For years now, mobile has been on the rise. Since consumers are able to access information from anywhere and at any time via their mobile device, the mobile marketplace has grown, offering users more convenient ways to do things like shopping and banking. Now, consumers can pay just by tapping their phone, or bank without ever stepping foot inside a building.
To keep up with technology and the growing rate of tasks users are able to accomplish with their phones, we’ve created an app for use with our FasCard system. Available for both iPhone and Android, the FasCard app allows laundromat customers to remotely start and monitor their machines, add money to their account and more.
While customers can manually choose which machine they would like to start via their smartphone, one of the biggest features of the FasCard app is the ability to use their phone’s camera to activate their machine. When users go to ‘Quick Start’, their camera will prompt them to scan the code on the machine’s card reader: a near effortless way to start their laundry.
Customers will no longer need to be in the store to load money on their loyalty card. They can now load money from within the FasCard app itself, completely eliminating the need for cash and streamlining business.
App users can see what machines are available without needing to physically be in the store, and they can also see the remaining cycle time of machines currently in use, giving them time to plan their commute and increasing customer satisfaction. If desired, customers can even request email notifications when their cycles complete!
With all of these features, the FasCard app acts as a loyalty card. Customers who use the app will no longer need to own a physical card, but can instead use the app in the same way. They can take advantage of all of the loyalty programs at their favorite stores, and the app will keep track of it all. Or, if they forget their loyalty card one day, they can use the app, because functionality between the app and physical cards are interchangeable.
The FasCard app will streamline the way customers interact with FasCard enabled machines and do their laundry, which will improve customer satisfaction, increase profits, and grow business. In addition, the FasCard app fits in seamlessly with both multi-unit laundromats and stand alone stores.
Ready to put the FasCard system in your laundromat and increase your profits with the FasCard app? Contact us today and get started with a modern laundry room that is easy for customers to use, and even easier for you to manage.
Laundry card systems do much more than simply provide an alternative payment method. Laundry cards build customer loyalty. Customers can obtain a loyalty card by inserting cash or a credit card and then use the value added to the loyalty card to start a machine. By having customers pay first and use the system, it establishes customers with a sense of loyalty and encourages customers to return. In addition to the payment cards themselves boosting loyalty, FasCard and LaundryCard have many advanced loyalty programs built into their systems for you to use.
Loyalty card programs serve as your base of operations for both customer retention and the forward-thinking marketing promotions that drive new business. Today we are going to cover a few of the loyalty programs that FasCard and LaundryCard offer.
Bonus Packages lets you give your customers bonus dollars for adding value to their loyalty card. For example, you could give your customers a $2 bonus for adding $20. Your customers will be encouraged to pay you in advance and you now have them committed for $22 in service! As your customers add more value to their cards, your business will build a ‘Float’. Float is the amount of money added to cards but has not been spent yet. By encouraging customers to add more money to their cards, you will increase customer loyalty through the float.
Free Dry time is enticing advertising to laundromat customers. The Free Dry program allows the system to reward customers with Free Dry time based on their wash usage. Free Dry can be scheduled for certain days of the week or you can choose to only award customers Free Dry credits on specific machines. For example, you can offer customers Free Dry only on your largest machines. You can control how much ‘free’ time your customer earns and our Free Dry program will keep track of all the details for you.
The system enables you to configure any discount amount to any card. You can establish discounts for groups and market to specific customers. For example, you could offer 10% off for all military personnel. You can create as many groups as you wish and assign a unique discount to each group. As each group member uses the machines, not only will they receive their discount but you will get valuable sales information regarding each group. This program gives you the ability to create an endless number of marketing programs to promote your store. This helps you target your primary audience and focus on building loyalty within those markets.
The loyalty points program is a great way to reward your most loyal customers. This program allows customers to earn Wash Points when they use laundry equipment and the system will automatically reward these customers when they reach a certain point goal. The program allows you to set how many points customers earn for every dollar spent and how many points they need to earn to be awarded the bonus. Not only is a points program a great way to promote loyalty but it’s also a great way to encourage card retention.
