I ran into a small situation today that made me pause.  It was a small thing, but it stuck with me.

I purchased some clothing last month at my favourite local clothier (or haberdasher as the kids say), and had a pair of pants hemmed up.  I took the rest of my purchases home, but when I tried on the other pair of pants I bought I found they needed to be hemmed as well.  I wasn’t worried, the very friendly staff assured me that I could bring those pants back to get hemmed as well.

Then I got caught up and weeks went by.  It happens.

I returned this evening to pick up my freshly hemmed pants and drop off the ones that still needed hemming.  That’s when I hit a bit of a wall.

“Have these been washed?” the young assistant enquired.

I hadn’t worn them since I bought them so I responded, “Well, no”

“Ya, we were told today that any pants needing to be hemmed have to be washed first'” she informed me.

Huh.  Okay.  I sort of blanked.  I hadn’t washed them since I hadn’t worn them, so I guess I couldn’t get them hemmed.  Then she asked me my name and found the pants I had to pick up.  She handed the pants over and told me to bring back the others once they were washed.

“It’s okay,” I let her know, “There’s a tailor by my office, I’ll drop them off there instead.”

Now, this is a store where I have spent a considerable amount of disposable income on clothing.  I like their wares.  In hindsight, once she knew my name she could have looked me up to see my purchases.  A great option, for someone who was in the moment and could see my spending potential, should have been to ask when the last time was that I wore them, then ask if they had been washed, then offer to clean the pants, hem them up, and get them back to me.  It would guarantee that I spend more cash in the shop, and pass their name on to my friends for their excellent service.  As it stands, I’ve got an opportunity for another business here in town and some time to explore other clothing stores in town.

Ask the right questions and service the client, kids.  Use that creativity and problem solving skills.  It pays dividends.