CD One Price Cleaners charges the same price for every clothing item—and that price is significantly lower than the industry average. CD One also offers standard same-day service. If a customer drops off by 10 AM, their order will be ready the same day by 5 PM.
In partnering with Podium, CD One Price Cleaners has increased customer feedback response rates from 9.9% to 26.5%, resulting in more than 32,000 feedback responses. And they’ve increased their review response rate from .27% to 4%, resulting in more than 4,000 new reviews. This increase in customer feedback helps CD One Price Cleaners continuously improve their customer experience, retain customers, and drive more new business.
About CD One Price Cleaners
The idea for a better dry cleaning experience began in 1984 when Rafiq Karimi Jr. and his older brother started working in the industry in Houston, Texas. The brothers moved to Chicago in 2001—taking 15 years of knowledge with them—and started an all-new dry cleaning business. They’ve since worked in virtually every aspect of dry cleaning—from site selection to dry cleaning operations and equipment distribution—with a vision of creating a ground-breaking business model. That business model is now a thriving franchise operation with 36 stores throughout the Midwest.
CD One Price Cleaners strives to provide a consistent, personalized experience for customers and a supportive, technologically-sophisticated experience for franchisees. With 36 stores, it’s crucial that they provide an uninterrupted corporate-to-local experience. Unfortunately, prior software solutions and process around customer reviews and feedback were keeping CD One Price Cleaners from their vision in significant ways, including:
Challenge #1: Low response rates and limited SMS functionality in legacy system
CD One Price Cleaners values customer feedback. That’s why they started using the net promoter score company-wide in 2011. The software solution they were using to gather feedback at the time relied primarily on email communications. That solution also failed to provide any kind of dashboard where their team could reply to customers in real-time.
Because their legacy solution relied primarily on email, only 10-13% of customers were responding to their feedback inquiries. They would then send an invitation to leave a review to those same customers who had responded to the feedback inquiry, meaning they were asking only 10-13% of their total customer base to leave reviews. And of course, only a small portion of those customers would actually leave a review. This left CD One Price Cleaners with an unreliable sample size for feedback and a lackluster online reputation.
“The driving catalyst for us to switch feedback solutions was the fact that between 2011 and 2021, there’s been a significant shift in the way consumers interact with brands. Email was a popular option in 2011, and it still is, but now SMS and text have become the primary one-to-one touchpoint for brands to connect with customers. We were doing some text messaging with [our former solution], but the response rate was low and we were only able to send texts to those who didn’t have emails. And there was no dashboard to reply directly to feedback in [our former solution]. And we wanted that full, comprehensive experience. So that’s why we started looking around,” said Jonathon Reckles, Director of Marketing at CD One Price Cleaners.
Challenge #2: Missed opportunities from relying on email for both NPS surveys and online reviews
Over the years, CD One Price Cleaners has been paying close attention to shifting consumer expectations. Though email was popular in 2011 (and still is to a large extent today) they started to notice that SMS messaging was quickly becoming the primary one-to-one touchpoint for their brand to connect with customers. They knew they were missing out on a lot of opportunities with their customers simply because they were relying on the wrong communication channels. That’s why they started searching for a solution to incorporate SMS into NPS surveys and online reviews.
Challenge #3: Lack of visibility at the store and corporate levels
In shifting platforms, the corporate team at CD One Price Cleaners needed to maintain control over how their data was distributed between their corporate offices and their individual franchise stores. They needed flexibility and control over permissions and parameters for employees at the corporate office versus store-level managers, store-level employees, and so on. In short, they needed to answer the following question: who receives what information, and when?
Challenge #4: Customer experience designed for growth
CD One Price Cleaners recently opened its first self-service, locker-based store in Hopkins, MN and also offers Pickup & Delivery in areas of Chicago, Minneapolis, and St. Louis, but some of their legacy systems have led to a disjointed experience for customers who use multiple fulfillment methods. CD One has a vision to develop a fully omnichannel experience, which will provide customers with a cohesive brand experience regardless of when or how they choose to do business with CD One. Instead, they want communication across channels to feel seamless and simple for both customers and employees.