The coupon program lets you create custom coupon codes that can be distributed to prospective and existing customers. You can configure a coupon code and distribute via direct mail, coupon circulars, email and even social media. With LaundryCard your customer simply enters the coupon code on the X-Changer Kiosk and with FasCard your customer can redeem it through the FasCard mobile app. The systems will redeem the reward automatically. Coupons can be configured to provide a temporary discount which expires on a specific date or designed to issue a bonus to a customer’s loyalty card.
With the LaundryCard system, the birthday bonus allows you to give a gift to your customers on or near their birthday. You can set up a birthday bonus that will automatically be applied to their card with a set number of days before or after their birthday. When customers visit the store on or near their birthday, they will be greeted with a special birthday message and a bonus at the X-Changer kiosk. The birthday bonus program is a personalized way to reward customers and creates a memorable customer experience that will influence loyalty.
The LaundryCard system has a registration bonus program that will reward users bonus money for registering their contact information at the X-Changer kiosk. For example, if a customer enters their registration information, the system will apply a $2.00 bonus to their card. The program and bonus amount are configurable by the operator.
By implementing LaundryCard and FasCard’s advanced marketing and loyalty programs, you can take your laundromat business to the next level. Competition is everywhere and giving your customers reasons to do business with you versus your competition begins by encouraging loyalty. If you’re a laundromat owner or investor looking to set your business apart from the competition, contact us today to learn more about our payment solutions and how investing in the technology can give you more ways to increase your laundromat business!
The unused value or funds left on a self-service laundry “loyalty card” is what those in the laundry industry refer to as “float.” Float is a widespread topic in the laundry industry, which comprises laundromat owners, absentee proprietors, and multi-housing managers.
It is a prevalent topic in laundromats and multi-housing facilities across the country—and on many popular online forums such as PlanetLaundry and CoinWash—because it is one of the chief monetary draws of utilizing a digital card payment system over traditional coin-slot machines.
Although float is a widely discussed topic among laundromat owners and industry insiders, owners are not always able to reap the benefits of float. With some digital laundry payment systems, there is no ability to add value onto an additional proprietary card that is only usable at their locations. In fact, most laundry payment systems only allow a customer to simply pay for vends using a credit or debit card.
It is only with more sophisticated digital laundry payment systems that float is even a possibility. With these advanced systems, laundromat owners are able to issue what are called “loyalty cards,” which entitle their customers to incentive programs such as big bill bonuses (prepay $20, receive $22 in vend credit; prepay $100, receive $110 in credit), points, and group discounts, with more options and customizations depending on whether the owner chooses to permit clients the option to accept cash and card or credit/debit cards alone. Laundromat owners can even issue “digital” loyalty cards with the help of tools like the FasCard app, which expands the loyalty card’s ability to increase float.
Digital laundry payment system providers also offer premier options for customers with secure touchscreen automated payment kiosks, which dispense loyalty cards, redeem discounts and earned point rewards, and add value to cards—all without an in-store attendant necessary. Plus, owners gain features like live bill count and email notifications.
The process of how float accrues with digital laundry payment cards is comparable that of reloadable gift cards. For instance, in both cases, an amount is prepaid and that amount must be spent using that particular card at locations provided in the terms of its use.
Many major banks and credit card companies, such as VISA, American Express, and MasterCard, and retailers like Amazon, Target, Apple, and Best Buy have incubated this proprietary pre-pay concept, encouraged its rise, and slowly solidified the popularity surrounding personal rechargeable gift cards, in no small part due to the unclaimed money left on these cards.
According to a 2011 report by Brian Riley, analyst for the financial consulting firm, TowerGroup estimated that a reeling $41 billion of gift card funds have gone unredeemed from 2005 to 2011. This figure was so astonishing, The Wall Street Journal picked it as its “Number of the Week” for the end of 2011.
Let’s say a laundromat has a group of customers that each buy a single loyalty card and pre-pay for the laundromat’s services with a large bill. In this scenario—after six months or so—most of those customers eventually leave various amounts of value—for some it’s .75¢ and others it’s $1.50—on each card.
If they never use the remainder of the value on their cards, this means quite a bit of “extra” on-going profit for the laundromat. Even if the float on a single card is equal to a nickel or a dime, every cent is rolled up into a continuous whole. In fact, many digital card laundromat owners report accruing upwards of $1,500 in float each month.
