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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's All About The People

I know you’re not supposed to have favorites, but don’t we all do it? I recently talked to Terri Harris to find out what’s kept her at A Cleaner World for 11 years. She had several reasons but one was a LONG list of favorite customers. So I asked her to tell me about a few. She quickly started talking. Unfortunately I had to stop her after three for fear of writing a book instead of a blog. Here are three but I’m guessing that there are many more.

•For 14 years Kim Harris and her husband tried to have a baby. Terri never knew this until the day Kim stopped by to conduct business and enthusiastically shared some news. Kim and her husband, a pastor, had been contacted about adopting a newborn baby. This information really made an impression on Terri. Kim keeps the folks at our Peter’s Creek store up to date on their family and sends pictures, which Terri keeps on her refrigerator at home. Plus, Terri says Kim makes amazing chocolate chip muffins.
•When the A Cleaner World on Peter’s Creek Parkway opened, Terri waited on Johnsie several times. Each time, she kept thinking she knew her from somewhere. It turns out that Johnsie was actually Terri’s school bus driver! Once they figured that out, a special friendship developed. Everyone at the store loves Johnsie, especially her ability to laugh at herself. Not too long ago she contacted the store about a missing sweater. Everyone searched high and low but had no luck. Several days later Johnsie called to say she had found it. Johnsie’s husband had planned a surprise weekend getaway and packed the sweater for her!
•For 8 years Jean Batten frequented the store on Peter’s Creek Parkway. One day she stopped and shared with everyone, with tears in her eyes, that she was moving to Florida. Not only did the employees there take great care with her clothes, but they had also become like family to her. She said she’d never find another group like them. They all still stay in touch.

In a world that’s high tech social media disengaged, it’s nice to be a part of a team that has face to face contact with people and can truly build relationships. After all, business and life are all about people.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thanks

Each year the High Point Enterprise puts out their ‘Best of’ issue. This year, folks could vote from June 12 – June 27, and the business in each category with the most votes wins. Thanks Triad for voting A Cleaner World ‘Best Drycleaner’ once again! Check out this year’s issue. It has some great stuff in it.

http://issuu.com/hpenterprise/docs/hpt07282011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Happily Ever After

After my husband proposed to me, the very first thing I began to look for was my dress. Apparently that’s pretty common. According to an article on njwedding.com, 70% of brides say selecting the wedding gown of their dreams is the most important element of the wedding. So can you imagine going to bed on a Saturday night -- the night before your big day -- knowing your wedding gown is locked inside a dry cleaner that won’t reopen until Monday? That recently happened to an A Cleaner World Boone, North Carolina customer.

The bride dropped off her gown several days before the wedding to have it freshened up. When she went back to pick up her dress after 5:00 on Saturday, the day before her wedding, the store was already closed. She thought the store was open until 6:00 on Saturdays. I am sure that panic immediately set in.

The bride-to-be and her mom began making phone calls. To make a long story short, Mike Feudale, the store’s District Manager, was out with friends that night and learned about the situation after 11:00 p.m. He immediately called the bride’s mom. They came up with a plan, and Mike got up early Sunday morning and drove from his home in Winston-Salem to the A Cleaner World in Boone. He was able to help get the dress to the right place in plenty of time. So the wedding went off without a hitch. The bride was thrilled because she got to get married in the gown of her dreams. And then they lived happily ever after.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Raving Fan

It’s never good to put words in other people’s mouths, but I am going to make an assumption. Last week I raved about Whole Foods, and I told you I would share a couple of instances where A Cleaner World has created some raving fans.

I’m going to guess that Tom Holland with Hayworth Miller would fall into that category. When we say that we clean American Flags for free – we really do and it’s every day. Every year the A Cleaner World on Peter’s Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem cleans and presses about 200 American Flags for Mr. Holland, Mr. Miller and a local Veteran’s organization.

Terri Harris, an 11 year employee of A Cleaner World, says she’s glad to do it. First, because she feels it’s nice to give back to the folks that have served in our military. Second, both Mr. Holland and Mr. Miller are such a nice men. Mr. Miller shows his appreciation by purchasing the employees at that location lunch or a gift card – something he doesn’t have to do. So that’s where I believe my assumption is correct. Who pays for something (in this case with lunch or a gift) when they don’t have to?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Above and Beyond

We’ve grown so accustomed to bad customer service that we are surprised when a company goes above and beyond. Once every 4 – 6 weeks I shop at the Whole Foods in Franklin, Tennessee. I like to go there because 1. They carry a few specialty items that I like and can’t find anywhere else and 2. It is always such a pleasant shopping experience. Besides it being in general such a pleasant experience, I’ve had two exceptional experiences at Whole Foods that I’d like to share.

Several months ago I was there one Friday night with my family after dinner. I was looking for a specific kind of chocolate. An employee saw me searching and asked if they could help (something they do quite often). When I explained what I was looking for, she indicated that they didn’t carry it but had something similar. She told me a little about the manufacturer, pulled one off the shelf, marked on the packaging no charge, and handed it to me saying she’d like for me to give it a try and see if it could be a suitable substitute. I was floored as was my husband. When we walked out of the store with our purchases he said to me, “They just spoke your love language. They’ve got you for life.”

A few weeks ago I was there around lunch time with my 4 year old son. We got the things we needed and of course wondered around the store a bit before checking out. When we got to the car, I couldn’t find my keys. We went back in the store to retrace our steps. As I was searching an employee saw my concern and asked if they could help (notice a pattern here?). When I explained our dilemma, she immediately got on their communication system and alerted everyone. Within 5 minutes another employee walked over to us and handed me my keys. What a fast response!

I posted a tweet about my experience on my personal Twitter account and got all kinds of responses. The general consensus (besides the consensus about Whole Foods being a great place to be stranded) was that this is simply how they operate.
Over the next few weeks I’d like to share a couple of stories when A Cleaner World earned someone for life. Whole Foods isn’t the only company that tries to go above and beyond.
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