Instead of sending review invites to only a small portion of customers—those who had responded with feedback—CD One Price Cleaners started using Podium to send feedback invitations to half of their customers and review invitations to the other half. By switching from their previous solution to Podium, they have increased their review response rate from .27% to 4%, resulting in nearly 4,000 more reviews than the year prior (YTD as of June 2021), and tracking for 8,000+ more reviews year over year.
To address their omnichannel needs, Podium has enabled CD One to send a review request to a customer based on the specific retail store, locker store, or pickup and delivery area that the customer transacted within.
While feedback reachout was previously limited, with Podium, the CD One Price Cleaners team is now able to collect more customer feedback and can more easily close the loop and implement changes. Customers who provide positive feedback now receive an automated thank-you response, asking them to expound on their experience. Any feedback that comes back neutral or negative gets a response asking those customers what the business could do better. From there, conversations are assigned either manually or automatically to the respective location so that they can look into the issue and provide more local support.
Using Podium Inbox has come naturally to CD One Price Cleaners. Rather than relying on a third-party solution to respond to reviews—which is what they were doing before switching to Podium—they’re able to respond to reviews directly in Podium. They also use Podium’s leaderboard report feature to rank locations and find areas of opportunity throughout the business where they can provide additional training and support.
“The inbox is easy to use,” Jonathon said. “Being able to respond to reviews directly in Podium, as opposed to a third party, is helpful. And we use the leaderboard report as well so that we can rank locations and find areas of opportunity among the chain where we see a need for additional training.”
With the leaderboard, they can sort by NPS over a given time period. They then use that data to help them compare individual store performance, identify opportunities for improvement, and give out awards to the top three stores each quarter. The Podium dashboard makes it easy to extract specific insights from large feedback samples, providing their training and operational teams with specific areas of focus for each individual location.
Results and ROI
Result #1: 168% increase in feedback survey response rate
One of the top results CD One Price Cleaners has achieved since switching to Podium is a significant increase in feedback responses, leading to more reliable insights into how to improve their customer experience.
“One of the biggest benefits we’ve seen since switching to Podium has been the increase in the number of feedbacks,” said Jonathon. “The insight we get from that feedback helps us improve our customer experience in meaningful ways.”
Result #2: 1,381% increase in review response rate
This impressive increase in reviews has allowed CD One Price Cleaners to not only improve their overall ratings, but also respond quickly and easily to customer reviews. They can now ensure that they’re not missing out on opportunities to say thank you to happy customers and offer empathy and support to unsatisfied customers. Plus, they’ve noticed an increase in organic search traffic by having thousands more reviews.
“The increase in reviews we’ve seen with Podium has been significant,” said Jonathon.“It allows us to one, respond to more people that had an unpleasant experience, and two, react to customers that had a positive experience. And at the end of the day, it helps significantly with SEO to have those Google reviews, which will end up having a dramatic impact on our organic traffic.”
Result #3: Improved, more personalized customer experience
Texting customers has led to a more personalized customer experience. Even when CD One Price Cleaners sends automated text messages, customers feel as though they’re receiving a personalized message from an individual employee.“It’s a much better, more personal experience to receive a text message than it is to receive an email,” Jonathon said. “The text messages are set up in a way to feel more personal, rather than an email blast that they know is going to everyone.” If they decide to respond to that message, the conversation can be routed to the right location so it can move to one-to-one communication. Plus, when customers leave feedback via text, they feel more confident that their feedback will be seen and that something will actually be done.
“The customer feels more empowered,” said Jonathon. “They feel like they’re providing feedback that will actually turn into action. They feel thankful that you’re asking them and feel that they’re in good hands. So, having our customers know that we are there to learn what we can do to improve, hear what we’re doing well, and solve potential issues that may arise, that’s a big benefit for the business.”
So far in 2021, CD One Price Cleaners has used Podium to increase feedback response rates from 9.9% to 26.5%, resulting in more than 32,000 feedback responses—around a 10,000 response increase in just the first 6 months. They’ve increased their review response rate from .27% to 4%, resulting in more than 4,000 new Google reviews. Most importantly, they’ve drastically improved the way they communicate with customers, saving time for the business and customers and providing a more personalized experience.
“By switching to Podium,” Jonathan said, “we’ve been able to significantly increase the number of feedback responses and reviews we receive, which allows us to respond to more customers and give us a larger digital footprint by having those increased reviews on the web.”