Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cleaning Up

My wife's company has two Christmas parties this week, i.e., time to dust off my one business suit and find a couple of presentable dress shirts to bring to the drycleaner up the street. As I pulled them out, I remembered that one of the shirts had an unraveling collar button the last time I wore it. So, at the cleaners, I asked the guy at the desk if they could please sew it back on when they laundered the shirt, and he said, "Sure, no charge."

Now, a couple of things about this transaction: First, I find it somewhat amazing that they're willing to do that on a $2 service. (I would have been willing to pay $5 for the button alone, since I don't sew.) Second, since my office uniform is generally composed of shirts that don't require drycleaning, there's no way this is a special perk for "regulars." I simply don't go to this place very often.

But based on this small-but-impactful customer service gesture, I will go back. What's the lesson in it for creative freelancers? Make a small gesture to your clients, the creative equivalent of sewing on a button, and you just might find yourself cleaning up.

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