Journals 2019

Database Mining

I have had a particularly rough last few days of traveling. On the way to the airport this morning, I had that on my mind.  Most of the issues that I had don’t really have anything to do with the airline, but are a byproduct of air travel.  Nonetheless, because I travel as much as I do, I have become a very regular customer at several travel related businesses.  The fact that I am a regular customer at these places that I will name is what I want to talk about today.

When you have a regular customer, you get to know him or her.  You call them by name.  You may go up to the call office and chat with them when they come in.  You may give them special privileges’ or discounts. You may send them a Thank you gift at the end of the year.  All very nice gestures that are part of maintaining  a special relationship with customers that hold you in a high enough regard to give their business exclusively to you while forsaking all others. Excellent.  But what happens when a good customer becomes and ex-customer? Do you know about it?  Did you catch it in time?  Did you bother to learn why this “whale” or “big tuna” stopped patronizing you?  Database mining is the key to this and while I am not the most qualified person to discuss how you should go about mining your customer database because I am not an expert on your POS, nor am I an expert on marketing, in some regard I am the most qualified person to explain the importance of learning about your customers because I am a customer at many places.  I really enjoy learning about other businesses.  How they market, how they earn customers, how they make money. In my opinion however, there is a common denominator and that is customer service.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Whether you are an airline, a travel agent a drycleaner or a local hamburger joint, you must know what your customers think and what they think about you. You must know what they want. Often we try to avoid this fact-finding step by trying to offer the customers everything.  I once read a sign in a drycleaners shop that said “We specialize in Drycleaning, Shirts, Leathers, Suedes, Shoe Repair, Tailoring and Alterations.”  Perhaps a check with Webster regarding the definition of the word “specialize” is in order.  This is an attempt to be all things to all people.  This is merely a list of services offered rather than true specialties. Often the case is that only standard service and quality is offered in all categories.  Jack of all trades, master of none.  But I digress; certainly an education about the wants and needs of a customer is in order rather than an educated wild guess about those wants and needs.

What’s New in Shirt Units

With the Clean Show just around the corner, your old shirt may be just fine, but are you aware of what the new units are capable of?

We have all wished for the shirt unit that produces a shirt that requires no touch-up whatsoever.  We are closer to that then you may think. There is always the training issue that can throw that concept to the wolves, but given a properly trained and supervised employee, you can produce a heck of a good shirt off a modern shirt unit.

So, what can a new shirt unit do that your current unit cannot do?  Ultimately, it can save you a lot of money.  It can even pay for itself.

Shirts are a pain because its hard to train a presser…

Shirts are a pain because it takes a while to train a presser. Pressing shirts is more of a specialty than other items. So much so that we sometimes over-pay a shirt presser just because we have found someone that is good and we want to keep them on the staff. If a presser does an inferior press job on a shirt, the touch up necessary may take longer than it took to press the shirt (correctly on incorrectly) in the first place. This is important and contributes heavily to the making shirts a royal pain. Conversely, when an inspector finds a pressing defect on, say, a pair of pants, the touch-up necessary to bring the garment from unacceptable to acceptable often takes mere seconds. A quick pass with the all-steam iron or dancing the pants – still on the hanger – over a puffer and you’re done. Try that with shirts. It will yield poor results.

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