Robust customer loyalty programme propels Molly Maid to new records

Jonathan Holden, Chief Operating Officer of Molly Maid and 20-year veteran of the cleaning industry, has helped steer the industry leading brand and business system through a remarkable period of growth coming out of COVID

Robust customer loyalty programme propels Molly Maid to new records

By the end of 2022 the company had grown their system wide turnover by over 50% from 2020 with many Franchisees having doubled their pre-COVID sales.

These results have been as much of a testament to the strength of the Molly Maid people, brand and systems, as the huge growth that the domestic cleaning industry has experienced from a lack of reliable cleaners in the country.  But faced with the prospects of squeezed household budgets and the need to increase customer pricing, the result of the increase in the National Living Wage, Holden and his team had their work cut out for them if they were going to continue to help their Franchisees reach new sales records in 2023.  In this article he outlines how Molly Maid successfully implemented price increases in the worst cost of living event in a generation.

“Heading into 2023 we were riding a huge wave of customer demand which had seen us increase turnover by over 50% since 2020 and despite squeezed household budgets, we had forecasted another big year because of record demand for our services.  Coming out of COVID and Brexit there is a shortage of cleaners in the UK which has helped us to set new records almost every week.  But, high levels of inflation coupled with the planned increase in the National Living Wage in April 2023, meant we were going to be forced to add to these cost pressures on our customers by increasing their price.  The timing wasn’t great but it had to be done.

So we went back to one of the core elements of our business – customer loyalty – and developed one of the most expansive customer communication and care programmes that we have ever done.  It started in December just after Christmas and has extended through to the end of July and it involved four key elements;

  1. Personalised electronic communication reinforcing key elements of the Molly Maid service.  A total of six separate emails were centrally distributed by our Support Office to all of our customers.
  2. A small gift for our customer which was funded in part by ourselves.
  3. New marketing collateral to leave with customers in their home.  We have the very good fortune of being able to leave communication like this on the customer’s kitchen counter.  Not many brands have this opportunity.
  4. Direct mail to a couple of different segments – the first to cancelled customers to entice them back to Molly Maid and the second to those who had an estimate for service but hadn’t started their cleaning service.  This was also funded entirely by ourselves.

The initiatives were internally branded as the ‘Show them the Love’ campaign and the results speak for themselves.  Our main metric for customer satisfaction is what we call the cancellation rate, with lower cancellation rates meaning higher levels of customer satisfaction.  After all of our price increases had been put through and the bulk of the campaign finished our cancellation rates were almost 20% lower than in 2022.  And, this is helping us to set another new record for annual turnover.”

Beyond putting customer loyalty as a central strategy in both your business planning and annual activities, Holden has three suggestions for others wanting to design an effective customer loyalty program;

  1. Divide and conquer, meaning including elements that the Franchisor does and elements that the Franchisee does.
  2. Invest in tools that are easy for Franchisees to use and involve them in their design.
  3. Regularly share the results you are achieving along the way so that everyone in the organisation knows how it is working.

This article comes courtesy from Molly Maid. For more information about joining Molly Maid and being a part of the booming demand in domestic cleaning, contact Aaron Watson by email at awatson@mollymaid.co.uk

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