“No Charge”

People are often surprised to learn my dry cleaners is located in Kent, WA – especially when they realize we live 20 miles away! I started going to family owned Meeker Cleaners many years ago,  when my office was only a few blocks down the street.

I sold my company a decade ago but never changed dry cleaners even though I no longer have regular business near there.   It’s not as though there are NO dry cleaners near where I live – in fact, I drive past 2 every time I  come or go from the neighborhood. So why do I continue to drive 20 miles (each way) to the dry cleaners even in an era of gas prices well over $3/gallon?

One reason and one reason alone:  an outstanding customer experience. Each and every time I go there.  Simple things; the dad always carrying my clothes out to my car, the mom’s wizardry with a needle and thread for buttons, repairs and tailoring, the daughter’s friendly inquiry about our life and family.  They know the names of each of the boys and recall details of their lives – who lives where, who is in school or working.  Every year at Christmas, they even give us a small gift.

My reasons, and there are many, were reinforced the other day.  I went in to pick up our dry cleaning and was told there was “no charge”. Why would there be no charge for these half-dozen items? There was a note pinned to our order thanking us for returning another customer’s order of 2 shirts which had inadvertently gotten hung in between several of our groups of items.

As soon as I got home with the order – and the other customers’ items – I phoned to let them know I had them so they would not think they were “lost”. In over 15 years of doing business there, they have never lost or ruined a single item of ours.  This mistake was rare indeed. The next day, I dropped them back off so they would be ready for the proper owner when he came in.

They know we do not live close and had made a special trip to return the shirts. The “no charge” was their way of thanking us for our extra effort. I made the special trip to return the items because they always go the extra mile for us and their “thank you” gesture was just the most recent example of their outstanding customer experience.

Do your customers know how much you genuinely appreciate them?  Are you inspiring this sort of long term customer loyalty?  What little things could you do to improve your customer experience?

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One Response to ““No Charge””

  1. khellriegel Says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience with Meeker Cleaners! It is great to know we have some great businesses located here in Kent.

    Sincerely,

    Kevin Hellriegel
    http://khellriegel.wordpress.com/

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