vip-cleanersA few years ago, the dry cleaners I choose to patronize caught fire. Most of the fire was confined to the neighboring business, but there was massive water (from the firefighter’s efforts) and smoke damage to VIP Cleaners’ contents. Those items included several of my dress shirts.

Today when you walk inside you can’t find any visible signs of the previous damage, but the owner, Bill says there is one problem he hasn’t totally fixed. With such a long layoff , a large group of customers have never come back to VIP. Although Bill has never asked me why I returned to VIP, the answer is simple… they know my name. This morning when I stopped by, Bill’s wife, Linda yelled “Hello Todd” from the back office. And just like a restaurant you patronize often, I’m not required to tell them how I like my “order” (light starch).

Bill has tried all the normal retail tricks, (outdoor signage, direct mail, coupons), but none of that drew me back to VIP. Bill’s staff knows me and my preferences, so I’m content even though he doesn’t have a web site or delivery. I believe the old cliche of the most popular word is true… we all love to hear our own name and it may be Bill’s best secret.

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