There are some experiences that are so ordinary that they could make excellent material for a Seinfeld episode. In other words, it’s about the little things that can make or break your day. Take dry cleaning.
Last week after I picked up my clothes from the local store, I noticed that my blouse was wrapped in the same style they use for men’s shirts. I need to make an aside here – have you noticed that even here women are treated differently? Compare dry cleaning costs between quite similar garments like shirts and you will see that we shell out twice the money to cover the expense.
There it was, a name written in ink on the inside of the back collar instead of the stapled number I usually find on my garments. Yet the price told me they knew it was a woman’s garment. Having a name written on the collar reminded me of summer camp and made me look harder at the laundering job. The collar could have definitely used better cleaning. I took the blouse back to the store.
After a very short demonstration of my problem with the job and a request to also take care to delete the black ink while at it, the owner agreed to redo the work so none of it would show and in fact volunteered that it was a bad mistake. On my way I passed another dry cleaner, a big discount store that opened a couple of years ago and is widely used because of its rock bottom prices. Would they have been so accommodating, I wondered?
The garment was ready for my pick up one day later and it was perfect – not a trace on the collar and freshly cleaned at no additional cost. Accidents and mistakes do happen in business – the way you handle what happens afterwards can make the difference between retaining your customers, even when they spend a little more, and seeing them go to the competitor.
Today, there are enough people doing what you do and offering you kind of service. Customers can choose to walk across the street (literally) and take their business elsewhere. Have you been available to a conversation with them? Do you stick to their meaning of service?
Valeria Maltoni • Conversation Agent • Philadelphia, PA • www.conversationagent.com