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Letters to a Young Manager

Seven Hundred Names, One at a Time, #18
LTYM > Service

Dear Sophie,
Here's a story about service that I thought you would enjoy.

In 1987, my dry cleaner, New Canaan Cleaners & Launderers, was not the nearest to my home. But it's worth the short detour. David, who is the manager, and his father Irwin, the owner, had been in business in the town for just six years. There are two other dry cleaners in town, but David's store does twice as much business as the nearest competitor. Last year's revenues were about a million dollars. Not bad for a dry cleaning retail operation.

What's so special about this store? Yes, they do dry cleaning and shirts, with same day service when needed. But it's the personal extras that make the store a standout. For example, David makes it a point of learning each person's name. This is no small feat, since the store has over a 750 weekly customers. Irwin estimates that his son has memorized about 75% of the customers names. But it doesn't stop there. He can usually tell you on which street you live, how you have your shirts done, and something of personal interest, like your favorite sports team or the car you drive. The rest of the staff is following David's lead. I've secretly wondered if there is a contest afoot for who gets the most names right. Aside from the greetings, there are free gum drop machines for the kids, a barrel of pretzels for mom or dad, also free gourmet coffee from the local roaster, topped off with fresh flowers at the entry from the local florist.

The store is a joy to visit, and I can't tell you a retail store within 30 miles where I feel more welcome. Why clean anywhere else?




Great service is a relationship and its personal

Discussion Questions:

1) What businesses have made you feel valued? What did they do that was different?
2) How can you do the same for your customers?

For Further Reading:

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