This is especially the case when vend prices are increased incrementally in amounts lower than 25¢. As with many other contentious issues, however, float brings with it differing opinions and on its value, use, and its capacity to be transferred from one store owner to another.
There are plenty of reasons for customers not redeeming the value present on their cards, either through card loss, misuse, or by neglecting to bring their old card in with them when they come in to add value to it—and the actual rate of this happening is high.
If you would like to learn more about Card Concepts Inc.’s (CCI’s) premier digital card payment system, LaundryCard, and how easily the investment costs can be recouped by the float accrued by the system, download our free case study, Bowen Laundromats. In this case study, Bill Bowen explains what it’s like to have a LaundryCard system after utilizing another card system and the major differences between the two.
Card Concepts Inc. is the leading provider of digital laundry payment systems, with completely cashless, card-only systems, including LaundryCard, and the card-and-cash hybrid laundry payment system, FasCard. To learn more about both systems, contact CCI at +1(866) 860-1660.
Are you tired of outsourcing your laundry room service to laundry route operators? Giving a set of keys to another company like a laundry route could mean you’re missing out on the majority of profit from your most valuable on-site asset.
Laundry route operators are a ubiquitous presence at multi-housing properties. These large, national route corporations close deals by promising to supply laundry equipment, maintain it, and make regular collection rounds. You may not realize that the machines in your building could be generating thousands of dollars. Route deals typically include a revenue split, with a portion going to the property owner and the rest to the laundry route operator. Sounds like a great deal… Or does it?
Well, it certainly depends. What kind of money are we actually talking about here? If the machines are constantly filled to capacity with vending funds, that could translate into a lot of revenue at the end of the month—quite possibly more than the initial investment startup cost, which at first seemed like a no-brainer deal when offered by a laundry route company. You have to wonder, if a sizable cut of the collections weren’t continually profitable—far beyond what fraction route corporations give back to properties—how would a company be able to offer all this?
And since most laundry route operators are generally very secretive about the amount of money they collect from your machines, you don’t know how much you’re making a week or per month. Not getting the real figures could mean you might not ever know if you made the right decision.
What if you were able to take back full control of your laundry room, while retaining the convenience of a laundry route operator?
With FasCard, our premier smart laundry card system, you still won’t have to deal with quarters if you don’t want to. Your laundry machines will continue to have the ability to accept them, but this means that residents will be given the option to choose which payment method works best for them. And with more options to pay comes more sales, and in turn, more profit.
FasCard is the premier digital card-payment system which becomes your full-service laundry route operator. By making the move away from outdated laundry routes to FasCard, you will be able to:
FasCard allows you reestablish control over your laundry room. With a sophisticated card-operated laundry payment system, you get the benefits of a route, but none of its disadvantages—meaning you get the entirety of the profits, are not subject to the competence of the operators, and you know exactly how much money you’re collecting from your machines. And with its smart phone interface, you have the entire administration of your laundry facilities at your fingertips.
Why split profits with someone else? With FasCard, you can eliminate coin, automate equipment, and regulate revenue.
Our premium whitepaper, “Must Know Tips on Managing a Multi-Unit Laundry Room”, is a must-read for anyone in the multi-housing industry. Get the basics and more advanced tips and techniques on managing your laundry room today. Or, to learn more about FasCard today, give Card Concepts Inc. a call at 1 (866) 860-1660.
If you’re feeling stuck in a rut; tracking down laundry route operators, dealing with bags filled with dirty quarters, and paying for the maintenance of old coin slot laundry payment systems—it may be time to re-think your laundry payment setup.
Card-operated payment for laundry equipment isn’t a new solution. In fact, the concept has been around for many years. Yet many card-op systems of the past have been clunky, hard-to-manage, and unreliable.
Today, a few of the leading companies in laundry payment management have perfected their payment products for maximum usability, reliability, and ease of use. These state-of-the-art products and services provide valuable benefits to residents and property managers alike.
While there are an untold amount of reasons for switching to a card-op laundry system, if you’re a property manager that currently has all coin-op laundry machines, here are seven benefits to implementing a coinless payment system in your laundry room:
Collecting the coins from each machine in your facilities is a time-consuming business. Even if you pay a laundry route to do it, that’s still money out of your pocket. And unfortunately, there are still the security risks that coin-operated machines present, as well as the uncertainty of how much is actually being collected.
