I believe that I have the most loyal and wonderful customers this side of Denver. Really!
I say this because they not only trust me to take care of their dry cleaning, shirt laundry and alterations/repairs (thank you for choosing me, by the way), but because they share their lives with me and demonstrate that they care about me, and appreciate what I give them: quality garment care and customer service, with a smile.
Not a day goes by that my customers don’t come in and tell me about how their family is doing, whether good or not so good, sharing details that most people would never share with, say, their grocery clerk, banker or even their neighbor.
I hear about their daughter’s soccer game, or their son’s new girlfriend, or that their spouse got a better job or promotion, for instance. I also hear about some of the things that weigh heavily on them, such as a devastating illness that a family member or dear friend may be battling unsuccessfully, or how a loss (human or pet) has really left a hole in their hearts.
I get to see old family photographs and hear closely-held family stories and gossip (haha). They share their hobbies and passions with me, and I’ve even been invited to some events. Heck, I’ve even been invited to my customers’ homes for a BBQ or dinner.
And, occasionally, knowing (or not knowing) that I am a Christian pastor, as well as a business owner, they will reach across the counter and take my hands, and we will spend a moment in prayer together.
I have had customers give me gift cards, letters of thanks, presents, even food that they’ve either purchased or made themselves at home. I even have customers who stop by for a visit and a chat, or for some coffee, although they don’t have any cleaning items to drop off or pickup.
As many will readily admit, my attempts at humor can often fall short of the mark, even the “war stories” of my years in law enforcement get old, but, still, my customers laugh or smile, or nod their heads, even sharing some of their own tales of battles won or lost. I love those.
I used to ask myself why God would surround me with such wonderful people in my life and in my business. I’m not anybody special, certainly not someone more deserving. My wife tells me that people appreciate good service, even if it comes with too-often-used dry jokes, and they tend to like me, too, as a person because I treat them the same as I would a close friend or family member.
Truly, I am blessed. Thank you for inviting me into your lives. I love my customers!