Cleaned out . . . Brand Bertie . . . Hume . . . €130m
Today I went to pick up two suits and a jacket from a dry cleaner and was advised that the bill was €38. When I questioned why the bill was so high, the attendant told me to go elsewhere in future. He even managed a curse from the side of his mouth as I left the premises.
This to me seems symptomatic of the problem our SMEs are having relating to their customers in a recessionary climate. It's no secret that our services are overpriced, yet some businesses react with hostility if their pricing is questioned. The consumer is expected to plod along and simply pay up. While I am not proposing Bedouin-style haggling over dry-cleaning charges, I am suggesting that if we are to emerge from this mess we need to learn to "crown the customer".
This American adage infers that service providers give value to their customers and treat them with respect, or they will simply go elsewhere.