Hybrid card-op laundry payment allows you to audit the amount of both coin and card sales in each of your machines. As your money boxes near capacity, you can be alerted by email and schedule the right time to have them emptied.
Plus, with an accurate system of accounting for your machines, you know that your collections are being correctly deposited. Hybrid coin-and-card systems allow you to take the worry and complexity out of dealing entirely with coins alone and save you precious time.
Ready to eliminate coins all together? No problem. The same hybrid coin-and-card equipment can be also configured to accept cards only.
Automate your collections and simplify your laundry room. Turn your two hour routine of collecting every quarter from multiple machines into a smooth five minute detail.
Adding a digital card-op laundry payment solution does not always mean you have to replace your existing laundry equipment. In most cases, if your laundry equipment has a computerized timer or utilizes a coin drop rather than a coin slide, they are already compatible with card systems.
Payment retrofitting allows you to turn your existing laundry facilities into lean, card-operated, profit-making machines.
Let’s face it, the utilities needed to run a washer and dryer are not free, and gas, water, and electricity prices fluctuate daily. Having the ability to remotely change the vend price based on your utility costs will ensure that your laundry room maintains an ample profit margin.
If you make the move to card-op laundry payment for your machines, you can also stop vending your equipment in 25 cent price increments. Raising your vend prices a few pennies per cycle will have a major impact on your gross sales and often will cost justify the investment in the system in just a short time frame.
Payments are received and deposited over the internet for most laundry payment services. You can remotely view sales reports and usage statistics, as well as your systems’ statuses. These features can all be accessed from your mobile device, PC, or Mac computer in your office or at home.
When’s the last timed you had more than a dollar in quarters in your pocket? Now, vending machines, fast food, and even your cup of coffee, can be paid via plastic.
Many of your residents will be relieved to have the option to pay for their laundry with a debit or credit card. And if some of your residents want to pay with cash, a hybrid card-and-coin-op option with an attendant loyalty card will suit their needs.
Better yet—with the FasCard app, your residents can use their smartphones to pay for their washes and view their machine’s status in real-time from anywhere. They can see which machines are in use and when new ones will become available. And, once they get their laundry started they can ask the system to notify them when their cycles are nearly complete!
Ever get call from a hostile resident who just lost their quarters in one of your washers or dryers? How much time and money does it cost you to deal with a failed $2.00 wash cycle that’s failed? With cloud-based, connected digital payment systems, you can send a remote start to any machine and resolve a tenant complaint instantly. It only takes one quarter to jam one of your machines—don’t let twenty-five cents cost you hours of productivity.
Adding a card system does not mean you have to accept credit and debit cards. Alternatively, you can distribute what what are referred to as “loyalty cards” and have your tenants add funds to them with cash or through a rent adjustment.
This option eliminates the need to pay merchant processing fees and still gives you the flexibility to manage and control your laundry room. Loyalty cards can be reloaded via a metal kiosk located in the laundry room or in a secure area near your office.
Managing a multi-housing building isn’t easy. Turn the burden of dealing with your laundry room into a breeze with our premium whitepaper, “Must Know Tips on Managing a Multi-Unit Laundry Room”.
Card Concepts Inc. (CCI) offers high quality card-operated laundry payment solutions through our LaundryCard system, hybrid coin-and-card operated solutions through the FasCard system, and many more options for the self-service laundry industry, including:
Give us a call today at 1 (866) 860-1660 and let our experts tailor fit the best solution for your laundry payment needs.
Whether it’s the ability to work from home, having a more flexible schedule, or being an out-of-state absentee laundromat owner, many business owners find that the ability to remote management is a perfect fit for their laundromat.
That is exactly what Barry Monroe was looking for when he installed CCI’s digital payment system, LaundryCard in his North Carolina-based laundromat.
All reveled in a 2 part and article published by American Coin-Op called: Managing the ‘World’ from Out Of State (Part 1) and Managing the ‘World’ from Out Of State (Conclusion) by Hanna Miller.
Here are a few excerpts highlighting a number of features and benefits included in the CCI LaundryCard laundry payment solution.
