How Cents uses Superwave to create a vibrant SaaS community

Operating a laundromat can be a dirty business ( 😉). The team at Cents is helping their customers to clean it up. 

The fast-growing company eases common industry challenges for more than 1,200 laundromat and dry cleaner owners across the United States. With a modern, intuitive software product, Cents helps brick-and-mortar laundromats and dry cleaners to operate, understand and grow their businesses.

We love it when we see software being brough to physical, real world businesses. So, needless to say, we were excited to work with Cents to bring them closer to their customers in a truly one-of-a-kind community. 

In this case study we'll go behind the scenes with Cam Wilson, the Marketing Operations Lead at Cents, to see exactly how they put community into practice.

The need for community 🤝

Every SaaS product promises it's customers results - lower costs, more efficiency, etc. Cents wanted to take it a step further and build a dedicated space for their customers to grow together while experiencing the Cents product—enter community.

“We wanted to empower not just customers, but product evangelists,” says Cam.
“How can we enable them to learn more, become superfans, and ultimately build a community of entrepreneurs that can learn from each other and us?”

Before Superwave, Cents communicated with their customers via email and phone. It was extremely time-consuming, and it was very much a one-way conversation. 1:1 communication wasn’t yielding the results they were looking for; there was no way to get a collective sense of how their customers were feeling on the whole.

Cents wanted to start meaningful conversations between laundry entrepreneurs. Being a business owner can be lonely, especially in an industry that’s exclusively brick-and-mortar. Without other leaders to bounce ideas off of or solve problems with, entrepreneurs can feel dragged down by their businesses. 

Owning their own community would also give Cents full ownership of first-party data, the key info customers provide during product interactions, surveys, signups, and more.

Instead of funneling their customers to a Facebook Group—and missing out on key analytics—Cents could reclaim their customer data to build better products and improve their customer experience.

Cents ➕ Superwave

Cents’ idea for community began as a Product Marketing initiative. They wanted to expand their product, but they also wanted to better understand what their customers wanted and needed from their laundry business management solution.

“We created a community for our business to learn from our customers and see what they’re talking about. What’s not working with their business overall? And how can we build our product around that?” says Cam.

Partnering with Superwave gave Cents a single place to communicate, house product info, and educate their customers, all at once. Community members could learn how to grow their businesses, try out new Cents product features, and huddle with other industry leaders.

Cents looked at competitor platforms like Slack, Circle, and Facebook, and ultimately chose Superwave for its simple interface, cost-efficiency, and feature set. Here’s what won them over.👇

The content library 📚

Laundry entrepreneurs want resources for growing their businesses, using product solutions, and understanding the industry. Cents brings those insights directly to them through rich content. 

Superwave’s content library takes Cents’ webinars, release notes, product updates, and emails and houses them in one place. Customers can sort content into videos, articles, and files for easy lookup. 

Centralizing content like this benefits the entrepreneurs Cents is built for and Cents as a business. Customers learn more about product features and get more out of the product — and they also recommend features to other business owners to share the love. 

“By having this content management system in Superwave, we can combine communication streams into one place with the goal of expansion and upselling,” says Cam.

Superwave’s content library also tells community leaders exactly what's going on in the space. Not only what their power users care about, but also the “lurkers” that might not want to participate, yet still want to read and learn.

Community-CRM synergy 🤝

Growing businesses need to understand how their customers interact within the community, so they can deliver more of what those customers care about. Cents wanted a community platform that could link to their CRM, so they could learn from customer behaviour and bring current customers into the community.

The ability to connect HubSpot and Salesforce to Superwave was a big selling point for Cents. The CRM can house both customer behavior in the community and product feedback that links to existing customer profiles. 

Cents can also create customer groups based on those who are in the community vs. those who aren’t to understand trends around behavior. One segment includes folks who are using the in-store product vs. folks who are using the mobile product, for example. This level of understanding helps Cents start conversations that are tailored to the right groups of people.

Easy onboarding 🎉

“As far as implementation goes, Superwave makes it easy to bring new people into your platform,” says Cam. “With one magic link, it’s one click to sign up.”

Cents customers can sign up for the community through Google, Facebook, LinkedIn or their email. There’s no need to create a Superwave account, or to download a Superwave app, which results in a cleaner, less confusing joining experience. 

First-party data 🙌

Circling back to a big reason why Cents wanted a community platform in the first place—they wanted to own their first-party data.

“When you use Facebook, all the data remains in the platform,” says Cam. “We look at that as third-party data, whereas Superwave is data we own: all the logins, signups, and information our customers provide.”

This data allows Cents to see exactly what’s happening in their community. Cents leaders can use Mission Control, the one-stop shop for understanding member experience. Actionable insights, conversational moments, and popular content are all housed in Mission Control, so you can understand and act on what’s happening in your community. 

“The community has been a great place for our Product Engineering team to go and get feedback, then build that line of communication with customers,” says Cam.

What’s next for Cents? 🚀

As their community grows, Cents is focused on how they can continue to add more value for each individual member. They’d like to embed a tool that lets members vote on community features. They also want to host more events, from webinars to in-person gatherings.

But beyond any updates, their team wants to dive into the big question asked by so many business community leaders: Do our customers become more valuable if they’re in the community? Superwave gives them a lens into how customer behavior and member retention impact the business, all thanks to the CRM connection and the ability to really hear their customers. 

If you'd like to take some lessons from Cents and bring community to your business, you can sign up for the Superwave beta today.