Few days ago I discovered a small hole along the leg seam of my new favourite trousers. Because I didn’t own a sewing machine I went to see a tailor. I had heard good things about this particular tailor close to our home and I decided to drop in there. I also wanted to buy a suit and I had been told they are affordable and do a good job so I thought of asking them about their suit tailoring service as well.
So this hole was right along the seam (the stitches had gotten loose) and required about an inch (2.5 cm) of straight stitching. Not a big deal, shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes.
I got to the tailor and asked if they could quickly fix it for me. I was replied with “No no no!”. Now I can take a refusal to complete a job right at this moment but I was dumbfounded at the passion and attitude of the “no”. So I asked them when could they deliver it. I was told the next day. “Alright”, I asked, “do you know anyone else close by who could do this for me now?” The answer was the same “No no no!”.
Clearly this man didn’t want to help me. I didn’t want his suits either. Even if he would do it for me for free. I wouldn’t want to work with him.
I got out and drove to another tailor I knew. They did the job in less than 2 minutes and refused to charge me anything. They also make suits and based on what I saw they do a good job.
This incident is a small and relatively insignificant one but it reminded me of one of the most important things in business.
Good customer service is about the customer’s needs, not yours.
Now which one should I see for my suit?