A combination of special people and advanced technology enables Barry Monroe to successfully run Wash World laundry in Charlotte, N.C., 90 miles from his Columbia, S.C., home.
The technology that the Monroes depend on to keep them abreast of what’s happening in the Charlotte wash, their only North Carolina location, is a CCI (Card Concepts Inc.) automated wash card dispenser.
The computerized machine does a host of other things besides dispensing cards that customers use to run the 44 washers and 44 dryers…
The CCI system is linked electronically to each machine, and “I can remotely access what’s going on,” Barry Monroe says. He can check revenues for the day, the hour, even the year.
He can add value to a card, do time-of-day pricing, reboot computers, and see which machines are running.
When Wash World opened four years ago, Barry teamed with the Hispanic restaurant next door, then a pizza shop, in a live radio promotion. “He would do some type of free pizza, and we would give out a free-wash card.”
He still believes in rewards. The panel on the front of the card dispenser tells customers when they’ve earned enough cumulative points for a free wash.
Called Wash to Win, it visually shows their purchases approaching the 120 point mark.
When that happens, says Barry, images of fireworks start exploding. “It goes off like a 4th of July celebration – You Won a $3 Wash!”
Other bonuses can be programmed into the computer. For instance, customers who register their cards are awarded $5 worth of washing and drying within seven days of their birthday.
“It helps build that customer loyalty,” Barry says. “All those little things add up.”
Like most businesses that rely on recurring visits from their customers, savvy owners are always looking for ways to encourage customer loyalty to their laundromats . With rival businesses all vying for the same customers, distinguishing yourself from your competitors can be challenging.
The following five tips will not only help you keep customers coming back, but attract new customers as well.
Your customers can take their clothes to a number of laundromats where their clothes will get just as clean, so why should they come to yours? People’s moods and attitudes are heavily influenced by what they see and feel about their surroundings. If you look at some of the most successful retail businesses, such as Starbucks, you’ll notice how much attention goes into making the atmosphere of their stores as inviting and comfortable as possible. Starbucks’ patrons exhibit such a high degree of customer loyalty because of a certain expressive ambiance, reliable baristas, curated playlist, and the exact product they expect when they visit.
Laundromats are not typically known for being warm or inviting, but why shouldn’t they be?
A little paint and decor can go a long way with a minimal investment. If you really want to make an impression, seek out an interior designer. You may be surprised at the difference investing in professional advice will make in the end. Store owners often get complacent with their store’s appearance and overlook things that stand out to a new customer. Don’t wait until your store is run down to remodel, renovate, or even re-touch – keeping your equipment running and facility clean should be a given. Try to look at your store with fresh eyes and imagine how a new customer might view it. Making a routine visit to a laundromat a memorable experience is a great way to retain existing customers and encourage new ones to return.
If there is one thing that is indicative of any facility’s cleanliness, it is the restroom. If the restroom is not well kept, it puts the whole establishment in an unfavorable light. This is especially true in laundromats, where people come to perform cleaning chores. Everything about your store should express cleanliness. Considering that your average customer spends an hour or two at your establishment, it’s reasonable to assume that they will need to visit the restroom in that time. With the rise of lightning fast smartphone technology, review apps like Yelp and others are as easy to check as your email. And if your customers searching out laundromats on these review sites, you can bet that they will patronize laundromats that have reviews for the cleanest facilities and restrooms.
With all things being equal between two competing stores, it’s not hard to think that a customer would choose the store with the cleaner restroom.
A perfect example of a business that has learned how valuable a clean restroom can be is Buckys Truck Stops. Bucky’s has built an amazing following by offering the cleanest restrooms on the interstate. They use it as part of their marketing, and it works. Interstate drivers will “hold it” just to make it to a Bucky’s. There is a nice story about Bucky’s here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=5fmmFO3uf90. Similar to the laundry business, truck stops have to compete for travelers’ business. With all other things being equal they have proven that customers will drive by the competition just to experience a Bucky’s restroom. If the simple perk of a clean restroom keeps customers coming back to a truck stop, you can be sure it does a lot to encourage laundromat customer loyalty as well.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the many day-to-day obligations that entail running a small business. Many store owners don’t think about their customers until they walk in the front door. But you may be surprised at how a customer’s impression of your business can be improved if you look outside your windows.
