If you've been following my Tweets over the past few days (@matuson) and my blog, you'll know that I experienced a situation at General Cleaners in Easthampton, MA that I find puzzling. You see I wanted to give the owner, Tim Dachos an opportunity to correct a situation that has gone terribly wrong in one of his stores, before I made this public. I gave him the courtesy of a phone call and he chose not to return it. I also filled out the comment section of his web site and received no reply. Seems he's too busy running his other business.
I've had some time to think about what happened (see post below) and I now realize this employee is most likely modeling the behavior that is prevalent in his organization. I suspect this employee gets treated by his employer the same way he treats his customers.
I realize now that the real blame for what happened should be placed where it belongs...at the top.
There are lessons for business leaders to learn. Here are just a few:
If you are not interested in customer service, then don't start a business that requires customer service.
In small towns, people talk. Make sure they are talking about how great you are and not telling others to avoid your business.
Don't spread yourself too thin or you might have more than one business that is unsuccessful
Watch your own behavior. Your employees are certainly doing so and are treating your customers exactly like you are treating them.
I suspect there are plenty of other dry cleaners in this town that would love my business. I'm heading out to find one today.