Following Instructions


I've been going to the same dry cleaner for quite some time. They should know I don't like starch in my shirts.  On my ticket, there's a box that I've always checked "no". My shirts have always come back with no starch, just as instructed. Yesterday, I forgot to check the box. I'll give you one guess what shirts were loaded with starch.

Yes, the cleaner was right. Yes, it was my fault for being in a hurry and not checking the box. But, my loyalty isn't based on who's right. It's based on which company pays attention (to me) who demonstrates that I actually matter to them.

They could have phoned, sent a quick e-mail or attached a personal note, "Mr. Chaffin, we noticed you didn't check a box today. Based on your service history, we went with no starch. Let us know if that's not what you prefer." That would have taken a few extra minutes, cost a few pennies, and maybe felt a little risky. But, it would have proven that they actually take the time to listen...and to learn. That's remarkable.

Blindly following directions is the safe thing to do. But, it isn't going to get people to become raving fans. Safe is average.