Start with general cleanliness; if you don’t have someone regularly checking the parking lot to collect any trash then you should. What does it say about your establishment if your parking lot is littered with debris? The last thing someone wants to see is a filthy parking area when they are leaving with their freshly laundered clothes.
Some of the best laundromat customers are families, and a family can generate a lot of laundry. Hauling that laundry from the car to the store can be a daunting task. If you want to make an incredible first impression, have an attendant meet customers as their car with a laundry cart and offer to help them carry their laundry into the store. This alone is reason enough for a mother with a couple of kids in tow to drive past your competitors in favor of your store the next time she’s doing laundry. Also, don’t forget about the departure.
Helping customers back out to their cars is not only polite, but can make sure that your laundry carts end up back inside the store when the customers leave.
Don’t be shy, extend yourself and your staff to your customers, welcome them at the car and build long-lasting, loyal customers. You’ll not only retain existing customers, but make new ones in the process.
Kids’ love of fast food restaurants usually has little to do with the food. With the inception of the Happy Meal, McDonald’s put into practice a subtle but effective tactic for preventing a store filled with kids from turning into chaos. The toys from the Happy Meals keep the kids occupied while the parents and other guests enjoy their meals.
How impressive would it be if a parent walks into your establishment with their child, and they’re given an opportunity to pick out a prize from a treasure chest?
Keeping kids occupied with a simple and fun toy is probably the cheapest way of keeping the peace. Rather than scolding children who are playing with the laundry carts or equipment, try offering them a selection from the chest. These inexpensive prizes can be just enough of a distraction to keep them from potentially getting hurt or damaging something in the store.
And best of all, the children will start to lobby their parents to visit your store, which is some of the easiest and cheapest word of mouth advertising you can invest in! Win over the kids, and you’ve got a huge head start in maintaining customer loyalty from their parents.
Laundromat patrons generally live in the surrounding community, so being a part of what is important to that community can help you retain customers attract new business.
Taking part in a local fundraiser is a great way to boost your image in the community.
Many businesses have had great success holding fundraisers for an area school, where a portion of the proceeds over a set time period are donated. It’s a great way to get press from local news outlets, and after the promotion is complete be sure to advertise the donation itself. The positive press that will be generated will certainly get your name mentioned more often and probably attract new customers. There are even systems available that can help track sales from individuals or groups that can help you design custom versions of these programs.
You can also use social media like Facebook and Twitter to interact with your community. This kind of social networking can serve as an excellent platform for engaging with your community, and offer you a better understanding of who your customers are as well as what their concerns are. You’re much more likely to keep customers coming back when they feel that you belong to their community.
Implementing any or all of these simple tips will go a long way toward encouraging customer loyalty, and we think you’ll find that what makes customers keep coming back to your establishment are the same things that will help you win over new customers as well!
Having a loyalty card program could be just the differentiator you need to give your laundromat an extra boost in recurring sales and happy customers. What is a laundromat loyalty card program? It’s a card-based program, integrating seamlessly with your digital card-op payment system, which drives convenience for your clients and marketability for your store, and in turn, overall profit.
A loyalty card program allows your customers to add funds from a credit/debit card or cash onto a loyalty card from an add value kiosk, which can only be used for vends in your specific store. The secure, automated add value kiosk acts as an attendant-free transfer machine, freeing up your employees to focus on bigger tasks than exchanging bills or adding funds from cards manually.
What entices a customer to try a loyalty card instead of using their bank cards right at your machines? Laundromat loyalty cards have built-in marketing promotions, including group discounts, “big bill” bonuses (Add $20, get $22!), free wash days, birthday bonuses, and loyalty points. Creative storeowners can even configure loyalty cards to be accepted at vending machines and other types of in-store amenities as well. Once a customer tries the loyalty card program, it’s difficult to go back to the old way.
Want to learn more about the built-in loyalty incentives that we provide with our LaundryCard and FasCard solutions? Click on the “Learn How” button below to find out how you can build a loyal customer base with by implementing a CCI loyalty card program, which includes features like group and time-of-day discounts, free cycles, and big bill bonuses, and much more!