Journals 2012

All I want for Christmas…

It’s a little weird writing this Holiday column because I write these well in advance.  It’s summer time as I type and here I go again with my traditional trip to Santa’s knee.  For the past decade, I have fantasized about products, for shirt launderers that don’t exist, but probably should.  I write about them in my December column.  What has been especially fun, is to look back at some of my past columns and find that some wishes really do come true.  Certain shirt equipment manufacturers have indeed run with some of my ideas.  A few years ago, I wished for some sort of “pace-setter” or production tracker on a body press and now at least two manufacturers have something like that.  I am going to up the ante this year.


I was with my son at a family function a few weeks ago.  I was talking about this column that I write.  I told him that I was behind the eight-ball, so to speak.  I usually have three or four of these columns written in advance, but this wasn’t the case today.  My deadline was looming and I hadn’t written a word.  I was at a bit of a loss for subject matter, but that is a bit lame.  Once I get at this keyboard, I always have something to say.  Frankly, I was procrastinating.  My son, an amazing man, wise beyond his years said, “Dad, go write a column about procrastination!”   He is in this industry and is well aware of the goings-on in a drycleaning plant.  I told him that I would do exactly that.

Why is it that becoming an ex-customer is better than being a loyal customer?

Why is it that becoming an ex-customer is better than being a loyal customer?

I don’t talk about customer service too often because there are others in the industry that fittingly call that their niche.  Still, I am a professional customer and sometimes certain things are completely nonsensical to me.   Can it possibly be true that becoming an ex-customer is more beneficial to your customers than remaining loyal  to you?  I gotta wonder.  I have more than one story to share with you that suggests exactly that.  It seems more than a little bit odd that there is little that resembles uniformity when it comes to customer care.  Perhaps that is understandable to some extent.  You probably give your best customers gifts around the holidays and maybe a “volume” discount.  But would you consider charging them more if they are loyal?  I am discovering precisely that lately, and I am appalled!  It seems that at every plant that I visit, there is special attention paid to the shirts that belong to a “good customer.”  I suppose that this is understandable, but it is important to remember that the new customer that you might think is a “one-hit wonder”, could well be a “big tuna” waiting to be impressed.  I’m a loyal customer, and as I like to say, a professional customer.  I am a regular customer at many businesses and many of those are restaurants.  I don’t want special treatment or a discount, but I like to be recognized as a regular and treated with respect.  With all the traveling that I do, I like to be at a place that feels like home, where everybody knows my name.

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