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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Hero For The Day

Not too long ago, I wrote a blog about Steve Plantone, our Manager in Hickory. In it I shared a story where he was a customer’s hero for a day. I too have an A Cleaner World hero for a day – his name is Alan Peatross.

My husband and I were friends for about a year before we started dating. Shortly after we started dating, he asked me over to his place so he could cook dinner for me. After dinner, we decided to take our glasses of red wine and sit outside to continue chatting. It was a chilly evening so I asked Matt if he had a jacket I could wear. He handed me a brand new, tags still on sweatshirt he’d recently gotten during a trip to Maine. I pulled the tags off, put it on, and we went outside. It was dark, so he didn’t notice when I spilled some wine on the sleeve.

I immediately rolled up the sleeves a bit and decided I’d figure out a way to wear it home. The next morning before going into the office, I headed straight to Alan’s store. Alan, who is now a District Manager, was the manager of one of our High Point locations at the time. Alan is an interesting fellow. He sort of reminds me of the turtle in ‘the tortoise and the hare story’. He doesn’t get really excited. He walks sort of slowly, but in the end he always gets the job done. I hadn’t been with the company very long and didn’t know him that well, so I was a bit apprehensive as I left the store given that he didn’t display the same sort of urgency that I felt.

But I tell you that he came through for me – no problem. He called me the next day to tell me the sweatshirt was ready. I picked it up after work that night, thanked Alan repeatedly, returned it to Matt a few days later, and he never knew until…..well some time later.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Restoring After A Fire

Thankfully, we’ve never experienced a home fire, but I know a number of folks that have. I’ll never forget a story that my High School Senior English Teacher shared with us during class one day. Her home caught on fire a few years before. She explained that they had a list of important numbers – police, poison control, fire department, etc. – posted on the wall next to the telephone in the kitchen. Once it was determined to be safe, they went in to the house to assess the damage. They noticed something quite strange with that list of numbers. Both the top and bottom of that piece of paper were torched leaving only one phone number still readable in the middle of the sheet – for the fire department. Talk about unsettling.

As I write this, I’m thinking about all the special things we have in our home -- my wedding gown, my very first stuffed bear, the outfit we brought Gray home from the hospital in, quilts my grandmother made. Until A Cleaner World got into the restoration cleaning industry, it never occurred to me that many times cherished soft goods could be restored. That is if immediate and appropriate action is taken.

If you experience a home fire, Chuck Brammer, President of A Cleaner World Restoration Dry Cleaning, recommends two things. First, contact your insurance agent for suggestions and advice. Second, work with your insurance agent and contact a professional fire restorer. Certified and properly trained fire restorers have the knowledge and materials to refurbish textiles after a fire.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Importance of Renter’s Insurance

After graduating from college, I got my first apartment. It was very charming – basically it was half a house in an older neighborhood in Evansville, Indiana. I had saved money from a summer job and used it to purchase a brand new sofa and chair. My parents found a really nice used kitchen table, which they bought for me. I took my bedroom furniture from home, and my parents helped me stock the kitchen with all the supplies I would need. It was a big investment. It never occurred to me, until my dad pressed the issue, that I should get renter’s insurance.

My guess is that many folks think either the way I did or perhaps don’t see the importance of having renter’s insurance. Chuck Brammer, Owner/President of A Cleaner World Restoration Dry Cleaning confirmed that thought during a recent conversation. “Most people don’t think about it until something happens,” said Brammer. “Then it is too late.”

Renter’s insurance is designed to protect tenants from loss of personal property. If there is a fire in your apartment or rented home or perhaps a burglary, renter’s insurance provides money for the value of the damaged or stolen items. It can also protect against liability to the rented property if someone is hurt while at your place.

Renter’s insurance is pretty inexpensive. “Usually you can get it for about the price of a soda per day,” said Brammer. “Then you have the coverage and peace of mind should something catastrophic happen.” Wise words – from both Chuck and my dad. Of course, I purchased renter’s insurance shortly after moving into my first apartment. Thankfully I never needed to use it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Great Customer Service

I like feedback – both positive and negative. As long as negative feedback is constructive, I believe it can be incredibly helpful in improving service. But because we rarely hear positive feedback, we tend to be taken back when it comes our way.

A couple of months ago, @KristenDaukas of Twin City Sales and Marketing tweeted to @cleaner_world this: “Just wanted to say how much I LOVE Cheryl at the Robinhood location. Such a great team member for you guys!” When I passed the good word onto her supervisor, I found out that Cheryl receives many compliments from customers. It got me thinking this: in a day where we rarely hear positive feedback, what is it about Cheryl that makes folks speak up? I decided to ask Kristen to find out.

In talking with Kristen, she expressed something that I feel often (and I would guess that many of you do too), that we’ve become so accustomed to dealing with folks who work the front line that are not thrilled with being on the job. In contrast, “Cheryl always has a smile, always greets me by name, and always has a compliment or something kind or fun to say,” said Kristen.

Apparently Cheryl is this way all the time, even when negative feedback comes her way. “A couple of years ago, I brought a pair of pants back because I had discovered they had holes in them,” said Kristen. “My thinking was that something happened in the cleaning process.” Instead of being defensive or offended, Cheryl happily took the concern to the manager to investigate. Once the manager diagnosed the problem Kristen said, “Both she and the manager took the time to educate me on the dangers of moths.”

Service like that makes folks want to come back. Think about some of the places you frequent. Kristen feels the same way. “There are other places that are cheaper but with staff like her, I will continue to use A Cleaner World,” she concluded.

Thanks Cheryl for setting such a great example. The world needs more folks like you.
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