I wanted to give everyone a small insight as to the reason that I started this Blog, aside from the passion that I have for delivering great customer experiences personally or with any company that I have ever worked for.

In the neighbourhood that I used to live in there was a local dry cleaner that I loved going to. Not because he got my whites whiter or my colours brighter, not because he was more or less expensive than the bigger store across the road (who gave out free newspapers on Saturday which was quite an incentive for me), but because every time that I walked into the store Kevin and his wife (the store owners) would say hello. Hello? That was it…now mind you they also never asked me for my receipt because they knew who I was and thus quickly were able to get my dry cleaning and get me back on the road. As well, if I was short a few pennies they never asked me to dig around to fill the bill. All simple things that built an enjoyment and a loyalty for me to the store. Did those things cost them money (okay let’s say the pennies were not that often)? Did it take them out of their way to not be able to service other customers in their business? NO. All it took was a passion for providing customer service to their clients and understanding that this is what made the difference between them and the big cleaner across the street.

 The sad part of this story for me is that Kevin and his wife later sold the store and the new owners did not have the passion for great experiences. After 3-4 more visits in hope that they would begin to acknowledge that I was an important customer and one that deserved to be greeted with a smile and a hello each time I came in, I moved on. Not to the big corporate store across the street, but to another small cleaner up the street who was excited to serve me each time I came in…Wow, this guy was over the top! I still miss Kevin and his wife, but for now my new cleaner (I have not introduced myself as of yet) will do me just fine.

 Make sure you too are getting the customer experiences that you deserve, whether at a dry cleaner, a restaurant, a car repair company, a video store or whatever. As the consumer you are in control of the money and the business should be willing to over deliver against the value equation for you. If you spend $10 you should feel like you got a $20 experience. This is what makes you come back time and again to businesses and spread the word about the great service that they are providing.

Cheers,

Pete

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2 Responses to “You had me at Hello”

  1. Kathy Cartan says:

    So true Pete about the dry cleaner and the good feeling that comes from someone knowing your name and thanking you for your business. There is a convenience store on the corner by me, ok the only convenience store within miles, run by Sam. Sam not only says hello by name, asks about my family but remembers my last response! He is happy to post flyers for our community and fund raising events. He is here from another war torn country working long hours to make a go of it here in our beautful country Canada. I am happy to pay a bit more. I have heard that he is struggling against the bigger stores and plan to let everyone know so hopefully they can be sure to give him business. Important to support the people who are doing it right and not just sit quietly by while the big guys who could care less get our money. Trying to be a little more aware and I hope to follow your lead to make a difference

  2. Bomber says:

    Hey Kathy, thanks for the note and I apologize that I have not been responding to comments on the Blog for the last year as I have been tied up with other things as you know.

    Your story is a great one. Yes, about the feeling good when people know who you are and care about you, but even more is the last note you mention. The big box stores are successful because of price and usually, price alone. The only challenge is that if we only shop at the big box stores we will eventually only have them as an option and most of us, driven by the fact everyone else is unemployed, will be forced to shop there anyway. It is the downward spiral that has been underway in the country in the last few years. Not sure if most are aware at the situation, but efforts like your to support the small business will go a long way to extending the options available to all of us from a retail standpoint. Thanks for taking the time to write Kath!

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