How to Leverage Today’s Neuroscience Research When Running Your Laundry Business
The world of science is ablaze – hotter than ever before in recorded history. Modern-day research is uncovering useful and practical information at supersonic speed in so many areas.
For example, neuroscience breakthroughs have provided us with tremendous insights as to the functioning of the human brain that were previously unrecognized.
We have isolated the functions of many neurotransmitting and other bio-chemicals, and are actually utilizing and applying this knowledge to the areas of medicine, psychology and, yes, even in the marketing and management of businesses – just like your self-service laundry.
Much of this new information can now be used by store owners to better operate their businesses, attract more customers, better manage their attendants, and create far more successful and productive marketing strategies.
We have learned, for instance, that the brain neurotransmitter, Serotonin, actually functions to set the mood in people. In other words, it’s the “mood regulator.” When activated, it can create what has been referred to as a “living room effect”(calm and relaxed) within a business environment.
Cortisol, which is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland, is the body’s way of prepping for survival. This means that, before work ever begins for your attendants, they hopefully will perceive their peer interactions and relationship with you to be positive. If not, these individuals likely will report to work with, shall we say, an “attitude,” because their cortisol level is too high – they are ready for trouble and will act accordingly.
Dopamine is the chemical released within the brain when we feel rewarded in some fashion. The simple act of greeting your employees in a positive manner each day – and perhaps saying something to the effect of “Good afternoon, Nancy”or “Frank, you’re doing a great job and I appreciate it”- is just the kind of effective feedback that will very likely put your staff members into a frame of mind to always want to do their best, knowing that it’s noticed and appreciated.
Norepinephrine is the brain neurotransmitter chemical that affects where we direct our attention. It encourages the release of movement; as a result, less distraction and increased focus on the task at hand occurs. Attendants will feel more engaged with customers with increased Norepinephrine swimming around in their brains.
So, as you can see, the world of science (and not only social science) plays a significant role in nearly all aspects of your self-service laundry business.
Using Science to Positively Impact Your Employees
The next step is figuring out how to use the aforementioned information so that your business and your life run more smoothly. Let’s discuss your attendants first.
I believe the difficult part of living and working is maintaining one’s resilience. This is especially true for those with highly repetitive jobs, like working as an attendant in a vended laundry.
Therefore, to achieve the goal of cultivating happy and productive employees, the key is – by virtue of your behavior, as well as with the overall laundry environment you create – to activate the proper mix of brain (and adrenal) chemicals to produce the desired effects.
In a sense, the human brain is “plastic”and can learn to become more resilient. Multiple scientific strategies can be employed to assist your attendants to constantly rewire their brains, which will cultivate resilience and help them develop stronger coping skills.
With employees, the technique I mentioned above has been proven to work well. Also, I would suggest you encourage your employees to get adequate sleep, recognize and disclose their job-related emotions (hopefully, to you), and participate in aerobic exercise and healthy social interactions, which activate the desired brain chemicals.
Doing the above will help increase the production of Dopamine, Norepinephrine and Serotonin (while at the same time decreasing the production of Cortisol) in your employees so that peace, harmony, and productivity are kept at a maximum.
The Scientific Method to Marketing
Let’s continue our ride aboard the “brain train”and discuss how today’s groundbreaking scientific research can be applied to your marketing adventures, and to attracting and retaining customers.
As brilliant British neuroscientist and physiologist David Marr once noted: “There is no way to understand how the wing of a bird works by studying its feathers.” What’s truly important is finding out exactly why the wing works, as well as discovering the way it works – and that involves understanding the bird’s brain chemistry.
The actual job description of our brains is complex, and it applies to all humans – including, yes, all of your current and potential customers. So, the questions then become (1) why do some customers remain forever loyal to your laundry business, and (2) why some potential customers turn into actual patrons and some don’t? The short answer is that their brains make them do it.
To a large extent, peoples’ behaviors are determined by the data they receive. And researchers are learning that our brain chemistry holds the dirty little secrets as to just how we react to this data.
Hence, the more our advertising and other aspects of our marketing activities elicit the appropriate increases in Serotonin, Dopamine and Epinephrine in our target audience (current and prospective customers) the better chance we have to attract and retain them.
As a result, it turns out that your clever copywriting and ad designs may be leaving you a day late and many dollars short, because they aren’t working for you from a neurological perspective.
It takes two to tango – you and the individuals you’re targeting in your advertisements. Brains enable minds, based upon chemical reactions. In order to influence the mind, you must create the appropriate chemical activity within the physical brain. Although it’s true that “one brain does not fit all,” it fits most. We are pretty much all judge and jury from birth.
Effective advertising means that you put your money where your mouth is and create marketing programs that put people at ease, that calm them, and that put them in an accepting frame of mind, as if they were sitting in their own living rooms. By contrast, you don’t want to create campaigns that stimulate the overproduction of Cortisol, which will cause potential customers to push back against your message.
When designing your ads, use soothing and uplifting colors – such as yellow and blue. In addition, incorporate calming themes, testimonials, and photos of happy people doing their laundry at your facility. In short, anything positive that increases the production of Serotonin, Dopamine and Epinephrine.
I can’t guarantee that this will attract each and every prospect reading or viewing your advertising, but I believe it can significantly improve the effectiveness of your marketing and, in turn, your bottom line.
When it comes to your management and marketing methods, always be open and flexible to new ideas and the latest research findings. After all, flexibility isn’t achieved strictly through the devout practice of yoga.